Look out: The average wedding costs $27,800. So that ring on your finger may be bringing joy to your life, but the wedding budget will not.
How much did you say?

Of course, a wedding’s final cost depends on the amount being spent per vendor. The cost also depends on whether or not a wedding budget has been set and whether, once set is strictly followed.
In small cities weddings can range from $15,000 to $20,000. In mid-size cities and large urban areas, a wedding can cost from $20,000 to $40,000 or more, according to The Wedding Reports annual research for 2011 vendor costs.
New York City weddings are the most expensive in the country, ranging from $70,000 and more, according to The Knot, a premiere wedding magazine and website.

Brides want to do all they can to save money and by setting a wedding budget, they can stay on track and be comfortable with the amount of money they are willing to spend.
Amanda Peterson, the CEO of Ocean Breeze Weddings and Events in Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. uses a bride’s budget as her key job duty throughout the planning process.
“If a bride can find a vendor that is cheaper then what I have found for her, I say, ‘Hey go for it’! Any way to save money is the key for a perfect day without the terror of bills after the honeymoon.”
Peterson suggests that do-it-yourself (DIY) projects are an easy and fun way to make items for the ceremony and can create well-made cheaper alternatives. She mentioned stamping your own cocktail napkins or creating an iron-on monogram and putting it on fabric to create a custom aisle runner.

Sarah Bell, a photographer and owner of Bella Raema Studios in Crestview, Fla. creates the photography for the bride and groom based on their needs. Some wedding photographers offer premade packages that cannot be altered. Bell wants her clients to pay for what they really want and nothing extra.
“The bride wants certain moments captured on camera.” Bell said. “It is my job to give her what she wants and not phony extras that will sit in an unopened photo cabinet collecting dust.”
Budget Breakdown: The Real Price Tag

People are using connections with friends and family to receive better prices for certain aspects of their wedding. Google has developed templates for the DIY bride for invitations, wedding websites, photo albums and more. The offered templates make planning less difficult and can save the cost of hiring a wedding planner, according to the blog StyleMePretty.
The average costs of vendors for the 2011 wedding season can help create a guide to a bride’s budget.

  • • DJ and musicians: $1,300
  • • Flowers and arrangements: $1,500
  • • Invitations and Paper: $2,000
  • • Parties/Rehearsal: $2,050
  • • Photography and Video: $4,000
  • • Planners and Consultants: $1,000
  • Reception and Ceremony: $13,000
  • • Honeymoon: $7,000

All of these averages can be broken down into individual costs within each category, according to TheFirstDance, a site dedicated to finding low vendor quotes.
“I got married at the courthouse.” Said Meghan Magee, 21 of Ala. “All we had to pay was the marriage license fee. We can have the big wedding later.”

The amount spent on weddings each year in the United States is $72 billion dollars.
“I encourage my brides to stick to the budget that is right for them and to spend their money wisely.” Peterson said. “I have a friend whose bride just received a $10,000 dollar flower bill! I tell my brides ‘Don’t do that!’ ”


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