Weddings Now Cost More Than Two Years of College

In Depth

Your wedding will be a one-way ticket to America’s favorite past time, living in debt. Welcome to the best (and most expensive) day of your life!

Unless you’re Kim Kardashian or Kanye West, the average cost of an American wedding is now $31,213 according to CNN Money via The Knot, a swell of 4 percent from $29,858 in 2013. (To compare, a year of tuition, room, and board at a public university in the US was $14,300 in 2011-2012).

Where does the biggest chunk go? The venue, costing an average of $14,006, followed by the engagement ring and the band racking up $5,855 and $3,587 respectively. Oh, and feeding people is close to $68 a head, so pare that guest list down right now, especially since research shows that attendees are slimming down their gift spending to about $106 per couple. This was my favorite tidbit:

Guests in New York will spend an average of $172 on a gift this year, while those in Florida will dish out $148 and Californians will expend $116.
Gifts also depend on the guest’s relationship to the couple. Invitees will spend an average of $142 on family, and $90 for friends and colleagues, according to American Express.
One third of guests plan to gift cash to the newlyweds while 32% will pick something off the registry. Gift cards, non-registry gifts, money for the honeymoom or a donation also made the gift-giving list.

Dude, no one likes the person who gives gifts outside of the registry, don’t try to be a hero.

And while there are ways to trim matrimonial spending, for example, electronic invites and smaller wedding favors, if you’re in a big city like New York where the average wedding costs $76,328, it’s gonna be pricey either way. Meanwhile in a states like Utah, getting hitched costs about $15,257.


Image via Shutterstock.

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