The average US wedding costs more than $30,000, and that figure is rising.
- But that sum doesn’t account for another huge expense for newlyweds: the honeymoon.
- Experts say it’s smart to set aside 10% to 15% of your wedding budget for your honeymoon.
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For many people, their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives and they want everything to be perfect.
That means sparing no expense. The average US wedding today costs a cool $34,000, according to Jeffra Trumpower, creative director of WeddingWire, a marketplace connecting couples with wedding professionals. And wedding costs continue to rise, according to The Washington Post , so much so that wedding loans have become common practice.
But that hefty sum of $34,000 doesn’t account for another formidable expense that newlyweds must face: the honeymoon. Amid all the excitement and anxiety of planning the big day, sometimes honeymoon budgeting falls by the wayside.
So how much exactly should you be spending on your honeymoon?
We spoke to three experts in the wedding industry to find out the answer. Here’s what they had to say.
Honeymoon expenses should be included in the total wedding budget
Trumpower says that US couples today spend an average of $4,500 on their honeymoon, which is about 11.6% of their total budget.
Other estimates were in the same ballpark. Wedding planner Tyler Speiertold Business Insider he recommends that couples set aside anywhere from 10% to 15% of their wedding budget for their honeymoon. And Jennifer Spector, director of brand marketing for Zola, a wedding planning and registry website, told Business Insider that the average US couple spends $5,000 on their honeymoon, or about 15% of their wedding budget.
Of course, how much a couple allots for their honeymoon depends on personal preference.
“Each couple has different priorities and visions of their wedding celebrations,” Trumpower told Business Insider. “For couples who love to travel, spending almost half of their overall wedding budget on their honeymoon may be a no-brainer.”
However, honeymoon costs are often overlooked while couples plan weddings
“It’s so easy to get caught up in all the details and logistics of planning your wedding that honeymoon plans and expenses fall by the wayside,” Speier said.
Because of this, he implores clients from the very start to think about their honeymoon as a portion of their total wedding budget and determine what should be allocated toward it.
“When planning for your wedding, it’s really important to budget for all of the costs associated with the big day so nothing takes you by surprise,” he said.
In general, couples underestimate the costs associated with their weddings, Trumpower said.
“After all, it’s likely their first time planning an event, let alone a wedding. On top of that, a wedding is often one of the biggest expenses they’ve ever encountered. Plus, 33% of couples report spending more than what they initially set for their wedding budget.”
Thus, it’s no surprise that many couples underestimate honeymoon costs as well, she said.
It’s challenging yet possible to budget for a honeymoon while wedding planning
The prospect of setting aside money for a honeymoon on top of executing and funding an entire wedding may seem like a daunting prospect, but it can be done.
First, according to Trumpower and Spector, it’s becoming more and more common for couples to create cash funds for their weddings, asking wedding guests to gift money instead of actual presents.
“The majority of Zola couples register for cash funds, in addition to traditional gifts and gift cards, which may help offset some of the honeymoon costs,” Spector said.
Another growing trend that all three experts said they’ve observed is couples delaying their honeymoons to give themselves time to recover financially from the wedding itself. Many who do so still plan some quality time together directly after the wedding sometimes called a “minimoon” but it’s nothing extravagant.
“If paying for a honeymoon immediately after a wedding is too much on your personal budget, I still encourage couples to set aside some special time together immediately following the wedding,” Speier said.
“Some of my couples have planned staycations in their hometown or wedding destination. Others have taken road trips along the coast, gone ‘glamping,’ or adventured to one of the National Parks. What’s important is that you get time together to celebrate your recent nuptials.”