March 17, 2015 – By Kimberly Gedeon
Aah, weddings. A night full of love, laughter, and the sanctity of matrimony — that you just might be paying for the rest of your lawfully wedded life. The costs of tying the knot has skyrocketed to an all-time high of $31,213, CNBC reports.
Those wedding bells are quickly morphing into alarm bells as the price tag of the average wedding climbed up 4.5 percent from previous year ($29,858), according to The Knot’s annual Real Wedding study. If we’re looking at the past four years, wedding costs climbed 16 percent, MarketWatch said.
“I think it goes beyond inflation,” said Dhanusha Sivajee, executive vice president of marketing for The Knot’s parent XO Group.”We’ve seen the amount of guests go down but the amount of spend per guest go up.”
Of course, the more affluent the bride, the more expensive the wedding will be, but Sivajee points out that the study spotted an uptick in spending even among lower income wives-to-be. Love birds are also shelling out more cash on the reception — along with cocktail hour — than they did a couple years ago. The ceremony itself, though, is getting less attention and affection when it comes to funding.
Sticking to a budget, the study found, has proven to become increasingly difficult for the bride and groom.
“Last year, 45 percent of couples said they busted their budget, while 23 percent said they didn’t even have a budget to begin with,” CNBC added.
On average, Americans spend $14,006 on a venue, $3,587 on reception performers, $5,855 on the engagement ring, $2,556 on the photographer, 2,141 on flowers and decor, $1,357 on the wedding dress, $1,206 on the rehearsal dinner, $439 on invitations, and lastly, $275 on party favors, according to MarketWatch.
“The cost of getting married in the U.S. also happens to be exactly the same — give or take $92 — as a 15% down payment on a median-priced home worth $208,700,” MarketWatch added. Whew!
The love birds aren’t the only ones feeling the financial heat. Guests, too, feel the crunch when it comes to weddings. According to a poll conducted by American Consumer Credit Counseling, 43 percent of Americans declined a wedding invitation due to financial constraints — 36 percent went into debt to attend a friend’s wedding.
The Knot’s Real Wedding study surveyed 16,000 couples throughout the United States.