The Average Wedding Costs $26,522 In 2016, And More Key Costs You Should Know

I love weddings. They’re beautiful celebrations of love filled with family, friends, and sometimes a bit of drama mixed in there. What could be better? But as I’m sure many of you are aware, weddings aren’t cheap. They’re actually pretty crazy expensive not only for the couple themselves but the guests, the bridesmaids, and the groomsmen, too. But how much does a wedding cost today, exactly?

BRIDES just released the findings for their 2016 American Wedding Study to bring you the latest wedding trends and spending habits of engaged and newlywed women. According to the study, the average cost of a wedding today is $26,522. Surprisingly, that’s actually down from the the $28,202 average BRIDES found back in 2014. It also happens to be much lower than The Knot’s average wedding cost of $32,641 from their 2015 Real Weddings Study.

As the study notes, the reason may be in the details. Couples today prioritize personalization in their weddings. They’d rather spend a little more on special things that showcase individuality such as the wedding dress than on things like the number of guests that’ll be in attendance. "The 2016 American Wedding Study shows that today's couples are spending more of their own money to have the wedding they want,” Keija Minor, editor in chief of BRIDES said in a release. “Their level of financial and personal involvement means that they are seeking ideas and inspiration at a greater scale than ever before, and bridal media is more valuable than ever."

Here’s how people are spending their money on weddings today:

1. The Average Reception Costs About $11,380

This total is down from 2014 where the average reception would set people back about $12,343. According BRIDES, the reception makes up 43 percent of wedding costs.

2. Other “Next-Biggest-Ticket” Items Include Engagement Rings, Photos, And Video

People also spend an average of $5,135 on engagement rings, $2,099 on photography, $1,533 on video, $1,508 on reception music, and $1,725 on wedding bands.

3. The Average Wedding Cake Costs $417

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Nobody really needs to spend that much on a cake that people won’t really eat. But wedding cakes are another way couples get to bring more of their individual style to their wedding.

4. The Average Wedding Dress Costs $1,517

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The average cost of a wedding dress in 2016 went up $127 from 2014’s average of $1,380.

5. Bridesmaids’ Dresses Costs An Average Of $133

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That’s not too bad considering that another study released earlier this year found that the average total cost of being a bridesmaid is $1500. So, there's definitely a lot more you're going to spend on.

6. A Majority Of Couples Do Set A Wedding Budget

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Weddings are pricey, but couples are smart. As the study found, 89 percent of couples do set wedding budgets. However, a third of them end up spending more than they intended. Then again, that probably doesn’t really matter since nearly 60 percent of people are willing to increase their budgets in order to get the wedding they want.

7. More Couples Are Choosing To Consider Friday And Sunday Dates In Order To Save Money

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Saturday is still the most popular day of the week to get married. However, more couples also consider Friday (15 percent) and Sunday (13 percent) as the date in order to save some money.

Images: Sweet Ice Cream Photography/Unsplash; Andreas Rønningen/Unsplash; Tamara Menzi/Unsplash; Giphy(4)