The Happy Nappy Bride

About weddings. About relationships. About the first year of being married.

are you average? April 30, 2010

Filed under: Saving money — Happy Nappy Bride @ 8:48 am
Tags: , ,

Remember I’d told you that I did a speech for my Toastmasters group about how to have a classy, but frugal, wedding?  Well, I actually looked up some numbers when doing some research for that speech and found some interesting stats about what makes a wedding “average” in America.

  • The average engagement is 17 months (Ours will be ten.)
  • Most dudes are spending $4,400 for their ladies’ engagement ring.  (Whoa.)
  • $31,000 is the average amount spent on weddings, not including honeymoons (I have to remind myself not to be judgey here just because I think that that’s a crazy amount of money.  There are probably folks who think that the ten thousand we’re spending is insanity.)
  • Most wedding dresses?  $1,500.  (Again, I won’t be judgey even though that’s nutty for one outfit…and that’s all it is ladies, an outfit.  FYI…my dress cost $100.)
  • Photography comes in at about $2,300.  (I immediately fell into a vendor-crush with the first photographer that I met with…his photos were amazing, I was feeling his vibe, he and his wife were partners and I thought that was cool, and he had this amazing home office.  I love, love, loved him!!  But he wanted $2,400 for everything that we wanted, plus an extra $200 for engagement photos.  Heartbroken.  The Mister came to the rescue though with a great photog that we both get along with well…and he’s about $1,400 cheaper.)
  • Most people are spending around $2,000 on flowers. (We’ll end up spending about $700, which is still a lot of money for flowers.  I swallow hard every time I think about that one…but I know I’ll love the final result.)
  • The average reception is $14,000.  (Really?!  That’s a boatload of money!  I wonder if I had an extra 14k lying around, if I’d even spend it on a reception…and what does that buy?  Caviar?  Moet?  Those guests better be leaving that reception saying it’s the best thing they’ve ever been to or ever done!)

So are you average?  Did you have any vendor crushes that never came to fruition?  Are you buying stuff that you really, really want, but still makes you wince when you look at the budget line?  Are you sticking to your budget?

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10 Responses to “are you average?”

  1. None of those stats apply to our situation. But I read once that those stats come from women who apply to surveys on the knot or something, so they don’t accurately represent all brides.

  2. Frugalista Says:

    I am definitely below average and proud of it. If I were rich I suppose I could easily spend 14k on a reception and it probably wouldn’t even be that elaborate seeing as how things are overpiced and add up so fast anyways. I am certain I would spend more if I had it but I don’t and so I am going to be happy with what I got!!

  3. Tiffany In Houston Says:

    My mental budget is 10K. Which is definitely below average. My reception is taking up about half of that, but I am having it all in one place and I don’t have to rent linens, anything extra. The pics, his rings, photos, cake and flowers will take up the rest. Our DJ is free. My dress was also free (wedding gift from my aunt).

    • dknytx Says:

      I wasn’t really a stickler about writing down a budget in the beginning. I finally wrote one down about a month ago to see where I stood in terms of outstanding vs. paid contracts and I’m doing pretty good. I’m about $400 over right now, but that’s projecting out on our final projects that I think I overestimated on.

  4. Au Naptural Says:

    I’ve always thought the expense of engagement rings and weddings was ridiculous. The money spent on those things would be a nice down payment on a house. Glad to know I’m not the only one who thinks $30k+ on a party to celebrate your marriage is completely nugging futs. I pray that when the time comes for me to plan my wedding, I will still retain this good sense and not be tempted by the flash and bling of it all.

  5. Sarah Says:

    Interesting averages. They don’t really tell you anything, of course. A $30K wedding in San Francisco is not going to be the same as a $30K wedding in Iowa, for example.

    We’re frugal and packing a lot into our budget. With everything thrown into the mix (and I mean EVERYTHING — rings (including e-ring), clothes, accommodations, honeymoon, etc., etc.) we’re a tad below average. But that doesn’t really tell you anything because included in that price is a 5-day vacation for my entire family (mom, dad, brothers and their families as well as the four of us) plus our own honeymoon and a whole host of other things I think are important that someone else may not bother with.

    I can understand where the reception figure comes from. Researching venues in our area, we were hard-pressed to find anything that came in under $2,500 for the venue rental plus tables and chairs. Add food, music, linens, cake, and flowers, to that and suddenly it’s car-loan sized money just for a party.

    • dknytx Says:

      Everything under is really good! I think we’ll be well under for everything too…I just hadn’t even thought about it that way.


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