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What’s the average cost of a wedding in Southern California?

The wedding day is one of the most special days in a couple’s life, and it’s expected to be memorable and enjoyable for everyone. But, with the number of things to consider and plan out prior to the big day, it can sometimes feel overwhelming. One of the most significant decisions a couple will make is their budget for the wedding. In Southern California, even the most basic weddings can be expensive, so it’s important to know the average cost of a wedding in the area to make appropriate financial plans.

What is the average cost of a wedding in Southern California?

The average cost of a wedding in Southern California can range from $45,000 – $55,000. Although, it’s important to note that the final price depends on various factors such as venue rental, catering, transportation, flowers, music, photography, videography, and other expenses.

It’s essential to understand that the average cost doesn’t necessarily represent the costs of every wedding. In some venues in Beverly Hills, California, the cost could go as high as $50,000 – $80,000, which means that budget has a significant role in the final cost.

Why are weddings so expensive in Southern California?

Weddings in Southern California are typically more expensive than in other places for several reasons. One of these reasons is the high cost of living in the area, which can affect every aspect of a wedding. From catering to venue rentals, these essential parts of a wedding can cost significantly more in Southern California than in other parts of the country.

Another reason for high wedding expenses in Southern California is the popularity of the region as a wedding location. Many couples choose Southern California for their wedding because of its weather, beautiful locations, and the abundance of wedding vendors. However, this increased demand has also led to an increase in prices.

The breakdown of a typical Southern California wedding cost

As mentioned earlier, several factors contribute significantly to the overall cost of a wedding in Southern California. Here’s a further breakdown of those factors:

Venue and catering

The venue and catering expenses are typically the most expensive parts of a wedding in Southern California, with prices ranging from $17,000 to $22,000. The average venue rental fee is $9,000 – $12,000 and usually includes tables, chairs, linens, and dinnerware. Catering prices can range from $150 to $200 per plate.

Photography and videography

Most couples hire a professional photographer for their wedding day, with prices ranging from $3,500 to $6,500. Videography is also an option, and prices can range from $3,000 to $5,000.

Flowers and decorations

The decoration for the event always sets the tone and creates the ambiance. Flowers and decorations can cost around $5,000 – $7,000, depending on the size and style of the wedding.

Music and entertainment

Music and entertainment are essential to creating a happy and engaging wedding. The average cost for music is $4,000 – $6,500, which includes a DJ and/or live music.

Other expenses

Other essential expenses include wedding attire, invitations, transportation, and wedding planning fees. All of these are important to the overall success of the wedding. The average cost for these expenses is around $5,000 – $10,000.


Southern California is an amazing wedding destination with a plethora of options available for every couple. However, it’s important to remember that weddings in Southern California can be costly, and couples should have a budget in mind while planning their special day. The average cost of a wedding in Southern California ranges from $45,000 – $55,000. With budgets ranging from $30,000 to $100,000, couples can easily spend more or less than the average, depending on their plans. Remember, this is just an average, and the cost of the wedding may vary depending on the couple’s specific needs, style, and venue preferences, among other factors.


What is a reasonable amount to pay for a wedding?

The cost of a wedding varies greatly depending on location, guest count, and personal preferences. In 2022, the average cost of a wedding, including both the ceremony and reception, is $30,000, according to The Knot. This is the most couples have spent since 2018, before the COVID-19 pandemic, and $2,000 more than the average cost in 2021. Of course, this is just an average and does not necessarily reflect what an individual couple may choose to spend on their wedding.

When trying to determine a reasonable budget for a wedding, there are several factors to consider. One of the most important is the guest count. The more guests you have, the more you can expect to spend on everything from venue rental to catering. Location is also a major factor, as weddings in large cities tend to be more expensive than those held in rural areas.

Beyond these basic factors, personal preferences and priorities will also play a role in deciding wedding costs. For example, a couple who places a high value on having a live band perform at their wedding may choose to allocate a greater portion of their budget toward that expense. Another couple may prioritize having a large number of flowers and opt to spend more money on decor.

What is a reasonable amount to pay for a wedding is a decision that will depend on several factors, including budget, location, and personal preferences. While it can be tempting to want to follow trends or put on an extravagant celebration, it is important to remember that the most meaningful aspect of a wedding is the commitment being made between two individuals. In the end, it is best to choose a budget that feels comfortable and reasonable for both partners, and one that will enable them to start their new life together without unnecessary financial strain.

Is $20,000 too much for a wedding?

When it comes to planning a wedding, there are numerous factors to consider, including the budget. While there is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how much a wedding should cost, as it depends on various personal preferences, cultural and social factors, and geographic location, $20,000 is a commonly cited figure.

According to The Knot’s 2019 Real Weddings Study, the median wedding cost in the United States was $28,000, and the average cost was $33,900. These figures represent all weddings, from small, intimate events to lavish, extravagant affairs. Still, it is essential to acknowledge that wedding costs vary widely depending on several factors, including the city or region you live in, the number of guests, and the level of formality and opulence you envision.

According to data from WeddingWire, the top five most expensive cities to get married in the United States are New York City, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Boston, and Philadelphia, with an average cost of more than $40,000. Meanwhile, less expensive cities for weddings include Dallas, Houston, Phoenix, Denver, and San Diego, with average costs under $30,000.

The decision about how much to spend on a wedding is a highly personal one and depends on one’s individual preferences and priorities. For some couples, a lavish wedding with all the trimmings is a financial priority, while for others, a more intimate and low-key affair is preferred. While $20,000 may seem steep for some, others may find it a reasonable and necessary expense to achieve the wedding of their dreams.

How to budget for a 20 000 wedding?

Planning a wedding is an exciting time, but with the average cost of weddings soaring, it’s important to create a realistic budget and stick to it. A budget of $20,000 can provide a beautiful wedding celebration with careful planning and prioritization. There are a few key areas to focus on when budgeting for your wedding.

The first step is to determine how much you can realistically afford to spend on your wedding. Take a look at your finances, including your income, savings, and any contributions from family members. Once you have a clear idea of your budget, you can begin allocating funds to different categories.

One of the biggest expenses of any wedding is the venue and catering. On a $20,000 budget, you can allocate around $9,000 to this category. This should cover the cost of the venue, catering, and rentals, such as tables, chairs, and linens. Look for venues that offer all-inclusive packages, as this can often save you money in the long run.

Photography and/or videography are also important expenses on your wedding day. $2,400 can provide quality photographs or videography to capture the memories of your special day. When choosing a photographer or videographer, make sure to review their portfolio and read reviews from previous clients.

Reception music and entertainment are also important parts of your wedding day. $2,000 can provide a fantastic DJ or live band, depending on your preference. If you are looking to save money, consider creating your own playlist from your favorite songs and renting a sound system.

Wedding rings and attire are also important expenses to consider. $400 can provide beautiful wedding rings, and $1,800 can cover the cost of bride and groom attire. Consider renting a tuxedo or purchasing a pre-owned wedding dress to save money.

Flowers and decor are also important parts of your wedding day. $2,000 can cover the cost of bouquets, centerpieces, and other decor items. Consider choosing flowers that are in season and opting for simple, elegant decor to keep costs down.

Stationery is another expense to consider when budgeting for your wedding. $600 can cover the cost of invitations, save-the-dates, and other stationery items. Consider using online services or DIY options to keep costs down.

When budgeting for a $20,000 wedding, it’s important to prioritize your expenses and allocate funds accordingly. Pay special attention to the venue and catering, photography and/or videography, reception music and entertainment, wedding attire and rings, flowers and decor, and stationery. With careful planning and consideration, you can have a beautiful wedding celebration without breaking the bank.