How Much Does a Wedding Cost?

How much your wedding costs depends on a lot of things, including guest count, location and whether you decide to hire a wedding planner or a live band. Here’s a breakdown of wedding expenses.

Written by Hilary Collins / August 30, 2022

Quick Bites

  • The average cost of a wedding was $28,000 in 2021—and that doesn’t include the engagement ring.
  • Venues, live bands and photographers are some of the most expensive costs associated with a wedding.
  • Sustainability initiatives and COVID concerns have shaped wedding trends since 2022, with the majority of couples married in 2021 incorporating at least one eco-friendly practice and one pandemic protection.
  • Honeymoons will tack on another $4,600, on average.

Wedding costs run the gamut, from a simple courthouse ceremony in blue jeans to a multi-million dollar blowout. Of course, most weddings fall in the middle of those two options, with the average 2021 wedding costing $28,000.[1]

When you’re planning a wedding, it can be helpful to know what other people are spending on their big day. Let’s take a look into average wedding price tags, trends that are shaping budgets and what a honeymoon will add to the bill.

Inside this article

  1. Wedding cost breakdown
  2. Wedding trends affecting cost
  3. Wedding planner cost
  4. Honeymoon cost
  5. Frequently asked questions:

Wedding cost breakdown

So what does the average wedding cost these days? The Knot, a wedding marketplace, surveyed over 15,000 couples married in 2021 to determine the average cost of a wedding, while the WeddingWire, a wedding vendor marketplace, used price reporting from couples’ who used the site.[1,2] Here’s what they found were the average costs for common wedding expenses:

ItemAverage cost
Live band$4,300
Rehearsal dinner$2,300
Wedding dress$1,800
Wedding planner$1,700
Bus and limo service$750
Photo booth$551
Groom's attire$270
Cost per guest$266
Hair and makeup$250
Catering cost per head$75

Source: The Knot, WeddingWire

The size and location of the wedding both play a big part in the total cost. Weddings with fewer than 50 guests averaged a $15,000 bill while those with more than 100 averaged $38,000.[1] Weddings in the south averaged $26,000 while weddings in the northeast averaged $36,000.[1] Here’s the average cost of a wedding by state based on 2019 and 2021 data.[3]

StateAverage cost
New Hampshire$30,000
New Jersey$47,000
New Mexico$21,100
New York$42,000
North Carolina$23,000
North and South Dakota$24,200
Rhode Island$43,000
South Carolina$26,000
West Virginia$21,900

Source: The Knot

Perhaps unsurprisingly to anyone who’s ever planned a wedding, almost half (49%) of couples say they spent more on their wedding than they originally budgeted.[1] One in four couples said that sticking to the budget was one of the biggest challenges of planning a wedding.[1] When it came to who footed the tab, couples and families split the bill almost 50-50, with couples paying 48% of the cost and families picking up the rest.[1]

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And the couple and their families aren’t the only ones shelling out for a wedding: The average guest spent $160 on a wedding gift.[1] The average cost of attending an out-of-town wedding was $1,300—an in-town wedding only cost $270.[1]

How much does a wedding planner cost?

The average cost of a wedding planner in 2021 was $1,700.[5] Destination wedding planners cost far more, running an average of $2,200 versus $1,600 for a local wedding planner.[5]

But where you’re holding your wedding is only one aspect of the total price tag. The cost of a wedding planner will depend mainly on how much you’re asking from them. If you want a full-time planner who will help you from the day after your engagement until your wedding day, expect to pay more. But if you just need help with a few specific tasks, you can hire planners that come on board for the month prior to the event, planners that focus of helping you budget your wedding or experts who will assist you in navigating your venue layout.[5]

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What about the honeymoon?

None of this takes into account the cost of a honeymoon, which 73% of couples went on in 2021.[1] The average honeymoon cost $4,600 in 2021—a number that has steadily grown in recent years.[6] And about 10% of couples go all out, spending more than $10,000 on the perfect trip.[6]

While 60% of couples pay for their own honeymoon, 27% of couples with wedding registries include a honeymoon fund to help cover the cost.[6] And about 20% of couples opted for a shorter trip—a “mini-moon”—to save money or just because they weren’t up for a long vacation.[6]

Even the smallest wedding comes with the cost of court fees, but if you want a bigger wedding, you’ll need a bigger budget. Plan ahead and spend wisely to create the wedding of your dreams without setting yourself back financially.

Frequently asked questions:

How much does a wedding ring cost?

The average cost of a female wedding band was $1,100 in 2021. The average cost of a men’s was $550.[7]

How much does a 100-person wedding cost?
Article Sources
  1. “The Knot 2021 Real Weddings Study,” The Knot, Feb. 15, 2022,
  2. “Wedding Cost Guide,” WeddingWire,
  3. “This Was the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2021,” The Knot, Feb. 15, 2022,
  4. “This Is How Much a Destination Wedding Costs on Average,” The Knot, Feb. 24, 2022,
  5. “Here's How Much a Wedding Planner Actually Costs,” The Knot, Feb. 24, 2022,
  6. “This Is the Average Cost of a Honeymoon Today,” The Knot, March 3, 2022,
  7. “Here's How Much to Spend on an Engagement Ring,” The Knot, Dec. 10, 2021,

About the Author

Hilary Collins

Hilary Collins

Hilary is an experienced finance writer with a passion for turning complicated topics into readable stories with real-world takeaways.

Full bio

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