Based on the city where you live, a wedding budget can feel like pinching pennies or easy like a Sunday morning. 21Ninety is exploring what different wedding budgets can afford a couple in 2024 based on wedding planner’s expert opinions. Our team focused on major cities and asked planners to weigh in on venue, food, florals, entertainment, and attire for specific price points.

This series will focus on three budgets: $60,000, $400,000 and $1 million.

$60,000 in Los Angeles

Tracy Bowles is a wedding planner and the founder of Flawless Weddings and Events, a full-service wedding and event planning company based in Orange County, California. 

The average wedding cost in the United States is $29,195, and it’s steadily on the rise, with states like New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York leading the pack with the average wedding price at $46,000 and above. In Orange County, California, Bowles explains that the average cost of weddings are $90,000 to $100,000.

“I have been in the wedding business for more than 20 years, and I have seen wedding costs go from $20,000 to now well over $100,000,” Bowles said.

Bowles provided 21Ninety with a detailed breakdown of the type of wedding couples can expect to have on a $60,000 budget in southern California. 


For a $60,000 budget, Bowles suggests an all-inclusive venue such as a golf course or a banquet-style venue. Since the budget is small for a wedding in southern California, this does not include upgrades and outside vendors.


For food, a couple with a $60,000 budget can choose either a buffet or plated menu. Since the price is typically the same per person, couples can get food that matches their guest’s taste buds. They can get chicken, beef, fish and vegetarian options. 

When it comes to the topic of an open bar versus a cash bar, Bowles has an important note.

“If the couple wants to stay within the allotted budget, they will have to have a cash bar,” she said. “I suggest the couple hosts the first hour during cocktail hour and convert to a cash bar afterward.”


Flowers are one of the most expensive parts of wedding planning. Bowles said that couples can save money and make a small budget work with all-inclusive venues, which may offer floral centerpieces in their packages. Typically, the centerpiece is usually a small bouquet made with a basic floral arrangement of assorted seasonal flowers. 

A couple walking in a vineyard while the bride hold a bouquet
Photo Credit: Two Fourteen Photography

However, there are many outliers that can cause the price of florals to increase. 

“A couple will spend extra on ceremony décor and wedding party florals,” she said. “If they want to change the style of table centerpieces and have specific florals included, they will also pay a bit more, according to their vision.”

A floral arrangement on a dinner table
Photo Credit: Yaresly


For a $60,000 wedding budget, the most cost effective type of entertainment is a set playlist. However, Bowles said it would be very unlikely that she would recommend this to a couple. 

“As a planner, I will find a reasonable DJ to emcee for my couple, but it will be tight to include in [a $60,000] budget,” she said.


Since the budget is tight for a couple in southern California, Bowles recommends having a separate budget for wedding attire. However, she said that if a couple must include their wedding attire in the wedding budget, then they should consider renting. Another alternative would be to purchase a second-hand wedding dress from boutiques, like Loved Twice Bridal in Los Angeles.