U.S. Markets closed

3 Wedding Expenses Newlyweds Wish They’d Spent Less on (And One That’s Worth the Splurge)

Maggie Seaver
LendingTree’s recent wedding budget survey reveals married couples’ biggest budget regrets—plus one splurge that's almost always worth it.

LendingTree’s recent survey reveals newlyweds' biggest spending regrets.

At this point, it honestly sounds cliche to say weddings are expensive—but is it ever not true? With the U.S. national average cost of a wedding up to $29,200 in 2019, and 45 percent of newlyweds between 18 and 53 going into debt to pay for their wedding, according to a recent survey by LendingTree, couples are more conscious of their wedding budgets than ever.

Creating a wedding budget means deciding two things: How much money you can spend, and how you want to spend it. If this is your first time planning a wedding, it's hard to know what will (and won't) be worth your money—but these insights from LendingTree’s survey offer a sense of how other recently married couples wish they’d allocated their wedding budgets.

RELATED: This Is How Many Bridesmaids Go Into Debt to Be in a Wedding—and Why It Costs So Much

Overall, more than 25 percent of couples wish they’d spent less on their wedding. To get more granular, the top wedding expenses couples felt they spent too much on were food and drink (15 percent), the venue (12 percent), the band/DJ (both 9 percent). Venues, catering, and entertainment are typically three of the largest wedding expenses no matter what, but it's worth noting that booking the nicest venue, ordering the finest lobster, and hiring a twelve-piece band won't matter in the long run—at least, not as much as you think they will.

Interestingly, when asked which wedding expense was the most worthwhile, the majority of couples named a detail unrelated to actual day-of festivities: Despite the fact that 9 percent wished they’d spent less on their honeymoon, 27 percent of couples agreed the honeymoon was definitely worth the splurge. Sounds like most couples would recommend serving chicken instead of filet, but treating yourselves to an unforgettable newlywed trip.

RELATED: Here’s How Much Money You Should Give as a Wedding Gift in Every State