NEWS

Shoestring Living: The royals make average weddings seem like a bargain

Molly Logan Anderson

May and June are big wedding months, and brides and grooms everywhere are still buzzing about the decade’s most famous nuptials: the marriage of Prince William to Kate Middleton. The average American wedding costs about $27,000, according to a recent survey by The Knot and www.WeddingChannel.com. With circulating estimates that the royal affair cost between $10 million and $60 million, I thought it would be fun to compare some of their costs to an average American union. Here goes.

Engagement ring

Kate’s ring, a family heirloom purchased for Princess Diana by Prince Charles in 1981, cost $45,000. Today, the 18-carat sapphire would have a price tag of $136,000. The average American engagement ring cost $4,146 in 2005, according to www.diamondvues.com.

Security

One place everyday Americans are sure to save in comparison is on security. Today’s couples will be sure to enjoy cutting the reported $50 million price tag, which covered the hiring of an additional 5,000 police officers, from their bottom lines. 

The dress

In my lifetime, I’m not sure that I’ve ever witnesses such frenzied anticipation regarding an article of clothing. While it wasn’t at the top of my mind, both traditional and social media waited with baited breath for the unveiling of Kate’s gown, which is rumored to cost more than $70,000. On average, American’s spend only $1,099 per gown, according to the recent survey by The Knot and Wedding Channel. 

The reception

The over-the-top reception for Will and Kate is reported to have cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $600,000. This estimate includes both the champagne brunch, complete with canapés, that followed the ceremony and the disco-style evening affair that night. A typical American wedding reception consumes about 50 percent of the wedding budget and on average costs about $15,000.

Flowers

While flower costs vary greatly by tastes and budget in the U.S., ABC News reported that the blooms that adorned every aspect of the day likely came in around $800,000. 

Cake

In a typical stateside wedding, the cake ranges from $400 to $1,000. The royal confection topped out at $80,000 and was, surprisingly, made of fruitcake.

Molly Logan Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with her husband, Mike, three kids and two labs. Join Molly on her family’s journey of living a frugal life and making financial freedom their reality in her columns and on her blog, www.butterfliesandmudpies.blogspot.com.