Common Wedding Expenses
Wedding costs can quickly get out of hand. That's why it's good to have an idea of typical wedding expenses. This hub is a semi-exhaustive list of the most common expenses in today's weddings because let's face it, you probably don't have $30,000 lying around ready to spend on a wedding.
Keeping this list of wedding expenses in mind, you should be able to create a healthy wedding budget, have an understanding of different expenses and better prepare for that all important day.
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If you are interesting in knowing who pays for what in a wedding, you'll like this article on wedding expense etiquette. Or if you want to know about the latest wedding etiquette trends, check out this piece on wedding etiquette.
Wedding Expenses List
Here's a list of typical wedding expenses. Keep in mind the amounts are approximate and can vary depending on amounts, location, personal preferences, etc.
Before the wedding day, you will already be paying money for various wedding expenses. Costs for these items can vary between $800-$5000. Here's a list of the most common wedding expenses that will need to be covered well before the wedding day:
- Wedding invitations
- Bride's wedding attire (wedding gown, garter, accessories)
- Engagement and wedding rings
Wedding Ceremony Expenses
A standard wedding ceremony could could anywhere from $1,000 (for the very thrifty couple) to $10,000+ (for the very lavish couple). Expenses for the wedding ceremony include:
- Site rental
- Decorations (flowers, bows, plants,etc.)
- Outfit rental/purchase (bridesmaids, groomsmen, and so forth)
- Wedding services (such as the wedding officiant, coordinator, planner, videographer, photographer)
Wedding Reception Expenses
The wedding reception is where you will find the most wedding expenses. (Keep this in mind when budgeting.) Costs here can vary widely depending on whether or not alcohol is served, how many guests you plan to feed, etc. but can be anywhere from $2000 (for a very frugal couple!) to $15,000+ (for a more lavish reception). Expenses include:
- Entertainment (DJ, MC, musicians)
- Food services (bartender/s, catering staff, cooks, food/alcohol costs, wedding cake)
- Decorations (centerpieces, wedding favors, etc.)
- Wedding gifts (typically collected at this time)
Wedding Expenses Video
There are also a number of post-wedding expenses to expect. Costs can vary (as usual) depending on a number of factors, but expect to pay at least $500 to $10,000+ (the biggest factor here is whether or not you take a honeymoon).
- Limo driver to take you to hotel/airport
- Thank you cards (written to those who gave gifts, those who helped make the wedding happen and anyone else of your choosing)
You might also want to research who pays for what in a wedding and current wedding trends. If you are ready to start organizing your budget, you can find a number of free wedding expense resources that will help you on the way. Two I highly recommend are:
- Free Resources for your Wedding
After a very short sign up process (basically enter your email address and name), you can get a free bride's manual and a guest list tool. These free wedding resources give you checklists, tools and other goodies that will help tremendously.
- Calculate Wedding Expenses Online
A free wedding expense guide where you can plug your own numbers into an online spreadsheet and it automatically updates your expenses.
robert Masalela on November 14, 2019:
im interested in marriage nd I wanna marry my lady so help me with ideas guys
gepeTooRs on April 08, 2016:
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Futamarka on March 09, 2013:
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martha on June 10, 2012:
You helped me a lot! Thanks to you ill plan the best secret wedding for my sister .
WeddingConsultant (author) from DC Metro Area on March 16, 2010:
Alicia that's a great question. I've seen quite a few places online that list wedding expenses and that attempt to list all the hidden costs, but none are exhaustive and that's because each wedding is different.
Some weddings might have hidden expenses that others do not. I can say from experience that destination weddings are much more susceptible to hidden costs, but even local weddings can have different costs pop up.
I tried to list out as many of the major and hidden wedding expenses that I could think of to help, but covering ALL of the potential costs would probably involve 50+ pages of writing- something most people don't sit down and read online!
Alicia on March 12, 2010:
This is a great list, but is there any hidden costs that someone can list? I keep having people tell me there is hidden expenses like a cake cutting fee. Does anyone know where I can find a list like this?
WeddingConsultant (author) from DC Metro Area on January 09, 2010:
I'm glad both of you got use out of it! Thanks for taking the time to comment.
Donald on January 08, 2010:
Thanks for your info. God bless
sandwichmom from Arkansas on October 01, 2009:
Important stuff- especially with people tightening their budgets
WeddingConsultant (author) from DC Metro Area on August 24, 2009:
Jen, I'm glad you liked it, thanks for stopping by and commenting.
Jen4Weddings from Canada on August 22, 2009:
You have shared very good information.
WeddingConsultant (author) from DC Metro Area on July 31, 2009:
Thanks @prasetio30 and @swathin2 for your comments. Swathin2, you're right- the unexpected expenses often come up, so it's always a good idea to have a certain amount of money set aside for surprises.
swathin2 on July 20, 2009:
nice way you listed almost all the expenses that occur for a wedding. not only these there might be some sudden costs too which we cannot avoid.
planning a wedding also became so expensive these days.
feel free to comment me back
prasetio30 from malang-indonesia on July 19, 2009:
great hub. I'll keep you suggest about the wedding expenses list.