The cost of weddings is on the rise, guest lists are shrinking and creativity is soaring. Kevin Broady takes a closer look at the newest numbers behind The Big Day.

Weddings are ideally a once-in-a-lifetime celebration of love, so brides and grooms are often willing to spend a small fortune in order to make it memorable. According to online wedding-planning, the average American wedding costs over $25,000, though many are significantly more expensive.

Flowers, dresses, tuxedos, food and rings can all rack up a large bill for the families of the couple, or the couple themselves and that's not counting the bill from wedding planners hired to make everything move smoothly. While weddings can be costly anywhere, the amount Americans spend on nuptials varies from one state to the next. Here, a look at the spending that goes into a trip down the aisle.


2017 Average National Wedding Budget Breakdown

Overall Wedding:  $33391

Venue:  $15163

Photographer: $2630

Wedding/Event Planner: $1988

Reception Band: $4019

Reception DJ: $1231

Florist/Décor: $2379

Videographer: $1912

Wedding Dress: $1509

Ceremony Site: $2311

Ceremony Musicians: $761

Invitations:  $408

Transportation: $830

Favors:  $252

Rehearsal Dinner: $1295

Engagement Ring: $5764

Catering (price per person):  $70

Officiant:  $284


Top 2017 Wedding Statistics

Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29.2; Groom, 30.9

Average Number of Guests: 136

Average Number of Bridesmaids: 5

Average Number of Groomsmen: 5

Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December 

Average Length of Engagement: 14.0 months

Percentage of Destination Weddings: 25%


And the bridesmaids wore….

The most popular wedding colors:

Ivory/Champagne: 37%

Dark Blue: 32% 

Gold: 30%)


Setting the Date

The perennially popular June wedding is getting edged out by a new favorite season. The most popular months to get married:

September: 16%

 June: 15%

October: 14%


Getting Hitched in Kentucky

There were 32,135 weddings in our state in 2017. Here’s the breakdown of the average budget:

Cost of a typical wedding:  $18,222

Average dress cost: $1,104

Average ring cost:  $2,994

Average household Income:  $44,811


Getting Hitched Across the River

There were 45,705 weddings in Indiana in 2017. Here’s the breakdown of the average budget: 

Cost of a typical wedding:   $22,090

Average Dress cost: $1,107

Average ring cost:  $3,130

Average Household Income:  $50,433


What’s in and out in Wedding Trends

These statistics show which trends are spiking and which are sinking:

Formal/black-tie weddings:  -16%

Ceremonies hosted in a religious institution: -22% 

Outdoor ceremonies +52% (as couples look for more unique, unconventional venues)

Farms, barns and ranch reception venues: +15%

Historic homes: +14% 

Banquet halls, hotels, resorts and country clubs: -17% 

Brides doing a bouquet toss: -53% 

Grooms doing a garter toss: -41% 

Couples doing a cake cutting: -88% 


There’s an App for That

For today’s busy couples, more wedding planning is happening on smart phones. The use of mobile phones for wedding planning activities increased 92%. Here’s a look at the most popular smartphone wedding planning activities:

Browsing for a wedding gown: +65% 

Researching wedding vendors: +54%

Using online planning tools: +48% 

Creating a personal wedding website: +31%

Online RSVP service: +28%



Couples continue to focus on creating an incredible guest experience, with 72% saying it was very important their guests were entertained at their wedding.  Here, some of the interesting ways they’re catering to their guests’ needs and creating a more couture event:

Average number of wedding guests: down to 136

Cost per wedding guest: up to $268

Custom guest entertainment: increased from 11% to 40%

photo booths: +69%

sparklers: +24%

selfie stations or video booths: +22%

games: +19%

candy bars: +13%

bonfires: +12%

musical performances: +12%

On the rise are fireworks, dance performers, cigar rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings and magicians. 



21%of couples incorporated cultural elements into their wedding. Examples include Chinese tea ceremony; flamenco guitarist; Irish step dancers and bagpipers; ceremonial readings in Italian and Polish; traditional Jewish hora dance; Moroccan belly dancers; Hawaiian lei exchanges; a reading from a Lebanese poet; traditional Hindu ceremony; 1,000 Japanese paper cranes for décor; Persian honey ceremony; African-American jumping the broom tradition; Cuban cigar rolling station; and more. (Note: This could be designed as a list.)


Happily Ever Hashtags

Couples are using social media more than ever to tell their personal story from the moment they get engaged. 

38% of couples shared photos and details on social media within minutes or hours of their engagement

64% created a custom wedding hashtag and shared it with guests on their personal wedding website

18% created a wedding invite

18% used save-the-dates 

16% created a ceremony program

23% created a custom Snapchat filter

10% had drones capture footage from above

9% had a photo-sharing app for guests to upload photos into one place

45% of couples shared wedding photos and details on social media

48% updated their relationship status to “married” on Facebook.

Statistics from the 2017 survey by, an online wedding-planning service.






Posted on 2019-01-04 by Kevin Broady