Spending and the Number of Wedding-Related Events Soar

written by BVM January 14, 2019
Spending and Number of Wedding related events soar.

According to Brides American Wedding Study 2018

Today Brides, Condé Nast’s iconic wedding brand and the authority on all things bridal, released findings from the 2018 American Wedding Study. The American Wedding Study is an annual survey of engaged and newlywed couples across the country, conducted by Brides, that reveals key insights into the latest wedding trends, behaviors, and spending habits for weddings in America.

“In 2018, spending is way up across categories, proving that while couples are doing things their own way, they are still prioritizing celebrating their marriage,” said Lisa Gooder, Executive Director, Brides. “More than ever, couples are savoring the whole process, from engagement to honeymoon and beyond, by celebrating with more events, trips, and professional photos or videos to capture the moments.”

The average cost of a wedding is $44,105, an all-time high, and couples invested in expanding the celebration more than ever. Also in 2018, 9 percent of couples took a wedding-moon (pre-wedding trip) together; 31 percent of couples had multiday-event wedding weekends (up from 20 percent in 2017); 39 percent of couples had a post-reception after-party (up from 20 percent in 2017); and 14 percent of brides wore a second look for their after-party (up from 7 percent in 2017).

Key Costs

  • Average cost of a wedding: $44,105
  • Average cost of reception: $9,764
  • Catering: $12,242
  • Rentals: $2,920
  • Dress: $2,260
  • Veil: $316
  • Day-of-wedding beauty for bride and bridal party: $944
  • Groom’s attire: $602
  • Wedding planner fees: $2,481
  • Cake: $547
  • Flowers: $2,629
  • Other decor $1,183
  • Wedding day transportation: $1,275
  • Reception music: $2,380
  • Photography: $3,133
  • Videography: $2,180
  • Ceremony: $651
  • Favors: $422
  • Rehearsal dinner: $2,775
  • Post-wedding brunch: $1,503
  • After-party: $1,325
  • Engagement ring(s): $7,829
  • Wedding ring(s): $1,890
  • Invitations, announcements, thank-you cards, etc.: $917
  • Gifts to parents: $386
  • Gifts to bridesmaids: $419

Some Key Findings

  • Average age of bride: 28
  • Average age of partner: 29
  • Average number of bridal attendants: 5.4
  • Average number of groomsmen: 5.3
  • September and October are the most popular months to get married (32%)
  • The majority of couples get married on Saturday (68%), followed by Friday (16%), and Sunday (9%)
  • Average number of guests: 167
  • 84% live together before getting married; 72% prior to engagement
  • 8% already have children, 2% have them together
  • 83% of couples began sharing expenses (i.e. rent/mortgage, utilities)

Ceremony/Reception:

  • 28% of couples opt to marry in an event space/hall/banquet facility
  • The number of couples that are married in a house of worship is down, at 23% (vs. 27% in 2017)
  • 10% of couples choose to marry in a resort/hotel or bed & breakfast
  • 6% of couples marry in a historical building
  • 5% marry in a country club or golf course
  • 45% have a pastor, rabbi, or other religious official perform the ceremony
  • 36% have friends/family get ordained to officiate the ceremony
  • 15% have a nondenominational officiant

Check out this handpicked feature on The American Boiler Manufacturers Association.

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