Your big day is likely to be more expensive this year.
- Wedding costs dipped (with good reason) in 2020.
- They roared back up in 2021 and are on pace to do so in 2022 as well.
- Plugging expected costs into your wedding budget can help you identify places you can save money.
If you’re interested in having a wedding in 2022, you may be wondering just how much it might cost you (and how you might save some money). Average wedding costs have rebounded this year, up from a low in 2020 during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Why are wedding costs up this year?
The market research firm The Wedding Report notes that 2.5 million couples are intending to marry in 2022, which is about 15% higher than a typical year, and a 30% jump from 2021. Many people had to reschedule prospective weddings originally set to happen in 2020, and then again in 2021 as COVID-19 variants ran rampant. Wedding vendors are also passing their increased costs due to inflation and supply chain issues on to happy couples hoping not to break the bank.
- Average wedding cost in 2019: $24,700
- Average wedding cost in 2020: $20,286
- Average wedding cost in 2021: $27,063
With all this in mind, what can you expect to pay for all the pieces of your big day in 2022?
WeddingWire has released its updated Wedding Cost Guide, which covers the most common expenses you’ll encounter in the course of planning and holding a wedding. Take these costs into account when planning your wedding to see where you may be able to save some money.
On average, couples can expect to spend around $6,000 (with a range of $3,000 to $11,000) renting a spot for their ceremony and a reception afterward, with the bulk of that cost going to the reception site (as ceremonies are often short and don’t involve catering).
Food and drinks
Food is a major wedding expense, and couples pay an average of $4,000 for catering ($1,800 to $7,000). Wedding buffets average $27 per plate, while a plated dinner will cost about $40 per plate. Alcohol adds an additional expense of about $15 per guest, but you can lower this cost by having a limited open bar (offering beer, wine, and nonalcoholic beverages only) or a cash bar (guests pay for their own alcohol).
Photography and videography
The average wedding photography session will run you $2,000 ($1,150 to $3,000) and if you want video, that adds another $1,799 ($1,000 to $2,500).
A wedding planner isn’t a must-have, but in these crazy pandemic times, you may want to spring for an expert to help you navigate your choices. The average cost for a wedding planner in 2022 is $1,500 ($1,000 to $2,500).
Looking good for the big day
An average wedding dress will run you $1,000 ($280 to $1,650). You may need to pay for alterations. An average tuxedo rental costs around $100, but if you’re buying a tuxedo or wedding suit, you could be looking at around $350. Bridal hair and makeup costs may also be in your wedding budget; $300 is the average cost here ($150 to $600).
You may want music ($500; $330 to $700) to set the mood for your ceremony. And many people spring for a wedding DJ ($1,000; $780 to $1,495), or even a live band ($4,500; $2,850 to $6,488) for the reception.
The average wedding cake in 2022 costs $500 ($300 to $700), but a lot of factors go into this price, including size, ingredients, and how elaborate the cake is. Want a fancy multi-tiered affair with fondant and sugar flowers? Expect to pay more for the (beautiful) privilege.
While a bridal bouquet might cost you $160, all the flowers you might want for a more traditional ceremony cost an average of $1,500 ($700 to $2,500). This price includes flowers for the wedding party, as well as table arrangements and other accents, not to mention delivery and set-up of those festive blooms.
Your officiant will conduct the actual wedding ceremony, and will cost you around $300 ($200 to $450). Sometimes this isn’t a set charge, but rather a fair donation to a house of worship or religious organization if your officiant is a religious figure.
Transportation costs for a wedding might include limousine rentals or even a bus rental. The average cost for these is $750 ($500 to $1,100), but you should consider how long you’ll need vehicles as well as what kind and what size to make the most out of this part of your budget.
If your venue doesn’t offer the furniture and fixtures you’ll need for your ceremony and reception, you may need to rent them from an event rentals company. This costs an average of $650 ($425 to $1,000). These costs can vary widely depending on what you need (for example, a tent rental for an outdoor wedding might cost you $300).
Maybe some of your guests aren’t interested in dancing and you want to provide them with an alternate activity. Wedding photo booths are very popular, and cost an average rental fee of $650 ($425 to $1,000).
2022 wedding price tag
All told, the Wedding Report’s average cost for a 2022 wedding sits at around $27,000, which is about on par with 2021 costs. Ideally, you’ve had plenty of time to save for the big day and thus have the money sitting in your savings account, ready to go. If not, there are credit cards that are well-suited to help you pay for your wedding by offering 0% APR, travel rewards for your honeymoon, cash back, or purchase protection in case you have a wedding day mishap. However you fund your wedding, try to remember that the whole idea is to celebrate with your friends and family!
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