Thinking of tying the knot anytime soon? You may want to rearrange your plans to include a tiny courthouse wedding surrounded by only your next of kin — because according to a nationwide survey from The Knot, the average American wedding in 2014 cost $31,213 (excluding the honeymoon). Thirty. One. Thousand. United States dollars. Let’s not forget the countless other things one can purchase with $30,000, like a car, 30 years’ worth of rent, or a college education. It may be time to halt our consumerism, pack up shop, and pursue some much needed reflection about excess.
Surely these are working examples of wedding planning gone too far, you may be thinking. Again, these are the median averages of wedding costs (and as we all know, they can skyrocket like whoa). In a study published last year, “seven percent of couples between the ages of 18 and 34 said they’d be willing to spring for a $30,000 - $100,000 wedding, [while] only three percent of Americans age 45 and over would.” The implications of building your vow exchanges around the Greatest Party Ever Thrown is a bottomless pit of want. No one needs the outdoor gazebo or Hilton ballroom. No ones needs the top shelf champagne fountain. And certainly, no one actually has to hire an expensive DJ when we all carry around miniature computers that can be programmed to play exactly what we want to hear on demand.
And that’s just the bridal party. That doesn’t include the cost of attending the actual event, which we reported last year floats somewhere around the $600 mark. If you’re anyone who receives regular invitations to watch to people promise forever, this gets expensive quickly for everyone involved. Here’s how the numbers pan out, according to The Knot.
$1,357: Average cost of a wedding gown.
$31,213: Average cost of the reception.
24: Percentage of destination weddings
For $31,000, isn’t a ballroom destination enough?
43/43/12: Percentages of contribution for bride’s parents, bride and groom, and groom’s parents.
What gives, pops?
44: Percent of palette colors that incorporate white or ivory.
$76,328: Average cost of a wedding in Manhattan.
For the curious, it's the highest in the nation. Uh... no thanks.
136: Average number of wedding attendees.
Interestingly, this number is down from 149 in 2009, inversely proportionate to the increased cost.
28: Percentage of wedding parties who held their ceremonies in places of worship.
4 to 5: Average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen, respectively, per bridal party.
14: Percent of weddings held in historic or landmark buildings.
June: Most popular month to wed (October pulling in at close second).
Now take a deep breath and step away from the bridal magazine...
Images: Giphy (7)