How Much Does the Average Wedding Cost in 2024?

Stay within your wedding budget! See average wedding cost breakdowns by state, guest size, and vendor service, plus money-saving tips from the experts.

By Jane Chertoff and Georgie Darling

Couple sitting on steps in wedding attire, with text "The First Look Report 2024"
Photo by Zola

Nothing can dull your excitement at planning your wedding right now. Until you start telling family and friends. And they start dropping those scary figures on you.

Prices for weddings might be on the up, but that doesn’t mean you have to break the bank when walking down the aisle with your other half. So, how much does a wedding cost in 2024? We’ve got you, complete with a full breakdown of state-by-state and expense-by-expense average wedding costs.

Want to keep track of your wedding budget? Try our free budget tool with payment reminders and tips on how much to spend.

How much do weddings cost in 2024?

The average wedding expense for couples getting married in 2024 totals around $33,000, up slightly from $29,000 in 2023. The most expensive state to get married in is Rhode Island with an average cost of $49,207. The cheapest state to get married in is Alaska with an average cost of $14,444.

How expensive are weddings really?

Estimating the average cost of a wedding is both art and science. It’s important to keep in mind that average wedding costs are just that — averages. While helpful, a wedding budget doesn’t need to follow any set amount. While some people spend $100,000 on a wedding and the average is $33,000, plenty of couples spend $10,000 or even $5,000 or less.

Average wedding costs vary for several reasons: the number of guests, location, day of the week, and even the seasonality of food served and flowers displayed. It helps to picture the day and think about what matters most to the two of you. Think of the wedding budget in pieces and priorities, rather than imagining the whole thing at once.

You don’t have to spend at the high end of the range.

Which wedding expenses cost the most?

On average, the most expensive wedding expenses are the wedding venue ($6,500–$12,000), the catering ($6,500–$10,000), the band or DJ ($2,000–$7,000), and the photographer ($3,500–$6,500). The cheapest wedding expenses tend to be the cake, the ceremony music, and the hair and makeup services.

Average wedding cost per service in 2024

Once you nail down the major requirements — where, when, and who — you’re ready to start talking to vendors and decide how much to spend on each service. Your vendors can help you make budget-conscious decisions, such as selecting food and flowers that are in season or recycling ceremony decor for the reception.

While you might not be able to splurge on every checklist item, what’s important is that your wedding still feels like a reflection of your relationship and future together.

To help you and your soon-to-be spouse plan ahead, here are the national average wedding expenses for services in 2024, based on a total budget of around $33,000 and a guest list of 100 people:

How much does a wedding cost, expense by expense?

  • Wedding venue: $6,500-$12,000

  • Catering: $6,500-$10,000

  • Band or DJ: $2,000-$7000

  • Wedding planner: $1,500–$4,750

  • Photographer: $3,500–$6,500

  • Videographer: $3,000–$6,000

  • Flowers: $2,500–$6,000

  • Transportation: $700–$1,200

  • Cake: $600–$900

  • Ceremony music: $500–$800

  • Hair and makeup: $550–$850

Average wedding cost by state in 2024

Here’s a complete breakdown of more than 4,000 couples and their projected average spending on weddings in 2024 by state.

Avg. Cost by State v2

What does the average wedding cost by number of guests?

Zeroing in on your estimated number of guests and the size of your wedding party early on in the wedding planning process helps when evaluating everything from venue size to catering.

If you’re unsure how many people you'll invite, our team found the average wedding guest list in 2024 is 145 people, and about 75% of guests usually RSVP yes.

This is a good starting point for budget conversations if you’re unsure where to begin when it comes to the cost of weddings. Have open and honest discussions with vendors about how your guest count may impact the pricing of their services, such as how the price of fifteen table centerpieces might differ from the price of ten.

Some wedding cost line items, like photography, are less dependent on guest count and more on other factors, such as services provided and time. But other line items, such as catering and decor, are greatly impacted by the size of the wedding.

Vendors are there to support you and help you get the information you need to make decisions, after all!

As with all things, the average cost per person for a wedding has a lot of variables. But we can derive some data based on the size of your guest list.

Average wedding cost by guest size in 2024

  • 500+ guests: $54,500

  • 200-300 guests: $42,751

  • 150–200 guests: $41,286

  • 100–150 guests: $33,957

  • 75–100 guests: $24,769

  • 50–75 guests: $20,581

  • 30-50 guests: $18,768

  • 10-30 guests: $17,048

  • Fewer than 10 guests: $11,667

Average wedding cost in the largest metro areas

Yes, big-city weddings often come with higher price tags than weddings in rural areas. Still, for the possible tradeoff of some budget items, you can get the urban sophistication of a New York City, Houston, Phoenix, or other metro area wedding.

Metro areas are also travel hubs, meaning they’re accessible and offer cheaper flights and accommodations than remote locations. It’s all about what matters to you.

You’ll have to balance out your wants with your needs of sticking to a budget and reducing the guest list.

How much do weddings cost on average in 2024, in the largest American metros?

Avg. Cost by Metro Area (1)

How couples are paying for their weddings

The most important thing to remember is that an amazing wedding can happen on any budget, and along with your team of vendors, Zola is here to guide you along every part of the journey. And there is more than one way to pay for a wedding. Today, the majority of couples contribute to their wedding expenses in some way, and we’ve found that in 2024:

  • 31.95% will utilize credit cards
  • 50.37% have saved for years to prepare
  • 16.69% are including cash funds on their registries to cover wedding costs

So remember that, although the average budget for weddings may seem pretty high, there are many ways to finance your big day!

6 ways to save money on your wedding

With so many considerations, it helps to start with a wedding budget breakdown. Here you’ll decide what you want to spend in specific categories or what dollar amount you’d earmark for expenditures. To help get you started, we’ve got six tips to help save money on your big day.

  1. Zola’s budget tool

Couples told us they wanted an easy way to track their budget… so we created one! It’s simple to use. In Zola’s wedding budget tool, enter your maximum budget and how much you plan to spend on everything from your venue to your videographer. Our handy tool helps you keep tabs on your spending, get payment reminders, and see expert tips on budgeting.

  1. Decide what’s most important

Every couple's “dream” vision is different. For most, the priority is having all of their loved ones in attendance, and often other details fall into place. Sit down as partners and decide on the top three must-haves and go from there, whether it be a live band, top-shelf open bar, videographer, or an unforgettable meal. There are no wrong answers.

  1. Explore Zola’s wedding planning tools and expert advice guides

Explore the rest of our Expert Advice articles covering even more tips and tricks on everything from wedding dresses to honeymoon planning to gift registry. After prioritizing the essential pieces of your big day, search Zola for wedding vendors and venues based on price and other factors.

  1. Send digital save-the-dates

Sending digital save-the-dates is an easy way to save. Zola’s digital save-the-dates are completely free! If the cost of the average wedding looks a little scary, remember there are lots of little ways like this to save money.

  1. Thrift wedding attire

Upcycling and thrifting have become second nature for many people in their everyday lives, but shopping secondhand is also a great way to save on wedding attire and decor. After all, doesn’t everyone need to find their perfect something borrowed?

In fact, we found that 19% of today’s couples upcycle to avoid excessive spending on tuxedos, wedding dresses, other white outfits, wedding party attire, and more.

  1. Include cash funds in your registry

The vast majority of couples today — over 80% — add personalized cash funds to their registry. And, like we mentioned above, 16.69% are including cash funds on their registries to cover wedding costs. Not only does this help the happy couple start their life together, but it also helps them afford other major expenses — the dream home, a home renovation, or a future family.

Let Zola take the stress out of wedding planning

Your wedding day should be one of the best days of your life, and budget stress shouldn't take away from that. The average wedding cost breakdown figures above are averages, and planning your big day comes down to prioritization and must-haves.

For budget tools and everything else you need for your big day, Zola is here to help. Start by checking out our full suite of free wedding planning tools.

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