How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost in 2024?

Nothing can dampen your excitement about planning your dream wedding. That is, until you start hearing the jaw-dropping figures from your family and friends. But fear not! While prices for weddings might be on the...

Nothing can dampen your excitement about planning your dream wedding. That is, until you start hearing the jaw-dropping figures from your family and friends. But fear not! While prices for weddings might be on the rise, breaking the bank is not a requirement for a beautiful wedding. So, let's dive into the average wedding costs in 2024, complete with state-by-state and expense-by-expense breakdowns.

Say "I do" without breaking the bank

The average wedding expense for couples getting married in 2024 is approximately $33,000, a slight increase from the previous year's average of $29,000. However, it's important to remember that these figures are just averages. Your wedding budget doesn't have to conform to any specific amount. While some people may spend $100,000, many couples successfully plan their weddings with $10,000 or even $5,000 or less.

Several factors contribute to the variation in wedding costs. The number of guests, location, day of the week, and even seasonal elements like food and flowers can impact the overall expense. Instead of focusing on the entire budget at once, it's helpful to break it down into pieces and prioritize what matters most to you as a couple.

Remember, you don't have to spend at the high end of the range. Your wedding should be a reflection of your relationship and future together, regardless of the dollar amount.

Breaking down the expenses

When it comes to wedding expenses, certain items tend to be pricier than others. On average, the most costly components are the wedding venue ($6,500-$12,000), catering ($6,500-$10,000), the band or DJ ($2,000-$7,000), and the photographer ($3,500-$6,500). Conversely, the cake, ceremony music, and hair and makeup services tend to be more affordable.

What to expect in 2024

Once you have identified the essential aspects of your wedding like the location, date, and guest list, you can start discussing the budget allocation for each service with your vendors. They can provide helpful advice on making budget-conscious decisions, such as choosing seasonal food and flowers or repurposing ceremony decorations for the reception.

While you may not be able to splurge on every item on your checklist, what truly matters is that your wedding feels genuine and reflects your relationship. Consider the following national average wedding expenses for services in 2024, based on a total budget of approximately $33,000 and a guest list of 100 people:

  • Wedding venue: $6,500-$12,000
  • Catering: $6,500-$10,000
  • Band or DJ: $2,000-$7,000
  • Wedding planner: $1,500-$4,750
  • Photographer: $3,500-$6,500
  • Videographer: $3,000-$6,000
  • Flowers: $2,500-$6,000
  • Transportation: $700-$1,200
  • Cake: $600-$900
  • Ceremony music: $500-$800
  • Hair and makeup: $550-$850

Getting married in the United States

If you're curious about how wedding costs vary across different states, we have you covered. Check out this comprehensive breakdown of more than 4,000 couples and their projected average spending on weddings in 2024.

Average Cost by State Average Wedding Cost by State in 2024

Tailoring your budget to your guest count

Determining the size of your wedding party and the estimated number of guests early in the planning process can help you evaluate various aspects, from venue capacity to catering arrangements. For those unsure about the number of guests to invite, the average wedding guest list in 2024 is around 145 people, with approximately 75% of guests typically RSVPing "yes."

Understanding your guest count is crucial for budget discussions with vendors as it may impact the pricing of their services. For example, a larger wedding might require more catering and decor expenses. However, certain items like photography depend less on guest count and more on other factors, such as services provided and time.

Remember, vendors are here to support you and provide the information you need to make informed decisions. Open and honest discussions about your guest count can help you tailor your budget accordingly.

Here's an estimate of the average wedding cost per guest count in 2024:

  • 500+ guests: $54,500
  • 200-300 guests: $42,751
  • 150-200 guests: $41,286
  • 100-150 guests: $33,957
  • 75-100 guests: $24,769
  • 50-75 guests: $20,581
  • 30-50 guests: $18,768
  • 10-30 guests: $17,048
  • Fewer than 10 guests: $11,667

Planning a wedding should be a joyous experience, not one filled with financial stress. By understanding the average costs and tailoring them to your preferences and needs, you can create a magical day that fits within your budget. So, go ahead and start planning your dream wedding without the fear of overspending.