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Consumer Spending Trends: The Biggest Wedding Expenses

Affluent individuals credit frugality among the primary factors in their wealth creation, but a wedding can put that mindset to the test.

| BY Donald Liebenson


Affluent individuals credit frugality, along with hard word, education, and smart investing, among the primary factors in their wealth creation, but a wedding can put that mindset to the test. In a recent consumer spending trends survey conducted by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, one-third of Affluent households said they consider between $5,000 and $10,000 an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding. Twenty-seven percent consider between $10,000 and $20,000 to be appropriate.

And now for the reality check. According to wedding website TheKnot.com, couples spent an average of $30,000 on their weddings in 2013, a record high and up 5 percent from last year.

Affluent couples may take a vow of frugality in reigning in lavish wedding spending, but costs do add up. What do they consider to be the biggest expenses? More than six-in-ten of respondents said food (33 percent) or the venue (32 percent), according to Millionaire Corner’s consumer spending trends survey.

Eleven percent said rings and the honeymoon were the biggest wedding expenses, while 8 percent said that the bar bill was their biggest wedding expenditure.

Across wealth levels, the wealthiest respondents (with a net worth of at least $ 5 million) were apt to spent most on the venue, while those with a net worth of less than $100,000 prioritized spending on the ring (21 percent) and the honeymoon (16 percent).

Age is not a significant factor in what couples prioritize in their wedding spending, although the youngest respondents under the age of 40 were the most likely to focus on the ring (19 percent).

According to the The Knot, couples who want to keep their wedding expenses down are advised to stay out of New York. The average cost of a Manhattan wedding neared $87,000 last year. Long Island nuptials reached $57,343. A Chicago wedding cost an average of $47,121. Miami couples got off comparatively easy: The average price of a wedding there last year was $37,210.

Affluent couples surveyed by Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner are adamant about one thing. Nearly all (96 percent) said they have not taken on debt to finance a wedding.

Related story: Wedding Bill Blues



About the Author


Donald Liebenson

dliebenson@millionairecorner.com

Donald Liebenson writes news and features for Millionaire Corner. He has been published in the Chicago Tribune, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Los Angeles Times, Fiscal Times, Entertainment Weekly, Huffington Post, and other outlets. He has also served as a marketing writer for Chicago-based Questar Entertainment and distributor Baker & Taylor.  

A graduate of the University of Southern California, he is married with a college-age son. He also writes extensively about entertainment.