What Is The Average Cost Of A Wedding In America? It Was At An All-Time High In 2016
If you're trying to do a wedding on a budget, good luck— because the average cost of a wedding is truly out of control. The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study looked at 13,000 brides and grooms in the U.S. to figure out what they were spending money on and, more importantly, how much they were spending. The results shocked me.
The average cost of a wedding is up to... wait for it... $35,329. I mean, I can't even. I always thought it was somewhere around the 20 grand mark— and thought that sounded mad. I mean, if you've got a lot of extra money and want to spend it on a wedding, good for you, but I can't help but think that a lot of people are stretching to pay for a lavish wedding. And it's so much to pay.
Even more surprising to me was that, according to the survey, the average number of guests had actually dropped, so we're actually paying significantly more per person. Not that the weddings are small, we're talking an average guest list of 141 people. Which makes me and any other cripplingly insecure people wonder — do I even know 141 people?
If you're freaking out right now, the good news is the cost of a wedding isn't as high everywhere. In fact, there was a lot of variation from state to state. But if you want to see where people are really shelling out for the most expensive damn mason jars you've ever seen, here's where the most costly weddings went down:
1Manhattan, New York: $78,464
It's probably not surprising that NYC took the number one spot— Manhattan is one of the most expensive places on earth. But the idea of an average wedding cost of almost 80 grand still makes my eyes water.
2Long Island, New York: $67,831
NYC seems to have a bit of a monopoly on expensive weddings, with Long Island coming in at number two. Interestingly though, there was more than a $10,000 drop between the number one and number two spots.
3North/Central New Jersey: $62,606
New Jersey weddings aren't much better, still breaking the $60,000 mark— and that's just for the average weddings.
4Chicago, Illinois: $60,035
Finally moving out of the NYC/NJ bubble, Chicago breaks in at number four on the list. At almost bang on 60 grand, it'll cost you dearly to get married in the windy city.
5Outer Boroughs, New York: $59,027
But NYC is back, with the remaining boroughs making up number five on the list.
6Cape Cod, Massachusetts: $58,608
Ah yes — growing up in New England, Cape Cod was always the ultimate fancy New England town, so there's no surprise that it made the top 10.
7Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York: $54,428
New York really doesn't mess around, but Westchester and the Hudson Valley are the last New York areas to make the top 10.
8Rhode Island: $52,328
It may be little, but its weddings are mighty. The average Rhode Island wedding is over $50,000.
9Southern Florida: $48,596
How much is sunshine worth? A lot, apparently. Getting married in Southern Florida does not come cheap.
Finally, the Philadelphia and Delaware area round out the top 10. We're still at the nearly $50,000 level, so make sure you start saving.
There are plenty of ways to do a wedding on budget, so don't feel any pressure to go larger than life. Just do what feels right to you. But if you got the cash... I'm sure somebody makes gold-plated fairy lights.