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Breakdown of the Average Wedding Cost

Breakdown of the Average Wedding Cost
Jacqueline DeMarco
Jacqueline DeMarcoUpdated October 12, 2022
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Editor’s note: Lantern by SoFi seeks to provide content that is objective, independent and accurate. Writers are separate from our business operation and do not receive direct compensation from advertisers or partners. Read more about our Editorial Guidelines and How We Make Money.
You’ve celebrated your engagement, and now you’re ready to start planning for the big day. As you draw up your budget, it will be helpful to know the average cost of a wedding. So, how much does a wedding cost? According to The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study, the average wedding cost is $34,000. Weddings that have less than 50 guests are about $15,000, and weddings with more than 100 guests average $38,000.Read on to learn about the expenses that help determine the average cost of a wedding and options to help you pay for your dream day. 

Average Wedding Cost by State 

Many factors influence the cost of a wedding, including size of the guest list, the food you serve, and where you live. Here’s what the average wedding costs in each state:
  • Alabama: $20,000
  • Arkansas: $17,200
  • Arizona: $20,500
  • California: $33,000
  • Colorado: $24,500
  • Connecticut: $38,500
  • Delaware: $29,900
  • DC: $44,000
  • Florida: $27,000
  • Georgia: $27,000
  • Hawaii: $26,800
  • Idaho: $16,000
  • Illinois: $32,000
  • Indiana: $19,500
  • Iowa: $19,000
  • Kentucky: $20,000
  • Kansas: $17,000
  • Louisiana: $27,000
  • Maine: $29,100
  • Maryland: $31,000
  • Massachusetts: $36,000
  • Michigan: $25,000
  • Minnesota: $22,500
  • Mississippi: $19,100
  • Missouri: $24,500
  • Montana: $18,500
  • Nebraska: $18,900
  • Nevada: $20,500
  • New Hampshire: $30,000
  • New Jersey: $47,000
  • New Mexico: $21,100
  • New York: $42,000
  • North Carolina: $23,000
  • North Dakota: $24,200
  • Ohio: $25,000
  • Oklahoma: $16,000
  • Oregon: $19,500
  • Pennsylvania: $32,000
  • Rhode Island: $43,000
  • South Carolina: $26,000
  • South Dakota: $24,200
  • Tennessee: $22,000
  • Texas: $26,000
  • Utah: $17,500
  • Vermont: $32,700
  • Virginia: $32,000
  • Washington: $23,000
  • West Virginia: $21,900
  • Wisconsin: $23,000
  • Wyoming: $15,800

Average Cost of Common Wedding Expenses 

The average cost of a wedding can also vary greatly depending on the type of wedding you plan. Below is a list of the most common wedding expenses. It’s important to note that some couples may prioritize spending in some categories more than others and may be able to save on the things that are less important to them. This can be especially helpful if you’re planning a budget-friendly wedding.
  • Reception venue: $10,700
  • Wedding photographer: $2,500
  • Wedding/event planner: $1,700
  • Live band: $4,300
  • Reception DJ: $1,400
  • Florist: $2,300
  • Videographer: $1,900
  • Cost of a wedding dress: $1,800
  • Wedding cake: $500
  • Catering: (price per person): $75
  • Transportation: $900
  • Favors: $450
  • Rehearsal dinner: $2,300
  • Cost of an engagement ring: $6,000
  • Invitations: $530
  • Hair stylist: $130
  • Makeup artist: $115
Recommended: Average Honeymoon Costs in 2022: Tips for Funding Your Honeymoon

Most Expensive Wedding Cost 

The major expense couples need to plan for is the reception. So, how much does a wedding reception cost? The average wedding reception cost is $10,700, which can take a big chunk out of your budget. To help reduce this expense, you can choose a venue that includes catering and decor in the price, cut back on the number of guests you invite, or get married during an off-season.  

Least Expensive Wedding Cost 

Not all wedding expenses run into the thousands of dollars. For example, it costs just $115 on average to hire a makeup artist for the bride.  

Wedding Insurance 

A wedding expense that many couples may not know about is wedding insurance. Many wedding venues require that the bride and groom purchase wedding insurance to help cover the cost of any damage to the property or injuries that may occur. You might be able to benefit from wedding insurance as well. Some policies provide protections for the couple in the event that something goes wrong—say, for instance, a vendor doesn't show up or the venue becomes unavailable. Wedding insurance typically costs between $200 and $500 for a basic level of coverage. The more expensive a wedding is, the higher the price may be. 

Financing for a Wedding 

Because the average cost of a wedding is so expensive, financing can come in handy to help cover the expense. Here are a few options you may want to consider. 

Family Loans 

Many families pitch in for weddings, and it’s fairly common for parents of the couple to pay for some or all of the wedding. However, this is not a given. If your families can’t afford to pay for the wedding, they may be willing to lend you some money to help cover the cost. To avoid any misunderstandings, spell out all the details of the loan: the amount, how long you have to pay it back, how often they expect payments to be made, and any interest they may be charging you. 

Personal Loans 

Personal loans—sometimes called wedding loans—tend to have lower interest rates than credit cards. With a personal loan, you get a lump sum that you pay back in monthly installments over time with interest. Typically, the interest rate on a personal loan is largely determined by your credit history and credit score. The higher your score, the more likely you may be to receive a lower interest rate.Personal loans can be used as a financing solution for a wide variety of expenses, including wedding costs. You can even use personal loans for engagement ring financing

Credit Cards 

You can use credit cards for financing wedding costs. However, they often have high interest rates, so you’ll want to pay off the balance as soon as you can. If you have strong credit, you may be able to get a credit card with a 0% introductory APR offer. If you can pay off the balance before the introductory period ends, you won't have to pay any interest. But if you can’t pay the balance in full, you’ll be charged the card’s regular interest rate, which may be high.

The Takeaway

A wedding is expensive. The average cost is $34,000, and a number of factors impact the price, including the state you get married in, how many guests you invite, and the type of wedding you plan. Fortunately, couples can turn to their families for help, or use credit cards or personal loans to finance their wedding. 

3 Personal Loan Tips

  1. Shopping around helps ensure that you’re getting the best deal you can. Lantern by SoFi makes this easy. With one online application, you can find and compare personal loan offers from multiple lenders.
  2. If the interest rates you’re being offered seem too high, try lowering the loan amount. Generally, the larger the loan, the greater the risk for lenders, who likely charge a higher interest rate for the increased risk level.
  3. Read lender reviews before taking out a personal loan. You’ll get a sense of how long it can take to receive the funds and how good the customer service is.

Photo credit: iStock/Luke Chan
Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.LCPL0722008

Frequently Asked Questions

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About the Author

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco

Jacqueline DeMarco is a personal finance writer and editor based in Southern California. While she spends the bulk of her time writing about complex financial issues, she also tackles a variety of subjects ranging from food to fashion to travel. Her work can be found across dozens of publications such as Credit Karma, LendingTree, Northwestern Mutual, The Everygirl, and Apartment Therapy.
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