In any case, a survey of approximately 16,000 brides by the XO Group determined that the average cost of a wedding, excluding a honeymoon, was $31,213 in 2014, though a marriage in Manhattan might put a new family back approximately $76,328. According to the Washington Post, this number represents a five-year high for wedding costs though when adjusted for inflation, “That spending is not quite equal to pre-recession highs, but it’s getting close.”
Among other interesting results from the survey, XO Group found that only 12 percent of couples pay for a wedding “entirely themselves.” Of the ones who receive help, the bride’s parents typically contribute 43 percent, the bride and groom pay for 43 percent and the groom’s parents contribute only 12 percent to the wedding bill.
In terms of perspective, Market Watch reports that the average cost of getting married in the US is “exactly the same — give or take $92 — as a 15 percent down payment on a median-priced home worth $208,700 in the fourth quarter of 2012.” And disturbingly (at least in economic terms), with divorce rates creeping above 50 percent, nearly 17 percent of couples who marry will decide to marry again, some more than twice.
Importantly, it’s not just the soon-to-be newlyweds who potentially find themselves spending too much money. Market Watch reports that 43 percent of Americans decline wedding invitations for financial reasons, while 36 percent have gone into debt to attend a friend’s wedding.
Looking at the economic bright side, Sreekar Jasthi, an analyst associated with the finance website NerdWallet.com told Market Watch, “[The greater expenditure] shows that people are feeling better about the economy.” But the good news ends here. Jasthi continues that, “Our research shows that the least-expensive counties spend a greater portion of their income. That’s concerning.”
To avoid the potential debt some of their peers are placing themselves in to pay for their weddings, Bloomberg Business reports that 38 percent of millennials delay getting married in order to afford a home. At the very least, perhaps this report will highlight new ways for couples to save as they consider their wedding plans. For example, realizing how expensive it is to marry in New York, a couple could consider changing their wedding’s location from NY to somewhere less expensive and save money, even with the added travel costs. As Peggy Duncan said of her daughter Katie who was married last May, “She was pretty good at cutting costs and being willing to do different things to save.”
(Photo courtesy of Susan Murtaugh)