Modern weddings have become costly and statistics show that the trend is on an upward trajectory. In the entire United States, the average wedding spending habits increased by more than $5,000 between 2010 and 2015. By 2015, the average amount spent on weddings was $32,641. However, there are some regions of the country that exhibit higher spending averages than others. This article aims to take a closer look at these areas and the factors contributing to their ranking.

Manhattan, New York

Manhattan couples are the leading high-end spenders on weddings with an average of $82,299 spent. Of course, one contributing factor is that prices for venues and wedding accessories are higher in Manhattan than most other places. Interestingly, Manhattan weddings also had the highest average age of marriage at 32.8 years old for brides and 35.4 years old for grooms. This factor could mean the couple had more disposable income to spend.

Chicago, Illinois

Chicago is the second most expensive city to get married with the cost of a wedding averaging $61,265. Wedding venues alone cost an average of $21,803 in Chicago. Wedding items, professional planners, and accessories are also more expensive compared to other US cities.

Westchester/ Hudson Valley, New York

Located on the periphery of New York City, an average wedding costs $57,501 in Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York. Wedding venues alone cost around $6,000 with others costing more than $35,000.

Long Island, New York

Another appearance from the New York metro area, weddings in Long Island cost an average of $56,950. Once again, venue plays a large role in a wedding’s budget, and couples in Long Island have a variety of pricey wedding venues to choose from ranging from barns, vineyards, mansions and hotels.

Why Couples Spend More

With weddings being a one-day affair, the majority of couples want to create the perfect and most memories on their special day. For this reason, many acquire professional planners, designers, culinary services and sometimes even hold destination weddings. According to a survey conducted by The Knot, the number of guests in weddings has reduced while the cost per guest has increased.

Cultural expectations and pressure from the media also contributes to the increased spending on weddings. However, increased household income could also be an explanation for increased wedding spending. Modern couples also seek to create more personalized weddings with themes, including the infusion of religious and cultural practices and traditions which may increase the overall costs. Due to the high costs of weddings and more importance attached to the ceremonies, the engagement period has also increased for many couples, which earns couples more time to plan for the perfect wedding experience.

Cities by their Average Wedding Cost

RankCityAverage Cost of Wedding in USD, 2015
1Manhattan, New York82,299
2Chicago, Illinois61,265
3Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York57,501
4Long Island, New York56,950
5North/Central, New Jersey55,389
6Cape Cod, Massachusetts54,334
7Rhode Island50,266
8Outer Buroughs, New York46,682
9Middle Atlantic45,098
10Palm Springs, California44,646
11New Orleans, Louisiana44,178
12South New Jersey43,223
13Philadelphia, Pennsylvania42,429
15Southern Florida39,478