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This Is What Someone’s 1974 Wedding Would Cost In 2017 Dollars


By now we have all heard of the term inflation. Now we don’t necessarily need to be economists to know what that term designates but it simply means that the price or the cost of living has increased with time. So a dollar back in the sixties would be worth a lot more than a dollar is today.

Back then, millionaires were considered billionaires and trillionaires weren’t even a subject of movies or shows.

So how much would a wedding be now if it cost approximately 2,000 dollars back in 1974?

The answer is 10,000 dollars. A wedding in 1974 that cost 2,000 dollars would be approximately ten grand in today’s dollars (adjusted for inflation.)

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But is it even possible to have a wedding within that budget? And if so, would that wedding be remotely as lavish and luxurious as the one in 1974?

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First, we need to take a look at this wedding back in 1974. Back then, a two thousand dollar wedding could net a ceremony at the San Francisco’s massive cathedral, Grace Cathedral, during one of the prime times of the year, just three days after Christmas.


Then, this wedding could also afford to fit 300 guests in attendance with a cocktail reception at the Marines’ Memorial Club. And let’s not forget the invitations, flowers, photography, and cake.

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To get married at the Grace Cathedral today would cost a whopping 7,500 dollars along with an additional fee of 150 dollars for the church bells, also known as carillons.

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Back in 1974, wedding invitations were one of the more expensive items on the budget, however, nowadays wedding invitations are one of the cheapest things in regards to a wedding.


In 1974, 300 invitations cost about 250 dollars whereas nowadays, 300 invitations of a simple design would net just under 2,300 dollars. So this equates to an 84 percent increase from 1974 to 2017.


Flowers back in 1974 were around 50 dollars. But a quick glance at the flowers that were on the ‘approved florist list’ at the Grace Cathedral and reveals a minimum order of at least 8,000 dollars!


Other florists around the San Francisco area typically charge around 1,400 to 4,000 dollars for their services.

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Back in 1974, photography wasn’t as prominent as it is today and, as such, hiring a photographer didn’t cost that much. It was around 50 dollars back in 1974 for an experienced photographer.

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However, nowadays, getting a professional photographer in San Francisco would be about 2,500 dollars or more. But to get an experienced wedding photographer would be at least 4,000 dollars.


A 150 dollar wedding dress along with another 45 dollars worth of a veil and a pair of satin flats in 1974 would equate to about 937 dollars today after being adjusted for inflation.


However, any reasonably priced wedding dress these days would cost at least a thousand dollars. And that’s not including the groom’s attire.


In 1974 a reception at the San Francisco’s Marines’ Memorial Club cost about 1,200 dollars. (That would equate to about 5,700 dollars today if it was adjusted for inflation.)


But the actual cost of hosting a simple reception at the club today would cost at least 24,000 dollars before taxes and tip.

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So in total, a wedding that costs just more than 2,000 dollars back in 1974 would actually be about 47,000 dollars in 2017 when every variable (attire, flowers, reception, etc.) has been accounted for. So, the initial amount adjusted for inflation, 10,000 dollars, wouldn’t even cover half the cost of a wedding today. Crazy!



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