Entries in Planning (1)


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

ABC News Radio