Get started on planning a budget for the big day of your dreams

Congratulations on stepping into the enchanting—and at times nail-biting—world of wedding planning. Of course, your big day all starts with knowing your budget and how far it will stretch, so let’s take a look at the average wedding costs in New Jersey right now. From bridal gowns, to catering, to venue hire, we’ll break it all down for you so that you can be equipped with the info you need to plan a truly terrific celebration.

Let’s begin with overall expenses—generally, you can expect a wedding in New Jersey to cost an average of $20,000 to $51,000 in 2024. Why the wide price range? Because it all depends on the kind of celebration you’re planning and the extras you want to include. We’ll look at these in more detail in this guide, including hidden or unexpected costs that you might not have thought about yet.

Factors that can impact the cost of your wedding

Obviously, your costs will be determined by the kind of wedding that you want. For instance, how many guests are you inviting? Are you thinking of a small and intimate affair, the celebration of the century, or something in between? If you’re not sure yet, then getting your budget straight is a good start before you send out invitations to every second cousin. Bear in mind that typical wedding guest numbers in New Jersey range from 50 to 100 and average costs tend to be based on these.

The style of your wedding will also have an impact. Are you going for a big, plush, royal-style wedding, a themed affair with specialist outfits and decor, or a more down-to-earth celebration? Or are you not too sure yet? Our guide to 35 wedding decisions to discuss with your partner can help you to build an overall vision of your big day.

Breakdown of average costs for a New Jersey wedding

1. Wedding invitations

Your invites are the opening act of your wedding journey, setting the whole tone for your celebration. Bear in mind that various factors can influence the price, from paper stock, to custom designs, to printing methods. If you want to save on costs and create a more personal touch, you could always get your bridal party together to create cute handmade invites.

Average cost: $300 to $750

2. Wedding venue hire

Your New Jersey wedding venue is the backdrop to your love story, setting the stage for a series of unforgettable moments. Costs for venue hire in the state can vary widely and are influenced by things like setting, facilities, and a whole host of other extras. For instance, do you want your venue to provide catering and drinks? 

Also consider whether you’re looking for elements like a garden, ballroom, historical features, bridal suite, quality PA system, or on-site wedding coordinator, then shop around based on that.

Average cost: $1000 to $15,000

3. Wedding catering

There are so many options for budget-friendly wedding catering these days, from traditional sit-down meals, to relaxed buffets, to chic cocktail-style receptions. Elements like menu choices, number of courses, signature cocktails, dessert stations, canapes —and whether you’ll be serving up Champagne or a less expensive fizz—will all have an impact on your wedding catering costs. 

Also think about what kind of cake you’re looking for—a towering multi-tiered work of art with elaborate gold leafing, or a rustic and simple sponge with a “made in grandma’s kitchen” look?

Average cost: $75 to $110 per person for catering and $510 for the wedding cake

4. Wedding favors

The tokens of appreciation that you give to guests can carry a lot of sentimental value and also reflect your wedding theme. From scented soaps, to gourmet chocolate, to more expensive gifts like miniature snow globes, you have plenty of scope for choosing wedding favors that fit with your budget. At the end of the day, it’s the thought that counts.

Average cost: $1 to $5 per favor

5. Wedding photography

The cost of a wedding photographer in New Jersey mainly depends on the package you choose. Are you happy with a basic ceremony and reception photography package, or do you want extras like pre-wedding sessions, “getting ready” wedding photos, post-production editing, second photographers (also known as second shooters), higher quality prints, albums, and more? 

All of these will impact on cost, as will the experience level and popularity of your wedding photographer.

Average cost: $1150 to $3000

6. Wedding gown

Your bridal gown is the star of the show (well, apart from you of course) and a reflection of your individual style and personality. While you deserve the dress of your dreams, bear in mind that going designer, bespoke, or themed—or just picking a super elaborate cream puff—can push your budget up. 

Your choice of dress length, accessories, and fabric will play a part in costs too, with silk being one of the most expensive materials. If you’re looking for a silk alternative, then rayon has a similar effect and is also a lovely lightweight choice for summer.

Embellishments like sequins and lace can also add to your price, as can extras like an elegant bolero for a winter wedding, a long and elaborate veil, or whimsical touches like a parasol.

Average cost: $1000 to $2500

7. Wedding tuxedos 

The tuxedo is the groom’s chance to show off his style alongside his crew of dashing groomsmen. The first question to ask cost-wise is: do you want to rent or buy your tuxedos? Beyond that, if you’re looking for themed tuxes to match your wedding aesthetic—for instance, in unusual colors or retro cuts—then this can add to the cost. 

Other cost elements to consider include the choice of designer, fabric, and whether you’re including extras like cummerbands. Also think about whether you want to go down the tuxedo route at all or would prefer outfits to match your cultural background or wedding theme. Choosing more specialist wedding attire like Scottish kilts or medieval knight gear can add to your expenses. 

Average cost: $100 to $300 to rent, $200 to $1500 to buy 

8. Bridesmaid dresses

As well as showing off how glam your gal pals are, your bridesmaid’s dresses are central to expressing your wedding theme and aesthetic. Again, you’ll want to think carefully about the cost of different styles, fabrics, lengths, detailing, and accessories. 

Also, if you’ve got your heart set on dresses in a hard-to-find color, then this might give you less opportunity to shop around for the best deal. 

Average cost: $50 to $200 to rent, $100 to $300 to buy

9. Wedding flowers

Factors that can affect the cost of wedding flowers include rarity, seasonality, color, and the complexity of your arrangements. If you’re going for exotic imported flowers or want super elaborate designs, then expect to pay more. 

Choosing local booms in simple, rustic arrangements could cut your costs considerably and will also give your wedding more of a free-wheeling vibe.

Average cost: $1000 to $3000

10. Wedding decor

Your wedding decor is a chance to turn your big day into the wonderland of your dreams, whether that’s vintage, fairytale, or boho. Bear in mind that there are many elements to your wedding decor you’ll have to budget for, such as wedding arches, table settings, lighting, centerpieces, backdrops, draping, and signage (check out our tried-and-tested wedding decor checklist). 

That’s why it’s best to decide on your theme and aesthetic first—and the story you want to tell about your relationship—then go from there.

Average cost: $1500 to $7000

11. Wedding band

Your wedding band shapes the soundtrack to your love story and leads some of the most memorable moments of your reception, from that swoony first dance onwards. Costs will depend on the style of music you’re going for, experience and popularity of the band, number of musicians, length of the reception, and how far they have to travel. 

Plus if you want the band to learn special songs for you, then it’s best to check whether this will add to the price.

Average cost: $1000 to £5000

12. Wedding DJ

For a party to remember, a skilled post-band DJ can keep people dancing into the night. Specialized wedding DJs are great at creating the right vibe as they know the setlists that work. However, bear in mind that they will probably cost more than a general all-purpose DJ.

Average cost: $800 to $2500

13. Wedding planner

A good wedding planner will help you to put together a smooth and seamless celebration, taking a lot of the weight off your shoulders. However, before hiring one, ask yourself whether you could plan your wedding yourself with the help of your family and maid of honor—or whether you could save costs by choosing a venue that includes a wedding planner? 

Factors that can affect the cost of a wedding planner include their experience and reputation, the size and complexity of your wedding, and how often you want to meet them for planning. Many wedding planners also offer additional services such as event design, vendor sourcing, and coordination of pre-wedding events, which are super helpful but will push the budget up.

Average cost: $1500 to $5000

14. Wedding hair and makeup 

The right hair and makeup artists will make you shine on your big day, turning you into the fairytale queen you always dreamed of being. Costs vary depending on experience and reputation, plus added services like lashes or very elaborate hairstyles can add to the price.

Also ask yourself if you want extras such as a trial session (although some stylists will automatically include this in the price) and extended on-the-day services—for instance, your beauty experts being on hand to touch up your look before the wedding photo session. Plus consider whether you’re looking for a group deal with hair and makeup for your whole bridal party.

Average cost: $120 to £300 for makeup artist, $130 to $250 for hair stylist

15. Rehearsal dinner

Your wedding rehearsal dinner is your chance to break both sides of the family together and break the ice before the big day, often resulting in a friendlier wedding reception. However, it also adds to your budget, so think about whether you want to stick to this tradition or not. 

Plus remember that your rehearsal dinner doesn’t have to be a fancy sit-down affair with special decor and high-end food—going lowkey and offering a simple buffet where people can mingle will keep costs down.

Average cost: $2500 to $5000

16. Honeymoon

Just as your invitations are the opening act of your wedding, your honeymoon is the glorious finale. Obviously, if you’re flying out to an exotic destination in a five-star all-inclusive hotel, then your honeymoon is going to take a big chunk out of your wedding budget. 

So ask yourself how important your honeymoon is in relation to your big day—for instance, are you willing to give up various wedding extras so that you can enjoy a farflung luxury honeymoon? Or would you rather budget on your romantic getaway and throw a bigger reception instead? It’s your call. 

Also consider the costs of getting to various locations during your wedding season, as well as how many days you want to be canoodling together on a sunset beach (ideally forever, but we can’t have it all). 

Average cost: $2000 to $6000

Now that you have a better idea of average wedding costs in New Jersey, you can have fun envisioning the day of your dreams. Start with planning a wedding budget and be aware of any sneaky hidden costs well in advance.

Remember that in the end, what matters isn’t having high-end decor or a designer dress—it’s the incredible love story that has led you to this moment. Happy planning!

Ready for your New Jersey wedding?

Looking for advice on hiring the best professionals for your big day, from photographers to florists? Take a look at Il Tulipano’s preferred New Jersey wedding vendors list and feel free to contact us for advice. 

At Il Tulipano in Cedar Grove, we offer an unforgettable New Jersey wedding venue with a chandelier ballroom and iconic gardens. Our space has just had a makeover and has been praised by New Jersey Bride, The Knot, and Wedding Wire. The Il Tulipano team will treat you like family, so get in touch with us today and let’s plan your dream wedding.

Want more wedding tips? Head over to our blog.