How much it actually costs to hire 16 common wedding vendors, from the venue to the food

wedding cakeEdible flower toppers are also becoming popular.Ruslan Shramko/Shutterstock

  • Planning a wedding can be extremely expensive.
  • Many couples don't want to sacrifice hiring popular vendors like a wedding photographer, live band, or professional wedding planner - and often end up overspending.
  • Couples should expect to set aside the most amount of money for their venue and catering.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Planning a wedding can be extremely expensive. Before you know it, you've dropped tens of thousands of dollars on your venue, cake, photographer, and other expenses.

Wedding Wire reports that, on average, couples expect to pay $16,000 for their wedding, but end up spending roughly $29,000. By knowing the average price of the most popular wedding vendors, couples can plan their budgets more effectively and avoid overspending.

The same study conducted by Wedding Wire analyzed responses from over 18,000 US couples married in 2019 and asked them about their entire wedding journey. The couples reported the average amount they spent on some of the most popular wedding vendors - including their venue, catering, photographer, officiant, wedding planner, and much more.

Read more: Here's the astronomical amount of money people spend to attend a wedding - and tips on how to save on this huge expense

Here are the average prices of 16 of the most popular wedding vendors:

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Officiant: $300

Officiant: $300

Officiants serve a vital role when it comes to your wedding. Officiants can be religious figures, close friends, family members, professional celebrants, or anyone that legally has the right to marry a couple. As for the price? Justices of the peace may only cost you $50-$100. However, more experienced priests or professional celebrants could charge you up to $450. On average, expect to pay around $300.

Cake: $550

Cake: $550

Several factors can affect how much you end up spending on this wedding day staple. Things like the size of the cake, the layer count, the experience level of the baker, decorations, number of tiers, and more can greatly affect a cake's price. A customized wedding cake will most likely end up costing you around $550.

Ceremony music/musician: $600

Ceremony music/musician: $600

For many couples, choosing to hire live music for their ceremony is a no-brainer. This added expense will cost you, however. The average fee for hiring musicians to play during your ceremony or as you walk down the aisle is around $600.

Hair and makeup artists: $650

Hair and makeup artists: $650

Hiring professional hair and makeup artists is one surefire way for a bride or groom to make sure they look their best on the big day. These services, however, don't run cheap. You should expect to pay $650 on average for a professional wedding day hair and makeup service. This figure may also include any trial-runs you do leading up to the wedding day.

Transportation: $1,050

Transportation: $1,050

If you need to hire buses, limos, or other means of transportation to get your guests to and from your venue or venues, expect to pay around $1,050. Transportation costs can also include the expense of renting a getaway car to escort you from the reception at the end of the night.

DJ: $1,200

DJ: $1,200

DJs are the cheaper music option when it comes to your wedding reception — the average cost to hire a DJ is less than half of what it is to hire a band! However, you should still set aside around $1,200 to cover the costs of your DJ.

Lighting and decor: $1,400

Lighting and decor: $1,400

Making your venue look picture-perfect may cost you a pretty penny. Couples reported spending an average of $1,400 on lighting and other decor items for their wedding ceremony and reception.

Event rentals and photo booths: $1,700

Event rentals and photo booths: $1,700

Novelty photo booths and other activities will ensure your guests will be having fun and making memories all night long. The cost of renting things like photo booths, however, can add up. You should expect to pay around $1,700 for most event rentals.

Flowers: $1,800

Flowers: $1,800

What would a wedding be without gorgeous flowers? This expense is a must-have on most couples' lists. Hiring a florist for your wedding can be extremely pricey — couples reported spending an average of $1,800 on floral arrangements and bouquets for their wedding day.

Videography: $1,800

Videography: $1,800

Hiring someone to capture every moment of your wedding day can be extremely tempting. If you do choose to hire a videographer, you should be prepared to pay a hefty price tag. Videography services can cost around $1,800.

Rehearsal dinner and additional meals: $1,800

Rehearsal dinner and additional meals: $1,800

One expense that many couples forget about when it comes to their wedding celebration is the rehearsal dinner. The cost of catering a rehearsal dinner or any other additional meals can reach up to $1,800 — no small expense when you consider all of the other costs that go into planning your wedding.

Wedding planner: $1,850

Wedding planner: $1,850

Wedding planning can be extremely stressful, especially for a first-time bride or groom. Many couples choose to leave it up to the experts. Hiring a professional wedding planner can cost up to $1,850, but many say they don't regret shelling out for that added expense.

One Business Insider contributor claimed that hiring a wedding planner was the best decision she made while preparing for her wedding. She said, "No matter how organized you, your family, or your bridesmaids are, you'll never be able to stay on top of everything the way a wedding planner can...I was amazed at all of the little tasks they assisted with, like helping my bridesmaids steam their dresses or packing up all the cards and gifts at the end of the night."

Photographer: $2,400

Photographer: $2,400

Hiring a professional wedding photographer is one way to ensure that your memories will last a lifetime. Between your engagement photo shoot and photos on the actual wedding day, costs can definitely add up. Couples reported spending an average of $2,400 on their wedding photographer.

Band: $3,900

Band: $3,900

Hiring a band for your wedding day can end up being one of your highest expenses. Much pricier than a DJ, live bands tend to charge around $3,900.

Catering: $6,700

Catering: $6,700

Depending on what kind or how much food you would like at your wedding, the costs of catering may vary greatly. According to Wedding Wire, for a plated meal, the average cost of wedding catering in the U.S. is around $40 per person. For a buffet, the average price is around $27 per person. Couples should plan to budget around $6,700 for total food costs including beverages, appetizers, and the actual wedding meal.

Venue: $9,000

Venue: $9,000

Out of every expense that goes into planning your wedding day, you should expect to set aside the most amount of money for your venue. Most wedding venues will cost you around $9,000 to $10,000, but some high-profile or luxurious venues could cost you up to a whopping $60,000. Overall, however, there is a venue out there to suit any budget.

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