NEW YORK ( MainStreet) — Wedding season is here, more or less, and 78.9 million Americans are expected to attend a wedding this year, up from 67 million last year, according to American Express. On average, wedding guests will spend $673 per wedding, up from $618.
For couples getting married, they can expect to spend more than $31,000 for a wedding this year, according to The Knot, a New York City-based wedding services provider.
That said, wedding planning — and weddings themselves — are changing. "While wedding budgets continue to rise, with the national average at $31,213, guest lists are shrinking. The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009," said Rebecca Dolgin, editor-in-chief of The Knot. "Couples are focusing on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details, including finding unique venues to reflect their personality. Perhaps the biggest change we've seen is in the amount of brides using their mobile phone to plan their wedding — it has doubled in just three years."
Statistically, here's how The Knot breaks down wedding spending in 2015:
- Average wedding cost: $31,213, not including the honeymoon
- Most expensive place to get married: Manhattan, with a $76,328 average spend
- Least expensive place to get married: Utah, with a $15,257 average spend
- Average spent on a wedding dress: $1,357
- Average marrying age: bride, 29; groom, 31
- Average number of guests: 136
- Average number of bridesmaids: four to five
- Average number of groomsmen: four to five
- Most popular month to get engaged: December (for 16% of couples)
- Average length of engagement: 14 months
- Most popular month to get married: June (for 15% of couples) followed by October (14%)
- Popular wedding colors: ivory/white (44%), blue (37%), pink (28%), metallics (26%) and purple (23%). Dark blue has continued to grow every year, from 10% in 2008 to 24% in 2014
- Percentage of destination weddings: 24%
With those figures in mind, how are wedding couples crafting their budgets, and where can they cut spending, but not quality, on their big day? Evidently, "creativity" is the watchword.