Getting hitched is getting pricier.
According to The Knot's latest survey, wedding spending has reached an all-time high — on average, couples are now dropping $35,329 to say "I do."
Not surprisingly, brides and grooms are shelling out the most in Manhattan, where weddings cost a whopping $78,464. Meanwhile, more than a thousand miles away in Arkansas, nuptials are the least pricey, averaging $19,522 per couple.
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Rocketing costs aren't due to bigger parties, but more elaborate celebrations as soon-to-be husbands and wives are dedicating more of their budget to custom details and entertainment.
"Couples are using their wedding day to make their first big statement as a couple," says Kellie Gould, editor-in-chief of The Knot. "From invitations to the reception band, couples are spending more to put their personal stamp on every detail."
As it turns out, throwing a Pinterest-worthy wedding doesn't come cheap. Elements like custom-designed Snapchat filters, photo booths and personalized stationery are all on the rise and quickly run up the wedding tab.
As for how brides can save on their big day, Gould has a few helpful tips and trick.
Serve a signature cocktail
It's a happy medium between an open bar and a cash bar. Gould recommends serving unlimited beer and wine along with two or three signature drinks. You can even personalize them with fun names like the "John and Mary-tini."
Swap out expensive flowers
Instead of peonies, opt for large open roses, which have the same look and feel, but cost a whole $10 less per stem.
Order half the cake
Cakes are a beautiful and delicious way to add a touch of personal style, but chances are — after a cocktail hour and a three-course dinner — most of your guests are full. Don't feel guilty ordering half the size of a wedding cake you'd need (i.e. 150 guests = cake for 75 people) and actually serve half-servings, says Gould. Trust us, your guests won't even notice!
Add elements that pull double duty
Reuse flower arrangements by transporting them from the ceremony to the reception hall or using a cascading bridal bouquet as a centerpiece on a sweetheart table. This way, brides can get floral arrangements they adore and show them off even more.
Check out the top 10 most and least expensive places to get married in the U.S. below:
- New York – Manhattan: $78,464
- New York – Long Island: $67,831
- New Jersey – North/Central: $62,606
- Illinois – Chicago: $60,035
- New York – Outer Boroughs: $59,027
- Massachusetts – Cape Cod: $58,608
- New York – Westchester/Hudson Valley: $54,428
- Rhode Island: $52,328
- Florida – Southern: $48,596
- Pennsylvania – Philadelphia/Delaware: $48,093
- Arkansas: $19,522
- Utah: $20,337
- Montana: $20,794
- Texas – West Texas: $21,688
- Oregon: $21,854
- Idaho: $22,018
- Arizona – Tucson: $22,175
- Iowa: $23,098
- Nevada: $23,239
- Oklahoma: $23,302