Entries in Brides (2)


US Couples Spent Average of $27,000 on Weddings in 2011

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Here comes the bride -- and the hole in your wallet. A survey published this week shows that the average wedding budget is $27,021 and has grown, year over year, for the first time since 2008.

In a survey of 18,000 U.S. couples who married in 2011, respondents listed their expenses in 16 categories. The survey showed that the average amount spent per guest was $196.

Overall wedding spending, which excludes the honeymoon, increased from $26,985 in 2010 and $28,385 in 2009. Two wedding sites, and, conducted the annual survey among members who were 18 or older and had a wedding in 2011.'s site editor, Anja Winikka, said the slight uptick in spending could be attributed to a change in attitude in wedding spending related to the perception of an economic recovery. According to the survey, fewer brides, 29 percent, said the economy affected their wedding budget, compared to 31 percent in 2010 and 34 percent in 2009.

"Of course it's an individual, case-by-case basis, but even if you had the money in the past, you may have not wanted to spend it," she said.

New York City brides also spent the most on their weddings overall ($65,824) and on their dresses ($2,403). Brides in North and South Dakota spent the least on their dresses: $745. Couples said the wedding venue or reception hall was still the most expensive expense at $12,116, compared to $12,124 in 2010 and $12,838 in 2009.

Here are the seven areas around the country where couples spend the most on their weddings:

1. New York City (Manhattan)
2. Chicago
3. New York Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and New York City's Outer Boroughs)
4. New Jersey
5. Rhode Island
6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, Calif., and Los Angeles
7. Philadelphia

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Average Wedding Cost Drops to $26,501

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Though June, one of the most popular months for weddings, is nearing its end, the summer wedding season is far from over.  And as couples tie the knot this year, they appear to be doing more with less.

The average wedding cost dipped to $26,501 in 2011, according to Brides magazine's 2011 American Wedding Study.  In 2009, the last time the survey was published, the cost of a wedding was $28,082.

This wasn't a scientific survey of all American weddings.  The 2,985 respondents to the survey were women 18 and over, engaged or married within the year who responded between April 15 and April 28.  Those surveyed visited or were Brides magazine subscribers.

Brides and grooms who are nervous about the shaky economy are breaking traditions and spending less on their engagement events and wedding day.

Despite some signs of a modest economic recovery, many couples may still not feel confident about their financial situation.  And many are opting to spend or give their money in other places.

Sally Kilbridge, deputy editor of Brides magazine, said most couples start to determine their wedding budget just after they get engaged.

"Since wedding budgets are set very early in the game, that decrease in the cost of weddings for 2011 actually reflects a decrease in what people were budgeting 18 months earlier, when the economic recovery hadn't taken hold," she said.  "Having said that, couples are a lot more thoughtful today about how they're spending their money -- when you're not sure about your job and your future, you're much less likely to go into debt."

Take the engagement, for example.  The average cost of an engagement ring is $4,647, down 27 percent from 2009, the last time the magazine conducted the survey.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio