It’s More Expensive Than Ever to Get Married

Next time, you get a wedding invite in the mail, consider this: It’s probably costing the bride and groom a ton to actually get married. The average American wedding is now more expensive than ever, according to a new survey.

The Knot’s annual Real Weddings study surveyed 16,000 brides and grooms who were married last year. They found that, on average, a wedding will set you back $31,213. And that’s not because weddings are getting bigger. On the contrary, guest lists are down — the average number of wedding guests last year was 136, compared to 149 back in 2009.

So what’s bringing costs up? Couples are forking over more money on their receptions. Spending on the perfect cake, music, and food is up, and cocktail-hour spending also increased. But couples are shelling out less on their ceremonies, hiring fewer musicians, like organists, and shying away from religious venues.

When it comes to spending, the numbers varied wildly depending on location. The least expensive place to get hitched was Utah, where the average couple spent $15,257, and Manhattan (shocker) was the most expensive, with a typical wedding there costing a whopping $76,328.

But no matter what the price tag, half of all future spouses had one thing in common: They went over budget. For richer or for poorer, right?


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