Average Cost of a Wedding in US - An In-Depth Analysis

Author: Lily Phi

According to The Investopedia Report, the wedding cost in the US hit $30,119 in 2023. This was up 3.1% from the previous year's $29,1951. Wedding prices rose in many areas like clothes, fun, place, and photo/video. The price change depends on where you live, inflation, and what's trendy in weddings. In this article, we dig into the average wedding price in the US. We look at what's most important to spend on and how to budget well.


histogram wedding expenses

Source: wedding.report

Key Takeaways

  • The average cost of a wedding in the US in 2023 was $30,119, a 3.1% increase from 2022.
  • Factors like regional variations, inflation, and industry trends impact wedding costs.
  • Essential expenses include venue, catering, photography, and attire/accessories.
  • Strategies to reduce costs include prioritizing essentials, off-peak weddings, and DIY elements.
  • Understanding funding sources, from personal savings to family contributions, is crucial.

Understanding the Average Wedding Cost in the US

Many things impact how much a wedding costs. This includes where the couple lives, how many guests they invite, and what venue and vendors they choose. The level of personal touches also plays a big part in the cost.2 In the Northeast, states like New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York lead to higher expenses. On average, weddings cost $51,000, $46,000, and $46,000 there. However, couples in the Midwest spend about $16,000 on their weddings.2 Other factors influencing cost are the number of guests and the date of the wedding.

Regional Variations

Wedding costs greatly differ across the US.2 The Northeast tends to have pricier weddings. Yet, the Midwest and the South are more budget-friendly2. For instance, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York saw the highest costs at $51,000 each in 20222. Meanwhile, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Utah had the lowest rates at $16,000 on average2. These differences are due to cost of living, venue and vendor availability, and popularity of certain locations.

Breaking Down the Wedding Budget

Choosing the right venue and catering is a big deal for any wedding. They make up about 37% of the whole budget, which was around $30,119 in 2023.3 The average cost for a wedding venue, with everything from rentals to food and drinks, went up by 3.6%. It hit $11,917 last year, thanks in part to inflation.4 Food at the wedding came to about $5,391, and then there's bar service, which cost $2,785 on average.4

Photography and Videography

A wedding without photos and videos is hard to imagine today. Their costs have been going up too. In 2023, a wedding photographer could cost you $2,264, which is 5% more than 2022.4 A videographer's price was around $1,700, marking a 9.6% jump.4 There's more couples are spending on, like engagement photos, photo booths, and albums. This adds to the bill for photos and videos.

Attire and Accessories

Wedding clothes and accessories are getting pricier too. A wedding dress will cost, on average, $1,633 in 2023. That's a 3.8% increase from the year before.4 Tuxedos, suits, and other outfit extras, including shoes, jewelry, and beauty services, have also gone up in price. It all came to about $624, up by 5.1% from 2022.4 The higher prices for what to wear and how to accessorize mirror the general rise in costs due to inflation.



Median Cost of a Wedding in US

Recent data from The Wedding Report shows, the median cost for a wedding in 2023 hit $30,119 in the US.2 This is up 3.1% from the 2022 average of $29,195.2

The cost of weddings has been going up every year. Everything from the venue to the clothes is more expensive.2 This increase is because of inflation and more people wanting big weddings after the COVID-19 slowdown.

Impact of Inflation on Wedding Costs

Inflation is changing the cost of weddings in 2023. Prices for many wedding items have gone up a lot. For instance, the cost of fresh cakes and cupcakes soared by 13.5%5. Full-service meals and snacks jumped by 8.1%5. Also, the prices for alcoholic drinks not at home increased by 6.9%6.

Not just food and drinks, but men's clothing and jewelry are also more expensive. Men's suits, jackets, and overcoats saw a 7.4%5 rise. And the cost of jewelry went up by 5.3%5. With all these costs increasing, couples are finding their wedding budget stretched. Many have to trim their plans to match what they can afford.

Price Increases for Common Wedding Expenses

Wedding Expense Price Increase
Fresh cakes and cupcakes 13.5%5
Full-service meals and snacks 8.1%5
Alcoholic beverages away from home 6.9%6
Men's suits, sports coats, and outerwear 7.4%5
Jewelry 5.3%5



great wedding dinner hall


Top Wedding Cost Trends of 2023

The year 2023 has brought some big changes to how weddings are planned and paid for. One key change is that people want bigger weddings. The average number of guests has gone up from 127 to 134.5 This means higher costs since many services charge per guest.

Weddings are also getting more unique and fun with things like special drinks, fun photo areas, and live music. These fun additions can make the budget grow.7 But, traditional wedding things like printed invitations and fancy jewelry are becoming less popular. Couples today prefer memorable experiences over items they can keep.

Wedding Expense Average Cost (2024)
Wedding Venue $6,500 - $12,000
Catering $6,500 - $10,000
Band or DJ $2,000 - $7,000
Wedding Planner $1,500 - $4,750
Photographer $3,500 - $6,500
Videographer $3,000 - $6,000
Flowers $2,500 - $6,000
Transportation $700 - $1,200
Cake $600 - $900
Ceremony Music $500 - $800
Hair and Makeup $550 - $850


Strategies for Reducing Wedding Expenses

Couples can lower their wedding costs by focusing on what's crucial. They should pick out key elements like the venue, food, and photos. Then, they can chill a bit on decorations or party favors. This helps them spend smart and trim the budget on less important parts.5

Off-Peak Season Weddings

Choosing a less popular time for the wedding can save a lot of money. For instance, getting married in winter or early spring. Since fewer folks get hitched then, vendors and venues might offer better deals. Showing flexibility on the wedding date can really cut costs.8

DIY Elements

Adding personal touches with DIY projects can be both fun and budget-friendly. Making your own invites, centerpieces, or even getting help from family with things like music. Also, friends can pitch in for services such as doing hair or leading the ceremony. This personal approach cuts the need for professional services, helping save big.8

wedding expenses breakdown infographic

Planning a Wedding on a Tight Budget

For couples on a small budget, smart planning is key. They can skip some traditional wedding parts. For example, they might invite fewer guests or choose a cheaper place to say, 'I do.' They could also skip the pricey flowers.5 Couples should try to save money. They could bargain with vendors. Or they might find sales or get help from loved ones. This way, they can make their big day special without overspending.

Getting married with limits can be tough for many couples. Nearly half of them say it's their biggest obstacle.5 Over half of those who married in late 2022 felt the economy’s pinch.5 To deal with this, set a clear budget and priorities. Look for ways to save, like using digital invites. This can ease the financial squeeze.

Even though weddings are pricey, many don't spend as much as you'd think. Most couples spend less than $20,000.9 The average cost is also lower. By focusing on these facts and looking at different choices, couples can stay on budget. They can still make their wedding day unforgettable.

Alternatives to Traditional Weddings

Many couples aim to cut down on wedding costs. They look for alternatives to the big traditional wedding. Elopement is one of these popular options. It involves having a small, private ceremony. Only a few close friends or family members are there.4 This choice can save a lot of money compared to a big wedding.4 In a courthouse, for example, costs might be between $30 and $100, depending on where you are. Also, over half of couples planning weddings in 2024 plan to have a friend or family member as the officiant to save money.4

Elopement and Intimate Ceremonies

Intimate ceremonies are also gaining popularity. These involve a smaller group of guests. The focus is mainly on the couple and their personal connection. It's seen as a more affordable wedding option.4 These choices let couples really focus on the emotional meaning of the day, rather than on big, expensive details.

wedding couple on sunset

The Role of Wedding Planners

Wedding planners are key in guiding couples through their wedding day costs and decisions. They use their expertise and connections to get better prices and find ways to save money that couples might miss. Planners typically take about 20 to 25 percent of the total wedding cost as their fee. This can vary based on their experience, where they work, and what their job involves.10

They also help couples figure out where to put their money, make a budget that works, and choose wisely to meet their goals and financial limits. The average cost for a wedding planner in the U.S. is at least $1,500. Day-of planners start at $800, while full-service planners ask for $3,000 or more.11

For those overwhelmed with planning, hiring a wedding planner could be a great move. In 2023, the average U.S. wedding planner cost was $2,100. Couples with destination weddings might pay more than those having it at home.12

Types of Wedding Planner Average Cost
Day-Of Wedding Coordinator $800 to $3,00011
Partial Wedding Planner $1,250 to $6,00011
Full-Service Wedding Planner $3,000 to $12,000+11
Destination Wedding Coordinator $2,70012
Hometown Wedding Planner $1,90012


Working with a planner lets couples manage their wedding's costs and details confidently. This ensures their wedding day reflects what matters most to them without breaking the bank.

Cultural and Religious Influences on Wedding Costs

Cultural and religious traditions can make weddings more costly. For example, in South Asian weddings, costs are high due to many days of events and fancy decorations. These are essential parts of the celebration.13 Similarly, specific religious traditions might need special venues or catering, which can increase the budget.13 It's important for couples to know how these factors affect their wedding costs. This knowledge helps them budget better.

Average costs for U.S. weddings range from $26,000 to $35,530, or more. Indian weddings show a wide cost range, from $34,000 up to $2 million!14 The big difference in spending shows how culture and religion can significantly affect cost. The U.S. wedding industry's yearly spending is $50 billion, much higher than the $11 billion spent in India.14

In the U.S., there's a trend away from church weddings. Fewer weddings are happening in churches in places like Dallas and Syracuse. Instead, weddings are taking place in barns, farms, and outdoor spots.13 Also, more people are becoming ordained online to lead ceremonies. This change shows a move towards secular weddings and away from traditional church ceremonies.13

All-inclusive wedding venues are becoming more popular, providing everything in one package. But, about 30% of recently married Americans still chose religious ceremonies. This is less than the 70% who did so over 40 years ago.13 This shows a decline in religious weddings and an increase in weddings featuring various faiths or secular beliefs.13

Although many in the wedding industry see themselves as spiritual, they are not religious. This shows a change from the faith they were raised with.13 Also, the focus of weddings has shifted towards the reception. Receptions now last longer than the actual wedding ceremonies.13

Considering cultural and religious influences is crucial when planning a wedding. This helps couples fulfill their wedding dreams within their budget. Understanding these aspects is key to financial planning for the big day.

wedding infographic shows different religions

Funding Sources for Weddings

Couples fund weddings from personal savings, family help, and other means. Zola's data shows only 16.6% cover the entire cost by themselves. 33.6% of couples pay at least some cost.1 Saving over time and using part of their regular money for the wedding means couples don't have to borrow money or depend too much on others.

Financial Assistance from Family

Family support is key for many weddings. The Zola survey says 32.5% get some help from parents or in-laws. 9.4% have their whole wedding paid for by family.4 Such support is vital. It lets couples have their dream wedding without the full financial burden.

Wedding Loans and Credit Options

If savings and family help aren't there, wedding loans and credit can be options. But, these can impact finances for a long time. Zola's survey shows only 3.72% take a loan. On the other hand, 28.69% use credit cards for wedding costs, like points or new cards.4

Emotional and Financial Impact of Wedding Costs

The cost of weddings today is not just about the money. It also causes a lot of stress for couples. A 2023 survey by NerdWallet and Zola found that 70% of engaged Americans face financial issues while planning their wedding.15 This includes managing different financial needs and surpassing their initial budget.

This money stress can harm how couples relate to each other. It might even overshadow the happiness they should feel on their wedding day. Also, taking on debt or using up savings for a wedding can have lasting bad effects. It could make saving for other goals hard or slow down reaching financial security.

Expense Category Average Percentage of Wedding Budget
Venue 37%3
Catering 29%3
Live Band 12%3
Wedding Rings 9%3
Photography 8%3
Videography 8%3
Flowers 8%3
Attire 7%3
Wedding Planner 6%3
Event Rentals 6%3
Lighting and Decor 5%3
DJ 5%3
Transportation 3%3
Hair and Makeup 3%3
Stationery 2%3
Cake and Desserts 2%3
Favors and Gifts 1%3
Officiant 1%3
Additional Jewelry 1%3


In 2022, the average wedding cost in the U.S. was around $30,000 per couple. This was shown by The Knot's Real Wedding Study.15 It might take up to nine years to save for your wedding in full, says a report from SmartAsset.15

Future Trends in Wedding Expenditures

The wedding industry is changing, and experts predict some key trends. More couples might choose small, experience-focused weddings over big, expensive ones. This could mean fewer people want lavish events.5

Also, with prices going up and the economy unsure, couples might look for cheaper options. They might focus on what's most important on their special day instead. Digital tools and online platforms could make weddings more affordable, too.5

So, as people think more about their wedding costs, the whole industry could change. How couples plan and spend on weddings might look very different in the near future.

3 ways to save money on wedding costs:

  • Build a wedding budget and adjust it as needed.5
  • Set wedding priorities, focusing on what's most important to you.5
  • Consider cost-saving alternatives like e-vites and in-season purchases.5


The median cost of a US wedding has gone up, hitting $30,119 in 2023. This is a 3.1% jump from the year before.4 Factors like inflation, different costs by region, and new trends are pushing prices higher.

Couples face hard choices when planning their wedding. They can save money by focusing on what's truly important. This might mean choosing to marry outside the busy season or adding personal touches with do-it-yourself projects.4

Knowing where the money comes from is also key. Couples often use their own savings, help from family, or even loans to cover costs. It's important they pick options that fit their budget well.4 Being smart and open to different ideas can make a wedding special without hurting their future finances.


What is the average cost of a wedding in the US?

The average cost of a US wedding in 2023 was $30,119, increasing by 3.1% from the previous year's $29,195. This is based on The Wedding Report's data.

What factors influence the cost of weddings?

Several factors come into play. These include where the wedding takes place, how many people are invited, the choice of venue and vendors, and the details the couple adds.

How do wedding costs vary across different regions of the US?

Wedding costs show big differences across the US. The Northeast is the priciest area for weddings. In contrast, the Midwest and South are more cost-effective choices.

What is the breakdown of wedding expenses?

The largest part of the budget goes to venue and food, eating up about 37%. Then, there's spending on photos, videos, clothing, and other personal touches.

How has inflation impacted the cost of weddings?

Inflation has pushed up many costs related to weddings. Fresh desserts, meals, drinks, suits, and jewelry have all seen their prices go up in 2023.

What are the top wedding cost trends in 2023?

Larger weddings are more in demand. There's also a bigger focus on making the wedding unique and meaningful, while traditional elements are not as popular as before.

What strategies can couples use to reduce wedding expenses?

Choosing what’s truly important, picking off-season dates, and adding personal, do-it-yourself touches can save money. Plus, working with a wedding planner can also help.

What are some alternatives to traditional weddings?

Many couples are choosing smaller, private ceremonies or elopements. These options are both trendy and budget-friendly compared to standard weddings.

How can cultural and religious traditions impact wedding costs?

These traditions might require special items, ceremonies, or events. This can significantly raise the total spending on the wedding.

What are the typical funding sources for weddings?

Most couples use their savings, help from family, and perhaps loans to finance their big day. These are the main ways weddings are paid for.

Source Links

  1. https://www.investopedia.com/wedding-average-cost-8558593
  2. https://www.theknot.com/content/average-wedding-cost
  3. https://www.theknot.com/content/wedding-budget-ways-to-save-money
  4. https://www.nerdwallet.com/article/finance/how-much-does-average-wedding-cost
  5. https://www.bankrate.com/personal-finance/average-wedding-cost/
  6. https://www.cnbc.com/2023/02/21/2023-wedding-costs-inflation.html
  7. https://www.zola.com/expert-advice/whats-the-average-cost-of-a-wedding
  8. https://www.koyalwholesale.com/blogs/modern-diy-wedding-trends/2023-average-wedding-costs-and-42-tips-on-how-to-reduce-them
  9. https://silkstemcollective.com/median-and-average-wedding-cost/
  10. https://www.brides.com/wedding-planner-cost-4798009
  11. https://www.weddingwire.com/cost/wedding-planner
  12. https://www.theknot.com/content/how-much-do-wedding-planners-charge
  13. https://baptistnews.com/article/why-are-weddings-so-expensive-today-and-why-are-so-few-held-in-churches/
  14. https://scholarworks.gvsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1061&context=mcnair
  15. https://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/spending/articles/this-is-how-much-the-average-wedding-costs



The Author: Lily Phi

Lily Phi is an inspiring art blogger with over 15 years of experience. Her passion for creativity and a keen eye for detail captivate readers worldwide, making her a trusted voice in the art community. She believes in the transformative power of art to inspire and connect people.



This Blog is provided by FromPicToArt.com your GoTo source when it comes to Custom Wedding Paintings

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