Cost of Weddings Can Vary Wildly

The cost of a wedding can vary wildly from state to state, but Reverend Jo Howard offers ways to smooth costs out

Where you have your wedding can greatly impact the cost of it

Couples should definitely have stars in their eyes when they decide to tie the knot, but that doesn’t mean that they should go into massive debt just for having a memorable wedding ceremony. It seems that the costs associated with getting married seem to rise every year, and many couples now put down the equivalent of a new car when planning their special event. The average cost of a wedding in 2013 was a whopping $29,858, but that cost varied wildly depending upon the location where the wedding has held. Manhattan was the most expensive place to get married, clocking in a staggering $86,916. The least expensive spot to get hitched was Idaho, which had an average wedding cost of $16,159. The reasons for these differences in cost include the cost of living for that particular locale as well as costs for catering and the venue. Renting a ballroom in the middle of New York will always be far more expensive that renting a civic center in Boise, Idaho.

To be fair, those numbers give above for wedding costs are not the median, which is lower than the average. The median cost for getting married in Manhattan in 2011 was $55,104 and a total of $8,440 in Alaska. No matter whether you use the average or the median, it is abundantly clear that the cost of a wedding can rollercoaster from one extreme to the other depending upon where the ceremony takes place. One inexpensive, and popular, location is Las Vegas, Nevada. Not only does the state have very lenient marriage laws, the cost for getting a marriage license is only $77. This is perhaps one reason why there are roughly 120,000 marriage ceremonies every year in Las Vegas.

Controlling the cost of a wedding ceremony can be hard to do. Every couple has their wish list, families want their opinions heard and carried out, and vendors try to push couples to the most expensive options available. Having a certified officiant, such as Reverend Jo Howard of Southwest Vows in Vegas, is a veritable boon in such a situation. They can act as a supportive ally to the couple, offering their experience to help the bride and groom navigate the financial pitfalls that can entrap the unwary and help keep costs down.

Probably the greatest asset of an officially licensed officiant, such as Reverend Jo Howard at Southwest Vows, is their incredible amount of local knowledge. They can ferret out the best deals for the betrothed couple and have extensive contacts with all the local vendors and venues. This allows them to get the best possible deals, cutting down on costs but still ensuring a high level of quality. Another benefit of using an officiant is that they can steer you to venues that fall within your budget and immediately discard those venues that far exceed your price range. Time that is not wasted is definitely money saved.

One of the most important facets of an officiant is their flexibility. As Reverend Jo notes, “I’ve performed wedding ceremonies for just the bride and groom alone and all the way to lavish affairs featuring hundreds of guests. My one goal is to ensure that the couple have the wedding ceremony of their dreams. If they desire a small gathering of just their family and closest friends, I’m happy to do so. If they want to pull out all the stops, having entertainers and amusement park rides, I’m fine with that as well. No matter the scale of the ceremony, I always make sure that the event falls within the couple’s budget and I work hard to get them the best deals possible.”

Seeing how much a wedding ceremony can cost in Manhattan, it’s easy to see the allure of boarding a plane and flying to Las Vegas. Costs for a wedding can quickly escalate out of control with many facets of the ceremony all clamoring for attention. Everything from the wedding invitations to the venue to the decorations can all quickly spiral upwards in cost, especially if changes are made at a late date. Having an experienced officiant, such as Reverend Jo Howard of Southwest Vows in Vegas, can help put a dampener on those increasing costs. Not only can they negotiate with vendors and venues, but they can also provide an outside opinion to help keep the wedding preparations in perspective. In the end, it is important to remember that the actual cost of the wedding is of little consequence in the long run. What matters is that two people who love one another have made a commitment to one another and have started a life together.


1) XO Group – 3/27/2014 –

2) Slate – 7/12/2013 –

3) Document Recording & Retrieval Services –

4) Quote from Reverend Jo Howard of Southwest Vows