Calculating Your Wedding Budget

As a wedding planner, I’m often shocked at how couples really have no idea how much the average New York City wedding costs. Now granted, part of my job is to know, and the service I offer is to help YOU know, because hey, how would you know if you’ve never been married or planned a wedding before? As Oprah says “You don’t know what you don’t know.”

However, I’ve noticed something once I tell my couples how much their dream wedding is going to cost: they tend not to believe me. I always get that same blank stare, or dead silence. I feel like as they try to wrap their mind around the figure I just quoted them, they’re also thinking, “Oh she must think we want an extravagant affair, we don’t want a Kim Kardashian wedding, just looking to do something traditional …maybe 150 – 200 guests in a banquet hall or raw space, with all the typical wedding vendors, that’s it, nothing at all fancy”.
Well, here’s the shocking truth of how much it costs to have a “traditional” NYC wedding, so please, hold on to your seats and trust my estimation…
wed budget
New York City is ranked #1 as the most expensive city in the US to get married in. A NYC wedding, on average, costs $75,000. Yup,  you heard me right, that’s the cost for a “traditional” 150 – 200 guest count at either a banquet hall, or raw space venue — oh, and special note about raw spaces– they do not, repeat DO NOT save you any money in the long run simply because you have to bring in everything, and I mean everything, including tables, chairs, flatware, bars, tents, drapes, bartenders, caterer, wait staff, food, I could go on and on and on. I would rather go with a banquet hall any day since everything is already there and the price will be the same, but I digress, that is for another blog post at a later date…
So since you still don’t believe me (come on, you know you don’t!) I’ve decided to lay it all out for you, in full, the cost for each vendor. Now don’t go thinking you can do this cheaper– unfortunately in this town you can’t, unless of course you decide to go to City Hall and invite about 25 guests to an intimate reception dinner at a restaurant, which, quite frankly, can many times be even a better solution than going for broke (no pun intended)!

Well anyway, here ya go. And if you have any questions about it, just give us a call!

  • Reception Venue – $35,000 – $50,000
  • Ceremony Venue – $500
  • Caterer – $15,000 (this cost is reflected in the reception venue if using a banquet hall)
  • Photographer – $3,500
  • Florist – $2,500
  • Cake – $800
  • DJ/Music – $3,500


  • Officiant – $500
  • Hair/Make-Up – $750
  • Wedding Planner – $2,500
  • Videographer – $2,500
  • Transportation – $1,800
  • Attire – $3,000 – $5,000
  • Stationery – $1,000
  • Gifts / Favors – $1,500
  • Honeymoon – $5,000


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