Wedding Finances Survey | Initial Results – Part 1

Some time ago we added a 10 question survey to the right side of this blog. (Go ahead, I’ll wait a minute until you scroll to check it out.) The survey relates to wedding finances – setting a budget, the actual wedding costs and other related issues. While the responses are slowly trickling in, we couldn’t wait to share with you these early results and what they seem to indicate. Meanwhile the survey continues, so feel free to take half a minute and fill it out. And if you’re still in the early planning stages of your wedding and not ready to answer these questions, do come back and share your experience.

{Perhaps it is necessary to point out the obvious. This survey is in no way scientific. It is an open, voluntary survey of visitors of this website. We don’t know much about the respondents nor about the truthfulness of their responses. Still the results are certainly interesting and worth a discussion.}

Let’s begin with end, with the last question of the survey: “How much did your wedding cost?”


There were 7 possible categories to choose from: from below $15,000 to above $75,000. Interestingly enough, the two categories that got the most responses were these two extremes. Almost 26% – more than 1 in 4 – of respondents kept their wedding costs down to below $15,000 and almost 20% shelled out more than $75,000.

Do you think $15,000 gives too broad of a range? Is it that easy to pull off a Jewish wedding for under 15 grand? We certainly didn’t think so when we drafted the survey and don’t think so still. Between the hall, catering, music, flowers, photography, videography etc. it seems nearly impossible to put together a wedding under $15,000. But, to our great surprise, more than a quarter of the survey participants managed it. What do you think?

The smallest response was given to the $65,000-$75,000 range. Could that indicate that if one spends one really spends? Perhaps. Although, with more kallahs filling out the survey, things may even out.

Now let us take a look at the survey’s first question: “Did you budget plan for your wedding?”

Yes, we know proper English would be: “Did you set a budget for your wedding?” But we felt that this version was more appropriate, more closely descriptive of the process of trying to set a budget for something that really requires professional and experienced planners. Whilst most people sort of learn the trade of figuring out the various options and their costs as they go along not unpleasantly overwhelmed.


As you can see from the chart, almost half the survey participants took their budget quite seriously. Only 20% of respondents did not set a budget at all. Wait, are those the same 20% with wedding costs exceeding the $75,000 mark?

In the next question the survey wants to know: “How successful were you in setting a budget?”


Here again 26% answered – making it the most frequent response – that they managed to fit into their budget. Whoever heard of fitting into a wedding budget??? Who are these people? Wait, are these the same 26% that managed to pull of a whole wedding under $15,000? Hmm, there does seem to be a pattern of sorts.

This next question is a personal favorite: “The price tag of which wedding service surprise you the most?”


I was rooting for photography, but it only came in third. The winner is “Flowers”, with almost 32% percent of people surprised by the cost of wedding florals. Isn’t it a wonder that one can get a beautiful, large bouquet for about $50, but if it’s a bridal bouquet, well that’s $150-$250?

Many (almost 28%) were also surprised by the price tag of food. It’s generally the biggest of all wedding expenses. Prices for catering (which sometimes include the venue and sometimes are in addition to the cost of the wedding hall) can range from $25 per person to $200 per person. The total cost here is dependent, in large, on the amount of guests you are expecting at your affair. To set table at a large frum wedding with 500 guests or more even at $50 per person adds up to a hefty $25,000.

Now we wanted to know if you think your wedding is costing too much. Duh, of course it is! Well, as you can see from the chart below, about 12% of people answered that they kept wedding costs to a minimum. Most respondents, however, indicated that their wedding expenses are high – some are just more OK with it than others; after all it is a wedding!


The second half of the survey we shall discuss in Part 2 of this article. Stay tuned, but add your two cents to the topic of wedding costs in the comments.

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1 comment, read them below or

  1. Jordan 08/28/13 at 4:42 PM

    This is super interesting! I know when my sister got married that she was most surprised by the flowers (and surprisingly enough) invitation/save the date costs! So much so that she definitely “under budget planned” her wedding by a few thousands. I think for those that were able to plan their wedding for under 15,000 were most likely able to do so with the help/free services of others, because from what I can tell some of these services (although definitely worth it!) can definitely cost quite a bit.