Wedding cost

We recently asked our community: How much do you think is reasonable to spend on a wedding in 2022? 

More than 46% said that they can imagine a wedding for less than $5000. Nearly 40% indicated that $5,000 to $10,000 is realistic. 14% think spending $10,000 to $25,000 is reasonable, and only about 5% think more than $25,000 is a realistic budget.

 These results are quite surprising. According to research by BudgetBakers, average wedding costs in North America and Europe were several times higher in 2021 (more below). This year, we expect people to spend even more on their weddings as they are able to invite more guests due to relaxed Covid measures. 

So how much should you actually expect to pay for a wedding? We’ve taken a closer look at wedding costs in different countries and put together a budget based on the average cost you might not be aware of.


Wedding costs on average per country

Wedding costs vary greatly from country to country. While couples in the Czech Republic, Poland and Greece spend an average of 4,000 EUR to 5,000 EUR, North Americans shell out between $25,000 and $30,000. Within this range are several Western European countries, where weddings cost between 10,000 EUR and 24,000 EUR. One exception is Switzerland, where couples pay an average of almost 40,000 EUR for their wedding.


Average costs by country


Why do expenses vary so much per country?

On the one hand, there are large wage differences between the evaluated countries, which have a great impact on the budget of wedding couples. In 2021, Czechs had an average monthly salary of CZK 37,500 (1,500 EUR) compared to 6,500 Swiss Francs (6,300 EUR) in Switzerland and $5,783 (5,370 EUR) in the US. Then there’s countries like Italy where people spend more than 20,000 EUR on their weddings although the average wage is only 2,500 EUR.

That’s because of something called the Wedding Tax. It’s a sneaky, extra “fee” couples pay for their big day when suppliers know it’s a wedding. Meaning they charge much more for wedding cakes, photos, venues, DJs and food than they do with anniversaries, birthday parties, family reunions and other celebrations. Many suppliers claim that a wedding involves countless extra hours of work and preparation. Critics, however, say those higher prices are charged mainly because couples lack price comparison and are willing to pay a very high amount for their dream wedding, fueled by social pressure from networks like Instagram.

In some countries, like in the US, the UK or Italy, the wedding tax is higher than in others. Here, wedding planners assume that marriages have an even higher priority and weddings must be even more perfect than elsewhere. Vendors know that and charge couples only for that reason. In the US, for example, you should expect to spend 30% to 40% more on a wedding than an anniversary or birthday party.


How Much You Should Expect To Pay For Your Wedding 

Are you currently trying to figure out how much you’ll pay for your wedding? Then the cost will not only depend on your country and its wedding tax. Other factors such as the number of guests, number of vendors, and where your big day takes place also play a significant role. 

But there are hidden costs that you may not be aware of when you first get married. Let’s find out which obvious and which unexpected costs you should expect for your big day!


Be Aware Of ALL Costs  

One of the best ways to be clear about all of your upcoming expenses is to create a budget. This means adding up all the money you have from family, in-laws, or your own savings to see how much you actually have in your wedding fund and how much you’re able to spend.

Don’t worry, you don’t have to do these calculations yourself. Wallet by BudgeBakers allows you to connect your bank accounts and get a quick overview of your joint finances as a couple. Set a target budget and keep your spending within your means and without any nasty surprises.

Then it’s time to think about what you need for your big day. Where will the ceremony take place and how much will the location cost? What kind of food and drinks will there be? Would you like to arrange a catering or cook yourself? What flowers, decorations, music do you prefer? Will there be transportation from the ceremony to the reception? And, most importantly, what will you and your fiancé wear? 


Expected expenses


Obvious expenses:

  • Venue – £7,600
  • Food & drinks – £65 per guest – £4,680 in total
  • Photography – £1,200
  • Decoration 
  • Music
  • Wedding dress – £1,300
  • Bridal Hair – £80
  • Bridal makeup – £70
  • Groom’s attire – £500


But there are also costs you may not be aware of.

Unexpected expenses include:

Unexpected costs
  • Makeup trials –  £50 each (£200 / 4 trials) 
  • Hair trials – £50 
  • Pre-wedding beauty treatments – £100 – £600 EUR
  • Male Grooming – £100 
  • Wedding Dress Alterations and Dry Cleaning – £100 – £300 / £100 – £150 
  • Day before/day after outfit – £80 – £100
  • Photographers & Videographer Meals –  £65 – £200 (depending on how many you hire and how long they work)
  • Ribbons, velvet ring boxes, vow books – £120 
  • Flowers & presents for parents and in-laws – £100 
  • Transport for guests from hotel to venue – £300 
  • Thank you notes – £100 
  • Wedding insurance – £250 (more below)


Take Out Wedding Insurance  

Even if you’ve planned your big day down to the last detail, there’s always the possibility of unforeseen issues. That’s where wedding insurance comes in handy. This kind of coverage is hardly among the expenses you have in mind when planning your wedding. Still, it’s important to have such insurance, especially in times of Covid, or in case of an accident or severe weather.

In addition, many venues require liability insurance. It protects against injuries and damages that may occur during an event, especially if you plan to serve alcohol at your party. Without wedding insurance, you may have a limited number of venues to choose from. With the scarcity of available (and affordable!) venues in the summer, you should therefore consider the opportunity to pay for insurance. It will cost between 100 EUR and 400 EUR, depending on the country and the number of guests.

How it works