Weddings are all about romance to the couple. Sadly to the rest of the world, they are increasingly becoming about business. The price of weddings continues to rise and if you can sell something with the word wedding in front of it you can charge a handsome additional fee. While the wedding day is likely the most important day of your life, it is still just one day. Wedding insanity is reaching new limits and people are spending their life savings on what is essentially a party. While it is an important celebration most people would be wiser to spend this money on their first home, their children or their business. Let’s take a look at the average cost of a wedding to understand just how crazy things have become.
In 2020 the average figures are no longer comparable to prior years. Because of the coronavirus, large crowds were not allowed to gather so the majority of weddings that did take place did not cost the same amount as in previous years. We looked at one venue that usually charges $30,000 for 300 guests and is now charging $3,000 for 30 guests. Getting married during the covid-era may just be a smart move after all.
Looking at 2019 provides a clearer picture of the true trend of wedding costs and they are still getting more expensive. In 2019 the average cost of a wedding in the United States was $34,000. This figure does not even include the honeymoon although it does include the engagement ring. When you break down the figures by type of wedding it is even more interesting. Those on their first marriage will spend $30,000 while those on their second will only spend $14,000, it appears they have learned something. Gen Xers will spend $20,000 while Millenials are happy to spend $30,000. The difference between destination weddings and those at home was small with destination weddings costing $32,000 and at-home weddings slightly less at $27,000.
While these numbers are incredibly high it is important to be wary of averages. Averages are always skewed by outliers and those who are incredibly wealthy or simply insane will spend much higher on their wedding and drive up the average as a result. The median figure is likely a better measure. While the average takes the cost of all weddings and divides by the number of weddings, the median simply looks at the price of the wedding in the middle. In 2016 for example the average cost of a wedding was $26,000 while the median was $14,500. This is clearly a massive difference and one that should be explained to anyone about to get married. There is no need to spend your life savings.
The cost of a wedding is usually driven incredibly high by the venue, the rings, the band, and photography. The venue costs on average about $10,000 while the engagement ring costs $6,000 and the wedding rings cost $2,000. The band could cost just under $4,000 while the photographer could charge over $2,000. If you are keeping count you have already spent $24,000 and you still haven’t covered flowers ($2,000) the dress ($1,500) the DJ ($1,200) and more. Clearly, these are extraordinary costs and most people will go cheaper on one item to allow them to spend higher on a different cost.
Whatever way you look at it these weddings are simply too expensive. When you consider how little marriage means in the modern world and that it is more of a celebration of life, love, and your partner – it doesn’t make sense to spend these silly amounts.