The Average Cost of a Wedding Goes Up…Again

How much is too much to pay for a wedding?How much is too much to pay for a wedding?If there's one thing I've learned about weddings since getting engaged, it's this: They're effing expensive.

By Natasha Burton

In fact, a recent survey by The Knot and found that the average price people spend on their weddings rose in 2012 to $28,427. Which is like the price of a car or even a down payment on a house in some states. Spending that on just one day seems a bit crazy, right?

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I thought so-until I started planning my own wedding. Lemme just break down how fast you can spend $30K on a wedding for 100 people:

Five-hour venue rental: $5,000

Day-of wedding coordinator (required by our venue): $2,000

Food: $10,000 (If we were having our wedding at a hotel, we would have had a $30,000 food minimum.)

Photographer: $3,000

DJ: $2,000

Rentals: $3,000

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Okay, so that's already $25,000 and doesn't include flowers (which could be as much as $5,000), the dress, the tux, favors, invitations, (if we follow the letterpress trend, this would set us back around $4,000), décor, a videographer (around $2,000), or the $10 a pop rental for the Chiavari chairs my mom insists are essential. It adds up pretty quickly.

And while I know these prices are ridic, in some ways I understand how the various vendors are justified in charging them: They know brides-to-be like me-or, in my case, my parents-will pay.

Yes, my fiancé and I could just go down to the courthouse and get hitched for under $200 dollars. However, I feel like having not just a wedding, but a pretty wedding with all the things (Flowers! Cake! Photobooth props!) is something I deserve. Even though I think it's silly to spend this much on a wedding, pretty much every other gal does it-according to the aforementioned average cost-so why shouldn't I get to? (Plus, my parents insist that they want to shell out the dough, so shouldn't I just let them?)

This all sounds irrational, I know, and I wish this feeling that my guy and "should" get to have a beautiful wedding like our other friends did wasn't so ingrained. Or that having the wedding I've always hoped for wasn't so damn pricey.

Though, I did manage to get my dress for under $400, which I consider a wedding-planning win. Hopefully we can find more ways to cut costs so we can completely enjoy the day without feeling guilty about it.

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