Just How Much Does it Cost to Get Married Here?

For a lot of us, the first question that comes to mind as we delve into wedding planning is: How much is this going to cost? Well, if you’re planning to tie the knot in Westchester or the Hudson Valley, it won’t come cheap. According to The Knot’s annual “Real Weddings Study,” Westchester/Hudson Valley was the third most expensive place to get married in the U.S. in 2015, with an average wedding costing $57,501. That’s $25,000 more than the national average.  (The Knot surveys roughly 18,000 newlywed couples nationwide.)

According to local event planner Ali Barone, Owner/Creative Director of Ali Barone Events, that number is “in line with a simple, elegant (nothing over the top) event that has a guest count of 125 to 140.” If you’re thinking bigger is better, 150-plus guests can balloon to over $70,000. According to Barone, the venue and catering/bar typically account for just under half of that budget. Couples are also spending more than ever on personalization, including branding. “Everything is designed and branded,” she says of current trends. “From the coasters to the menus and drinking straws to the programs.”

So what if you don’t have $57K to spend on your nuptials? “Be flexible,” advises Barone. “It’s amazing how much you can get if you are open to a Friday or Sunday (or a Saturday not in June, July, September, or October).” Keeping your guest list down—i.e. under 120 people—also helps. “You will be able to choose quality over quantity and not have to make major concessions,” Barone assures. She also suggests choosing a full-service venue, where you’re not blowing your budget on rentals and outside vendors, as they “are going to be able to negotiate the best per person prices for you” before saying, “I do.”

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