Average Wedding Cost & Budget Breakdown for Florida Couples

Getting married is a big moment in your life. It can also be very expensive. And while some people don’t need to worry about sticking to a wedding budget, most of us do.

At Additional Financial, our members sometimes ask us about the average wedding cost as they create a budget. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, we can offer some guidance. Here’s what you need to know about the average wedding budget and how to break it down.

How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost?

Let’s start with the average cost of a wedding in the United States. Wedding website The Knot conducts an annual survey to calculate the average. Their finding for 2018 was that the average wedding costs $33,391.

That might seem like a lot – and it is a lot to spend on one day. That said, we hope you won’t be intimidated or upset by that number. Remember, an average reflects all weddings. A single, million-dollar blowout is enough to raise the average for the entire country.

It’s possible to have a lovely wedding for far less than the national average. Many people spend far less than that amount.

The average includes nearly all of the expenses associated with the wedding except for the honeymoon. We’re talking about:

  • Engagement & wedding rings
  • Ceremony & reception venue/officiant
  • Photographer/videographer
  • Wedding or event planner
  • Wedding band or DJ
  • Flowers & decor
  • Wedding dress
  • Groom’s attire
  • Catering
  • Transportation
  • Wedding favors
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Invitations
  • Hair & makeup artists

It’s easy to see how these expenses can add up. Fortunately, there are lots of ways to minimize the cost while still having a memorable and beautiful wedding.

How Does the Budget Breakdown Work?

As you might expect, some elements of a wedding cost far more than others. According to The Knot, the two costliest parts of a wedding are typically the reception venue ($15,439) and the engagement ring ($5,680).

The other expensive aspects of a wedding – which in this case means those that cost, on average, $1,000 or more, are:

  • Reception band ($4,247)
  • Catering ($70 per person or $3,500 for 50 people)
  • Photographer ($2,679)
  • Flowers/decor ($2,411)
  • Ceremony venue ($2,382)
  • Videographer ($2,021)
  • Wedding dress ($1,631)
  • Rehearsal dinner ($1,297)
  • DJ ($1,292)

The average number of guests is 136 and the average spend per guest is $258. By looking for ways to cut costs, you can easily downsize your wedding without sacrificing anything in the way of beauty or elegance.

The best way to trim the budget is to sit down and talk about where you’re willing to compromise. Deciding what’s most important to you as a couple will help you prioritize what matters without blowing through your budget.

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Tips for Creating Your Wedding Budget Breakdown

Breaking down your wedding budget can be stressful, so here are some pointers to help you work through it.

  1. Start by identifying the things that are most important to you. For example, is your heart set on a certain venue or do you want a designer wedding dress? Identifying your priorities will help you decide how much you can afford to spend for the things that aren’t as important to you.
  2. Pick out a few areas where you’re prepared to compromise. You might prefer a vintage ring to a new one or simple arrangements of wildflowers instead of professionally made bouquets and centerpieces.
  3. Since prices can vary greatly depending on where you’re getting married, make some calls to get quotes for things that you can’t price out on your own. Photographers, videographers, caterers and bands typically have a general quote ready. We recommend calling at least three providers in each category to be sure you have options.
  4. Make a preliminary guest list. You’ll likely start out with a larger list than you end up with. Remember that this is your wedding. If you’re paying for it yourself, you don’t need to feel obligated to invite everyone your parents ever met.
  5. As you decide on vendors, revisit your guest list with the goal of trimming it by 20%. Put it away for a few days and revisit it. If you feel that you’ve cut someone you want to invite, you can put them back on the list. And, if you decide it’s still too big, you can trim it some more.
  6. Keep refining your breakdown until you’ve got a cost you can live with.

Here are a few tips from The Knot to help you save money:

  • Consider having your ceremony and reception in the same location
  • Limit the bar to just wine and beer and one signature cocktail
  • Print your own invitations
  • Stick to favors where each couple or family can take one (candles and plants are two examples)
  • Hire the same band (or DJ) for the ceremony and the reception
  • Choose local, seasonal flowers and greenery
  • Get a small cake for cutting in front of your guests and have a backup sheet cake for guests to eat

These tips can help you save money where you can and keep your wedding budget under control.

Making a wedding budget breakdown is a lot of work. The information and advice we’ve included here will ensure you have a wedding day that’s a reflection of who you are – and what you can afford.

Want to learn how Addition Financial can help you plan your wedding? Click here now!