The most beautiful day in life not only has to be well planned, but also financially calculated in advance. Because couples often don't know exactly what costs they will have to pay for a wedding. What sum can a couple in love count on to celebrate this occasion properly? In 2015, an average of € 5,500 was spent on the day of the wedding in Germany; in 2016, this number rose to an average of € 6,072. This information includes the registry office and wedding reception - honeymoons, stag or hen parties are not included in these calculations.
The best way to get an overview of your own wedding expenses is to start by thinking about how you want to celebrate. The numbers only become realistic with concrete ideas. Therefore, it is particularly important that you know what you want. In any case, compromises have to be made for the final planning. We give you all the information you need to estimate the cost of your wedding. If you plan cleverly and calculate well, you can always save on some factors.
The main cost factors of a wedding
What should be your first steps when planning the cost of your wedding?
Think about what budget you have available
If you can say factually how much money you actually have available, you will quickly say goodbye to unnecessary reverie. Of course, a wedding is currently living on the dream dreams come true - but a realistic budget helps you to recognize what you can do without and where you want to set your priorities. Therefore, the consideration is: How much can the wedding cost at most, quite wise, because you already know your absolute maximum.
How exactly do you imagine your celebration?
Wedding expenses can vary widely. They depend on how and where you get married. Therefore, you should consider early in the question of the framework in which you want to celebrate. Only at the registry office? Or with a big family celebration? Maybe even abroad? Or in the closest circle of your loved ones?
Consider certain time factors
For the cost of a wedding, it is not irrelevant whether the wedding ceremony and the celebration take place on the same day or whether the civil and ecclesiastical wedding ceremony may be a year or more apart. In the past, couples usually married on a Thursday or Friday to end the festival with the wedding party the next day. In the meantime, the registry offices are often open on Saturdays - however, you may pay higher fees for such an appointment. If you want to separate your church and civil wedding from each other, you often have less stress, but depending on the plan, you also pay significantly more for the two-time catering of guests, etc. It is therefore important that you know in advance how you want to schedule your wedding .
Creates a preliminary guest list
The great advantage of a preliminary guest list is that you can finally count on concrete figures. You can see estimates for specific guest counts in our table below. The closer you get to your actual number of guests, the more accurate your calculation will be. You should generally expect that around 5% of the invited guests will have to cancel for a variety of reasons. However, it makes sense to calculate your wedding expenses once with more or less cancellations.
Are there factors for initial cost estimates?
Of course there are some rules of thumb according to which the wedding costs can be estimated. The big catch with these considerations is that they are based on the average. So if you are planning a particularly expensive wedding or if you have to do it on the other hand with very little budget, then these estimation factors will only help you to a limited extent.
However, it can be assumed that around 50% of all costs for food, drinks, wedding cakes and all other beautiful things that make up a wedding party are spent. As a guideline, one can speak of € 100-150 per person in this case. Below you will find a detailed breakdown of all possible cost factors that should serve as a guide:
Wedding costs according to the number of guests:
The rent for the wedding location
Renting your wedding location is one of the biggest cost variables. You can immediately see that it makes a big difference whether you celebrate in the parish hall of your church or in the small castle on the edge of the forest. The rent can be between 150-2000 € . In Germany, however, the average is less than € 500. If you want to save money, this post is a good option.
Cost of drinks in the restaurant
Drinks and meals are significantly more expensive in the restaurant than in the party service. You don't have to worry about anything and can rely on a well-rehearsed team in case of doubt. Sometimes the disadvantage of catering is that you have to find the waiters yourself. Almost no restaurant likes to bring your own drinks. Therefore, these wedding costs must be inquired in advance at the first conversation in your celebration location. As a guideline you can from 30-60 € per person going out for drinks. You can often discuss with the organizer which drinks should be included - special requests such as cocktails can then also be bought by the guests. Or you can opt for an additional cocktail bar, in which everything is already paid for and served until your agreed budget is used up.
Beverage costs with party service
If you want to calculate the drinks for a wedding, you should expect 5-10 € per person if you organize the drinks yourself . That means: the service pours them out, but you have to order them yourself beforehand. It can be problematic to think about how much to buy. Ultimately, the drinks (unlike dishes) are not bad - so you can also give away the leftovers. So you'd better buy enough drinks than sit on dry land later. This also applies to the champagne reception : here you can with at least € 1.50 per personcalculate. Of course, there are no upper limits to this number, for example if you want to serve particularly high-quality sparkling wine or offer special snacks.
The cost of a wedding menu
Also the food at the restaurant is much more expensive than from catering. Depending on the location, 30-80 € per person are quite realistic. However, the following also applies here: you will receive the appropriate service and ideally there will be much less left. In any case, it is advisable to inform yourself beforehand about the prices for menus in different restaurants.
Experienced wedding locations always offer the possibility to store the wedding cake somewhere. The sweet temptation costs an average of € 150-350. However, it is also possible to have them given by friends or a family member, for example. This saves you the preliminary tasting and other appointments that go along with the planning of the wedding cake. Sometimes there is even an experienced hobby baker among the wedding guests who likes to take on this great effort.
Catering costs for a wedding
The price range for the food in the catering is 20-60 € per person. So you should think carefully beforehand whether choosing a long-term wedding caterer is not a good alternative to the menu. Of course, that also depends on where you celebrate. It will be difficult to do without the menu in a certain restaurant and to use the catering. On the other hand, on a meadow by the lake, in the orchard at home, in a rented hall or in the dance hall of the historic castle, catering is always the first choice.
Cost of the printed matter
The printed matter is everything that is made of paper for a wedding: the invitation, table and thank you cards . You should start from € 1.50-4.50 per person . However, this item can quickly become expensive, depending on how much attention you have to detail with your stationery items. For example, if you hire your own graphic artist, you will of course pay significantly more. Newspaper ads, a guest book or church magazines also significantly increase the cost of the printed matter. Then these can also cost up to € 600 , even if you haven't invited 120 guests.
The cost of flower decoration at the wedding
Flowers are part of every wedding. For this special table decoration you have to expect 100-500 € . However, it can quickly become expensive if men's pins or flower decorations for the church and the car are added. Then the costs are over € 500and of course there are no upper limits to these prices, for example if you are celebrating a flower wedding, where a lot of floral elements will appear due to the motto. It is difficult to save on this cost item because fresh flowers usually have their price. Exceptions are self-made bouquets of cornflowers for the tables, but you should definitely hand this task over to someone. Otherwise you save money, but are stressed unnecessarily by the additional work on your wedding day.
Cost regardless of the number of guests
The cost of the bridal outfit
The bride's equipment consists of the wedding dress, shoes, accessories and the bridal bouquet. The cost of a bridal bouquet is 30-60 € , depending on the size and type of flower . Depending on how voluminous or striking your dress is, you should also adjust the size of the bridal bouquet. What does a wedding dress cost ? Basically, you should expect at least € 600 . However, there are now also very nice second-hand clothes on the usual Internet exchanges. It simply says: get lucky and strike in time. Together with the bridal shoes and the bag, the bride's outfit can easily total 600-2000 €to reach. If you want to save money or would like to continue the family tradition, you can also have the wedding dress or individual accessories sewn by mother or grandmother. As with the wedding dress itself, it should be noted that changes to the professional tailor also cost money.
Schedule a DJ / band for the wedding
The price range for DJs starts at € 400 on the wedding evening . An entire band or a more popular DJ is of course more expensive (note that this is often booked well in advance). You should see for yourself whether it is worth saving at this cost point. Music is crucial to the atmosphere of a celebration and it is not necessarily advisable to choose the cheapest DJ for cost reasons. In any case , the price for entertainment by a DJ, solo entertainer or a band is between € 400 and € 1200 .
Cost for a professional wedding photographer
Who would want to do without taking pictures of the most beautiful day of their lives? The best thing of course is a wedding photographer, who you can hire for € 400-1200 . Sometimes additional hand cameras are added to the guest tables. So every guest can try himself as a photographer. However, these snapshots are not a real replacement for a photographer. Think about how important good shots are to you. Some couples just keep the pictures of that day in their memory forever.
The cost of groom's equipment
In the confusion of wedding planning, it is sometimes forgotten that the groom also needs something to wear. Ideally, of course, color-coordinated with his better half. The groom's wedding attire tends to be a little cheaper than the bride's: 400-1200 € is a realistic guideline. In addition to the suit, it is often the men's shoes that are particularly important. You can also save on these items with second-hand parts or you can buy a pair of wedding shoes, for example, which the groom will be happy to wear again and again after the big day.
Cost of the wedding rings
The price for wedding rings can vary between € 300-5000 per ring . This strong fluctuation is explained by the fact that wedding rings can have very different designs and materials. Depending on whether you choose 925 silver rings or 950 platinum rings, you should calculate with different costs. The stone trim can also have a decisive influence on the price. In our wedding ring configuratory you can create a variety of ring models, see the price changes live and think about which one suits you and your partner best. Since you will carry these pieces of jewelry with you for the rest of your life, it makes sense to think carefully about what your perfect wedding rings look like and what precious metal they should be made of.
Allow for make-up & styling
The bride and groom want to shine naturally on the wedding day. There are appointments with the hairdresser and make-up specialists before the wedding. Depending on the styling experts, these embellishments cost between € 80-250 . Many hairdressers offer trial appointments where the later hairstyling can be tried out. It is definitely worth it so that you know what you are getting.
Include hidden wedding expenses
Some costs for a wedding are quite obvious, such as the rent for the location. Others sometimes only notice couples when it's too late. So here is our list of hidden wedding expenses, which you should definitely include:
Costs for the registry office
Depending on the state in which you are getting married, the cost of the ceremony may vary. They are 50-150 € for formalities and documents. If you conduct your civil wedding separately from the actual celebration, then you can expect around 800 € as a guideline for equipment, styling, flower arrangements, food and fees .
Costs for the church wedding
Surprising for some newlyweds: the churches also charge fees for a wedding ceremony. You should expect around € 50-150 for the ceremony . Usually the organist or other musical accompaniment is already included in this sum. In any case, you should discuss with the pastor exactly what costs you will have to pay.
Overtime of service providers
Another hidden cost point is the possible overtime of your service providers. It starts with the service staff and ends with your wedding photographer, the DJ or the whole band. It is best to make precise arrangements for such eventualities. Sometimes overtime is significantly more expensive than regular scheduled hours and therefore unnecessarily hits the budget.
No wedding dress and the rarest suits fit perfectly when they are bought off the shelf. Therefore, it is advisable to expect certain costs for the change tailor. Afterwards you will be glad that you have planned these small expenses additionally, because a correct seat also guarantees that you feel comfortable.
Postage fees for invitation and thank you cards
It is often forgotten that the beautiful cards also have to be sent. Therefore, think carefully beforehand how many letters you have to send and calculate an approximate value with which you can calculate.
Dance course costs
Couples often take a dance class together before the wedding celebration to really shine at the wedding dance. These costs also count towards the wedding calculation. You should expect around € 100-200 for a quick course. As an alternative, there are Internet videos or relatives with strong nerves.
Wedding car or carriage
A dream for many, but also a cost point for many that has to give way in the end: your own wedding carriage or classic car. As a rental fee, you should expect 300-600 € . Sometimes the self-decorated mini-van der Freunde is a good consolation solution.
More tips on how to find the right wedding car.
A wedding planner for the perfect wedding
A wedding planner can keep all the unnecessary stress away from a couple so that the bride and groom can concentrate on the most beautiful aspects of the wedding celebration. Of course, this also has its price: The costs for a wedding planner depend on the total budget of the wedding . They are 5-15% . So if you are planning a wedding with a total cost of € 15,000, his salary for planning would be around € 1500-2250.
How can we save costs at our wedding?
If you want to relieve your budget a little, then it is worthwhile to note a few points:
If you plan perfectly, you also minimize the budget
You should always calculate everything very precisely, because then you have a precise idea of the costs and end up with no unpleasant surprises. If you have to say goodbye to some of your dreams for cost reasons, this also helps: think carefully about how important these factors are to you. It is best to make a list in which you set clear priorities. For example: wedding menu - very important that it is of high quality, decoration - can also be more economical, music - should absolutely be available, carriage - can also be omitted in an emergency. Categories like "must be", "maybe", "if possible" or "desirable" help you to recognize what you want.
Compare prices from wedding service providers
The price ranges are sometimes very different even with similar offers. Therefore it is highly recommended to compare between different service providers. This applies to wedding catering, wedding rings as well as to photographers, DJs or service personnel. The most expensive provider is not always the best. Sometimes you can refer to testimonials from friends or acquaintances. Sometimes it helps to get an idea of yourself during a rehearsal dinner or a (unannounced) visit to the desired restaurant.
Location private instead of booked
The location is one of the biggest cost factors for a wedding. So if you privately have the opportunity to rent a room or garden or have it made available as a wedding gift, you should definitely strike. Questions don't cost anything in this case. So if you can imagine, for example, celebrating in your friends' garden shed, just ask them. Of course, you should also expect that your wish will not come true.
Save on decoration costs
Decoration is a good way to save. With hand-picked bouquets as well as hand-made place cards, self-hung balloons or lovingly cut hearts - there are no limits to your imagination. However, you should only leave this task to people who you really trust in terms of taste. Then a self-made decoration can give a wedding party a very special charm.
How much does a wedding cost in total?
The wedding cost mainly depends on how and where you celebrate. Overall, you should assume that a celebration in Germany costs an average of between € 5,000-20,000 . You can use the table below to calculate exactly which benchmarks you should deal with, depending on the number of people. It is crucial, however, that you plan a certain buffer zone for this previous calculation. Not only can the hidden costs increase the budget afterwards, sometimes the wedding is more expensive than planned, without forgetting a cost factor in the calculation. So it is wise to always assume that you end up paying more than calculated. So you will not experience a bad awakening after a wonderful wedding night. cheap formal dresses