My wife and I are attending a wedding this weekend. Gina and Dave are one of the coolest couples you'll ever meet and I'm honored to be going. Ironically Gina caught the flowers and Dave caught the garter at our wedding last year, so sometimes that magic pans out.

Not so magical when it comes to a New Jersey wedding is the cost. Did you know the average wedding in North and Central Jersey is the sixth highest priced in the nation? According to, the only places to marry in 2016 that are more costly are Long Island, Manhattan, and the outer boroughs along with southern Florida and Chicago. Even Hawaii is less expensive than New Jersey! How much does it cost for a wedding in North or Central Jersey?


Let's write that in expanded form, kiddies! 40,000 + 7,000 + 800 + 60 + 8 dollars. That's staggering. Because keep in mind, this is simply the average. This isn't the releasing of live doves and horse drawn carriages. This is the average wedding. This is a lot to absorb for the average couple. Compare it to some of the least expensive states. Mississippi at $12,769, Utah at $13,301, and Iowa at $13,637. I'll take marrying in a cornfield to save that kind of money!

Speaking of saving money, here's how:

The most expensive time is the most popular time. So avoid June and September. Marrying November through April (as long as you avoid Christmas week and Valentine's Day) is the way to go. The reception halls will be less pricey. Also, does it have to be on a Saturday? We had ours on a Friday and it was just as nice and less expensive.

Marrying in the same location as the reception, another thing we did, saves money. Also don't let a photographer talk you into the old fashioned fancy albums that cost a bundle; make sure you find one who'll offer a disk or online access where you can print your own photos. An officiant will cost hundreds of dollars. You can save that if you have someone in your family who's already ordained, or if there's someone who's already a good public speaker you can ask them to become ordained online and perform your ceremony and save money. In fact the wedding we're attending this weekend is being performed by the bride's sister.

Then there's always eloping. You can spend just a few thousand and still have a getaway to somewhere beautiful, a wedding gown and a tux, an officiant, just no friends and families but also no headaches and big checks to write. Or as Bruce Springsteen sang you can just go down to the courthouse and have a judge put it all to rest. But then you miss the party and the great stories and memories.

-Jeff Deminski

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