Struggling with credit card debt?
Get your FREE quote today!

Debt-Free Wedding Planner

Wedded bliss without the debt

The average cost of a wedding in 2024 is $30,000, according to The Knot — that doesn’t include all the other celebrations that come along with matrimonial celebrations like engagement parties, wedding showers, or honeymoons. Everyone wants their day to be perfect, but is it really worth getting into debt over?

The information below can help you plan your wedding without going into serious debt to tie the knot. If your current debt load is holding you back from finding wedded bliss or you get into trouble with the bills because you go a little overboard, remember that we’re here to help. Call us at (844) 276-1544 to request a free evaluation with a certified credit counselor.

Average wedding expenses in 2024

Plan a debt free wedding together

The following list can help you understand the costs typically associated with a wedding. The costs below represent what you can expect to pay for a ceremony and reception for 125 guests. This will help as you move forward to plan what you need to save so you can make a practical list for your wedding of what you do or don’t need.

  • Venue: $11,200
  • Wedding photographer: $2,600
  • Wedding/event planner: $1,900
  • Live band: $3,900
  • Reception DJ: $1,500
  • Florist: $2,400
  • Videographer: $2,100
  • Wedding dress: $1,900
  • Wedding cake: $510
  • Catering: $75 per person
  • Transportation: $980
  • Favors: $440
  • Rehearsal dinner: $2,400
  • Engagement ring: $5,800
  • Wedding invitations: $510
  • Hairstylist: $130
  • Makeup artist: $120

Start saving even before you have the final price tag

Start saving up for your wedding day

Some recommend adding all your expected wedding costs and then determining how much money to set aside every month from now until the wedding. Given that the average wedding costs $30,000 and the engagement period is only 15 months, that usually isn’t enough time to make enough difference to keep you away from credit. In this instance, a couple would need to save $2,000 a month for their big day!

For a more realistic approach to avoiding wedding debt, it’s best to start setting aside money as early as possible – even if you’re not engaged yet. If things don’t work out, that just means you have a nice cache of extra cash set aside for something else, like a vacation.\

Finding Ways to Cut Costs

The road to a debt free wedding

There are plenty of ways to cut wedding costs or — or even eliminate them entirely — depending on what sacrifices you’re willing to make. For instance, an off-season on a Friday evening wedding at a venue in a small town is going to be much more affordable than a Saturday ceremony in spring at a popular venue in New York City.

Tap Your Network

Do your friends or family members have talents or assets that are related to wedding festivities? If so, that’s a great opportunity to get goods or services for free or at a significantly lower cost than hiring someone. Perhaps you have a friend with a flair for floral design. You could pay them to make your bouquets rather than going to a professional florist. Maybe one of the parents has a beautiful home big enough for the ceremony or reception.

Get Untraditional

Going off the beaten path is another reliable way to shave hundreds or thousands of dollars off your wedding bill. Some popular alternative budget-friendly wedding ideas:

  • Sending e-vites instead of mailed paper invitations
  • Skipping the elaborate wedding cake for cupcakes, donuts, or other individual desserts instead
  • Using food trucks instead of catering
  • Decorating with bud vases, candles, or picture frames rather than floral centerpieces

Set limits

Limiting the number of guests, bridesmaids, and groomsmen can help keep costs low by allowing for a smaller venue and fewer mouths to feed. You can also limit things related to the ceremony and reception, like the amount of written correspondence you send or the amount of food and liquor you choose to serve.

Go a little less formal

The more formal the event, the more expensive it will usually be. A buffet or brunch is less expensive than a sit-down dinner service. Rental cars are usually cheaper than limos. Even a low-key venue can help you cut costs.

If you have a dream designer wedding gown that you can’t live without, go for less expensive jewelry. If you’re nonnegotiable on expensive floral centerpieces, then go for less expensive attendant gifts. Making your wedding feel special without breaking the bank is all about trade-offs.

Avoid peak times and locations

Holidays are more expensive, as are peak wedding seasons and weekend weddings. You may also need to give up having a celebrity location in a major city and go for something smaller outside the city.

Share the love

If someone else is getting married on the same day nearby, talk about coordinating so you can share the cost of things like flowers and decorations. Both people can use the same thing and most guests won’t ever know.