Is there a wedding in the family? Let’s talk finances.

It’s May, which along with June and September, is considered a peak wedding month. And just like everything else, high demand means high cost when it comes to weddings. The venue is one of the most expensive aspects of a wedding, especially during peak months, with an average cost of $16,107 in 2016. (For just this reason, another expensive month for weddings is December, when weddings compete with holiday parties for venues.)

In fact, a wedding will likely be the most expensive party you will ever host in your life. After surveying nearly 13,000 real brides and grooms across America, wedding website The Knot, found that the overall cost of a wedding in 2016 was $35,329…not including the honeymoon!

In 2016, the average wedding cost topped $35,000!

Where the money goes.

While things like flowers and invitations can add up, there are a few primary factors that will determine your wedding’s cost more than all the others. Bankrate identified some primary areas to focus on when cost is a major consideration.

Guests: The number of people who attend dramatically affects the cost of everything from the food to alcohol to the venue. The more people you invite the more expensive it will be. According to research weddings are getting smaller. The average number of wedding guests has decreased to 141, down from 149 in 2009, while the average cost per guest has increased to $245, up from $194 in 2009.

Location: The cost of just about everything also varies depending on your location. From the food to the entertainment, if you want to save money, be strategic about where you choose to get married.

Timing: If you want to really save money, stay away from peak season. The least expensive months are January, February and March, at least in the parts of the country which experience cold weather and harsh winters—giving new meaning to the song lyric, “it’s a nice day for a white wedding.”

Plan ahead: The best way to pay for all this is to have a financial plan in place. Contact us if you need help planning to pay for a wedding or any other major life event.