The NYC Wedding Budget

Weddings are expensive, and with New York being a top destination for weddings, the city’s wedding industry is worth more than $1 billion. But how much do you need to spend in order to make your dream wedding come true?

New York is by far one of the most iconic places to get married. With its incredible cultural diversity and rich history, it’s no wonder that the city has been called “the capital of the world.” The city boasts some of the most beautiful wedding venues in the country, from historic landmarks like Central Park to modern-day places like the Plaza Hotel. But if you aren’t careful, all these options come with the potential of an expensive wedding. 

The average price tag for a wedding in New York City is $30,000-$50,000, according to the National Association of Weddings and Events. That can be daunting for couples who are looking for an affordable way to get married. Fortunately, there are ways to save money while still having the dream wedding you want. Here's a breakdown of a typical wedding budget and some ideas for budgeting your big day without breaking the bank.

How Much Do You Need To Spend On A Wedding? 

The amount of money you spend on your wedding depends on several factors. For example, you’re going to spend a lot more money on travel expenses for your NYC wedding if you aren’t a local. Let’s take a look at the budget breakdown below. 

  • Venue and Catering: 40 % of your budget
  • Photography and Videography: 12 % 
  • Flowers and Decor: 10 %
  • Hair and Makeup and Attire: 9% 
  • Wedding Rings: 2 %
  • Wedding Planner and Officiant: 5 %
  • Transportation and Travel Expenses: 21 %
  • Entertainment: 7 %
  • Guest Favors: 2 %
  • Wedding Cake: 2 %

Keep in mind that this breakdown is just an estimate. Your budget will be lower for transportation and travel if you live in the New York area which allows for the expenses to be spent on something else. 

Ok, now that you have an idea of how your budget will be broken down, let’s talk about the wedding budget mistakes to avoid and ways to lower your wedding costs.

Not Finding out Early on Who is Going to Pay for What 

When it comes to your wedding, you want to know who is going to pay for what so that you can plan accordingly. Likewise, if you aren't getting help to pay for your wedding, that's important to know early on too. Talk to your family and friends before you begin planning, this way, you can adjust your budget as necessary. 

Not Factoring in Unexpected Costs 

Before you get married, you might assume that everything will be included in the price tag. But, there are certain things that aren’t always apparent until after you start planning your wedding. This includes things such as flowers, food, transportation, photography, entertainment, and more. If you don't plan properly, these unexpected costs can add up quickly.

Not Keeping Track of Expenses

Is your New York wedding ceremony a destination wedding? What about your guests and wedding party? Will you be paying for their travel expenses also? 

Don’t forget travel costs and other expenses should be factored into your budget as well.

Ways to Lower your Wedding Expenses 

Have a Smaller Intimate Ceremony

Having a large wedding isn’t necessary. In fact, many couples opt for smaller weddings because they feel that it’s less stressful, more intimate, and it saves them money

Plan Ahead to Save Money

Planning ahead is another way to save money on your wedding. By doing this, you can avoid last-minute surprises too. This means that you won’t have to scramble around at the last minute. Instead, you can make sure that you have access to everything you need from the beginning.  

Trim the guest list

If you’re having a small wedding, you’ll probably only invite close friends and family members. However, if you’re planning a larger wedding, you may want to trim the guest list. Either way, you can save a lot of money by reducing your guest list. 

Consider DIY Projects

Many people love to create DIY decorations such as party favors and keepsakes. These projects can take a lot of time and energy but if you are up for the challenge, you can skip hiring professionals to handle those tasks and save money by doing them yourself. Make it a date night with your partner and get creative.

Ask Friends & Family Members for Help 

If you don’t want to cover all of your wedding expenses alone, then you may want to ask others for assistance. For example, you can ask your parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. If they aren’t able to help you financially, ask for their help with making your party favors. 

Seek an off-peak Season to get Married

To ensure that you get the most bang for your buck, you should try to schedule your wedding during an off-peak season. Peak seasons include summer, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve. These times tend to be more expensive due to increased demand. Off-peak seasons not only tend to have fewer visitors but it will likely be cheaper as well. 

Forget the Print Invitations

Printing out invitations and mailing them can be expensive and time-consuming. Cut your costs by sending out e-invitations instead. 

Look for Discounts

Many hotels offer discounts during off-peak seasons. So, if you’re spending your wedding weekend in a different city you may want to look into booking a discounted vacation package during off-peak seasons. Planning a wedding is already emotionally stressful. Reduce the financial stress that comes with wedding planning and save money while still getting everything done! You’ll still be able to create a beautiful wedding at a price that won’t break your budget. 

If you’re looking for an affordable wedding team to help with your wedding planning, look no further. With Happenings™ you can easily plan your dream ceremony in iconic Central Park. 

  • Choose one of our venues and curated packages.
  • Reserve a spot with a wedding team and start making your dreams a reality.
  • Celebrate your love in front of those you care about most.

"The most valuable and important thing we can deliver is an unforgettable memory."

About Happenings™ 

Based in Manhattan, Happenings™ founder Tom Noel would often take a walk through Central Park. In 2008, during one of his walks, he stopped to sit at one of his favorite iconic locations in the Park, the Bethesda Fountain. There, Mr. Noel noticed that the intrinsic beauty that surrounded him was not being fully harnessed. He also realized that not a single business provided the exclusiveness of an affordable and high-quality event planner. Determined to change this, Happenings™ was born.  

Happenings™ Ever After

Most people give up on their dreams of an iconic wedding ceremony because it feels too overwhelming to plan for many different reasons. We’re here to help you create a memory of a lifetime through thoughtfully organized planning tailored to iconic locations throughout Central Park so you can step into your moment with the one that you love. 

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