Happily ever after now comes with a hefty price tag. According to the results of The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings Study, the national average cost of a wedding has hit an all-time high of $35,329, not including the honeymoon.
Sweating? You’re not alone.
In its annual report, The Knot surveyed nearly 13,000 brides and grooms across America. It found that in 2016, couples spent $2,688 more than they did in 2015, when the national average clocked in at $32,641.
So what accounts for the spending frenzy? It's not larger guest lists (the average is 141, which is down from 149 in 2009). The Knot points to couples’ increasing desire to personalize their weddings—with everything from food trucks, lawn games and photo booths to aerialists, gospel choirs and live portrait artists—as the contributing factor in ballooning budgets. Custom guest entertainment has more than tripled. As a result, the average cost per guest has increased to $245, up from $194 in 2009.
Keep in mind that average spending varies by region. In New York City, for example, the average wedding cost is $78,464, while an Arkansas affair will run couples closer to $19,522. With average budgets of $21,688 and $23,302, respectively, West Texas and Oklahoma are the south’s most affordable states to get married in.
Before you get worked up, remember that it’s still completely possible to have an amazing wedding that won’t break the bank no matter where you live. It all depends on your priorities, and how willing mama is to do the floral arrangements.
Head over to TheKnot.com for a more detailed analysis.