What Couples Are Really Spending on Their Weddings

The Knot 2015 Real Weddings Study results, photo by Victoria Angela Wedding Photography & Cinema

Photo by Victoria Angela Wedding Photography & Cinema

Between caterers, cake makers, florists, string quartets, reception halls, invitations, rings, dresses, and tuxes, sometimes, it can feel as though all we do during the wedding planning process is spend, spend, spend. Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone. But are you spending more than your wedding-planning peers? The Knot just released the results of its 2015 Real Wedding Study, which reveal what couples are forking over the most cash for, and which parts of the country play host to the priciest weddings.

Here are some fast facts discovered during the study:

Top 2015 Wedding Statistics

  • Average Wedding Cost (excludes honeymoon): $32,641 (up from $31,213 in 2014)
  • Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $82,299 average spend
  • Least Expensive Place to Get Married: Alaska, $17,361 average spend
  • Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,469
  • Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31
  • Average Number of Guests: 139
  • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 5
  • Average Number of Groomsmen: 5
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16%)
  • Average Length of Engagement: 14.5 months
  • Most Popular Month to Get Married: October (17%) and September (15%)
  • Popular Wedding Colors: Ivory/White (47%), Blue (39%), Pink (30%), Metallics (34%), Purple (21%)
    • The popularity of metallic gold has more than tripled from 7% in 2012 to 22% in 2015
  • Destination Weddings: 21% (down from 24% in 2014)

Top 25 Most Expensive Places to Get Married
Based on average cost of a wedding in 2015, couples spend the most on their weddings in the following areas in the U.S.

  1. New York – Manhattan: $82,299
  2. Illinois – Chicago: $61,265
  3. New York – Westchester/Hudson Valley: $57,501
  4. New York– Long Island: $56,950
  5. New Jersey– North/Central: $55,389
  6. Massachusetts – Cape Cod: $54,334
  7. Rhode Island: $50,266
  8. New York – Outer Boroughs: $46,682
  9. California – Palm Springs: $44,646
  10. Louisiana – New Orleans: $44,178
  11. New Jersey – South: $43,223
  12. Pennsylvania – Philadelphia: $42,429
  13. Connecticut: $41,692
  14. Florida – Southern: $39,768
  15. California – Los Angeles: $39,492
  16. California – San Francisco/Greater Bay Area: $39,250
  17. Texas – Houston/East TX: $39,189
  18. California – Santa Barbara/Ventura: $38,570
  19. Vermont: $37,880
  20. Massachusetts – Boston: $37,799
  21. DC – Washington DC/Northern VA/Suburban MD: $37,034
  22. Maryland – Baltimore: $36,934
  23. Michigan – Detroit: $36,619
  24. Hawaii: $36,424
  25. California – Orange County/Inland Empire: $34,012

Top 10 Most Affordable Places to Get Married
Based on average cost of a wedding in 2015, couples spend the least on their weddings in the following areas in the U.S.

  1. Alaska: $17,361
  2. South Dakota: $18,890
  3. Texas – West Texas: $19,261
  4. Arkansas: $19,856
  5. New Mexico: $20,114
  6. North Dakota: $20,211
  7. Idaho: $20,245
  8. Montana: $20,322
  9. Oregon: $20,456
  10. Illinois – Central: $21,818

Finally, in case you’re curious, here’s a budget breakdown that shows what couple are spending the most money on:

2015 Average Wedding Budget Breakdown
Figures based on respondents who hired a professional vendor for the service. Data also available for local U.S. cities and states.

Category

2015 National Average Spend

2014 National Average Spend

Overall Wedding (excluding honeymoon)

$32,641 ↑

$31,213

Venue (reception hall)

$14,788 ↑

$14,006

Photographer

$2,618 ↑

$2,556

Wedding/Event Planner

$1,996 ↑

$1,973

Reception Band

$3,833 ↑

$3,587

Reception DJ

$1,171 ↑

$1,124

Florist/Décor

$2,300 ↑

$2,141

Videographer

$1,824 ↑

$1,794

Wedding Dress

$1,469 ↑

$1,357

Groom’s Attire and Accessories

$269 ↑

$254

Wedding Cake

$575 ↑

$555

Ceremony Site

$2,089 ↑

$1,901

Ceremony Musicians

$703 ↑

$637

Invitations

$445 ↑

$439

Transportation

$792 ↑

$767

Favors

$267 ↓

$275

Rehearsal Dinner

$1,296 ↑

$1,206

Engagement Ring

$5,871 ↑

$5,855

Catering (price per person)

$68

$68

Officiant

$273 ↑

$266

Curious to know more? You can read the survey’s full findings here.

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