The Average Cost of a Wedding in New Jersey
Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life and you want it to be absolutely perfect. Perfection, though, comes with a hefty price tag — and in New Jersey that bill will be higher than in other parts of the country.
Keep in mind too, these couples come from all over the New Jersey and have entirely different wedding budgets, locations, head counts and styles. What they end up spending naturally varies—a lot. Throwing a wedding in a densely population such as North Jersey, Bergen County, Essex County , and Hudson County costs more than it does in a smaller, more rural or less populated location in South Jersey such as (Salem, Gloucester and Camden Counties). South Jersey fork over an average of $40,231 – while – weddings in North and Central Jersey will run an average of $62,074.
So Where is All the Money Going Towards?
Couples are investing in super-personalized events infused with meaningful details, and 29 percent hire a professional planner to help them pull it off. Many wholeheartedly embrace or blend their cultural customs, while others intentionally turn tradition on its head—by paying homage to pop culture (Harry Potter stilettos, anyone?), nixing old-school activities (like the garter toss) or reinventing big moments to suit their individual style (tequila shot unity ceremonies are never a bad idea!). At the end of the day, they want their wedding to be a true expression of their love story, and for guests to leave saying, “That was so them.”
Cost by Wedding Venue Type
|Venue Type||Lower Cost||Higher Cost|
The average couple hosts 136 guests, and the average spend per guest is $258
About half of recently married couples chose a banquet hall, country club or hotel as their venue. But historic homes and buildings and farms have gained popularity in recent years. And many couples are opting for more unusual venues that reflect their personalities, like public gardens, breweries, children’s museums and backyards. As you might imagine, there can be an enormous amount of variation between the least you might spend at each venue type, to a more lavish approach. For a fairly small wedding hosting 50 guests, a couple might face the following amount ranges at different types of venues in New Jersey.
|Average cost per guest||Average wedding cost|
|New Jersey (North and Central)||$342||$47,868|
|New Jersey (South)||$295||$41,273|
Food & drinks requirements
A number of optional elements and choices – from the type of meal served to whether the location charges a venue fee – determine your final cost. For the bare minimum, you can provide a simple buffet meal for your guests, with soft drinks only. It’s impossible to cite a true maximum since you could theoretically continue to upgrade all your options to the highest priced foods and drinks and decor known to man. To go all out, consider a cocktail hour and full premium bar all night long, a lavish plated 4-course dinner with lobster as an option, extra desserts, late night snacks including Kobe beef sliders, and freely flowing Gout de Diamants champagne (about $1.5 MM per bottle).
On-peak vs. Off-peak timing
The cost of hosting your wedding at a particular venue will also depend on supply and demand – this carves the year into on- and off-peak seasons. If you have a plethora of similar venue options in your city or town, the higher amount of competition will likely keep prices lower. If the weather is generally mild and temperate, there are more months available to wedding parties, which also helps to reduce costs. Wedding couples typically avoiding extremes of heat and cold (those months become off-peak).
Generally speaking, an easy way to pay less for your venue: choose an off-peak month, day or time for your wedding. To rent one historic building in Seattle for your wedding, you’d pay $625 if you held your wedding on a Thursday evening or Saturday morning in November; while you’d pay $1750 for the exact same space and number of hours if you chose a Saturday evening in August. That makes the on-peak event 2.8x the cost of the the off-peak wedding.
No wedding can happen without an entire team of incredible vendors.
If you’re booking a shooter in a densely populated metropolitan area during peak wedding season, you can expect to pay up to a few thousand dollars more than the average. For instance, couples pay an average of $5,120 for a wedding photographer in New York City and New Jersey.
Wherever you live or plan to wed, as a general guideline, you should plan to devote 10 to 12 percent of your wedding budget to photography and videography. Although a professional shooter is likely not the most expensive wedding vendor you’ll pay for (our study finds reception venues steal that title, often accounting for around 45+ percent of the total spend) it’s definitely not cheap. But think of it this way: Wedding photos are something you’ll get to have, hold and cherish forever—and that’s pretty priceless.
Do your vendor research by wedding location and budget accordingly.
Remember too that hiring a photographer who isn’t based in your wedding location could potentially cost you even more money, since they might charge you more for travel time, energy and expenses. Long story short, do your vendor research by wedding location and budget accordingly.