Wedding costs reach an all-time high at $31,213

Wedding season is underway and with it comes the The Knot’s annual survey of all things wedding related.

Earlier this month, the online wedding resource released The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study and for brides hoping to spend less money on getting married, the news isn’t very good.

In 2014, the average wedding spend was $31,213 (honeymoon excluded).

That’s the highest it has been since 2008 when the Knot began tracking the data and it reflects the upward trend in wedding budgets that has been taking place since 2011. Atlanta brides come in below the national average, spending an average of $26,737.

Spending in nearly every vendor category increased from 2013 to 2014 with the exception of invitations and favors. Reception venues suck up the bulk of the wedding budget (almost half) and other costs  — photographer, wedding planner, florist — have also increased. The average amount brides spend on a wedding dress is $1,357. That’s an increase over last year, but still seems fairly respectable.

December is the most popular month to get engaged (15 percent) and guys are spending an average of $5,855 on a ring. June remains the most popular month to get married (15 percent of weddings) followed by October (14 percent of weddings).

Manhattan brides will pay an average of $76,328 for their weddings, while Utah brides are on the other end of the spectrum, spending $15,257 on average. Brides in South Florida and Louisiana are the only ones in the Southern region with average wedding costs ranked among the top 25 most expensive places to get married.

It appears that brides and grooms are more mature when they tie the knot. The average age of brides is 29 and grooms is 31, with couples having an average 14 month engagement. The bridal party is composed of 4 to 5 bridesmaids and groomsmen, and the average number of wedding guests is 136. Twenty-four percent of brides and grooms opt for destination weddings.


Christopher Johnson and his wife, hold signs commemorating their wedding


Many couples in recent years have customized their weddings and according to the survey, brides in Savannah (and Hawaii) are still having the most casual weddings compared to brides in North/Central NJ and Long Island where formal black-tie weddings rule.

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