Cost Of A Marriage

Dated: 01/19/2018

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The Cost of a Marriage

The Cost of a Marriage


The cost of marriage has reached an all-time high. According to The Knot’s annual study, the national average for weddings in 2016 was a whopping $35,329, not including the honeymoon. That’s an increase of eight percent since 2015’s study, and if this year follows suit, the average cost of a marriage will increase to $38,000. To put it into perspective, that’s enough to feed 350 children every weekend for an entire school year (Washington Post). Here’s how people are exceeding the five-digit realm for their wedding budget.

Location plays a huge role, with a national average of $16,107 spent on venues

Wedding venues are at the top of the list in terms of priority when it comes to weddings. With 48 percent of couples requiring a scenic backdrop for their wedding, as reported by The Knot. Couples are also now choosing to have more weddings away from home, with 49 percent of weddings more than 200 miles from the bride and groom’s hometown.

Despite the overall number of destination weddings being down, a significant number of couples are still choosing to take their vows overseas. The top locations for destination weddings in 2016 were:

  • Hawaii (35 percent)

  • The Caribbean (27 percent)

  • California (14 percent)

  • Florida (12 percent)

  • Mexico (10 percent).

As for the most expensive locations for a wedding in the United States, Manhattan is at the top of the list with an average of $78,464 for the whole wedding and Long Island weddings follow with a cost of $67,831. Weddings in New Jersey were the third most expensive, with an average of $62,606. As for the least expensive,  take a look at Arkansas ($19,522), Utah ($20,337) and Montana ($20,794).

The cost of hiring professionals for the big day accounts for an average $13,249  

Although the wedding location accounts for approximately half of the budget, hiring professional services makes up a majority of the other half. On average, couples are spending $4,156 for a band and $1,245 for a DJ, $2,783 to have professional photos taken of their big day and $1,995 for a videographer. Add in the cost of a wedding planner ($2,037), ceremony musicians ($755) and officiant ($278), and you have a total cost of $13,249 just in extra staff.

Wedding decorations, invitations, flowers, favors, cake, and transportation equals $4,705 on average

The details of the wedding add to the cost of a marriage, totaling $4,705 on average. Couples are spending an average of $2,534 on florists and décor, $582 for a wedding cake, $462 for invitations, and $268 for wedding favors. If you add in transportation, a cost of approximately $859, the total cost of wedding details is $4,705.

The wedding necessities account for an average $9,007

There are some things no wedding is complete without; they’re also some of the costliest features of a wedding when combined. On average, couples are spending $6,163 on the engagement ring, $1,564 on a wedding dress and $280 for the groom’s attire. Wedding bands are another wedding necessity. Depending where you go, a plain 14-karat gold ring or a simple platinum band may cost around $1,000 (The Knot). Keep in mind that this is for the simplest of wedding bands, for something more extravagant, the cost will increase depending what you plan on doing to personalize the rings.


With all expenses considered, a marriage in 2016 cost, on average, $35,329. Fortunately, there are various ways you can cut costs, such as hosting a backyard wedding instead of a destination wedding, sending virtual wedding invitations instead of the traditional kind, and opting to hire either a band or a DJ instead of both. Consider creating your own favors, decorations and centerpieces to save money.

Keep in mind that money isn’t necessary to have a beautiful wedding.With a little ingenuity and creativity, you can create memories on your own dime within your budget.

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Glenn Olson

Hello! I'm Glenn Olson and I am an avid golfer, sports enthusiast, hiker adventurist, passionate home gardener and recently returned Peace Corps volunteer from the Republic of Moldova. I have experien....

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