The Average Cost of a Wedding: Budgeting Mistakes & How to Lower Your Wedding Costs

It’s certainly no secret that getting married can get expensive. Between the big ticket items like renting a beautiful venue and paying for vendors like... Read More

Wedding Arbor in Tent

It’s certainly no secret that getting married can get expensive. Between the big ticket items like renting a beautiful venue and paying for vendors like catering, photography, and entertainment, it’s easier than you think for massive bills to start piling up.

But how much does the average wedding cost?

The short answer? The “where” of your wedding matters the most when it comes to total cost. 

According to The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in New Mexico is $17,000; while the average cost of a wedding in New York City is just over $76,000. Across the United States, the average cost of a wedding in 2021 is about $22,500.

How can you avoid budgeting mistakes for your wedding?

By following a few simple tips, you’ll be able to set and stick to your wedding budget, so you don’t end up overspending.

4 Budgeting Mistakes Couples Make

1. You don’t have a budget.

If you don’t have a budget, there’s no telling how much the final costs will be for your wedding. If that works for you and your family, great! But if there’s a hard and fast limit to how much you can spend on your big day, determining that number is your first priority. 

Read more: learn how to save on your event rentals

2. You don’t know who’s paying for what.

We get it…talking about money is hard. But you know what’s harder? Being in debt thanks to never having a conversation about budget.

Determine who is willing to pay for what by talking to your family and your fiance’s family. Then, have an honest conversation with your fiance. How much are the two of you willing to commit? 

After these conversations, you’ll know exactly where you stand when it comes to wedding budget.

3. You’re not budgeting correctly.

If you’re guessing at how much each part of your wedding is going to cost, you’ll easily end up going over your budget.

Instead, estimate funds towards each portion of your wedding and determine priorities. That way, if your venue ends up being more than you thought (but it’s a priority), then you have some wiggle room to spend less (or nothing at all) on a lower priority.

In addition, be sure to budget an extra 5% for each part of your wedding to account for overages and “just in case” funds.

4. You’re not tracking your spending.

How will you know how much you spent without tracking it? Use a simple spreadsheet to track both budget and actual spending to ensure you’re on track.


6 Ways to Save on Wedding Costs

1. Prioritize what’s important.

As we mentioned, prioritizing certain things (like photography and entertainment), while also understanding your lower priorities (like catering and videography) will mean that you can spend a little more on those high priorities and gladly spend less on the lower priorities.

2. Shop around for venues.

One of the biggest bills for most weddings is going to be the event venue. Consider shopping around your desired location by looking at those locations outside of the bigger cities. 

More urban locations tend to be more expensive, while more suburban locations tend to save you money.

3. Shop around for seasons.

Similarly, peak wedding seasons are going to be more expensive than off-peak times. The summer and early fall tend to be peak wedding season (depending on your location), while the winter (January – February) is often off-peak.

4. Shop around for days.

Lastly, days of the week tend to cause a difference in pricing. Saturday is the most popular day for weddings and often in high demand, while Sunday or even a weekday would mean rates decrease for a venue rental.

5. Be picky with your guests.

Since many vendor costs will ultimately depend on the number of guests at your big day, trimming your guest list will inevitably save money in the long run.

Sit down with your fiance and really talk about who should be invited. Ask questions like: have you talked to that person in the last year?

6. Get some help.

Friends and family are often happy to pitch in to help for weddings. Ask for volunteers for things like baking the cake, parking cars, cleaning up, or even bartending. 

All of these small jobs will add up and help save in costs in the long run.


Your wedding day doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Avoid the common budgeting mistakes and follow these suggestions for saving on your wedding day.

And for help with New England event rentals, give us a call at Sperry Tents Seacoast!

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