Americans Spend 6 Times as Much on Weddings as Europeans Do: Here’s Why

Many Europeans prefer low-key, less expensive weddings than couples in the U.S.

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. tops $31,000. If that sounds alarmingly high, it’s because it is, especially when you consider that $31,000 is more than half the average U.S. household income.

Maybe Americans could learn a few things from their European neighbors. According to MarketWatch, a low-key $5,000 wedding is fairly commonplace in Europe.

“People tend to remember a quiet ceremony and dinner as much as those who’ve had a big wedding,” says Ian Bright, senior economist at ING Group Research in London.

The average European couple who said “I do” in the last five years spent a median of just 5,000 euros (or $5,495 USD).

“As austerity has gripped Europe, brides and grooms have been content with opting for the economical over the extravagant, with only one-third of couples married in the last five years feeling their wedding would have been better with a bigger budget to spend,” the ING report found.

Also, a pan-European survey by ING revealed that 60 percent of people in Europe said they’d rather spend money on their house than a wedding, a percentage that’s even higher in the struggling countries of Spain (70 percent), Italy (68 percent), and the U.K. (67 percent), where they’ve been experiencing rising house prices.

It’s interesting that Europeans have seemed to tone down weddings at a time when Americans are continuing to drain their accounts (or go into debt) funding a big dream wedding.

Want to spend less? Check out “15 Ways to Save Big on Your Dream Wedding.”

How much did you spend on your wedding? Share your comments below. And if you know someone about to tie the knot, share this post!

Stacy Johnson

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