A Detailed Breakdown Of Wedding Costs

Planning your wedding is one of the most exciting times of your life. You get to pick out your dress, choose a color scheme, find flowers, find a beautiful venue to hold your reception, see all of your friends and family, dress up like a princess, and of course exchange vows with your best friend.
A Detailed Breakdown Of Wedding Costs
But planning a wedding can also be one of the most stressful things for many people. You have to find a dress, choose a color scheme, find a florist, caterer, and venue, send out invitations, plan a seating chart… and find ways to incorporate each of these things into your budget.

Yes, planning a wedding is extremely exciting. But it can also stress you out, especially when it comes to making everything fit into your budget.

For many people, they don’t even know what to expect financially when planning a wedding. In fact, over 40% of couples admit that they ended up spending more on their wedding than they had initially planned. So to help you get prepared, here is a detailed breakdown of wedding costs:


You have to make sure that people actually know you are getting married. So you will need to send out wedding announcements or invitations for your ceremony and/or reception. This price includes engagement announcements, wedding invitations & reply cards, thank you cards, postage, etc.

Invitations Average Cost: $700


Of course the first thing that most brides think of when they are planning their wedding is the wedding dress. But make sure that you also factor in costs for the groom and the attendants (bridesmaids & groomsmen).

  • Bride’s Dress, Accessories, & Hair/Makeup: $1,700
  • Bridesmaid Dresses (5 Bridesmaids): $750:
  • Rented Tuxedos (Groom & 5 Groomsmen): $700

Clothing Total Average Cost: $3,150

*Wedding Planner:

Many people choose to hire a wedding planner or consultant to help them plan their special day. But of course, these types of services definitely come at a cost.

Wedding Planner Average Cost: $4,000


Flowers are usually also very high up in a bride’s mind when they are planning their wedding. The price includes the bouquets, as well as other flower arrangements (for both the ceremony and the reception).

Flowers Average Cost: $1,500


Of course you will want someone to capture all of the great memories being created at your wedding and reception. Of course these prices can fluctuate quite a bit depending on what kind of extras you are adding on: a bridal session, engagement session, photo album, digital cd/dvd, prints, etc.

  • Photographer: $2,000
  • Videographer: $1,500

Photography & Videography Total Average Cost: $3,500


You don’t want your guests to be bored at your wedding. So you will probably want to have either a deejay or live band (or both) to help set the mood and keep your guests entertained.

  • Deejay: $1,000
  • Live Band: $2,000

Deejay OR Band Total Average Cost: $1,500


You will need somewhere to hold your ceremony and reception. Here are the costs associated with that:

  • Ceremony Location (& other miscellaneous items for ceremony): $2,000
  • Reception Venue (including tablecloths, other linens, miscellaneous decorations, etc): $4,000

Ceremony & Reception Venues Total Average Cost: $6,000


You can’t forget the food for your wedding!

  • Rehearsal Dinner: $800
  • Wedding Cake: $600
  • Reception Food & Drinks: $8,000

Food Total Average Cost: $9,400


Most brides & grooms choose to give out some sort of gifts to their attendants and parents, as well as a wedding favor to the guests at their reception. This shows the people you love that you appreciate their help and them celebrating your special day with you.

  • Gifts for Attendants: $150
  • Gifts for Parents: $130
  • Wedding Favors: $250

Gifts & Favors Total Average Cost: $530


Many people choose to hire a limousine service for their wedding day.

Limo Rental Average Cost: $600

*Wedding Rings:

Don’t forget to include the price of the wedding rings when you are budgeting for your wedding!

  • Engagement ring: $4,000
  • Bride & Groom Wedding Bands: $1,300

Rings Average Cost: $5,300

*Hotel Room:

Most brides & grooms will stay at a hotel on their wedding night after their reception.

Wedding Night Hotel Room Average Cost: $300

*Final Total

So, there you have it, a detailed breakdown of wedding costs! So what does all of this add up to? Well, when you factor in invitations, attire, a wedding planner, flowers, photography, entertainment, ceremony & reception venues, food, gifts, limos, rings, & a hotel room, you can expect to pay an average total cost of $36,480. That price is for what I would consider a pretty all-inclusive wedding.

So use that number as a starting off point. If you have a budget of $40,000, then you should be able to comfortably plan a pretty all-inclusive wedding. If your budget is higher than that, then know that you can find some areas to really splurge on (designer dress, anyone?!).

Whereas if your budget is less than that total average of $36,480, then it’s time for you to start finding a few ways to cut costs. But with the average wedding budget in 2012 coming in around $25,000 to $29,000, know that you aren’t alone. As you can see, the average budget for a wedding is about $10,000 less than what the average cost would be if you wanted to include everything. So if your budget is closer to the average budget, then just find a few ways to cut costs here and there, and you’ll be fine. Do your own hair, rent your table linens, plan it yourself, and drive yourself and your spouse to your reception. There are many different ways to cut down the costs on your wedding, you just have to find the ones where you are willing to give a bit.

This article was written by Nicole, a writer for BBJ Linen. They provide rentals of table linens, wedding chair ties, and more to fit any budget.