As we head into wedding season, The Knot is out with its annual report of the latest spending habits and trends of weddings in America. And, it looks like couples are spending an insane amount of money on the big day.
According to The Knot’s 2015 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 18,000 U.S. brides and grooms, the average wedding cost has increased by more than $5,500 in the past five years with couples spending an average $32,641 last year. That doesn’t include the honeymoon, BTW. It’s estimated that the biggest increase was on the reception venue (+$1,950), ceremony site (+$652) and the reception band (+545).
No surprise here, that the most expensive place to get married is in the Tri-State area. Manhattan topped the list with an average wedding cost of $82,299. Chicago came in second ($61,265) followed by Westchester/Hudson Valley in New York ($57,501), Long Island, New York ($56,950), and North/Central New Jersey ($55,389). The least expensive place to wed is in Alaska where couples spend an average $17,361.
And the timeline of the average marriage? Statistics show that the most popular month to get engaged is December (16%) with an average 14.5-month engagement. More couples are also choosing fall ceremonies with the most popular month to get married being October (17%) and September (15%).
Here are some of the top findings from the study:
- Average spent on a wedding dress: $1,469. Average spent on the groom’s attire: $269.
- Average number of wedding guests in 2015: 139 (down from 149 in 2009). But, the cost per wedding guest: $237 (up from $194 in 2009).
- Couples are spending more on wedding professionals to help them plan a perfect day. 26% of couples hired a planning professional in 2015 (up from 19% in 2010).
- Parents are still footing the bulk of the bill. The bride’s parents contribute 44% of the overall wedding budget and the groom’s parents contribute 12%. However, the bride and groom are willing to help by contributing 43% to the cost.
- Fewer couples are having destination weddings with 21% tying the knot abroad. That’s down from 24% in 2014.
- Average spent on an engagement ring: $5,871
If the findings have left you with cold feet, there’s always the Little White Chapel, where saying, “I Do”, only costs $75.