6 Brides Confess How Much Their Weddings Really Cost

Everyone talks about how weddings are so expensive, but rarely is a former bride brave enough to actually share how much hers cost. According to CNN, the average wedding in the United States rings up at over $30,000, but some couples will undoubtedly wind up spending three, four, or five times that amount. Wondering how a wedding could cost so much, or in some cases, so little?

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Here six real brides ~finally~ dish out the truth about how much their weddings cost and what they spent the most money on.

wedding costs
1/6 Amanda Becker

“My wedding cost around $100,000. It was the wedding of my dreams, and I have expensive taste. My husband and I only paid for about $10,000 of the wedding and our parents chipped in to split the bill for the rest. The dress of my dreams was $8,000, and I wanted a very flower-heavy wedding, so we spent close to $20,000 on that. After the wedding, some guests took the flower centerpieces home but most were thrown out. It’s the party of your lifetime, but if you look back at how much it costs, it’s really a lot of money to spend on one night. I realize that now, years and years after throwing the party of my dreams.” –Dana J., 32

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wedding costs
2/6 Amanda Becker

“We paid for the entire wedding ourselves. At first, our budget was only $15,000, but we ended up spending close to $18,000 on the whole thing. We got married in our backyard, had a friend DJ, and I did a ton of DIY crafts for decorations. We spent the most money on the catering, the food, and the rental items, like tables, chairs, linens, and a sound system.” –Steph R., 27

wedding costs
3/6 Amanda Becker

“I think we spent around $110,000. I didn’t keep track or set a budget. My parents gave me their credit card and I charged everything there. That was always the deal. They pushed me to get married and said when I found the person I wanted to marry, they’d pay for it. I think we spent $15,000 on a live band, and I think the venue, a local hotel on the beach, charged us around $300 per person for food and drink.” –Yasmine B., 31

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wedding costs
4/6 Amanda Becker

“I tried to set a budget, which was $31,000, but when I started planning I realized I needed to spend way more money than that. I invited close to 250 people, and I was paying for the wedding alone with my husband. We had a long engagement (three years) because I wanted to have a fancy wedding and not one that was just tossed together because we couldn’t afford the real deal. Even still, my parents ended up loaning us $20,000 so we could pay for everything we wanted, and we’ve been paying them back for the last three years. Some things were outrageously expensive, like having to spend $4,500 on my dress and $8,000 for a photographer and videographer.” –Alicia P., 33

wedding costs
5/6 Amanda Becker

“I went to a local school for college and my tuition was about $25,000 a year. Our wedding cost four years-worth of tuition. Was it worth it? No way. But at the time, I thought so. I invited 175 people and paid around $250 per person for the meal and drink package. I also had a live band, which was around $10,000, flowers, which were $15,000, and my dress was $6,750.” -Victoria K., 27

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wedding costs
6/6 Amanda Becker

“Looking back at it now, we could have bought a car, a pretty nice car, like a BMW or a Mercedes, for what we spent on one night for our wedding in 2015. We spent $87,000 in total—that included tips for our vendors and also our honeymoon. Some might think that was a pretty reasonable amount to spend, but it was way out of our means. We were just trying to keep up with the Jones’ when it came to our friends’ weddings. The most expensive thing we splurged on was having our wedding at a local museum.” –Brittany W., 29

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