8 Brides Reveal The Part Of Their Wedding They Spent The Most On

Fall might indicate the official end of wedding season, but all that really means is that wedding planning season is upon us. And believe me, the more time you have to plan and start saving money for the big day, the better, because expenses can add up quick. When the time comes to start organizing your budget, chances are you'll wonder: What’s the most expensive part of a wedding? A bride-to-be recently asked the married (or soon-to-be-married) folks on the WeddingWire forums what they spent the most on in their wedding. Honestly, their answers were a little surprising.

If you're guessing the biggest cost was the dress, flowers, or photographers, think again. The biggest wedding expenses really come down to where you get married and how generous of a host you plan to be at your reception. The memories of your special day may be priceless, but that open bar? It'll cost you. There's a good chance that when you hear how much these weddings cost (even the ones that were fairly affordable), you'll be tempted to start trimming your guest list. (Or eloping! Honestly, smart option.) Here's what 10 brides said the majority of their wedding budget went to.

The Venue

Turns out where you decide to hold your ceremony may have the biggest impact on your overall wedding expenses.

Venue (including food, alcohol, and linens for 21 guests) and photog are tied right at just a little over 4k each.


In ranking order:
Venue : $5,900
Dress: ~$3,000 (after alterations, veil, etc)
Catering for 65 people: $2,900 (Small, backwoods caterer & owner of our venue, unbelievable prices and heaping plates of delicious food)
Everything else added made a grand total of about 20k-ish.


So far, our biggest expense has been our venue. It came in at $8,000. I was expecting our catering to be outrageous for 300 people, but we got an amazing deal at $10 per plate, so that was a huge relief. I believe that's our second biggest expense and then photographer will come in third. Everything has been a lot more doable than expected, so this planning has been a breeze.


Our semi-all-inclusive venue will cost us around $20k.
ETA: includes set up, clean up, 2 DJs, bartenders, mixers, catering (including dessert), decorations, DOC

Mrs. H

Definitely the bill for the venue/food and drink! The total bill to the venue was about $26k and that included the venue space rentals for ceremony and reception, all food and drinks, as well as the room decor for both spaces, and DOC. We hosted about 125 people.


Food And Alcohol

Does being a good host look like splurging on food and drinks for your guests? If so, you might be looking at a big bill.

We only have 10 guests and food and drinks are definitely going to be our biggest expense. We are looking at $33 per person for food and then $35 per person for open bar.


Food and alcohol were the biggest expenses (predictably). We spent about $15,000 on food and alcohol for 42 people.


Not married yet, but food/alcohol will be our biggest expense. $26k for about 150 guests.