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The Average Cost Of A 2016 Wedding Rises To $35,329!

Average Cost Of A Wedding In My Area

By Jeffrey House Photography

 

 

You might be wondering - what's the average cost of a wedding in my area?

According to The Knot, the average cost of a 2016 wedding rose to $35,329!

This is approximately $4,000 higher than 2015.  But why have the costs of a wedding jumped 12% in one year?  

Personalization.

Of course, just like everything else in life, the cost of doing business increases; therefore, so do prices.  That's part of the reason for higher wedding costs, but the majority of the increase is a result of personalization!

To further explore the average cost of a wedding in your area, check out costofwedding.com!  A great resource that breaks everything down so you can better budget your wedding.

Should You Personalize Your Wedding?

It all depends.  When it comes to personalization, there are two key questions you need to consider:

1.  Your wedding budget

2.  What's Really Important To You

It's easy to envision a lavish wedding with impressive details.  And many couples feel a lot of pressure to "wow" their guests, so they head down this very costly path.  

If you're anything like me, you don't have any problems finding the most expensive item when it comes to everything. But does this align with your wedding budget?  For most couples, the answer is no.  Oh, it would be nice if it did, but let's not torture ourselves with these crazy dreams.  

At least 90% of brides look back on their weddings and regret the areas they over extended their budget.  Because after the wedding, we all see it from a different perspective.  We see it from more of a nostalgic point of view and we better appreciate those details that memorialize the big day.  

So, try to plan your wedding working backwards.  

How many times do you hear someone say -

"I went to this wedding and the favors were amazing!" or "I can't believe they chose a cheaper flower and didn't go with calla lillies."  

The answer is probably never.  The truth is, wedding guests remember a handful of details from your special day.  They remember how good (or bad) the food was, they remember if your DJ couldn't get anyone to dance, they remember if you had an obnoxious photographer, and they remember if you didn't have an open bar.  We've all heard wedding guests complain about these details over and over again.  

So, when it comes to personalization, select a few details that really matter to you and personalize the hell out of them.  This will add originality to your wedding while keeping your budget in mind.  

Who's On Your Guest List?

While the cost of weddings continues to rise year after year, the number of guests continues to decrease.  In 2015, the average wedding had 149 guests in attendance, however, in 2016, this dropped to 141.  

This may not seem like a big deal - I mean, it's only 8 guests, right?  

But it's going to cost you approximately $245 per wedding guest!  Cutting 8 guests from the guest list will save you almost $2,000 on your wedding budget!  That's huge!  

The number of guests at your wedding is another major contributor to the overall cost of a wedding. 

Most couples tend to struggle when it comes to making their wedding guest list.  There are two main reasons for this:

1.  You feel obligated to invite certain people

2.  Your parents tend to have their own agenda when it comes to the invites

So, how do you handle these situations?  Be honest.  If there are people you'd like to invite, but need to leave them off the guest list due to financial reasons, let them know that.  Let them know how much you appreciate their love and support, but your budget only allows for a specific number of guests.  You can also place the blame somewhere else if that's a better solution for you.  Let them know your parents are inviting more people than expected; therefore, you had to keep your list focused on family.  Or tell them the wedding venue has a maximum guest count and your guest list is filled with family invites.  

Many brides find themselves feeling obligated to invite certain guests.  Maybe you attended a friends wedding last year and now you feel obligated to invite her.  Even though you were at her wedding, it doesn't mean she needs to be at yours.  She may have had a larger budget, less family invites, etc.  There are a million reasons why guest lists vary per wedding.  

What about your parents?  This can be a sticky situation.  If your parents are paying for all or part of the wedding, you may need to make some concessions with the guest list.  But, you can also set some ground rules to keep it under control.  Many brides have used the 6 month rule with parents.  If you haven't seen or talked to someone in the past 6 months, they don't get an invite.  

How Do You Make A Guest List?

You're going to start by creating two categories.

1.  Must Invite

2.  Possible Invite

Everyone has guests they must invite and this will tell you exactly how many people will be at your wedding. However, it's also important to remember that 10-20% of your invites will not attend the wedding.  

I would also recommend prioritizing your "possible invite" list as you create it.  If you're able to invite people from this list, you will be able to quickly extend invites to them and avoid further deliberations about the guest list.

How Are Couples Spending Their Money?

The graphic below is a breakdown of how couples allocate money for their wedding.  Keep in mind, this is the national average.  Your area may be lower or higher.  

Photo Courtesy of The Knot

What do you think about personalizing your wedding?  Is it something you want to do?