How Much Does it Cost to Get Married?

Every enterprising young man who is considering popping the BIG question to his girlfriend has probably asked himself another question as well: “how much does it cost to get married?” We are talking here about the costs a young man is usually responsible for. So, this doesn’t include the cost of the wedding day itself (except for the honeymoon suite of course). That cost (averaging $29,000) is traditionally paid for by the parents of the bride. So, for the young man thinking of marriage, how much does it cost to get married? More than you might think!

A friend of mine recently started a relationship, which if all goes as planned, will probably lead to the marriage altar. Since I recently got married he asked me frankly, friend-to-friend, how much I figured he’d need to get married, zip away on a lovely honeymoon and come back to a fully furnished, comfortable home for his bride. I gave him a pretty easy figure: $50,000.

How Much Does it Cost to Get Married? $50k

If you are a young man considering marriage, you can stop reading this article, go back to work and start piling away those savings! Or you can continue reading and find out how I arrived at this figure.

I tend to be extremely debt averse, which is apparently unusual for Americans. My goal was to marry completely debt free. Mission accomplished. The only debt I hope to ever incur in the future, is a mortgage. Mortgages are a ‘useful’ sort of debt and have their benefits, but we’ll save those details for another post. Needless to say, when I was considering the idea of getting married (before I ever started a relationship) I did some itemizing and calculating to come to the $50k figure. Here they are.


One Time Costs (aka non-budget items)

  • Furniture / Appliances  –  $15,000
  • Engagement / Wedding Ring  –  $4,000
  • Honeymoon  –  $4,000
  • Home Goods (pillows, sheets, curtains and other items for setting up a house)  –  $2,500
  • Kitchen Equipment (non appliance)  –  $2,500
  • Emergency Fund (3-6 month’s expenses) $10,000
  • Total One Time Costs = $38,000


 cost-of-getting-married-starting-outRecurring Costs (aka budget items)

  • Starter home rental $800-1,000/month ($800 + first and last month’s deposit = $2,400 up front)
  • Food & household $600/month
  • Communications (phones,internet) $150/month
  • Transportation (1 car) $300/month
  • Utilities & Services (heat,cooling,water,trash,etc) $300/month
  • Clothing & Personal Products $300/month
  • ‘Fun Money’  $200/month
  • Healthcare and Pharmacy – $400/month
  • Savings  –  $300/month (varies based on usage of other budget categories)
  • Total = $11,650 in the first 3 months of marriage


GRAND TOTAL = $49,650   (about $50k give or take a few thousand)


Of course, this is only a rough sketch of what it might cost a couple just beginning their first 3 months of married life. I left out a lot of finer details. But, it makes a good starting point for anyone considering what it might cost to get married and start a home together.

What do you think? Is $50k too conservative, or more than enough? Couples, what was your newlywed financial experience like? Did I miss any big ticket items? Sound off in the comments below.

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