In 2005, according to CNNMoney.com, the average cost of a wedding rose to $26,327, almost a 70% increase in cost over the past 15 years. Destination wedding couples, in which the entire party travels to a special location for the celebration, spend an average of 41% less on their receptions. While there are not official statistics on the average cost of an elopement, elopement packages including a hotel for a week, the officiant, photographer and album, ceremony site, cake, and musical selection tend to range between $2,000 to $5,000. This represents 10 - 20% of the cost of a traditional wedding. That's a savings of over $20,000.00 that can go towards something like let me think... a House!