Getting Hitched? The $30K Wedding Day


$30k Wedding Day_BlogWedding bells are ringing—and the bills are piling up.

According to’s annual Real Weddings Study, a survey of 13,000 brides and grooms who tied the knot last year, average wedding costs hit an all-time high of $29,858 in 2013—up 5% from the previous year. Further, only 20% of the couples surveyed say the economy had an impact on their wedding budget; that percentage has gone down steadily from a record-high of 34% in 2009.

The biggest factor in how much a couple shelled out for their big day? Location, location, location. Unsurprisingly, Manhattan takes the cake (which costs a national average of $546, by the way) for most expensive, with an average wedding bill of $86,916. Idaho ranked last at $16,159.

These figures don’t include the couple’s honeymoon, but do account for other typical wedding expenses, such as the photographer, wedding dress and reception music—all of which have increased in average cost since 2012.

The study also identified another trend on the rise: weddings as the ultimate form of self-expression. “Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests,” The Knot co-founder Carley Roney said in a press release. Couples are opting for personal touches, such as signature wedding cocktails, interactive food stations, photo booths and officiants who are friends or family members.

Incorporating many of these “extras” isn’t cheap. So if you’re looking for ways to slash your wedding bill without compromising your big-day vision, try these fun ways to save on wedding costs or get inspired by Jane Bianchi, who found creative ways to trim $21,000 off her wedding budget.

  • NJS007

    WOW! In my area, small town SC, you can buy a fixer-upper 2-3 bedroom house and still have enough money left over to fix it up with $30K. That is too much for the average couple to spend for a one day event. Instead of spending so much on the wedding, it would be more practical to use the money for a longer time investment in the marriage, a house or paying off debts.

    Money issues are the main reasons marriages fail. I know several couples who decided to purchase houses (often with cash only) instead of big weddings, and all of these couples are still married. They were in the relationship for the long haul, not for some fancy party. Time to get your priorities right.