Use these price ranges as a guide when planning the budget for your big day.
Advertisement
Tent for a wedding reception
Consider choosing a nontraditional venue. "Where you have the wedding often drives the cost," says Fields. Rather than a dedicated wedding reception hall or country club, check out less expensive facilities, from city-run spaces like zoos and civic gardens to restaurants or more offbeat locations that have some meaning for you, from a beach to your parents' yard. One caveat: If the space is not equipped to cater a party, calculate extra costs for bringing in tables, toilets, or even a kitchen.The Wedding Dress Shop designer or sample sales. Find out the dates of well-known annual sales at places like Filene's, where you might snag a $2,000 dress for $249, or the sample sales at Vera Wang. "You can save up to 70 percent on gowns, headpieces, veils, and shoes at a sample sale," says Naylor. "Look for the touring list on your favorite designers' websites, or get on the mailing list at bridal gown salons." You may even get to shop before anyone else and have first pick.Consider renting or borrowing a dress. "Or buy one secondhand," Post says. Chances are, it's only been worn once! Look on eBay or craigslist for postings. Oftentimes, if the bride changes her mind about her dress or has to postpone the wedding, you might be able to score a deal on a never-been-worn gown.Or combine self-interest with philanthropy. Says Fields, "Buy at one of the sales of donated new and used gowns" staged in many U.S. cities by bridesagainstbreastcancer.org. Or look for a vintage or consignment store that carries wedding dresses. The Bridal Garden in New York City (bridalgarden.org), for example, features designer-donated dresses, and a portion of the proceeds go to charity.
| Credit: Jason Walz

Attire: $1,663 to $2,768

Bride accessories: $211 to $352
Groom accessories: $111 to $185
Groom suit/tux: $153 to $254
Hair/makeup service: $111 to $185
Headpiece/veil: $198 to $330
Wedding dress: $879 to $1,462

Ceremony: $1,917 to $3,190

Ceremony accessories: $124 to $206
Ceremony decorations: $369 to $614
Ceremony location: $431 to $718
Officiate/pastor/priest: $155 to $258
Rehearsal dinner: $838 to $1,394

Entertainment: $2,136 to $3,556

Ceremony/reception band: $1,259 to $2,096
Ceremony/reception DJ: $481 to $800
Ceremony/reception musicians: $396 to $660

Flowers: $1,342 to $2,235

Boutonnieres/corsages: $117 to $195
Bride bouquet: $100 to $167
Bridesmaid bouquets: $160 to $266
Ceremony flowers: $286 to $477
Flower girl flowers: $32 to $54
Reception flowers: $647 to $1,076

Gifts and Favors: $675 to $1,123

Gifts for attendant: $312 to $520
Gifts for each other: $252 to $419
Gifts for parents: $111 to $184

Invitations and Stationery: $637 to $1,059

Bridal shower invitations: $67 to $111
Guestbook: $32 to $54
Invitations & reply cards: $282 to $469
Personal stationery: $89 to $148
Save the date cards: $109 to $181
Thank you cards: $58 to $96

Jewelry: $4,084 to $6,797

Engagement ring: $3,039 to $5,058
Her ring: $613 to $1,020
His ring: $432 to $719

Honeymoon/Planning: $3,326 to $5,536

Honeymoon: $2,447 to $4,073
Bridal consultant/planner: $879 to $1,463

Photographer/Videographer: $2,317 to $3,857

Photographer: $1,342 to $2,234
Videographer: $975 to $1,623

Reception: $10,323 to $17,179

Reception beverages/bartender: $1,463 to $2,434
Bride/groom hotel: $184 to $306
Cake: $354 to $589
Cake knife set: $28 to $47
Cake topper: $27 to $45
Reception decorations/centerpieces: $707 to $1,176
Favors: $236 to $392
Reception food service: $4,980 to $8,288
Reception location: $1,619 to $2,695
Reception rentals: $725 to $1,207

Transportation: $640 to $1,064

Car rental: $200 to $332
Limo rental: $440 to $732

Source: CostofWedding.com