The Truth About “Average” Wedding Costs

Recommended reading for today – especially those struggling with your wedding budget – is an excellent article from in 2013:…/average_wedding_cost_published_numbe…

The article’s writer, Will Oremus, does an excellent job of explaining the difference between “average” and “median” and why couples should beware of falling into the trap of thinking that “average” is what you should pay for a wedding.

In questioning TheKnot’s “average” wedding costs (which are frequently quoted and relied upon by media and industry folks), Oremus says:

In 2012, when the average wedding cost was $27,427, the median was $18,086. In 2011, when the average was $27,021, the median was $16,886. In Manhattan, where the widely reported average is $76,687, the median is $55,104. And in Alaska, where the average is $15,504, the median is a mere $8,440. In all cases, the proportion of couples who spent the “average” or more was actually a minority. And remember, we’re still talking only about the subset of couples who sign up for wedding websites and respond to their online surveys. The actual median is probably even lower.

In 12+ years of running this blog, it is constantly frustrating that reported wedding costs are nearly always inflated by averages – and that smart couples struggle to save the equivalent of an entire year’s wages to pay for a single wedding day.  Or worse: they (and/or their parents) get into debt for it.

I’m curious what your thoughts are about the Slate article and if you’ve felt pressure to expand your budget to fit the industry model of average costs.

Design The Perfect Event With The Home Outside Palette App

One of the most stressful parts of DIY wedding planning, as I’m sure those of you without a venue manager or event planner know, is working out the design/layout of your venues. How long should the aisle be? How many seats can you fit in a row? How many tables can you fit in the courtyard? How do you mask the ugly fence that divides the property? What do you do about that one awesome (but awkwardly placed) tree in the garden?

These kinds of decisions can be maddening because there aren’t a lot of space planning resources for DIYers. Many of us do-it-yourselfers just wing it when it comes to laying out our spaces and, goodness, does that ever yield costly mistakes. Budgets are tight, yo! Nobody’s got cash to waste on errors.

(Confession: I crammed too many people into the tiny rose garden amphitheater where I held my own wedding. Not a fun experience for my guests and it could’ve been avoided with better planning. Learn from my mistake!)

All this leads me to introduce you to the Home Outside Palette app (with the $2.99 Weddings and Events add-on) that allows you to mock-up indoor or outdoor spaces. You can add tables, chairs, tents, runners, dance floors, photo booth, and common decor items. The wedding planning app makes it so easy to map out exactly what needs to go where and to share your design ideas with vendors, your wedding party, or your partner via email or social media so you can collaborate on the best layout for your needs. I LOVE THIS!

The Home Outside Palette app is the brainchild of award-winning landscape designer and gardening expert, Julie Moir Messervy of the Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio. Pride of workmanship and solid industry expertise make this a quality app that has its roots in solving real-world design dilemmas.

From a blank event hall to a beautifully designed reception

So, here’s how it works:

1. From the Home screen, click “new” to create a layout.


2. A blank palette will appear; this is the canvas upon which you’ll create your masterpiece. You have the option of changing the background color, adding grids and rulers (very helpful), and using actual photos or maps in your background.  So, you can snap a picture of your venue and add elements right on top of it.

3. The fun begins when you start adding design elements (Palettes) to the canvas: tables, chairs, aisle runners, trees, shrubs, chuppahs, etc.


4. For my test run of the app, I did a simple ceremony layout. It took just a few minutes to get the hang of it.

It’s all drag ‘n’ drop tech, so no worries about figuring out how to use the app. You already know how.

Notice at the top of the app window: it keeps track of the number of seats you create! So smart.

Without grid / with grid and different background.


5. Changing things is super easy. You can resize, tilt, add new elements, delete, undo, create sketches with your finger.

Maybe a fanned-out seating arrangement would be better? Let’s see…

The app lets you get as detailed as you want – or need – to create the perfect event space.


If you’re not feeling very design-y, the team at Home Outside can deliver a personalized wedding design layout through the app that’s based on your submitted site images, property measurements, wedding colors, and other info. The cost is $249; a significant discount on traditional design services.

Beyond the wedding, for you new homeowners, the app can be used to mock up your property and design your yard and garden. Or use it for other parties and events (showers, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.).

The Home Outside Palette app is available for iOS and Android devices. Grab it on Google Play or the Apple Store. The app is free but the Wedding & Events Palette add-on is just $2.99. At 3 bucks it’ll be one of your least-expensive wedding purchases and one that’ll actually save you a bunch of cash. How can you not love it?

Want to learn more? Catch the Home Outside team on:

Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or sign up for their newsletter.

[Photo Credits: Evening wedding: Gia Canali and Blue and white wedding: Lindsay Raymondjack]


We’re Hiring! (Ad Sales)

We’re on the hunt for the perfect candidate to join the DIY Bride family. We are looking for an ad sales associate to help make 2015 our best year yet!

Ad Sales Associate

Our online ad sales manager is responsible for:

  • Locating potential new advertisers
  • Closing ad deals
  • Maintaining positive, happy relationships with our current advertisers
  • Keeping ad sales records and creating weekly/monthly reports
  • Managing team of ad reps
  • Maintaining ad materials across all of our publications and ventures


    • Strong knowledge of and a passion for wedding blogs, wedding industry, and craft industry
    • An upbeat, positive personality
    • Flawless phone etiquette
    • Strong written communication skills
    • In-depth knowledge of social media
    • Comfortable with cold calling and researching new leads

Working knowledge of ad networks


  • Remote position. (Work from home.)
  • Position to begin immediately. Flexible hours.
  • Must have consistent and reliable access to internet, phone and email, with a quiet at-home office environment.


  • Commission-based position.

Please send an email to khris [at] diybride [dot] com using the subject ADVERTISING SALES with your resume, detailing your experience in relationship building and ad sales, and a note about yourself. We’re eager to meet you and learn how we might work together!

Unique Destination Weddings and Honeymoons With Terrasenses & Etica Events

Bahamas, Hawaii, Mexico … Destination beach weddings are super popular, and couples who go this route might have the difficult task of choosing which gorgeous part of the world to say their I Do s. †But there’s one country that is amazingly gorgeous that you may have not considered before: Ecuador.

Ecuador is a small country in South America that sits on the equator and has a tropical climate along the coast and a mild climate in the mountain areas. The language is predominately Spanish and the currency is the US Dollar, so there are no confusing cost conversions to deal with when budgeting for your wedding. †Ecuador is also the home to the Galapagos Islands, famous for giant turtles, Charles Darwin, and now, beautiful weddings.


For the last five years, Terrasenses and Etica Events have created luxury and environmentally responsible destination weddings and honeymoons in Ecuador for couples seeking something a little different and adventurous.  They take on a limited number of weddings every year so every event gets their full attention. They strive to create an event that is unique and personal to each couple, and they love working with DIY brides to bring their vision to life. Your wedding package includes everything you need for your big day, including your hotel stay, ceremony and reception venues, photography, food, cake, hair and makeup, and decor. Plus, we love Terrasenses and Etica Events for their commitment to the environment. Everything about your wedding is locally sourced in Ecuador – from the food to the flowers – and with certain locations you can even plant a tree in your name!


There are several wedding locations available, from the beach to the forest to the Amazon jungle to the Andes Mountains to the Galapagos Islands. AND, if you package your wedding event with a honeymoon in Ecuador, you can experience everything this diverse country has to offer. Take a look at their Destination Weddings and Honeymoons e-brochure on their website and gasp over the beauty of, well, everything. Seriously, every single wedding package looks like a fantasy. Choosing a wedding or honeymoon in Ecuador is the easy part – the hard part is deciding which location.

And because Terrasenses and Etica Events love DIY Bride readers, they have some special offers just for you:

  • Book a honeymoon with Terrasenses and Etica Events and receive†one massage or spa treatment of your choice per person at the Papallacta thermals + Turkish bath at the Thermal Steam Cave.
  • Complimentary hair styling, make-up, manicure, and pedicure if you book a wedding or vow renewal package over $10,000 (a $535 value).
  • Complimentary photography package (bride and groom getting ready, details, ceremony, and beginning of reception) if you book a wedding or vow renewal package over $15,000 (a $899 value).

Mention DIY BRIDE with your booking.

Be sure to follow Terrasenses and Etica Events on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date news about their wedding and honeymoon packages, and for the pretty pictures they post.


First and last photo credit: Juan Carlos Paredes Photography
Remaining photo credit: Terrasenses – JosÈ Luis Agualongo



DIY Bride has a financial relationship with Terrasenses and Etica Events, meaning we may have received compensation for this content and/or related content. We firmly stand behind our review and recommendation, and are committed to promoting only those companies we feel offer our community excellent products, ethical business practices, and outstanding customer service.

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