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  • Writer's pictureLee Ramsay

How Much Does it Cost to Plan a Wedding in New York City?

Planning a wedding in New York City can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially when it comes to budgeting. With so many options to choose from, it can be difficult to know how much to expect to spend on your big day. Let’s take a look at the average costs of planning a wedding in NYC and discuss ways to keep your costs under control.

Wedding Taxi Photo NYC
Photo Courtesy Madalyn Cox

The first and most important step in planning is to set a budget for your wedding. The Knot compiles real couple’s data on wedding spend which indicates that the average cost of a wedding in NYC is $76,944. This includes everything from the venue and catering to the flowers and photography. While this may seem like a daunting number, it is important to remember that this is just an average, and depends greatly on your guest count and wedding style. A wedding planner helps you set your budget, and stick to it – and we work with couples at every budget.

Venue Cost

What surprises couples the most during wedding planning is that your venue might not be your biggest expense. While it’s one of the first big price tags you will see in the planning process, most couples are surprised to find out that your catering expense will be larger than your venue cost! For a venue rental, a base rental fee averages around $15,000, according to Of course, this can vary greatly depending on the type of venue you choose. For example, a hotel or ballroom will likely cost more than a restaurant or outdoor space. It's important to keep in mind that venues in NYC typically require both a venue fee as well as a minimum spend in food and beverage.

Catering Cost

The second significant expense when planning a wedding in NYC is the catering. What we’ve seen is an average catering cost of about $150 per person. This can vary greatly depending on the type of food and service you choose. For example, a plated dinner will likely cost more than a buffet or food stations. It's also important to keep in mind that many venues in NYC require that you use their in-house catering service, which can be more expensive than hiring an outside caterer.

Floral & Decor Flowers and decor are another important aspect of planning a wedding in NYC. Generally, we see couples spending $3,000 - $8,000 on wedding florals and basic décor. This can include paper décor (signage, escort cards), installations (disco balls! uplighting! glow sticks!), floral centerpieces, aisle and ceremony décor, and more. A wedding planner often has many of these décor accessories already in inventory and can advise where you may save on this element.

Photography & Videography Photography and videography are some of the most important aspects of a wedding in NYC. As with other expense categories, costs can vary with photographers and videographers, but expect to spend several thousand dollars on a good photographer or videographer.

Entertainment Music and entertainment are what make or break a party, and are important aspects of planning a wedding in NYC. WeddingWire compiles data on how much couples spend on music, and for a live band in NYC, expect to pay about $6,000. This of course varies by the type of entertainment you select – a DJ is a more cost-effective option than a full band.

Extra Expenses It's important to remember the ancillary expenses when planning a wedding in NYC! Things couples often forget about include in their budget range from wedding attire to transportation. Of course, the sky is the limit, but we often find the average wedding attire can range from $2,000 for a wedding dress and tuxedo rental to $5,000+ for a custom-made gown and suit. Transportation can cost around $1,000-$3,000 for a limousine or party bus.

In Summary Planning a wedding in NYC can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. With so many options to choose from, it's important to set a budget and keep your costs under control. Wedding and event planners work with budgets of all sizes on a daily basis, and are your best resource and advocate when it comes to saving money on your wedding. A seasoned event planner like Lee Ramsay Events will know how much a vendor in each category should cost, and can also point out areas to cut and save costs.

NYC Bride Skyline Photo
Photo Courtesy Eleni Trapp

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