10 Reasons Why Weddings Are So Expensive – And How to Save

Reasons Why Weddings Are So Expensive

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A wedding is (for most people) the most special day in a couple’s life and it is a day of celebration and love, hence couples tend to spend more on a single day than they do in other areas of their life. Despite the fanfare and joy associated with a wedding, many are often left surprised by the overall cost of a wedding. 

The average cost of a wedding in the United States amounts to $28,000 and this is without the wedding ring! With a wedding band, it increases to $34,000. Since the average price of a wedding is almost equal to a car or a down payment on a house, it raises the question, ‘Why are weddings so expensive?’  

This article covers the top 10 reasons as to why a wedding is so expensive, which will give you an idea of where you can cut down on costs and where you can splurge. 

How much should I ideally spend on my wedding? 

This is entirely up to you, your budget, and your savings. If you have the funds to go above and beyond, well go for it! If you don’t, well you will have some planning and work to do.  

Consulting your budget is key to ensuring you don’t fall into debt and debt isn’t something you want to enter into a new marriage with. 

You can avoid this by being realistic about your goals and expectations and aligning them with your budget. 

There is no rule of thumb about how much you should spend – it all comes down to your individual situation and what you can afford.  

Is an expensive wedding worth it? 

expensive wedding

What matters to you? Will you be happy if you don’t have the 5-tier cake, the grand florals, and the stunning centerpieces?  

It may seem as though you should spend extravagantly as it’s the single day in your life that is specially reserved for you and your spouse to shine in the spotlight. 

You have to remember that it’s not only about the wedding but it’s more so about the marriage. So, who really needs an expensive wedding? 

The below 10 reasons and aspects of weddings highlight why weddings can be expensive. Note that not all of these are essential for everyone for their wedding.  

1. It’s not a party down the lane. 

People often accuse suppliers of adding zeros to the end of a quote as soon as they hear the word “wedding”. This isn’t true as there is a certain level of service maintained as well as quality and time put into perfecting a product or service. 

Providing a product or service for a birthday party will vary greatly in comparison to a wedding, due to the difference in the standards between the two events.  

2. The difference in scale. 

You cannot even begin to compare the size difference between a wedding and a party or dinner. Further, a wedding requires food that isn’t just hot dogs and steak, there is a certain standard that has to be met. All these expenses amount to a large bill eventually making weddings far more expensive than any other function you can host. 

For instance, paying for dinner at a nice restaurant for 10 people would be pretty pricey. A wedding is triple that cost, as you have to pay for dozens of guests, in addition to the venue, wedding favors, DJ, photographer, and so forth.  

3. Time is priceless. 

You would have heard the saying before and the same goes for the suppliers that provide exceptional products and services to ensure you have the perfect day. 

Providing a cake or stitching your wedding dress or even developing the photographs from your wedding all take up their time, and to add to that there is a price attached to the time spent. So, what happens to the old saying, time is priceless? 

You can understand why a supplier tends to charge more for a wedding as perfection and quality are involved. 

4. They know what they are doing. 

wedding venue

There are some things you can DIY and others that may just not work out if you don’t have the skills or don’t know someone who does.  

There is a reason professionals are involved in a wedding – because they know what they are doing. Paying for a professional is costly but you know you are paying for something that is of good quality. 

5. Budgets can be unrealistic. 

Oftentimes, a wedding can be pricey when couples don’t align their expectations with their budgets, hence eventually couples brand weddings as pricey and a “waste of money”. So, it’s always better to start by looking at your budget and what can be achieved within that. 

6. Location is key. 

It’s a known fact that the state you get married in can affect the cost of your wedding. States like New York, New Jersey, and Rhode Island cost more than states like Wyoming, Oklahoma, and Idaho.  

The reason for the staggering differences between the prices of weddings in these states is the fact that states like New York have a higher percentage of millionaires and wealthy citizens. Hence, services in those states become more expensive.  

What’s more, venues in those states can cost more due to the limited number of places to host weddings. 

So, when you decide on getting married, make sure the place you decide to have your wedding aligns with your budget. 

7. The venue eats up a chunk of the budget. 

One major factor that affects the price of weddings is the cost of a venue. A wedding usually has two parts to it, the ceremony and then the reception.  

Now, the price of the venue may change based on what you opt for. For example, going to an event hall where you can conduct the ceremony as well as the reception can be more cost-effective than paying for two separate venues. 

Additionally, venues need to be decorated and further equipment needs to be paid for. You will have to consider all the elements if you ever decide to opt for two different places as the price would then relatively increase. 

8. Catering is important. 

wedding catering reasons why weddings are so expensive

You do get weddings where there isn’t any food for the guests, but this often leaves a bad taste among those invited (pun intended). Couples spend a chunk of money on food in order to cater to the crowd and ensure everyone has had a good time. 

Imagine buying dinner for 200 people. That’s pretty much what it is. The price of catering varies greatly, and what you can afford depends on your budget.  

A cost-effective method is opting for a catering business or chain restaurants that offer catering as a service. For couples that have a bigger budget, going with an executive chef will guarantee higher quality food and an added bonus of the executive chef’s bartender. What you have to note is that you will likely receive a product or service in relation to the price paid, so a higher price tag almost can mean better quality products or services.  

The usual price for wedding catering is $70 per head on average, so based on the number of guests on your list, you have to reserve a lump of cash for food. 

9. Entertainment. 

You can just create a playlist on Spotify and plug that into an amplifier – problem solved. Or you can hire a DJ or a live band. Most couples tend to take this route, as a live band or a fun DJ adds atmosphere to a wedding. 

The rough price of a DJ can vary from $700 to $1500. Prices can be higher depending on their following and social media presence.  

Further, DJs are expensive since they bring all their equipment and some even bring lights to add special effects for the dance portion of the day. On the other hand, a live band is just as expensive and can cost more than a DJ. The average price of a band is between $2000 and $3000, but this entirely depends on their popularity and how big of a following they have.  

You can always opt for a band that is up-and-coming, one that doesn’t have a huge following. But entertainment is just as costly as any other service you get at a wedding. 

10. Photographer 

The photographer is one of the most integral aspects of a wedding. After all, when all is said and done, it’s the photographs that will last you for the rest of your life.  

Due to the gear and time put into capturing moments and developing photos, a photographer can be pricey. It is anywhere between $1000 and $4000, but some higher-end photographers charge up to $10,000.  

Photography requires hours, days, and sometimes even weeks to develop. Some photographers print the photos on expensive card stock while others go digital. Irrespective of how you receive your photos, it is a time-consuming job that requires an eye for detail making it an expensive purchase at a wedding. 

Wrapping Up 

Weddings are expensive – but they don’t have to be. There are ways you can DIY and hack to create a stunning wedding day at a minimal cost. So, it’s important to consider what your non-negotiables are. What are the things you can’t or won’t do without, and what are you willing to cull or par back? Considering these will help you pick and choose, compromise, and negotiate, to create the wedding of your dreams.  

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