What's a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding?

What's a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding?

  • Less than $10,000

    Votes: 26 57.8%
  • $10,000 to $19,999

    Votes: 9 20.0%
  • $20,000 to $29,999

    Votes: 5 11.1%
  • $30,000 to $39,999

    Votes: 2 4.4%
  • $40,000 to $49,999

    Votes: 1 2.2%
  • $50,000 to $74,999

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • $75,000 or more

    Votes: 2 4.4%

  • Total voters
    45

OrlandNole

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Nov 29, 2003
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Nashvegas
@Derekd3408 's thread on the wedding food trucks got me thinking: What's a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding? I'm talking venue, catering, entertainment, dress, everything.

Our daughter (no pics) is in her 20s and will likely get married in the next 5-10 years. I have budgeted $50K (but will tell my wife and daughter the budget is $40K).
 

SeaPA

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Dec 17, 2002
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@Derekd3408 's thread on the wedding food trucks got me thinking: What's a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding? I'm talking venue, catering, entertainment, dress, everything.

Our daughter (no pics) is in her 20s and will likely get married in the next 5-10 years. I have budgeted $50K (but will tell my wife and daughter the budget is $40K).

LMAO at "you will tell" them the budget. They will laugh at you and tell you to get your ass back to work, because you have a wedding to pay for.
 

Derekd3408

HR Legend
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Feb 10, 2011
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@Derekd3408 's thread on the wedding food trucks got me thinking: What's a reasonable amount to spend on a wedding? I'm talking venue, catering, entertainment, dress, everything.

Our daughter (no pics) is in her 20s and will likely get married in the next 5-10 years. I have budgeted $50K (but will tell my wife and daughter the budget is $40K).
50k?!?! Holy hell. Wife and I had an amazingp wedding with 250 guests for 12.5k. I wouldn't have been able to even spend 50k without serving everyone steak and lobster on gold plated dishes they got to take home after.
 

beanerhawk

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Dec 12, 2001
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I picked $10k to $20k but it might be 15k to 25k for me. I paid for my daughters wedding 2 years ago and I'm guessing we just went over 20k. If I wasn't so nice and left the open bar open for to long it probably would have been under 20k.
 

Monzon

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Nov 15, 2001
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Maybe 20k. Lots of ways to not be fleeced on a wedding. Focus on good food, an open beer bar and a solid DJ to keep things flowing. Get a good photog and rights to your pictures. Keep the ceremony short and simple.

No one remembers your color arrangement. No one remembers your flowers. No one cares you had 7 groomsman & bridemaids and two singers.
 

OrlandNole

HR Heisman
Nov 29, 2003
5,046
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50k?!?! Holy hell. Wife and I had an amazingp wedding with 250 guests for 12.5k. I wouldn't have been able to even spend 50k without serving everyone steak and lobster on gold plated dishes they got to take home after.
I'm not sure we can get into a venue here for under $10K.
 
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alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
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Anything over $10K is absolutely DUMB, IMO. If you want to spend that kind of money, spend it on the honeymoon.

We had a small service at my church, outside with 13 people--I spent $0 and saved it for the ceremonial wedding/honeymoon in Cancun. We went with two other couples and had a blast.
 

StormHawk42

HR Legend
Nov 3, 2009
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$15k, most of which is going to food and the venue.

Where people get robbed on prices is 1) overpaying for dress/tuxes and 2) hiring the most expensive photographers and DJ’s.

For that second point, the trick is to find a friend that does that stuff as a hobby and not a full time job, assuming they can give you a reference or two.
 
Last edited:

seminoledq

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Aug 1, 2005
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Anything over $10K is absolutely DUMB, IMO. If you want to spend that kind of money, spend it on the honeymoon.

We had a small service at my church, outside with 13 people--I spent $0 and saved it for the ceremonial wedding/honeymoon in Cancun. We went with two other couples and had a blast.
Completely agree with this. We got married young, had no money and our parents chipped in where they could. Had about 300 people at the wedding and couldn't have asked for a better event. all in we spend less that $5k.
 

LuteHawk

HR Legend
Nov 30, 2011
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The Wedding Ceremony and the Wedding Reception
can be separated to help identify necessary spending.

The church is still the place for many weddings and the
least expensive. Most churches do not charge their
members for the use of their facilities.

The wedding reception is where the costs escalate due
to the venue. Will it be a served sit down dinner or
a buffet? Will the dance music feature a live band
or a disc jockey with recordings?

Bottom Line: It can be done for less than $10,000
 
Last edited:

MepoDawg#

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Oct 29, 2012
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Ours was probably $20-$25k total 17 years ago. If we could do it over we’d get married at the courthouse and take a few friends on a trip. Save the money and give it to the bride/groom for practical purposes like down payment on a house. Expensive weddings are overrated and a waste.
 
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Derekd3408

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Feb 10, 2011
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I'm not sure we can get into a venue here for under $10K.
Where you at? We got married at a Courtyard Marrriot in Ankeny and after putting down $2500 for the bar tab, 5 kegs, and food, the total was $9200. The rest was spent on dress, flowers, DJ, and photographer. The venue covered all the decorations and table arrangements.

Biggest waste of money for us was the photographer. She gave us a disk with all the photos and we have yet to open it after 10 years. Literally haven't even looked at them. We use the photos people took and posted to FB.
 

OrlandNole

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Nov 29, 2003
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Where you at? We got married at a Courtyard Marrriot in Ankeny and after putting down $2500 for the bar tab, 5 kegs, and food, the total was $9200. The rest was spent on dress, flowers, DJ, and photographer. The venue covered all the decorations and table arrangements.

Biggest waste of money for us was the photographer. She gave us a disk with all the photos and we have yet to open it after 10 years. Literally haven't even looked at them. We use the photos people took and posted to FB.
I'm in suburban Nashville (Williamson County). Lots of money here.
 

alaskanseminole

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Oct 20, 2002
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Completely agree with this. We got married young, had no money and our parents chipped in where they could. Had about 300 people at the wedding and couldn't have asked for a better event. all in we spend less that $5k.
My wife spent about $600 on her dress (her 22-year-old niece "had" to spend over $2k on her's). The bridesmaid/best man dresses were under $100.

left = made of honor
right = my best "man" (yes, 5 months pregnant--not mine)

JLVHTH0.jpg

NlyUjeN.jpg



$600 bucks gets a decent dress, IMO.

pmifu8J.jpg
 

onlyTheObvious

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Jan 3, 2021
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Small rural towns you can still get a VFW or American Legion type place cheap. DJ, cater in BBQ and work with venue on legged beer.

it’s all relative to location and what you want. Years later most will agree it was largely a big waste of money.
 
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tarheelbybirth

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Apr 17, 2003
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We got married in my brother's 100 year old mountain house in Blowing Rock, NC. Immediate family and closest friends only. The whole thing start to finish was less then $4K and it was great. Had live music and a small buffet. And we're as married as people who spent a whole lot more.

My niece is getting married next year. Her parents told her they'd cover $15K and she could use it for her wedding or use it for a honeymoon or split it between the two but there wouldn't be a dime more...her choice.
 

WisestIowan

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Jun 1, 2012
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H Town (Screwed Up and Slowed Down)
I just got married (no pics) 4/2/21 for the first time at 38. We spent around $7,000 excluding the dress (I have not idea what that cost but she said I didn't want to know). He parents paid for the whole thing. We got lucky because one of my clients owns a wedding venue so the venue cost $0.00.

My fraternity brother's who have an award winning competition BBQ team and are opening their own restaurant did the food which saved us also. They only charged us $1,550 compared to other quotes we got between $3,000-$4,000.
 

alaskanseminole

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Oct 20, 2002
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We got married in my brother's 100 year old mountain house in Blowing Rock, NC. Immediate family and closest friends only. The whole thing start to finish was less then $4K and it was great. Had live music and a small buffet. And we're as married as people who spent a whole lot more.

My niece is getting married next year. Her parents told her they'd cover $15K and she could use it for her wedding or use it for a honeymoon or split it between the two but there wouldn't be a dime more...her choice.
You did it the right way! Sounds fun!
 

ConvenientParking

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Jun 28, 2016
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Kinda like cars. Lotta people who I think shouldn't be buying $60k-$80k vehicles but they qualify for financing so they do. Spending more than you need to get from A to B is a choice you can make, it's not something anyone should feel pressure to do. Then for some people, $80k or $500k isn't going to set them back much, and good for them please invite me if you book Paul McCartney.
 
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tarheelbybirth

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Apr 17, 2003
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You did it the right way! Sounds fun!
Funny story...that same brother had a huge church wedding. Married the minister's daughter as a matter of fact. No idea how much it cost but it was a ton for the time, I'm sure.

What her parents never learned was that they had gone down to the courthouse months earlier and gotten married. The church thing was purely and expensively ceremonial.
 

West Duval Nole

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Dec 16, 2013
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Jacksonville
Depends on your income and cash available to spend. I certainly wouldn't be taking a loan or putting it on credit cards to pay for it. Seems you like you have a good amount on the budget. The key will be managing to that budget and gaining absolute agreement from the parties prior to the planning on that amount and not going over. Hell, you could even state 40k for the wedding and 10k for the honeymoon trip as a present. Any amount for the wedding over the 40k will be subtracted from the honeymoon trip. If you spend under the 40k, that amount will be added to your honeymoon trip and you can pocket the rest or use it as a down payment on your house. Give them some options and incentives and your 50k budget should not be exceeded.
 

hawkbirch

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Mr. Birch and I paid for our own wedding and spent right around $10000 total including our honeymoon. HyVee catered fried chicken and ham and we had kegs of beer and pop. My dress was $125 and we did silk flowers. There are so many places you can waste money on a wedding and reception. It's easier to cut those expenses when you are spending your own money.
 

tarheelbybirth

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Apr 17, 2003
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Kinda like cars. Lotta people who I think shouldn't be buying $60k-$80k vehicles but they qualify for financing so they do. Spending more than you need to get from A to B is a choice you can make, it's not something anyone should feel pressure to do. Then for some people, $80k or $500k isn't going to set them back much, and good for them please invite me if you book Paul McCartney.
Here's my current vehicle - though it doesn't look this good:

68o1RkGXxL3zWhpd1YN7sxGzMQM7jk7hG2Oi0cOMcZ-uB0HCacSJDzvWEcREIgfGIjarONm5OTVlv1Ge2ooz5rKxgbTW6P3eyRhIi7k


I only have the front two seats in it - the other four are stashed in the garage. I'd take out the other front seat if I could. I have a tarp in the back for when I go to get dirt or mulch. 225K miles, paid for for over a decade, still going strong. Sure, sometimes the windows don't go down...and sometimes they refuse to go up. Sure, you can hear me coming from blocks away. Quirks. When my no-pic wife "hints" that I should get a new vehicle my standard response is, "Why?"
 
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ConvenientParking

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Here's my current vehicle - though it doesn't look this good:

68o1RkGXxL3zWhpd1YN7sxGzMQM7jk7hG2Oi0cOMcZ-uB0HCacSJDzvWEcREIgfGIjarONm5OTVlv1Ge2ooz5rKxgbTW6P3eyRhIi7k


I only have the front two seats in it - the other four are stashed in the garage. I'd take out the other front seat if I could. I have a tarp in the back for when I go to get dirt or mulch. 225K miles, paid for for over a decade, still going strong. Sure, sometimes the windows don't go down...and sometimes they refuse to go up. Sure, you can hear me coming from blocks away. Quirks. When my no-pic wife "hints" that I should get a new vehicle my standard response is, "Why?"

For me, if you make it obvious that you are going the practical route no one can really criticize your taste in vehicles, which means I don't have to develop a taste in vehicles which is something I ignored doing when I was younger for the same reason I haven't developed a taste for yachts, caviar, recreational acreages, etc.
 
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jasonrann

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Apr 11, 2007
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So after my divorce, I never thought I would marry again. Then I met the right one. I then swore I would never have a big wedding again. It was her first rodeo so I had to let go of that notion. We started getting our list together and got to 150 people in a blink. Luckily, that was all our venue could hold or we could have gotten to 250-300 easily. Since I was in my 40's and she was in her 30's, we had the scratch to cover everything ourselves. We had a several course plated dinner and an open bar. Between the wedding, food, drink, honeymoon, we hit it for about $30k. Venue alone was $5k and the only reason it wasn't at least $2k more than that was because it was a new space and we were their first booking.

Edit to mention that one of my best friends and member of the wedding party was a photographer, saved several thousand there.
 
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goldmom

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Mar 29, 2002
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I'm not sure we can get into a venue here for under $10K.
You can't. Maybe in Iowa, but not in FL.
Spent $25K on my daughter in 2008. And we didn't even have a live band.
Country Club, DJ, hot hors d'oeuvres and cocktails and piano player for the happy hour, buffet sit down, flowers, cake $2,000 dress, limos, pictures, gratuities, church. . My brother paid for the invitations as his gift.
This was an AVERAGE wedding in their peer group. 🤑
 
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goldmom

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Mar 29, 2002
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Ours was probably $20-$25k total 17 years ago. If we could do it over we’d get married at the courthouse and take a few friends on a trip. Save the money and give it to the bride/groom for practical purposes like down payment on a house. Expensive weddings are overrated and a waste.
Daughter and her hubby spent ten days in Spain on the Costa del Sol. Took a side trip to Morocco.
They were in their late 20's and both had very good jobs, so they splurged.
 

RunRonnieRun

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Aug 23, 2007
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I'm not knocking these weddings, but I've never been to one with BBQ and keg beer at a VFW hall. Sounds like a fun party, but not what I'd typically consider for a wedding.

My wedding 13 years ago was +/-$50K, and we were way on the low end of our friends who got married around that time. One could consider it a waste of money, but it's all about perspective. I'd never want someone to go broke or into debt paying for a wedding.
 

QChawks

HR Legend
Feb 11, 2013
47,544
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Quad Cities
Maybe 20k. Lots of ways to not be fleeced on a wedding. Focus on good food, an open beer bar and a solid DJ to keep things flowing. Get a good photog and rights to your pictures. Keep the ceremony short and simple.

No one remembers your color arrangement. No one remembers your flowers. No one cares you had 7 groomsman & bridemaids and two singers.

$20k is about right to me
 

cfbfan23

HR All-American
Mar 29, 2002
3,303
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My wife and I decided to elope a little over 18 years ago. It wasn't so much a money-thing as much as it was a formal acknowledgement that we wanted no part of any wedding or the planning that goes along with it. We initially tried to care about it. We got engaged in August of 2002. We looked at a couple of venues.......but.......by May of 2003, we still hadn't progressed any further.

The only person who was mildly upset by our decision was my M-I-L. They had blown through their wedding budget on my wife's two older sisters (no pics) elaborate weddings'. There was nothing left for for their youngest (my wife). That made the decision super easy for us.

We're kind of lazy when it comes to certain things that neither of us truly care about. If we hadn't eloped, we'd probably still be living together as an engaged couple.
 
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alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
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Funny story...that same brother had a huge church wedding. Married the minister's daughter as a matter of fact. No idea how much it cost but it was a ton for the time, I'm sure.

What her parents never learned was that they had gone down to the courthouse months earlier and gotten married. The church thing was purely and expensively ceremonial.
Oooof, that's hilarious.

Not sure why folks feel the need to be so lavish on a wedding; it's important for certain, but dang what a racket.
 

alaskanseminole

HR Legend
Oct 20, 2002
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Kinda like cars. Lotta people who I think shouldn't be buying $60k-$80k vehicles but they qualify for financing so they do. Spending more than you need to get from A to B is a choice you can make, it's not something anyone should feel pressure to do. Then for some people, $80k or $500k isn't going to set them back much, and good for them please invite me if you book Paul McCartney.
That's why I buy used.


Bought our 2014 Grand Cherokee in 2017 (had 4 months of warranty left). We paid $26K. I walked my wife [pics above] over to the new lot and showed her the same darn vehicle for an MSRP of $45k. I paid the pre-owned Jeep off 2 years later.

The most I've ever spend on a vehicle is my 2016 Wrangler--$35k used vs $45k new. I plan on driving it the next 20 years or so....so I'm okay with the higher cost. You're right, though, $60-80k is insane. I have friends with $900 car payments.