smart spending

Cost of getting married

Tallying the costs of life's big events
Getting married

Getting married

You've found "The One," and you're ready to make it official. If that means throwing a wedding for all your well-wishing family and friends, the average price tag for the celebration is higher than for a year of tuition at a private university.

In 2011, total average spending for a wedding and reception reached $25,631, according to the Wedding Report.

Let's break that figure down with a few line items. Wedding bands: $1,179. Wedding dress: $1,166. Tuxedo or suit: $200. Bridal bouquet: $132. Wedding photographer: $1,668. Food for reception: $4,772, plus $423 for the wedding cake. Live band: $1,542. DJ: $699.

Gail Johnson, a wedding planner in Decatur, Ga., says many of her clients "don't have a clue" about what their dream wedding will cost.

"They may see pretty flowers and not realize that one stem of one orchid may cost you $25 or $30 -- or even more if we have to import it," Johnson says.

Of course, you could skip the grand festivities and do the nuptials for not much more than the cost of a marriage license. Those fees vary widely from state to state, from as little as $4 in Massachusetts -- depending on what city you're in -- to $115 in Minnesota .

CostHelper.com pegs the price of a honeymoon at $3,400 to $5,100 for a six- to eight-day trip, based on surveys of wedding industry sources.


 

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Ask Dr. Don

Have a savings bond tax problem?

Dear Dr. Don, I have a number of savings bonds that will stop earning interest in the next three to four years, months apart from each other. I retired in 2013. Is there any way for me to legally avoid paying the income... Read more

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us