How much does a 50 person wedding cost in 2022?

Intro and Contents

In the United States, most weddings with 50 guests cost between $14,000 and $22,000, with an average price tag of around $18,000. This figure will vary depending on the site's location, cuisine and drinks offered, as well as other variables.

Do you need a wedding budget breakdown for 50 persons? On this page, you will find an overview of all the major expenditures, as well as an example wedding budget for 50 people.

The cost of a wedding varies by state. We've created a table that summarizes the average cost for each state in the United States. You will find this table at the end of this page. It will show you what the costs are in your area.

Table of Contents

  1. Breakdown Wedding Budget 
  2. Wedding Ceremony
  3. Wedding Reception 
  4. Music and Entertainment
  5. Wedding Cake
  6. Photography
  7. Flowers
  8. Miscellaneous 
  9. Example Wedding Budget
  10. Cost for each US State

Related pages

  1. 100 Person Wedding 
  2. 150 Person Wedding
  3. A Wedding Budget Calculator

Breakdown of a 50 person wedding budget

A wedding budget breakdown is a list of all the things you need to pay for when you have a wedding. This includes the ceremony, the reception, the music and entertainment, the cake, and the photography. It also includes other things like flowers and decorations.

Here is a budget breakdown for a 50 person wedding in the US in 2022:

Infographic showing how much a 50 person wedding cost

Table with a breakdown of a 50 persons wedding budget

1 - Wedding Ceremony
3% - 8%$600 - $1,400
2 - Wedding Reception
40% - 60%
$7,000 - $11,000
3 - Music / Entertainment
6% - 10%
$1,000 - $1,800
4 - Wedding Cake
1% - 2%
$250 - $350
5 - Photography
10% - 18%
$1,800 - $3,200
6 - Flowers
2% - 6%
$350 - $1,100
9 - Miscellaneous
10% - 22%
$1,800 - $4,000
ON AVERAGE
$14,000 - $18.000

Click on an item for more info

1 - A wedding ceremony for 50 persons

Costs: $ 600 - $ 1,400 (3% - 8% of all costs)

A wedding ceremony is the traditional part of a wedding in which two people are legally married by an officiant. Here's a rundown of the most typical wedding ceremony expenses.

1.1 - Officiant fee

An officiant is an individual who has the legal authority and, when performing a wedding ceremony in a church, also the religious power to conduct a wedding ceremony. Most officiants must be licensed by their state before legally marrying couples.

Costs: $250 - $750

1.2 - Marriage license

A marriage license is a document that authorizes a couple to get married. In most cases, you must obtain a marriage license from the county in which you will be married before your wedding ceremony can take place.

Costs: $50 - $150

1.3 - Church donation for 50 persons

If you're planning to marry in a church, be sure to ask about whether the couple is required to give a mandatory donation. Such a donation is given to the institution for using the space and services.

Costs: $200 - $800 - optional

If it is not necessary to make a monetary donation, you may still give a voluntary contribution to the church. The amount you choose to contribute is entirely up to you. Just don't forget to also include this amount in your wedding budget.

1.4 - Venue for the wedding ceremony for 50 persons

You may choose to have your wedding ceremony at the same location as your wedding reception. Alternatively, you might select a unique site just for the wedding ceremony.

Costs: $250 - $1,000 - optional

1.5 - Live music at the wedding ceremony

Live music during a wedding ceremony often will enhance the ambiance significantly. Some great options are string quartets, harpists, guitarists, choirs, and other musical groups.

Costs: $200 - $500 - optional

Fees for bands vary considerably, depending on the number of musicians, the type of music they play, and to a significant degree, their fame.

1.6 - Decorations for the wedding ceremony

Decorations for a wedding ceremony can be as simple or elaborate as you like. You can choose from flowers, candles, drapes, balloons, and other decorating ideas.

Costs: $50 - $500 - optional

2 - A wedding reception for 50 persons

Costs: $ 7,000 - $ 11,000 (40% - 60% of all costs)

A wedding reception is held after the wedding ceremony to celebrate the newly married couple. Invited guests attend this ceremony to personally congratulate the newly married couple and give presents.

The wedding reception usually begins with a champagne toast for the bride and groom, followed by serving appetizers. After that, there may be a seated plated dinner or a wedding buffet. This dining typically evolves into a dance party. Alcoholic beverages are served, and/or guests may get their drinks from a bar.

Here's a list of the most common wedding reception costs.

2.1 - Venue for the wedding reception for 50 persons

A hotel, restaurant, golf resort, country club, party center, or wine yard are among the most popular places for a wedding reception. The wedding ceremony might be held in the same location as the reception or at a different venue.

Costs: $1,000 - $4,000 

Some venues do not charge a fee for using the facility. Instead, the rent is included in the food and beverage expenses. This is generally the case when you have your wedding reception at a restaurant with a seated plated dinner.

2.2 - Champagne toast and appetizers for 50 persons

Toasting with the bride and groom is a popular custom at weddings. This is also a time when appetizers are served. Such as bite-sized shrimp cocktails, cheese platter, sushi rolls, quesadillas, and chicken wings.

Costs: $600 - $1,400 ($12.00 - $28.00 per person) - optional

2.3 - Wedding catering for 50 persons

The term "wedding catering" refers to the service of providing a buffet or seated plated dinner at a wedding event. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages are available. Wine is frequently served at dinner tables at seated plated meals.

The catering costs are primarily determined by the selected food, drinks, and service options. Buffet meals are usually less expensive than plated dinners. The cost of a plated dinner depends on the number of dishes served and the wines offered.

Costs: $2,000 - $4,000 ($40.00 - $80.00 per person)

A buffet will be available at the lower end of the pricing spectrum. In contrast, a plated dinner with table service will cost more.

2.4 - Party snacks and drinks for 50 persons

The wedding reception typically evolves into a dance party where guests are served party snacks and drinks. These can include potato chips, pretzels, peanuts, candy bars, soft drinks, beer, wine, and mixed drinks.

Costs: $1,800 - $3,200 ($36.00 - $64.00 per person) - optional

If you want to save some costs, you may opt for a paid bar instead of an open bar. When guests are offered an open bar, they may consume whatever beverages they choose whenever they want.

When the wedding guests are served a paid bar, they are limited to pre-chosen and purchased alcoholic beverages. When visitors go over your limits, they have to pay for the drinks themselves.

2.5 - Catering rentals for 50 persons

If you're serving a food buffet, you may need to rent catering equipment such as tables, tablecloths, chairs, dishes, plates, cups, and cutlery. You can either have the catering company provide the equipment or rent it from a rental company.

Wedding venues that serve a seated plated dinner generally supply all these materials without additional charges.

Costs: $300 - $600 ($6.00 - $12.00 per person) - optional

You may also have to pay some transportation fees for the delivery and pick up of the rentals.

2.6 - Waiters and bartenders for 50 persons

Waiters and bartenders may or may not be included if you hire someone to cater your wedding reception, depending on the terms of your contract.

Costs: $300 - $1,000 ($40 - $80 per hour per worker) - optional

2.7 - Decorations for the Wedding Ceremony

Balloons, ribbons, candles, and lights are only a few of the items you might utilize to decorate your wedding reception. However, the essential centerpieces are usually flowers. You can either choose to have your florist decorate the spaces or ask your family and friends to do so.

Costs: $50 - $750 - optional

3 - Music / Entertainment at the wedding

Costs: $ 1,000 - $ 1,800 (2% - 10% of all costs)

Hiring a DJ, professional musicians, and/or a live band for your wedding is a great way to add ambiance and keep the wedding party going.

3.1 - DJ

You may hire a DJ to only play music at your dance party. In addition, you can also request that the DJ provide suitable music for hours leading up to that event, such as ambiance music during the champagne toast and buffet or plated dinner.

Costs: $450 - $1,250 - optional

3.2 - Live acoustic musicians

Acoustic artists are more personal and ideal at the start of your wedding reception when guests arrive, and the married couple makes their entrance. Typically, two or three individuals make up a small ensemble. They generally perform light jazz, classical music, or popular covers.

Costs: $200 - $800 - optional

3.3 - A small live cover band (semi-pro)

Live cover bands are pretty popular at weddings. They simply play well-known songs from the past. Most people dance to the music. A two-hour live performance with a pause in the middle is typical. The DJ has a perfect opportunity to step in during the break and keep your party going.

Costs: $750 - $1,500 - optional

3.4 - Sound and lights equipment rental

If you're planning live performances and/or dancing, you may need to rent sound and light equipment for the stage and/or dance floor.

Such gear is sometimes included in the rental fees for the venue. It is also not uncommon for the DJ or a music band to bring along their sound and lighting equipment.

Costs: $250 - $750 - optional

If you only require some presentation material (mic, speakers, beamer), expect a lower price range end. You may need more extensive sound and lights equipment for a big dance party. For which the price will be at the higher end.

4 - A Wedding Cake for 50 persons

Costs: $ 250 - $ 350 (2% of all costs)

The wedding cake ceremony is a moment during the wedding when the bride and groom cut the wedding cake together. The married couple usually cuts the wedding cake after the wedding ceremony, when all guests have arrived for the wedding reception. Or later in the day at the start of the dessert portion of the reception dinner or buffet.

Costs: $250 - $350 ($5.00 - 7.00 per person) - optional

5 - Wedding photography

Costs: $ 1,500 - $ 3,200 (10% - 18% of all costs)

Most couples hire a wedding photographer to capture their special day. The photographs tell the wedding day's story in pictures. Couples may also consider hiring a videographer to capture the most memorable moments in motion and sound.

The wedding photographer

If you have many family and friends taking pictures, you'll undoubtedly have some fantastic ones. This saves you the money it would cost to hire a wedding photographer.

However, suppose you want to have a complete and cohesive set of photographs that capture the atmosphere, the emotions, the timeline, and all the important moments of your wedding day. In that case, it is best to hire a professional photographer.

Costs: $1,500 - $3,000 - optional

The wedding videographer

A wedding videographer records the wedding day's events as they unfold, creating a valuable video documentary of your wedding day to enjoy for years to come.

Nowadays, besides a video documentary, you may also obtain a few short wedding videos from the videographer. These are delivered to you quickly on your wedding day or the day after to immediately share them on social media.

Costs: $1,000 - $2,500 - optional

6 - Flowers for the wedding day

Costs: $ 350 - $ 1,100 (2% - 6% of all costs)

Flowers are an essential part of the wedding day. They are used for the bride's bouquet, the groom's boutonniere, and the corsages. In addition, flowers are usually used to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces and the wedding car and procession.

6.1 - Wedding bouquet for the bride

The bride's wedding bouquet is a lovely arrangement of flowers that she will hold during her wedding ceremony and reception. The bouquet might include any flower. However, roses, lilies, and orchids are popular choices.

Costs: $50 - $250

6.2 - Boutonniere for the groom

The boutonniere is usually a single flower or a small arrangement of flowers that the groom wears on the left lapel of his jacket. It complements the bride's bouquet and dress and the groom's outfit. The boutonniere is generally supplied by a florist together with the bridal bouquet.

Costs: $25 - $50

6.3. Wedding bouquets for the bridesmaids

The bridesmaids usually carry smaller versions of the bride's wedding bouquet. These are often made of the same flowers as the bride's bouquet but have a more straightforward design and fewer flowers.

Costs: $25 - $50 per bridesmaid - optional

6.4. Wedding corsages for the family members and closest friends

Corsages are small bouquets that relatives and closest friends of the bride and groom wear on their clothing on the wedding day.

Corsages are usually made from the same flowers as the bride's and groom's bouquets. They may include a ribbon to tie around the wrist or safety pins to attach to the lapel of the clothing.

Costs: $15 - $30 per person - optional

6.5. - Decorating the wedding locations with flowers

Flowers can be used to decorate both the wedding ceremony and reception areas. At the wedding ceremony, lovely floral arrangements might be used to decorate the marriage altar and aisle. Flowers can be used to decorate the wedding cake table, bride's table, podium, and any other areas where the married couple will enter, stand and sit down. 

Costs: $250 - $750 - optional

6.6 - Wedding car decoration

Flowers, ribbons, and bows may all be used to decorate the wedding cars. Sometimes, the same kinds of flowers used in the bride's bouquet or other wedding flower arrangements are also used to decorate the cars.

The bride and groom are seated in the first car. This car will be the most decorated. The cars with the family members and closest friends are the next in line and are usually also decorated. The wedding guests may be given (white) ribbons to tie to their vehicle's mirrors or aerials.

Costs: $50 - $250 - optional

7 - Miscellaneous

Costs: $ 1,800 - $ 4,000 (10% - 22% of all costs)

This section lists other expenses that may apply to a wedding, such as transportation, hiring a wedding planner, favors, invitation cards, transportation, gifts, a guest book, and insurance.

7.1 - Transportation

Most likely, you'll need transportation on your wedding day to get you and your wedding party from and to the various wedding events.

Here are some examples:

  • Wedding limousine
  • Wedding bus
  • Classic car or sports car
  • Taxi or Uber

Costs: $50 - $1,200 ($50 - $350 per hour per vehicle) - optional

7.2 - Wedding planner

A wedding planner is a person who works in the wedding industry and whose job is to help you with your wedding planning. If you have a big wedding, hiring a wedding planner may save you money in the long run. This person is likely to negotiate a lower cost for a wedding site, meals, music, and other services.

Costs: $1,000 - $2,500 - optional

Prices may be higher if there is a high demand for wedding planners in your region. Typical examples of such areas are Los Angeles and New York.

7.3 - Wedding favors

Wedding favors are small gifts that people receive at a wedding. For example, a small bag of candy. These gifts are typically handed out at the end of the wedding reception and usually have the bride and groom's names on them. The wedding guest may keep them as souvenirs.

Costs: $2.50 - $10.00 per favor / family - optional

7.4 - Wedding invitation cards

Traditionally, wedding invitations are sent out to formally invite guests to the wedding ceremony and/or the wedding reception. The invitation usually includes all of the details about the event, such as date, time, location, and dress code. If you include an RSVP card, it is customary to also pay for the postage for sending back this card.

Costs: $2.50 - $10.00 per card / family - optional

7.5 - Gifts for people who helped out

Many couples choose to give gifts to the people who helped make their wedding day special. This could include the parents, relatives, friends, your wedding planner, and others who went above and beyond to help out.

Costs: $100 - $250 per gift - optional

7.6 - Guest book

A wedding guest book is a great way to capture the memories of your wedding day. Guests can sign the book and leave a short message for the bride and groom. 

Costs: $25 - $75 - optional

7.7 - Wedding insurance

It can be a good idea to protect yourself by purchasing insurance for your wedding day. This insurance isn't particularly pricey, but it can cover significant expenditures or claims.

Some of the things that are typically covered by wedding insurance include:

  • Cancellation or postpone the wedding due to a medical emergency. For example, injury or illness to the bride or groom or death in the family.
  • Weather-related emergencies prevent the wedding from taking place.
  • Supplier-related troubles prevent the wedding from happening, such as a last-minute bankruptcy of an essential supplier.
  • Jewelry, gifts, and other items that are lost or stolen.
  • Property damage at the wedding venue.
  • If you are held liable for severe injuries to your guest that occurred at your wedding.

Costs: $75 - $200 - optional

7.8 - Unexpected costs / cost overruns

Wedding costs can sometimes be more than you expect. Unexpected wedding costs can be things like overtime fees for the staff and photographer, last-minute travel expenses, or a sudden change in the menu making it a bit more expensive per person.

It is usually a good idea to build in some flexibility for unexpected costs. 

Costs: $250 - $1,000 - optional

Example budget for a 50 person wedding 

This couple invited 50 people. The wedding ceremony took place in a church, followed by a wedding reception at a party centre. The ceremony began with a champagne toast, followed by a dinner that was served at tables. After the main course, there was a cake-cutting event. The celebration continued with an evening party with a DJ and a live cover band. 

Click here to download the spreadsheet with the costs for a 50 person wedding.

CEREMONY (6%)

TOTAL $1,000.00

Officiant fee

$350.00

Marriage license

$100.00

Church donation

$500.00

Decorations

$50.00

RECEPTION (50%)

TOTAL $9,000.00

Venue (Party Centre)

$2.500.00

Champagne Toast ($20 per person)

$1,000.00

Wedding Catering ($60 per person)

$ 3,000.00

Beverages + Snacks ($50 per person)

$2,500.00

MUSIC / ENTERTAINMENT (8%)

TOTAL $1,500.00

DJ

$600.00

Live Cover Band

$900.00

WEDDING CAKE (2%)

TOTAL $300.00

Wedding Cake ($6 per person)

$300.00

PHOTOGRAPHY (14%)

TOTAL $2,500.00

Photographer

$1,700.00

Videographer

$800.00

FLOWERS (4%)

TOTAL $700.00

Bouquet for the Bride

$150.00

Boutonniere for the Groom

$30.00

Bouquets for the 2 Bridesmaids

$50.00

Wedding Corsages

$50.00

Flowers and Decorations for the Wedding Cars

$70.00

Flowers for the Wedding Locations

$350.00

MISCELLANEOUS (16%)

TOTAL $3,000.00

Transportation

$400.00

Wedding Planner

$1,500.00

Favors ($4 per person)

$200.00

Invitation Cards (30 x $5))

$150.00

Gifts for People who helped you

$100.00

Wedding Insurance

$100.00

Guest Book

$50.00

Unexpected costs

$500.00

TOTAL BUDGET

$18,000.00

Download Excel spreadsheet for costs of a 50 person wedding

Click here to download the spreadsheet for this example budget for a wedding with 50 guests invited.

50 person wedding costs for each State in the United States

The cost of a wedding varies depending on the state you are in. For example, a wedding in California may cost on average $12.000 more than a wedding in Texas. Here is a table with the average 50 person wedding costs for each state, using the cost index 2022 for the US.

A table with 50 person wedding cost for each US State in 2022


US State

Cost index

50 person wedding cost

1

Alabama

89

$12,000 - $20,000

2

Alaska

130

$18,000 - $29,000

3

Arizona

97

$14,000 - $21,000

4

Arkansas

87

$12,000 - $19,000

5

California

152

$21,000 - $33,000

6

Colorado

106

$15,000 - $23,000

7

Connecticut

128

$18,000 - $28,000

8

Delaware

108

$15,000 - $24,000

9

Florida

98

$14,000 - $22,000

10

Georgia

89

$12,000 - $20,000

11

Hawaii

193

$27,000 - $58,000

12

Idaho

92

$13,000 - $20,000

13

Illinois

95

$13,000 - $21,000

14

Indiana

90

$13,000 - $20,000

15

Iowa

90

$13,000 - $20,000

16

Kansas

89

$12,000 - $20,000

17

Kentucky

91

$13,000 - $20,000

18

Louisiana

94

$13,000 - $21,000

19

Maine

118

$17,000 - $26,000

20

Maryland

130

$18,000 - $29,000

21

Massachusetts

132

$18,000 - $29,000

22

Michigan

89

$12,000 - $20,000

23

Minnesota

102

$14,000 - $22,000

24

Mississippi

86

$12,000 - $19,000

25

Missouri

87

$12,000 - $19,000

26

Montana

107

$15,000 - $24,000

27

Nebraska

91

$13,000 - $20,000

28

Nevada

109

$15,000 - $24,000

29

New Hampshire

110

$15,000 - $24,000

30

New Jersey

125

$18,000 - $28,000

31

New Mexico

88

$12,000 - $19,000

32

New York

139

$19,000 - $31,000

33

North Carolina

95

$13,000 - $21,000

34

North Dakota

99

$14,000 - $22,000

35

Ohio

91

$13,000 - $20,000

36

Oklahoma

87

$12,000 - $19,000

37

Oregon

134

$19,000 - $29,000

38

Pennsylvania

102

$14,000 - $22,000

39

Rhode Island

119

$17,000 - $26,000

40

South Carolina

96

$14,000 - $22,000

41

South Dakota

100

$14,000 - $22,000

42

Tennessee

89

$12,000 - $20,000

43

Texas

92

$13,000 - $20,000

44

Utah

98

$14,000 - $22,000

45

Vermont

115

$16,000 - $25,000

46

Virginia

101

$14,000 - $22,000

47

Washington

111

$16,000 - $24,000

48

West Virginia

91

$13,000 - $20,000

49

Wisconsin

97

$14,000 - $21,000

50

Wyoming

89

$12,000 - $20,000



Recap

So, how much does a 50 person wedding cost in 2022? Most weddings with 50 guests cost between $14,000 and $18,000, but this will vary depending on the state you are in. You can expect to spend more if you have your wedding in a state like California or New York, and less if you have your wedding in a state like Texas or Florida.

When budgeting for your wedding, be sure to account for all of the costs associated with the big day as listed on this page. By doing so, you can be sure that your wedding day will be everything you've ever dreamed of without breaking the bank.

Take a look at our great Wedding Calculators

WEDDING BUDGET CALCULATOR

Do you need help on how much money to plan for you wedding? This Budget Calculator will estimate the costs. You can also download a customized spreadsheet for your wedding budget for free.

WEDDING CAKE CALCULATOR

Simply enter the number of persons and this Wedding Cake Calculator will show you the matching wedding cake servings chart and the average cost for the wedding cakes found.