The real cost of weddings

Getting married is a dream come true, but budgeting for the wedding can be a challenge. Prices can seem high, but the good news is average numbers account for events of all shapes and sizes, and may not reflect what you’re planning. Here are some average wedding costs, according to The Knot 2015 Real Wedding Study (unless otherwise noted), along with ideas to help you make a practical budget.

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True cost of a wedding

You may have heard the average wedding costs more than $32,000. This figure is higher than what many couples spend since it includes the cost of big-ticket weddings. Almost 40% of couples manage to spend $10,000 or less on their big day, according to The Wedding Report.

Many things make up the (average) cost of a wedding ...

Average venue cost:

$68 per person

Engagement ring:

Reception band:

Remember, these are average costs. Don’t feel like you need to spend this much.

Determine your budget

91% of couples help pay for their weddings.

As with any major expense, make a budget for your wedding, set savings goals and stay on track.

Once you’ve set a budget, calculate how long it takes to reach your goal with our savings goal calculator.

Let’s say you want to save $10,000:

If you have two years to plan, you should set aside

$417 a month

If you have only a year, that number jumps to

$834 a month

At six months, you need to save

$1,667 a month

Look for ways to save

To further cut costs, consider:

Reducing your guest list.

Celebrating your nuptials in January, February or March, when venues often offer discount rates.

Avoiding Saturday—the most expensive day to marry.

Having a morning or afternoon wedding, when rates are lower.

Keep things in perspective

Weigh your celebration costs against other financial goals such as paying down student debt or buying a house.

Households with auto loans owe an average of $27,865 on them.

Households with student debt owe $48,591 on average for these loans.

Average home down payment:

Sources: NerdWallet, 2016; RealtyTrac, 2015

Whatever your wedding goals are, it’s important to work within your budget. A Bank of America savings account can help you save the right amount for your special day.

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The material provided on this website is for informational use only and is not intended for financial, tax or investment advice. Bank of America and/or its affiliates, and Khan Academy, assume no liability for any loss or damage resulting from one’s reliance on the material provided. Please also note that such material is not updated regularly and that some of the information may not therefore be current. Consult with your own financial professional and tax advisor when making decisions regarding your financial situation.

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