Does Love Cost a Thing?
Love might not cost a thing, but weddings most definitely do, as any newlywed couple (or their parents) will tell you. But just how much is too much? The Knot surveyed 13,000 couples married in 2017 to get an idea of their budgets and found the average wedding costs $33,391—not including the honeymoon. If that sounds like a supersized price tag, brace yourself: It was actually the first time since The Knot started doing the survey that the price went down.
That’s because fewer couples are going the super-pricy black tie route and are instead opting for nontraditional locations that also happen to be less expensive. But spending hasn’t gone down across the board—in fact, although people are inviting fewer guests, they’re actually spending more per guest. In 2017, it reached an all-time high of $268. Custom guest entertainment also tripled—think sparklers, selfie stations, and lawn games.
Before you faint, keep in mind that the average wedding spending in Kansas City, Missouri, was $22,718. Furthermore, you can and should always design a budget that works for you financially before you start planning your wedding.
Some of our key takeaways:
Brides spend an average of $1,509 on their wedding dress. Before you say “I do” to a dress, do your research to make sure you’re getting a dress that both you and your budget will love. At an off the rack bridal boutique like Savvy Bridal, you can find designer dresses for 30-60 percent off retail prices. Shopping sample sales can also help you save.
The single biggest expense for couples tying the knot in 2017? Venues, which cost $15,163 on average. While traditional wedding venues have their perks, including partnerships with vendors and skilled staff that may make your life easier, they can also come with a hefty price tag. If you have your heart set on a specific venue, talk to them about booking it for a day or season with less expensive rates. Or opt for less expected venues that will be willing to work with you for less. (Backyard weddings, like this gorgeous ceremony, are also a fun, personal option.)
A lot has changed about weddings over the years, but some couples are still embracing wedding traditions, especially those rooted in their heritage. Twenty-one percent of couples surveyed incorporated a traditional cultural element into their day big day, an idea we love. It can also take the place of more expensive entertainment if it involves playing music or dancing.
Couples very relatably said the most important consideration when it came to planning their wedding was cost, and 54 percent said they talked to their families about what they were willing to financially contribute. The bride’s family contributed 45 percent of the budget on average, followed by the couple paying for 41 percent and the groom’s parents pitching in 13 percent. And learn from this number: 41 percent of couples reported spending more than they had budgeted, with the average couple overspending by $7,319. Yikes! Ensure you don’t follow suit by actively tracking your budget using a system that works for you, whether that’s an Excel spreadsheet or a digital resource like Wedding Wire.