Here's What It Really Costs To Get Married In The US

Business Insider

Couples spent an average of $28,500 to tie the knot in 2012, according to a Wedding Channel/ TheKnot.com report.

That's just a couple thousand dollars shy of what the average homebuyer spends on a downpayment today ($31,000 by Trulia's estimate). 

And we're not even including the honeymoon. 

"In 2011, budgets increased for the first time since the economic downturn, and this past year, in 2012, we saw that wedding budgets are continuing to rise even more and to an all-time high since 2008," said  Carley Roney , cofounder of The Knot.

It's not the bridal gown that had couples tipping their budgets either. Brides dropped just $1,200 on their wedding dress last year, only about $100 more than the year prior.

They spent twice that much on the reception band alone. 

Blame the venue. Couples spent $800 more on the location of their ceremony last year than in 2011, which ate up nearly half their entire budget at $13,000. The only expense that came close was the engagement ring, which cost more than $5,400 on average.

Manhattan is still by far the priciest city for newlyweds, where they spent more than $77,000 on tying the knot –– a major leap from 2011's $65,000 price tag. That's more than five times as much as couples in chilly Alaska, where weddings averaged $15,000.  

Here are a few other interesting tidbits from the report: 

  • Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31
  • Average Number of Guests: 139
  • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5
  • Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5
  • Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16%)
  • Average Length of Engagement: 14 months
  • Most Popular Month to Get Married: June (17%)
  • Popular Wedding Colors: Blue (33%), Purple (26%), Green (23%), Metallics (23%)
  • Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%


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