Wednesday, November 12, 2008

How much does an average wedding cost and who pays for it?

The Armenians usually tend to arrange luxurious weddings and invite many people including family, relatives, friends, colleagues, neighbors, etc. And this is not because the Armenians like to demonstrate how magnificent or exuberant their wedding receptions are. In fact, for the most part the Armenians have strong family values and big families. Sometimes, the families are so big, and relatives and friends are so many, that an average Armenian wedding can take up most of the family’s savings.

The estimated cost of the wedding in Armenia may differ depending on many factors. However, usually the expenditures for the ordinary Armenian wedding include bills for the wedding hall, car rent, musicians, souvenirs and gifts, caterings, designs, etc. Nowadays Armenians prefer to organize their wedding receptions in the wedding halls: the cost for each invited person is about 12,000-15,000 Armenian drams (40-50$). An average Armenian wedding has approximately 100-150 guests, so the family will pay at least 1,200,000- 2,250,000 drams (4,000- 7,500) for the restaurant. Sometimes this amount does not include the musicians, who are paid additional 150,000-450,000 (500-1,500$) for the evening. Flora and photography services usually cost around 150,000 drams ($500 USD). One of the remarkable parts of the Armenian wedding, the souvenirs or tarosiks, cost from 700-1,500 drams each.

If a married couple wishes to hire a limousine for the special day in their life, the service will cost them 300,000-600,000 ($100-200) per hour. The wedding dress of the bride can either be bought or rented. The price of a wedding dress starts from $1000 USD if bought, and the renting price starts from $400 USD otherwise. Today there are so many wedding saloons in Yerevan that the city seems to be an ideal place for planning a marriage. The wedding saloons provide all kinds of services, separate and consolidated that include but are not limited to the rent and sale of wedding dresses, accessories, souvenirs, baskets, candles, glasses, boxes, port-bouquets, cakes, car designs, gift packing, filming, etc.

According to an old Armenian tradition the family of the groom has to pay for the wedding, while the family of the bride covers the engagement costs. Besides the mentioned expenditures, which constitute an indispensable part of an Armenian wedding, the groom should prepare a valuable gift for the bride: gold and jewelry have traditionally been considered the best presents on that special occasion. Overall, the charge for an average traditional Armenian wedding starts from about $15,000 USD, and this amount can increase dependent upon the size of the family and friends the newly-weds want to share their happy moments with.

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About Us

Yerevan,, Armenia
Armine Karakhanyan, 2nd year student, Political Science and International Affairs, American University of Armenia Narine Hovakimyan, 1st year student, Business and Administration, American University of Armenia