As you start the wedding planning process and begin looking at your local prices for catering, flowers, wedding venues, and DJ’s, it can be frustrating to discover the prices in one area can be totally different from those in another (which is something you’ll definitely find if you’re looking at venues in multiple cities). If you live on Long Island but have the same budget as a friend planning a wedding in Miami, it can be hard to try and compare your wedding costs city-to-city. For instance, alcohol costs in California at a schmancy venue might hover around the $45/hour mark, whereas in New York that cost tends to be closer to $65. It’s the same with venue rental fees: A ballroom in Orange County might cost someone $4,000, while a similar one in Santa Barbara might be closer to $7,000. I might be pointing out the obvious to some of you, but it’s something that is sometimes easy to forget (even for me!).
While you might look at the data below and start freaking out at how much higher your city’s average is compared to others, try to stay calm and think of ways you can even out the costs, like spending less money on wedding invitations or wedding favors if your food/beverage costs are higher. Shopping for things like wedding flowers online will also help you save money if you’re in one of the more expensive cities (think Costco!). If only that were the case for wedding venues, right?! On the other hand, if you’re in one of the less expensive cities, now is the time to do a little happy dance.
As of 2013 the average cost of a wedding was at an all-time high, coming in at almost $30,000. That’s almost $4,000 more than when I got married in 2010. And if you live in a city with a higher average like New York City, your average is MORE THAN DOUBLE what someone a couple hours away in Philadelphia is paying.
So the next time you wonder why your budget is SO much more or less than a friend/neighbor/or other forum member, check out the averages of the most expensive cities, below. You’ll either feel very good or very bad. If it’s the latter I have two words for you: Destination Wedding!!
- New York City (Manhattan): $86,916
- Long Island: $57,343
- North/Central New Jersey: $51,287
- Chicago: $48,449
- NYC Outer Boroughs: $47,121
- Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA: $44,214
- Rhode Island: $42,469
- Westchester/Hudson Valley, NY: $42,444
- Connecticut: $41,745
- Philadelphia: $40,350
- Los Angeles: $38,735
- South New Jersey: $38,620
- Washington, DC/Northern Virginia/suburban Maryland: $37,487
- Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $37,210
- Boston: $35,512
- Houston: $35,475
- Louisiana: $35,008
- Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $34,488
- San Francisco: $33,836
- Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,021
- Baltimore: $31,964
- Chicago Suburbs, IL: $31,489
- Detroit: $31,044
- San Diego: $30,885
- Maine: $29,854
*Data via The Knot