Planning a wedding in a major city is expensive, that is no surprise. Instagram has created a place for couples to explore ideas for their dream weddings, but that dream will now cost you a pretty penny. There is a lack of online education about realistic wedding costs in New York in 2024. The world has inflated post-pandemic, which has also affected the wedding industry. Pricing of labor has dramatically increased because it is more difficult to find staff. The cost of commercial space and residential living has increased; therefore, the cost of operating a business has increased. Venues and talent have less business, so they need to pay their staff well so they do not leave. There are many additional costs, but these items have influenced the inflated wedding costs, making every wedding you plan in the tri-state area a luxury.

I will review realistic per-person costs, creating the overall wedding budget. I will also provide three tips to make your budget work. Many couples looking to get married have a generous budget; however, their budget does not match the per-person market demands. Our recommendation is to reduce your guest count if you are over budget, and if you cannot reduce your guest count, you will need to increase your budget to match the market prices. We do not suggest trying to compromise your talent or details of your wedding to save money, you will only compromise the overall guest experience and cause yourself stress and regret later.


The lower your guest count, the higher your per-person cost. No matter the size of your wedding, there are fixed costs, such as hair and makeup, photography, and entertainment. The more guests you have, the lower the average price per person will be.

For a wedding including a non-luxury venue, your all-in per-person price will average between $1,250 and $1,500. This would include all aspects of the wedding (venue/catering, entertainment, decor, lighting, stationery, etc.) For a wedding including a luxury venue, your all-in per-person price will average between $1,700 and $2,000. Pricing could increase depending on guest count, venue, and other variables; however, these are average costs based on our experience.

As mentioned, once you reduce your guest list, you will reduce the budget overall. For example, reducing your guest list from 150 to 140 could save approximately $17,000.


  1. The first important thing to remember is that if you wish to save money, the best way is to reduce your guest count, not the cost of your venue and vendors.
  2. If you have fewer than 120 guests, we highly recommend hiring a DJ instead of a band. A quality band will cost between $15,000 and $30,000, automatically offsets the guest average rate. A quality DJ will cost approximately $7,500, not including ceremony and cocktail music.
  3. Consider a month-of wedding planner. A full-service wedding planner typically starts at $25,000, while a quality 60-day or 30-day planner ranges between $5,000 and $10,000. Some planners offer consultation in addition to the 30–60-day planning, and we love to provide consultation for couples who need a little more handholding but do not have a full-service planning budget.

There are additional questions you will need to discuss with your partner and your family:

What is most important to you?

Are there areas where you may compromise or reallocate to other areas in order to work with the budget?

Are you willing to select a venue that is not five stars in order to make the overall budget work? Your venue should equal 40% or less of your overall budget in order to ensure you have enough to cover costs of decor, entertainment, photography, stationery, transportation, etc. Often times we go slightly over the 40% and we need to reduce the price of the larger categories such as decor. The objective of a wedding planner should be to match you with trusted vendors within your budget.

If you are interested in speaking with a seasoned professional who will go the extra mile to find you the best match for your wedding dress, venue, caterer, entertainment, flowers, wedding cake studio, down to the most elegant honeymoon, contact us today to start the wedding planning process!