The State Of American Weddings In 2017: Costs, Trends, and How to Save Money

    The average wedding in 2016 cost $36,329 but costs vary widely depending on location. You determine your wedding budget, so you can choose to have a more cost-friendly wedding event.

    In this infographic we’ll take a look at the costs, trends, and statistics of weddings from 2016 and provide a few tips to save money on your wedding.

    The State Of American Weddings In 2017: Costs, Trends, and How to Save Money


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    The Couples

    • Average age of Bride: 30
    • Average age of Groom: 32

    Same-sex couples skew these ages upward with female average age at 33 and males average age at 38.

    The Engagement

    • The Average Cost of an Engagement Ring: $5000 (36% spend 2 months of salary on the ring)
    • 70% Ask for Parents’ Blessing
    • 18% of all engagements happen in December

    Top 5 Most Popular Days to Get Engaged in 2016

    1. Christmas Day
    2. Valentine’s Day
    3. Christmas Eve
    4. New Year’s Day
    5. New Year’s Eve

    Wedding Planning

    Top 5 Reported Challenges in Wedding Planning:

    1. Determining the Budget and Guest Size
    2. Making Decisions
    3. Keeping Track of Expenses
    4. Knowing You’re on the Right Track with Planning
    5. Finding Vendors

    On average, couples hire 13 vendors for their wedding. The top 3 most commonly hired are:

    1. Photographer (84%)
    2. Reception Venue (79%)
    3. Hair and Makeup (72%)


    • 52% of Millennials have all/the majority of their wedding paid for by their parents.
    • 61% of same-sex couples pay for the majority of their wedding, but are receiving more financial help from family and friends than in years past.
    • 63% of all Gen X couple are paying for all/the majority of the wedding on their own.

    The Wedding

    Average Wedding Cost (excluding honeymoon) in 2016: $35,329

    • Average Wedding Dress Cost: $1,564
    • Average Reception Venue Cost: $16,107
    • Average Reception Band Cost: $4,156
    • Average Reception DJ: $1,245

    5 Most Expensive Places to Get Married In the US

    1. New York – Manhattan (Average Wedding Cost: $78,464)
    2. New York – Long Island (Average Wedding Cost: $67,831)
    3. New Jersey – North/Central (Average Wedding Cost: $62,606)
    4. Illinois – Chicago (Average Wedding Cost: $60,035)
    5. New York – Outer Boroughs (Average Wedding Cost: $59,027)

    Most Affordable States to Get Married:

    1. Arkansas (Average Wedding Cost: $19,522)
    2. Utah (Average Wedding Cost: $20,337)
    3. Montana (Average Wedding Cost: $20,337)
    4. Texas (Average Wedding Cost: $21,688)
    5. Oregon (Average Wedding Cost: $21,854)

    Top 5 Days to Get Married in 2016:

    1. October 22
    2. October 15
    3. October 8
    4. November 5
    5. September 24


    • 84% of Ceremonies have at least one person wearing white
    • 70% wear something old, new, borrowed and blue
    • 87% of couples perform first dance
    • 84% have a cake-cutting ceremony

    The Honeymoon

    The average cost of honeymoons is around $4000

    • 28% Accommodations
    • 23% Airfare/Travel
    • 21% Food/Drinks
    • 19% Activities
    • 9% Other

    Destination Weddings

    20% of Weddings in 2016 were Destination Weddings

    89% of U.S. Destination Weddings take place in the United States, with the top 3 locations being:

    1. Hawaii (35%)
    2. California (14%)
    3. Florida (12%)

    The Top 3 International Destination Wedding Locations of 2016 were:

    1. Mexico
    2. Dominican Republic
    3. Jamaica

    How to Save Money on YOUR Wedding

    Don’t Get Married on Saturday
    Venues and vendors often charge a premium for booking on Saturdays because so many couples get married on Saturdays. Sunday or weekday weddings can often cost a significant amount less.

    Be Realistic
    Pinterest and Instagram-worthy weddings has caused expectations to be unrealistically high. Figure out a budget and be realistic about what you can do with it.

    Have an honest discussion about what’s important to you at your celebration. If both of you really care about having good food, but don’t care as much about the decorations, focus your budget towards the food.

    Rethink the Venue
    The reception venue is the largest cost at most weddings. Think of creative places that could cost less. Consider the backyard of a friend or a public park that has lower rental fees.

    • This is where prioritizing helps. If the “where” is your most important item on your list, you’ll have to budget in all the other categories.

    Embrace Rustic Glam
    The new trend of weddings–Rustic Glam–involves dressing up natural elements. Take advantage of the natural part of the trend. Forage for your flowers among friends’ gardens. Reuse free pallet wood as decor.

    Enlist Help
    Buy your friends some pizza and have a pre-wedding party to prepare food, make decorations, etc. Doing things yourself can save money, but you’ll need help.

    Ask Around
    Often your vendors or your rented venue will have decor that is included in your package or can be added for a fee if you ask. Also ask friends and family and recently-wed acquaintances. Many people have decorations left over from their own weddings they may be willing to loan you.

    Serve Food Creatively
    Each tier you add to your wedding cake costs extra and if you get a cake large enough to feed your entire crowd, you could be spending a lot. Go with a small, ceremonial cake and then use sheet cakes for your guests. Also use smaller drink glasses. Many people take a sip, set it down, and then go back for another one.

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