Depending on who you ask, the exact number for the average NJ wedding cost can vary greatly. But make no mistake: New Jersey weddings are among the most expensive in the nation.
According to The Knot, the average United States wedding cost nearly $34,000 in 2018. New Jersey averages are considerably higher, ranging from a conservative $38,049 (USA Today) to a whopping $62,074 or more in Northern and Central New Jersey (The Knot).
So, is it possible to get married in New Jersey for less than the cost of a luxury vehicle or a home down payment? It depends on what you and your fiance envision for your wedding day.
What does the average NJ wedding cost, really?
To get a better sense of what New Jersey couples are paying for their wedding in 2020, we independently surveyed* more than 800 brides on Facebook. The vast majority said their total wedding bill was above and beyond the national average, with 77% spending more than $30,000 for their big day. Many poll respondents followed up to share their actual wedding total, which was on par with the ~$62,000 New Jersey average.
Where is all that money going? The biggest line item for most couples is the venue, which typically encompasses food and beverage costs. The Knot’s survey broke down the average cost for “high spenders” versus the national average and found that among those who spent above $60,000 on their wedding, the venue alone cost more than $42,000 (the national average was just $15,163).
Other major wedding expenses and their average cost, according to The Knot, include:
- Flowers and decor ($2,379 national / $6,050 high spender)
- Photographer ($2,630 / $5,130)
- Ceremony site ($2,311 / $2,966)
- Wedding planner ($1,988 / $3,775)
- Videographer ($1,912 / $3,214)
- Wedding dress ($1,509 / $3,158)
- DJ ($1,231 / $2,300)
How to reduce your wedding cost
The average NJ wedding cost might make your head spin, but don’t be intimidated: There are countless ways to throw an incredible wedding on a budget and save money on certain elements. Here are a few easy ways to trim down the cost of your wedding.
1. Think beyond the Saturday evening wedding.
Weddings are traditionally held on Saturday evenings — and venues price accordingly. Most banquet halls and restaurants charge less to host an event on a Friday or Sunday evening or weekend afternoons, either by reducing the cost per head or lowering the minimum guest count. Daytime receptions are becoming more popular as we head into 2020 wedding season, so going this route means you’ll be on-trend and saving money for your big day.
2. Plan an off-season wedding.
Venue prices also tend to vary depending on the time of year you book. Peak wedding season is historically late spring through early fall (April through September), which means you’ll pay top dollar for those dates. If you’re flexible on your wedding date and don’t mind the cold, you might be able to slash the price of your New Jersey wedding by getting married in the late fall, winter, or early spring. Other wedding vendors may also offer discounts during these “slower” times of the year.
3. Pare down your guest list.
Since your venue is generally the largest portion of your wedding budget, cutting down your guest list can help you save a considerable amount of money. This can be a difficult process, especially if your parents are helping you finance your wedding and want to invite their friends to celebrate your big day. If you’re having trouble, Brides.com recommends eliminating friends and relatives you haven’t spoken to in years, coworkers, plus-ones you’ve never met, and other “fringe” people who aren’t prominent in your life.
4. Ask your married friends for vendor referrals.
Many wedding vendors (including us!) love to thank loyal clients by offering a referral incentive when they bring in new business. You can often receive a discount or price-match from a vendor, just by name-dropping your recently-married friend who used their services. For example, Hurricane offers referral clients a generous discount on their wedding day package, as well as a $25 gift card to the client who referred them.
Bundle services and save money with Hurricane Productions
When you book multiple services with Hurricane Productions, we are able to offer a bundled discount on our individual package prices. For a limited time, we’re even offering an All-Inclusive Wedding Package, which includes four of our most popular services for just $4,995. You’ll save over 10% and receive the following for your wedding day:
Our 2020 wedding dates are booking up fast, so request a quote to confirm our availability for your big day!
*Survey methodology: A Hurricane Productions representative created and posted a poll in a private Facebook group for engaged and recently married New Jersey brides. The poll was posted in November 2019 and received 826 responses total.