How much are you planning to spend on your wedding? If you are an average American couple, your budget is likely to be around $27,ooo. Of course, many couples put on a great wedding for a lot less, and many spend an awful lot more (especially in major metropolitan areas). This is a look at some of the new trends in how Americans are spending money on their weddings.
Although the average American wedding now costs more, that doesn’t mean that the father of the bride is writing bigger checks. A full 36% of couples now pay for their own weddings, up from 29% just three years ago. The nice thing about paying your own way is that it gives you the freedom to have the type of event you want. When your parents pay, they get a lot more say in how the wedding is organized, but when you are the one writing the checks, that gives you the power to make the decisions. This is especially useful if you want to have a less traditional wedding than you mother would like you to have.
To me, the wedding gown is the most important part of the wedding (other than the groom of course!). A rule of thumb for budgeting is that you should allocate about 10% of your budget for your wedding dress, bridal jewelry, and other accessories. With the typical American bride spending $1,355 on her wedding dress these days, brides are either spending less than 10% of their budget on their attire, or they are spending a good chunk of their attire budget on their wedding necklace, shoes, and veil. Of course if you do decide to splurge on a designer bridal gown, you can always make up the difference somewhere else in your wedding budget.
Interestingly enough, the average cost of the bridesmaid dress and the average cost of the groomsman attire are fairly close. $145 was the most recent average for the ladies, where $137 was the typical cost of the groomsman attire. Of course the bridesmaids still have to pay for their shoes, hair, makeup, jewelry, and all the rest, so they will end up spending more than the guys in the end. Nonetheless, it is nice to know that so many brides are choosing bridesmaid dresses that are reasonably priced.
DIY projects continue to be popular with brides. Wedding invitations are one of the more popular wedding crafts, especially now that it is so easy to create professional looking invitations on a home printer. The music is another area where couples are spending less by doing things themselves. Unless you want a live band, you can consider using an iPod instead of a d.j. Just make sure that the sound quality is what you want and that someone other than the bride and groom are responsible for running the iPod.
So, brides, how much are you planning to spend on your wedding this year? Remember that the most important thing is to choose a budget that you can afford, not to base your spending on what other brides are doing.