Planning a wedding this year? First, congratulations. Second, get ready to go broke. A new survey has found that planning a wedding is more expensive than ever before.
surveyed 13,000 couples who got married in 2016 about how much money they spent on their wedding, and the average was a whopping $35,329. The Knot has conducted the survey for 10 years, and this number is an all-time high — and it doesn't even include the honeymoon.
The average number of wedding guests has actually dropped from 149 in 2009 to 141 this year, so this cash isn't going toward more seats. Instead, spending on custom entertainment has tripled, which means people are shelling out lots more on photo booths, games, music performances and even fireworks. More couples are splurging on signature cocktails, wine and liquor tastings and even cigar-rolling stations.
Naturally, the cost of a wedding is drastically different depending on your location. The most expensive place to get married was Manhattan, which had an average price tag of $78,464, while the least expensive location was Arkansas, which cost an average of $19,522. Nebraska and Iowa weddings had the largest number of guests, averaging 230 and 210, respectively, while Hawaii and Nevada weddings are the smallest, with averages of 74 and 84.
And though lots has changed about the cost of weddings over time, there's one thing that has remained traditional: who foots the bill. According to the survey, the bride's parents contribute on average 44 percent of the budget, the groom's parents pay 13 percent and the couple pays 42 percent. Only 10 percent of couples said they paid for the whole thing themselves.