Millionaires, a generally frugal group who believe today’s weddings are too lavish, aren’t likely to won’t approve of the latest wedding spending trends. Learn more.
In a trend that’s sure to displease frugally minded Millionaires, spending on weddings has reached its highest level since 2008, according to the latest annual survey from The Knot. The average wedding – not including honeymoon - cost $28,427 in 2012, up from $27,021 in 2011.
“Couples are increasingly less concerned with the economy and are comfortable investing more than ever in the once-in-a lifetime experience of planning their wedding and making it a fabulous experience for their guests,” Carley Roney, cofounder of The Knot, said in last week’s statement announcing its 2013 Real Weddings Study.
The share of brides who said the economy has affected their wedding spending fell from 34 percent in 2009 to 26 percent last year, according to The Knot survey of more than 17,500 U.S. brides who were married in 2012. Spending per guest has increased from $194 in 2009 to $204 last year. Nearly one-fourth of brides didn’t have a budget and 13 percent reported spending more than $40,000 on their weddings.
Millionaires, who attribute their wealth in large part to frugal living, are more likely to advise young couples to save and invest their money than to spend it on a wedding, according to Millionaire Corner research on the attitudes of wealthy investors. Close to 90 percent of Millionaires participating in our May survey said they believed that couples put too much emphasis on having a lavish wedding. It’s not that Millionaires are against marriage. The wealthy enjoy higher marriage rates that the general population and many Millionaires cite their marriage as a significant factor in their financial success. It’s just that they put a much higher premium on investing and saving for retirement. The primary advice Millionaires would give to young adults is to take full advantage of retirement savings options such as a 401(k).
What else would millionaires advise young investors?
According to The Knot, weddings were cheapest in Alaska, where they averaged $15,504, and most expensive in Manhattan, where expenses averaged $76,678. The biggest line item is the reception venue, averaging $12,905 last year, followed by engagement ring ($5,431), reception band ($3,084), photographer ($2,379), Flowers and Décor ($1,997), event planner ($1,847), ceremony site ($1,711), videographer ($1,619), wedding dress ($1,211) and rehearsal dinner ($1,135). Catering ran an average of $63 per person and the number of guests averaged 139.
More than three-fourths of newlyweds took honeymoons last year, but that’s not as likely to perturb Millionaires. Only half of those surveyed in May feel couples spend too much on their honeymoons.