The following is a guest post from our friend Jessica at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses. If you are interested in guest posting, please see our guest posting guidelines.

 

How much does it really cost to throw a traditional wedding? The answer...A LOT. Remember that the "big fat wedding" usually refers to the bill.Hi! My name is Jessica and I blog over at Mo’ Money Mo’ Houses, the personal finance & lifestyle blog with a dash of sass.

If you’re like most people, you may have dreamed about your wedding day since you were a little kid. But, did you also dream about maxing out your credit cards, asking your parents for money, and still going into debt after the “I do’s”? Probably not, but unfortunately that is a sad reality for many couples who may not have crunched a few crucial numbers when deciding to throw a big, fat, traditional wedding.

You may have heard that the average wedding today costs around $26,000. I know that sounds like a ridiculous amount of money to spend on one day, but believe me, it’s not a hard task to do if you aren’t paying attention. I’m actually just a few months away from my very own wedding, and despite being extremely frugal and a personal finance blogger to boot, my wedding is not going to be cheap. It’s definitely nowhere close to the average, but it’s looking like it will cost my fiancé and I about $15,000. And that’s not including both of our bachelor and bachelorette parties in Las Vegas!

So, why are weddings so darn expensive? Here’s a look at a few price tags to give you an idea…..

Transportation

If you want to arrive in style, then it’s doubtful you’ll be taking a cab to and from the ceremony. If you want to give your wedding party a ride too, then you’ll most likely have to rent a stretch or SUV limousine. Prices can vary….but from my research, renting a limo in my hometown, Vancouver, costs about $150 per hour. We’re booking ours for 4 hours so that’s $600 right there. Ouch!

Flowers

I’m not a big flower person, so we are going the minimal route with our arrangements. That being said, for bouquets for the bridal party and myself, boutonnieres for the groom, groomsmen, and parents, and flowers for the reception, are costing us another $600.

Venue/Food/Liquor

We are having our reception at a facility at my old university, which means I can take advantage of their special alumni discount. But even with that little perk it still isn’t cheap to rent out the place for an entire day, plus feed and quench the thirst of 80 people. On top of that, like many other wedding venues, we are contractually obligated to spend a minimum amount of money that day. The price tag for everything is about $6,000. I wonder if  it would be tacky to doggy bag the leftovers?

DJ

At first I was set on just doing it on the cheap, setting up my laptop, and blasting tunes from some of my party playlists. But as our wedding date kept creeping closer, I realized I had absolutely no time to arrange our entire night’s music and decided it would be best to hire a DJ. Luckily we found one who is a friend of a friend (discount!) but it’s still costing us $500. That’s actually a pretty good deal considering most wedding DJ’s cost $700 – $1000. Now that’s a side gig I wouldn’t mind having!

So if you are newly engaged and aren’t sure if you want to have a big, fat, traditional wedding, just remember that the  “big, fat” part refers to the bill you’ll be handed at the end of the night. But hey- I’m still doing it, so as long as you can afford to pay for it in cash, I say good luck to you on the planning and get on Pinterest, it’s a godsend!

Holly’s Two Cents: I personally bought my unity candle and wedding invitations at a garage sale….so I cringed at some of these costs! However, as long as an individual is paying in cash for their wedding and not forgoing other savings goals or sacrificing too much, I don’t see a problem with having a nice wedding.