Weddings Get Smaller as Average Price Tag Hits Record Levels

Photo (cc) by GU / 古天熱

Tying the knot isn’t cheap. On average, brides and grooms are spending more than $31,000 to say “I do.”

According to a recent study from The Knot, the cost of a couple’s walk down the aisle reached an all-time high of $31,213 in 2014, up more than 4 percent from 2013. And that doesn’t even include the honeymoon!

Rebecca Dolgin, editor in chief of The Knot, said in a statement:

While wedding budgets continue to rise, with the national average at $31,213, guest lists are shrinking. The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009. Couples are focusing on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details, including finding unique venues to reflect their personality.

On average, the couple and the bride’s family evenly split the cost for the bulk of the wedding, each paying about 43 percent of the total wedding costs. The groom’s family ponies up about 12 percent.

The Knot survey found:

  • Most expensive place to get married: Manhattan, average wedding cost: $76,328.
  • Least expensive place to get married: Utah, $15,257.
  • Average wedding dress cost: $1,357.
  • Average number of guests: 136.

So, what’s eating up the bulk of the wedding budget? According to The Knot, the wedding venue ($14,006), the engagement ring ($5,885) and the band ($3,587) are the most expensive wedding costs, followed by the photographer ($2,556) and the florist and décor ($2,141).

Looking to marry on the cheap but still have the wedding you’ve always dreamed of? Check out 15 Ways to Save Big on Your Dream Wedding.

And here’s some food for thought before you pick out a big, expensive engagement ring or spend an extravagant amount of money to say “I do”: A 2014 study found that high-priced rings and costly weddings correlate with higher divorce rates.

I got married in 2006, in front of about 150 guests. Overall we spent about $17,000, and that included our honeymoon to Maui. Our parents split the bulk of the wedding costs.

What do you think of the amount of money couples are shelling out to get married these days? How much did you pay for your wedding? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

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