Fairy tales aren’t free. As summer wedding season ramps up, we wanted to explore how couples across America celebrate their nuptials (and get an idea of how much they spend on their weddings), so we asked wedding planning site TheKnot.com to share some findings from their annual survey, The Knot 2013 Real Weddings Study. After all, June, one of the two most popular months to get married in (along with September), is just around the bend.
The survey includes responses from 13,000 American brides and grooms who got hitched in 2013. (These were newlyweds who had used TheKnot.com to plan their weddings, so they were likely to be couples who put a fair amount of care into their big day.) We asked for data in three categories in each surveyed location across the country: average total wedding cost, average amount brides spent on their wedding dresses, and the average number of guests that attended. The fascinating findings are below.
Note: Rather than breaking the data down only state-by-state, The Knot’s figures are, in some states, broken down into even smaller regions like coastal areas or cities. The maps below show snapshots of these numbers; for the full list of data, which includes many more specific locations, scroll past the maps.
Average Total Wedding Cost
Overall, the average total wedding cost (excluding the honeymoon) across the U.S. was $29,858. And in the map below, you’ll see that the average wedding cost of most regions of the U.S. hover between $22,000 and $26,000.
There are a few notable outliers, though. The spot in America that had the most expensive weddings was Manhattan in New York, where the average amount couples spent on their weddings was a whopping $86,916! Long Island, New York (not shown on the map, but in the list below) came in a distant second at an average of $57,343.
Compare that to the opposite end of the spectrum: Idaho was the place with the least expensive weddings, at an average of $16,159 spent. West Texas (not shown on the map) was the second cheapest place to wed, with an average cost of $17,082.
[Click map to enlarge]
Average Amount Brides Spent on Their Dresses
Now, onto the wedding gown, which, as anyone who’s watched TLC’s Say Yes to the Dress knows, is one of a wedding’s most important elements. Across America, the average amount brides spent on their wedding dresses was $1,281. And you’ll see in the map below that most locations’ averages stay within the $1,000 to $1,400 range.
Only a few regions’ averages dipped into triple figures: Alaskan brides spent the least on their gowns, with an average of $804, Oklahoman brides spent an average of $859, and Iowan brides spent an average of $967, to name three of them.
And of course, there are a few regions with brides with more expensive taste. Once again, Manhattan takes first place for the spot where brides spent the most, with an average of $3,027! Just outside Manhattan, in New York City’s outer boroughs, the average fell to $1,761 (not shown on the map, but included in the list below).
[Click map to enlarge]
Average Number of Guests at Weddings
Finally, we wanted to know where in America the biggest and smallest weddings were being thrown. And as it turns out, not everything is bigger in Texas. The largest weddings were in the Midwest, specifically in Nebraska and Iowa (222 and 195 guests on average, respectively). The smallest ones were in Nevada and Hawaii (63 and 81).
Oddly enough, the most expensive weddings weren’t the largest. The average number of guests at nuptials in Manhattan was 138—the same as the nationwide average.
[Click to enlarge map]
Here’s the full list of data provided from The Knot 2013 Real Weddings Study:
Average total wedding cost: $22,083
Average amount brides spent on their dresses: $1,183
Average number of wedding guests: 161
Average total wedding cost: $20,607
Average amount brides spent on their dresses: $804
Average number of wedding guests: 107
15 Long-Lasting Celebrity Marriages
Average total wedding cost: $17,799
Average amount brides spent on their dresses: $1,103
Average number of wedding guests: 134
Average total wedding cost: $24,504
Average amount brides spent on their dresses: $1,136
Average number of wedding guests: 113
Next: More location-by-location wedding statistics.