The use of smartphones to access wedding planning websites nearly doubled from 2011..
The average cost of a wedding in America surged to $31,213 last year, according to online wedding resource The Knot. This is up from $28.427 in 2013. The good news is that this may represent growing confidence in the economy. The bad news, $31,123 (excluding honeymoon, by the way).
In its eighth annual Real Weddings Study, the Knot surveyed 16,000 U.S. brides and grooms married last year to chart their financial spending habits and trends.
The top five most expensive places to get married were:
- New York-Manhattan ($76.328)
- New York-Long Island ($55,327)
- New Jersey-North/Central ($53,986)
- New York-Westchester/Hudson Valley ($52,954)
- Illinois-Chicago ($50,934)
The least expensive state to get married: Arkansas and Utah ($18,031 and $15,257, respectively)
Other key findings from The Knot’s wedding consumer spending trends survey:
- Average spent on a wedding dress: $1,357,
- Average spent on an engagement ring: $5,855
- Average spent on a wedding planner: $1,973
- Average spent on a venue: $14,006
Couples seem to be cutting costs on invitations ($439, down from $443 in 2013). Spending on the groom’s attire and accessories is basically unchanged ($254 from $248)
December was the most popular month to get engaged, while June and October are the most popular months to make it official. Guest lists, the survey found, are shrinking, with an average number of guests at 136.
Wedding planning is going digital, the survey finds. In 2014, the use of smartphones to access wedding planning websites nearly doubled from 2011 (61 percent from 33 percent). Six-in-ten brides are actively planning their weddings through their mobile device.
Another wedding consumer spending trend is the prioritization on reception elements (catering, musicians, cake, cocktail hours) rather than the ceremony.
And who is paying for all this? On average, The Knot survey found, the bride’s parents and the bride and groom each contribute 43 percent, while the groom’s parents kick in 12 percent of the total wedding budget. Only 12 percent of couples pay for the wedding entirely themselves.
Last year, 45 percent of couples did go over budget, while roughly one-fourth said they did not even have a wedding budget, up from 17 percent in 2009.
Affluent households are not proponents of going over budget when it comes to wedding planning, according to wealth level research conducted by Spectrem Group’s Millionaire Corner. Nearly all (96 percent) said they have not taken on debt to finance a wedding.
And while a significant majority of affluent households rank frugality just below hard work and education as the primary factor in their wealth creation, wedding spending may put their ideals to the test. One-third told Millionaire Corner they consider between $5,000 and $10,000 an appropriate amount to spend on a wedding, while 27 percent would go as high as between $10,000 and $20,000.