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The Most Affordable Places to Get Married in the US

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Want to know the most affordable places to have a wedding in the United States? Learn which states have the cheapest average wedding costs so you can get married for less!

freya kuka

Getting married in the United States can be an expensive affair. This is especially true when compared to other countries where the cost of living is much lower. Unfortunately, for most people with families in the United States, a destination wedding is not always on the cards. 

Getting married close to home is more realistic, affordable, and logistically possible in most cases. But if you’re the type who likes to get the best bang for your buck, it doesn’t hurt to explore options.

How Your Wedding Location Can Impact Your Costs

A lot of your expenses will come down to the state you decide to get married in. For example, in Hawaii, the average wedding costs a whopping $37,827. When compared to the average cost in Alabama (about $17,000), you might wonder if an exotic destination is worth it.

Is a Big Wedding Worth It for You?

Before flushing money down the drain on an expensive wedding, ask yourself whether it’s worth it. Does spending a ton of money on a party align with your priorities? Would you rather spend your money on a great honeymoon or put it in the bank? Do you even have the money to spend?

Out-of-State Wedding Benefits

Here are a few reasons you should really consider a cheaper state for your wedding location:

  • You could wind up saving thousands for your future. Rather than spending close to $40,000 on your wedding day, you could potentially save that money instead. You can use what you saved to start your life together, pay off debt, or even just invest. A lot of people struggle to make money on the side just so they can have their dream wedding on their big day. Simply choosing a more affordable location could help you save thousands in this regard.
  • Getting married in another state will reduce the number of guests. If you are struggling to limit your guest list, having a wedding in another state could help. (Pro tip: you may not want to mention this reasoning to your friends.) The family and friends who want to be there will happily buy a ticket to join you on your big day, while people you barely know will likely pass. If you want to have a small wedding without hurting anyone’s feelings, this is a good option.
  • It could be really exciting! Sure, you could get married in the same church everyone in your hometown got married in. But being able to plan your wedding in a brand new destination makes your day more unique and special. You’ll likely even discover some really exciting places and make new memories along the way.
  • You could make a trip out of it. If you do decide to fly to another state, it is unlikely you are only going to be there for one day. You could stay for a week, discover a new part of your country, and make a trip out of it.

The 9 Cheapest States to Get Married: Which affordable place is the right wedding location for you? 

Apart from being affordable, you also want to get married in a place that is exactly right for your dream wedding. Below you’ll find some of the most notable features every state offers. I’ve also highlighted which elements of the wedding are most affordable, where, and what that state is best known for. Find the most affordable place to get married and have the wedding of your dreams from the list below!

The 9 Cheapest States to Get Married

  1. Montana: Mountain Wedding Venues 
  2. Oregon: Affordable Forest Weddings
  3. Utah: A Salt Lake City Wedding
  4. Idaho: The Gem State
  5. Wyoming: A Wild West Affair
  6. Oklahoma: Perfect for a Summer Bride
  7. Kansas: BBQ Weddings 
  8. Indiana: Gorgeous Backdrops
  9. Texas: A Foodie’s Dream

1. Montana: Mountain Wedding Venues 

Montana is famous for its mountain weddings and ranch venue destinations. So, if that is something you could see yourself falling in love with, it is a great option to consider.

The average wedding cost in Montana is $16,201, according to The Knot, making it one of the cheapest options up for grabs.

It is a nature lover’s dream, with parks, lakeshores, mountains, and ranches all being great venue options. With the average cost per guest coming in at only $39, having a small wedding in Montana takes barely any planning and can be a beautiful affair with the right event planner by your side.

2. Oregon: Affordable Forest Weddings

You can expect to splash an average of $18,800 on ceremony and reception cost in Oregon. Engagement rings cost less in Oregon as well; with an average cost of $3,600 compared to the U.S average of $7,750

Oregon is known for its lush vegetation and beautiful forest weddings. So if that is up your creek, it is an awesome choice worth considering! 

Apart from the enchanted forest option, Oregon also offers up beaches, beautiful lakes, and rivers across the state. So whether you are looking for a toes-in-the-sand kind of wedding or a more refined affair, there is something for you either way!

3. Utah: A Salt Lake City Wedding

Utah is the most affordable U.S state to get married in, with the average cost coming in at only $13,301. The most common place in Utah to get married has to be Salt Lake City, with plenty of resorts, national parks, mountainous regions, lodges, and ballrooms to choose from, depending on what you want.

Whether you choose to make it a more rustic affair with an outdoor wedding or a more black-tie event by hiring out a ballroom, Utah is full of natural beauty in a multitude of forms. While you are there, you can also take the time to participate in one of the state’s many activities on offer- hiking, fishing, or rafting are all awesome options.

If you choose to get married in Utah, you won’t be compromising on beauty by opting for the cheapest or most affordable place to get married.

4. Idaho: The Gem State

Idaho is not only a very cheap state to get married in, but it also offers some of the most affordable engagement rings. The average wedding cost comes in at $16,000, with the engagement ring costing about $3,800.

Some of Idaho’s most popular wedding destinations include-

  • Elkins Resort on Priest Lake. The picture above comes from the Elkins Resort website, and that wedding was held on Priest Lake, which is one of the most common wedding spots for couples.
  • Coeur d’Alene Wedding Chapel. If you are looking for something indoors and more traditional, this historical wedding chapel with its high domed ceiling and stone altar is a beautiful and classy option.
  • The Sawtooth Valley Meditation Chapel. The Sawtooth Valley Meditation Chapel offers a picturesque mountain view wedding option at an incredibly affordable price. You can choose to have an outdoor ceremony near the mountain peaks or an indoor ceremony in the chapel.  According to Wedding Spot, the venue has a rental fee of only $695 for a ceremony that includes 3 hours of event time.

Overall, Idaho can be as cheap as you want to make it without compromising on beauty and elegance.

5. Wyoming: A Wild West Affair

The average cost of a wedding in Wyoming is $24,919, and you can look forward to countless venue options, with the Taggart Lake and Schwabacher Landing being scenic options worth considering.

The average cost per guest comes in at only $65, making this a really affordable option.

6. Oklahoma: Perfect for a Summer Bride

The average cost of a ceremony and reception in Oklahoma is only $16,900, according to Insider. Known for its scenic farmland backdrops and beautiful summers, Oklahoma boasts tons of affordable venue options.

Whether you want a rustic barn or a view of the city skyline, you can find the right option for you in Oklahoma.

7. Kansas: BBQ Weddings 

Kansas has an average ceremony and reception cost of $18,500. The average engagement ring cost comes in at $3,900, which makes the total average around $22,400. 

Kansas is known for its BBQ weddings, and it is actually the most popular catering food in the state. Pair this with a rustic farm or even one of the more historic buildings that some couples gravitate towards, and you have got yourself a beautiful but laid-back wedding that is perfect for some. The most common cities in Kansas to get married include Wichita, Topeka, and of course- Kansas City. 

8. Indiana: Gorgeous Backdrops

According to ValuePenguin, you can expect to spend an average of $21,004 on your wedding in Indiana. Golf clubs, historical estates, fields, farms, and heritage gardens are a few of the many venue options you can consider for your Indiana wedding.

Known for the gorgeous pictures that come out of every Indiana wedding, the state prides itself on the many outdoor venue options available to couples. 

9. Texas: A Foodie’s Dream

Last but certainly not least, Texas has an average wedding cost of $25,327, with couples actually spending the most on food ($4,445). Tons of cuisine options make this state a foodie’s dream.

It also has a lot of venue options you can choose from and the potential for a pretty unique cowboy wedding.

Wrapping it up

No matter what state you decide on for your big day, it is important to focus not only on how much you spend. Make sure you also have a wedding celebration that aligns with your values, no matter where it is. You may not choose the most affordable place in the country to get married. What matters is that the place you choose fits your vision and your budget for your day.

If you do choose to go for a more expensive state, you could still cut costs down by doing simple things like getting a side hustle, buying a used wedding dress,  or using used wedding decor that you find online.

If you need more help getting started with your wedding planning, take a look at the Budget-Savvy Wedding Planner and Organizer

freya kuka

Freya Laskowski is the founder of the personal finance blog CollectingCents that teaches readers how to grow their passive income, save money, improve their credit score, and manage debt. She has been featured or quoted on publications like Business Insider, the Huffington Post, and GoBankingRates.