Untitled photo


Getting Married is wonderful, but planning the wedding can be horrible! And by horrible I mean expensive. When you think of your dream wedding I bet the price tag didn’t come with the fantasy. It is however, understandable that to make the day as perfect as you imagined you need to pull of a beautiful celebration. That can mean, it’s complete with great music, food, decorations and vendors to make life easier. Couples and/or their parents have to come up with a chunk of $$$ to make it happen.

Did you know the average wedding in the United States cost around $25,000 - $30,000? and to some people this figure is still a conservative number. It seems like a very high number, but between the attire, the cake, the venue, catering and everything else that goes into a wedding, cost can add up easily.

If you’re planning your own wedding, it can be helpful to get an idea on what weddings truly cost these days and where you might be able to cut back and save up a little.

I like to thank one of our VIP Brides,  who reached out to me recently, she is also in the planning process right now and gave me an idea to make this pricing guide for DIY Brides.



Marriage License: $10 - $115

Reception Venue: $14,000

Ceremony Venue: $2,000

Catering Food & Alcohol: $75/person

Wedding/Event Planner: $1,500

Wedding Rings: $500 - $3,000

Rehearsal Dinner: $1,350

Invitations: $160 - $1,350

Wedding Dress: $1,500

Wedding Suit: $350

Music DJ/Band: $1,200 - $2,000

Photographer: $2,500

Videographer: $1,200 - $3,500

Wedding Cake: $0.15 - $1.50 per slice

Flowers / Decor: $2,150

Transportation: $750 - $850

Wedding Favors: $2-$3/person


Let’s start with the least expensive yet important thing you need for your wedding, a marriage license can cost anywhere between $10 to $115 depending on which state you are in.


Wedding venues can typically cost you around $14k-$16k, price range could vary depending on which venue you choose and what is included in the package. A basic package could run you around $2,500 or you can do it at a luxurious venue that can get you up to $75,000.

Venues usually offer packages that include catering which could mean saving money on food and less hassle to worry about. But costs may vary depending on the season you’re getting married.


Catering is one of the highest expenses for couples, especially if you include alcohol, food for guest can be pricey depending on how many people are on your guest list.

According to Wedding Wire, the average cost of a plated meal is $45/person and buffet can go around $30/person. If you plan on having a cocktail hour you can add about $24/person for appetizers and $17/person for alcohol. This number can vary depending on whether or not you want to offer a full open bar or a limited bar with just beer and wine.


To some a wedding planner is worth every penny, they can be incredibly helpful when it comes to booking vendors, getting the details done and can give you info you didn’t even know you need. But, a good planner can be a little costly.

I asked a few of the planners we’ve worked with in the past and did my own research and found out that a day-of wedding planner will cost around $1,500 and a full-service wedding planner from start to end of your wedding will be between $4,000 and $10,000.


Wedding rings can typically cost anywhere between $250 and $1500 per ring. But if you want a style with diamonds and stones could cost upwards of $3,500 - $6,500.


Rehearsal dinners can vary in cost depending on how many guests you invite. A bride magazine estimated the cost to be around $1,350 for couples who just invite immediate families and wedding party to attend.


Invitations can cost between $160 to $1,350 depending on whether or not you DIY them or order custom-designed ones. This can vary on how many invitations you need printed and you also want to factor in the cost of postage.


Depending on how extravagant you want your wedding attires to be, many brides end up spending 4 figures on attires alone.

Wedding Wire reports that the average wedding dress costs between $450 and $1,700. Most brides spend around $1,050 not counting the added costs of alterations and accessories.


As for suits, most grooms opt to rent their suit or tuxedo so average cost is around $350. Always strive to look for a less expensive alternative but still look great, some couples choose to wear non traditional wedding attires, its your wedding, your choice :)


If you’d rather have a live band, a typical 5-member band can play for 4 hours at about $2,000. However, most couples hire a DJ for ceremony and reception music. I referred to one of the most talented DJ we’ve worked with in the past. DJ Ron from Centerpiece Events said that a typical basic package for DJ can start at around $1,200.

Prices can vary depending on the date of your wedding and whether or not it’s a weekend.


If you want to splurge on anything for your wedding, it might not be a bad idea to get a photographer you you can get along with and love to capture the memories of your special day.

According to The Knot & Wedding Wire, wedding photographers nationwide average cost is around $2,800 unless you live in a more expensive are like San Fransisco and New York City where they generally charge over $4,500.

Wedding albums, engagement session and prints will cost extra, although many photographers already include an engagement session and album in their packages.


If you want your wedding recorded, you might want to get yourself a videographer to document your day. Videographers are another popular trend these days and are considered a luxury add-on for weddings.

According to Ever After Guide, a basic video service can cost between $800-$1,200 and luxury packages start at $3,500.

There may be additional editing costs or publishing costs to consider before signing the contract so don’t forget to ask.


Your wedding cake can vary depending on how many people you’re serving it to and how elaborate of a design you want on it.

The Knot reports that a typical wedding cake cost about $0.15 to $1.50 per slice. This price doe not factor in added design costs. You’ll also want to factor in additional delivery fees, try and negotiate a free delivery with your order :)


Depending on what you are looking for an average cost for wedding centerpieces, photo backdrops and ceremony decor is about $2,150 not including the professional you might need to hire to deck out your venue.


Many couples choose to rent a limo or a party bus to transport members of the wedding party and possibly guests as well to the ceremony and reception.

This is not a must though, since a lot of our weddings still choose to deck out their own vehicles and save up some money. But Wedding Wire says the average couple spends about $750-$850 for their transportation on their wedding day.


Last one is a popular trend in weddings and pricing can vary. Martha Stewart Weddings says the couple should typically spend between $2-$3 per person or choose to give one favor per family or couple in attendance, this helps cut the cost.

Favors are optional and cost depends on what you have in mind and how many you purchase.

Powered by SmugMug Owner Log In