How much does a wedding cost?
Weddings in Europe cost between 10,000€ and 20,000€ on average. Below we break down an average wedding budget and in the last paragraph provide some tips on how to save money on your wedding.
One can easily get married below 10,000€ but most couples want to make their wedding a once in a lifetime event that really brings together both sides of the family. A large wedding can be expensive, but the final cost depends on your priorities and especially the number of guests.
Number of guests multiplies the cost
When we break down the costs, two of the biggest factors in the wedding budget are the location and the catering. These two scale with how many guests you are planning to have. A small wedding is 40 guests. An average wedding is 80 guests. A large wedding can be 200+ guests. If your catering costs 50€ per guest, it is easy to do the math how different that cost is for 40 or 200 guests.
Cost of a wedding dress
A good quality wedding dress costs 1000€ or more. Most brides are not willing to save money here because they are the most photographed person on their big night and that dress must fit perfectly. Many brides are surprised how big the difference between a cheap wedding dress and a high-quality wedding dress really is.
Cost of accessories and jewellery
Typical good quality wedding shoes cost 200-300€. Most brides use 100-200€ for earrings, for a necklace and for a clutch or a bag. Especially jewellery can cost almost anything so instead of purchasing it brand new explore the possibility to acquire something that has been passed on in the family. Wearing a family heirloom is a great way to show respect for traditions and save a lot of money in the process.
Cost of the groom’s suit
Luckily suits don’t require adjustments like a wedding dress does so it’s possible to rent a suit. A suit rental for 5 days costs only 100-150€. If you wish to purchase a suit you can expect to spend almost the same as for a well-priced wedding dress.
Cost of a wedding ring
Wedding rings can cost from around 200€ up to several thousands of Euros, it all depends on the quality and style. The bride’s ring is usually the more expensive one averaging at 800€. Younger generations often opt for more practical rings but for some a huge flashy 5000€ diamond is still a proof of real love. Some couples have one ring for special occasions and a less flashy one for everyday use.
Wedding location cost
When it comes to the wedding venue there is a large range of options, from a castle to a hotel to a community center. Luxurious mansions start from 5000€ for 6 hours. A wedding in a medieval castle costs 1000€ - 3000€ depending on how many guests you have. Renting a large party tent for the weekend costs only 350€. There is a place for every budget, thus the prices vary from a few hundred Euros up to 10,000€. Just like with choosing your wedding dress, the location should match the style and theme of your wedding.
Often, the venue is free if the catering and other services are booked directly from the venue. In these cases you can expect to pay on average 120€ per guest for the basic package. These are easy to check from hotels, mansions, etc. in your area. If you rent the venue directly, remember to check if you can bring your own drinks. These can usually have very big impact on the total price of the wedding.
Wedding catering cost
Catering costs are the other significant factor in a wedding. It is still customary to provide a culinary experience to your guests. This can go from a buffet to a table-served meal over several courses. Added to this is the highlight of every wedding reception: the wedding cake.
On average, you can expect to spend around 50€ to 100€ per guest. Cost of the wedding cake can be estimated at around 3 – 9€ per piece. Drink costs can add another 20€ or more per person to your budget. Moreover, with food always come personnel costs. When asking quotes for the catering, you should already know approximately how many visitors you’ll be having.
If you are thinking about where to save money, wedding catering is the one item where great ideas can save you a lot of money. More about this in the last section.
When you consider savings in catering, one thing to consider is the number of waiters. One less waiter will save you some money but it will also impact how fast used dishes are gathered from the tables.
Cost of wedding decorations
Furthermore, decoration and flowers are also a must at every wedding. With around 250€ one can get some simple decorations however, many florists charge 1000€ or more for a wedding package. Decorations and flowers are a popular item to DIY for some cost savings. The internet is full of ideas and guides for DIY decorations. Another item that isn’t exactly a decoration but is often DIY’d for cost savings is invitation cards.
You should consider having flowers at the church, the car, at the venue in the tables and a bridal bucket. Usually also bridesmaids and best man have matching flowers.
Cost of wedding photography
Despite your friends and family taking hundreds of pictures on their phones, you’ll also want a professional photographer / videographer. Generally you can get the ceremony photographed for 400€ but the entire wedding party will easily cost 1000€. Good quality video packages can be 2000€ or more. You can see the style of the photographer from online portfolios so you know what to expect.
You should book your photographer at least 6 months before the wedding. Especially in the summer the best photographers are booked early on. Prepare to pay half of the price months before the actual weddings and the other half 2-4 weeks before. You can usually expect to get over 1000 photos if you have hired the photographer for the whole day.
Quick tip if you are thinking about saving money here. When you think if you should ask for a guest to take the photos you should consider many things. Giving that kind of responsibility for one guest will affect that guest’s party for the whole day. Taking photos is exhausting, it is difficult to know where to be at what times if you are not experienced and there might be technical problems. Professional have backup cameras and he knows where to be at what times.
And there’s more:
We listed only the main costs related to the wedding day. There are also a lot of little costs that really add up like tables, chairs, dish rentals, transportation, hair, makeup, etc. A good rule of thumb is to add 10% extra on top of your budget for everything you didn’t count in.
Honeymoon wasn’t listed as a wedding cost because we recommend keeping them separate. Give yourself time to appreciate your wedding party and most importantly give yourself time to recover from the party. There is nothing wrong with having your honeymoon a bit later after your wedding party so you can plan it properly and enjoy it stress free.
How to save money on your wedding?
The best way to save money is to recruit help and outsource. Many of your friends and relatives know someone who can give you a better deal than you can get yourself. Just because you don’t know a makeup artist, it doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t know one. You might even get lucky and someone might be able to hook you up with some great and affordable catering ideas.
Friends and relatives are often willing to help with the DIY items like invitations, thank you cards, decorations, transportation, cleaning, etc.
Another tip for an affordable wedding is to ask quotes from as many companies as you can find and ask for package deals. A popular one is combining location, catering, and accommodation.
Be early to book venue, catering, photography, accommodation, etc. Here’s a guide on how early to be with each item.
Send multiple quotes on each service
Ask detailed questions on what is included in different services. Then you can see if you can do some of them yourself.