by: Lauren

Many of you may know that my goal for Every Last Detail is to educate brides- and the world- about weddings. A very large part of this involves spreading the word about what a wedding costs, and while it’s not always the happiest topic, it’s a very necessary aspect of wedding planning. And so, in 2012, I surveyed wedding professionals across the United States to find out what their average bride spent with them. I conducted the survey again last year, and today I’m excited to share what a wedding costs when you use professionals with you all!

Before we talk data and numbers though, it’s important you know something: the weddings I talk about here on ELD don’t encompass all weddings… they are a certain type of wedding. (Yes, there are types of weddings!) These weddings that I speak of are weddings that use professionals. These weddings are what I know- it’s the type of wedding that I myself had, and it’s the type of wedding that I planned for other brides. Sure, you can have a wedding without using professionals- and it will undoubtedly be a lot less expensive. But those aren’t the weddings that I have experience in, and therefore, they are not the weddings that I speak of here on Every Last Detail. :) My biggest regret from my own wedding is that I was clueless about all things weddings. The truth is, my wedding would have been a whole lot better if I had just known more- more about vendors, more about what to do, more about what things should cost… heck, more about everything having to do with weddings! This is of course the driving force behind why I started Every Last Detail, and it is my hope for ELD to be a source that brides can turn to for candid, truthful insight about weddings. Which is precisely why I talk about some of the “taboo” topics, like what a wedding costs.

So with that said, let’s actually find out what a wedding costs when you use professionals…

What A Wedding Costs (When You Use Professionals)  via

Infographic design by PostFilm Design

A few things to note regarding this data:

*The average guest count for these weddings= 143

*Data represents all of the United States.

*Catering and venues can often times be one in the same.

Sharing this information has been a LONG time coming! In all honesty, I’m kind of late in posting it- this year and time has been flying by, and I’m kind of in denial that May is almost over… but I didn’t want another day to go by without you all having this information! I hope this will serve as a tool so you can know and be prepared for what to expect wedding vendors to cost. Because half the battle of setting a wedding budget is just knowing what to expect! And if you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to ask below in the comments!

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Founder & Editor at Every Last Detail
Lauren Grove is the editor and owner of Every Last Detail. A clueless bride-turned-wedding planner, Lauren uses her experiences and knowledge to educate and inspire brides all over the world.

22 responses to What A Wedding Costs (When You Use Professionals)

We love your comments, but please remember to keep them kind and positive, as this is a place for inspiration and sharing information. We have the right to remove or not approve any negative or harmful comments.
  1. Beth Clevenstine (a Vendor)

    This is a great post! I’d love to see one for the East Coast (NY-Metro) area. So many couples who live here are shocked by how expensive vendors can be, but many of them are originally from other parts of the country where average costs are lower. I’ve aways wanted to see one of these posts for our specific area to help couples better understand the average cost of a New England wedding!

  2. Caroline (a Bride)

    This is amazing, Lauren!

  3. Elizabeth | Bridal Musings (just curious)

    This is such great information for couples! Can’t imagine how long it must’ve taken to collect all this data so thank you for all your hard work. I think it’s a much more realistic take on what a wedding (using wedding pros) actually costs. xx

  4. Danielle (a Vendor)

    How fantastic! Thank you for creating this- I can’t wait to share it with our followers and my couples! Our job is so much more pleasant when our clients choose to build their team with professional wedding vendors and I really appreciate this true-to-experience illustration of their values.

  5. Tony Schwartz (a Vendor)

    A state by state breakdown would be interesting, as I’m sure cost of living greatly affects vendor pricing.

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  7. Desiree (a Vendor)

    beautiful work, Lauren! This will be so helpful to so many :)

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  9. Jackie Rowell (a Vendor)

    This is one of the most realistic breakdowns I’ve ever seen. There are a few possible areas to cut costs, but for the most part, spot on. Most brides starting out don’t have a clue and are shocked to learn what good vendors cost!

  10. Avis (a Vendor)

    Lauren, this is so helpful and extremely accurate! Thank you for sharing your insight and results. I think this is a huge help to brides out there who want a gorgeous, stress-free wedding event!

  11. Jessica (a Bride)

    Kind of crazy people spend this kind of money on a party. Having a professional do everything is costly. Put a down payment on a house instead. That purchase will last longer. I guess more power to you if you have that kind of money in today’s economy.

  12. Amanda (a Vendor)

    Fantastic information! I think this information is a really great way for couples to figure out what means the most to them – a lot of times they have a smaller budget, so it’s really important to narrow down what they are willing to hire professionals for and what they are willing to do themselves. Definitely helpful for planning the budget! Nice work!

  13. Krista (a Vendor)

    This is great! Thanks for putting it together!

  14. Leon Bailey (a Vendor)

    Being a wedding videographer and familiar with others pricing, I would have to say that average price might have been surveyed amongst higher end videographers because that is a little high. It really depends on the area you are. Same with photographers.

  15. Irene (a Bride)

    these figures are rather shocking when you think about the average salary in the United States. I wonder how long it takes the average couple to pay off their debt. If these numbers are true the average person spends more on their wedding than they would have a car. I also can’t help but wonder whether the figures that are included in the report are initial estimates for jobs, or the actual amount paid. A lot of vendors are open to negotiation and when I got married the price and the pain was a lot lower than the initial quoted price. I do fear it’s in a lot of vendors best interest to overstate how much they are paid to set a precedent for future weddings.

  16. Irene (a Bride)

    Price I paid… not pain. Please excuse typo.

  17. Ellie Schwarz (a Vendor)

    Really great article. I must say, though, that the budget for entertainment is spot on for a DJ and ceremony musicians but very low if a live band is the client’s preference. It’d be great to sub-divide that category into DJ, Ceremony Musicians & Live band for a Reception. The average budget for a live band should be 4-5k on the lower end with $3200 being the starting rate for a 3-4 piece local professional band. Bands can be as high as 25-30k for the bigger and most popular super party bands!

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  21. Laura (a Bride)

    I really like the breakdown here! I realize it isn’t going to exactly apply to everyone, but it’s nice to see a basic rough idea of what weddings really mean investment-wise.

  22. Bonnie Marie (a Vendor)

    Nice infographic, shows how prices in the US are pretty in line with prices for a destination wedding in Italy. I am wondering what is included in the event design and decor, most planners in Italy except for the very high end ones, do both planning and design. Here they are listed separately as they should be but what is included in the design and decor you mention?

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