The Cost Of Weddings In 2017 Is Legit Horrifying

Photo: Touchstone/REX/Shutterstock.
The Knot has just released its annual Real Weddings Study, which surveyed about 13,000 American couples who got hitched in 2016 to learn about trends, spending habits, and more. The latest findings show that the average couple spends about $35,329 on their wedding day — which is almost $3,000 more than last year. We are legit horrified, though not surprised.

Interestingly, while the average cost of a wedding went way up, the average number of guests dropped to 141 (compared to 149 in 2009). This means couples were more focused on creating special experiences for their guests. And it shows: Custom entertainment has more than tripled since 2009, from 11% to 41% since 2009 — with photo booths (78%), games (18%), musical performances (12%), and fireworks (8%) topping the list. Cigar-rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings, and dance performers are also becoming more popular.

As expected, the most expensive place in the country to get married continues to be the isle of Manhattan, where couples reported spending an average of $78,464 on their nuptials (which is actually down about $4,000 from last year — so kudos, savvy city dwellers). Long Island and north and central New Jersey are close runners-up, at $67,831 and $62,606, respectively. The least expensive place to get married is Arkansas, where weddings cost $19,522 on average.

Just like in 2015, Manhattan and Long Island brides also spent the most on their wedding dresses ($2,564 and $2,473, respectively), while Nevada and Oregon brides spent the least ($1,074 and $1,171, respectively).

Tech keeps playing a bigger and bigger role in weddings: In 2016, 90% of couples used their phones for wedding planning, compared to just 42% in 2014. And when it comes to social media, 64% of couples created a wedding hashtag, with 48% sharing it on their wedding websites, 32% on the table cards, 20% on the ceremony programs, and 19% on the wedding invitations.

This year, we wouldn't be surprised if the popular hashtag was #WereSoDamnBrokeButHopeYouEnjoyTheHorsDoeuvres.
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For a detailed breakdown of spending by state — as well as the national average for each component of the wedding — see The Knot's handy infographics, below.
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