Entries in Weddings (4)


Cost of Weddings Declining; Couples Are Still Going Over Budget

Altrendo images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While $27,000 can buy a nice car or be used as a down payment on a house, newlyweds in the U.S. would sooner spend it on their special day.

Since you only get married once -- well, that’s the general intention, at least -- no one can really blame couples for spending a small fortune on their wedding and reception.

Brides magazine in its annual survey says that the average cost of a wedding is now $26,989, which is down more than a grand from the 2008 peak of $28,082. However, David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, thinks that couples could be a lot more frugal if they weren’t brainwashed by friends, family and fantasies of celebrity weddings.

The Brides survey, conducted in May with over 1,270 responses, found that while nine in ten couples set a budget, 30 percent go over it anyway, including 40 percent of those who plan destination weddings.

To help pay for the wedding and reception, seven in ten couples dip into their savings account, while 30 percent will use credit cards.  Most are confident of settling all their debts within six months after walking down the aisle.

While it’s always nice to have parents foot the bill for the affair, 62 percent of couples say they’ll either pay for part or all of the reception.  That includes 36 percent who claim they’ll take care of the entire cost.

As for what the wedding will do to their personal finances, 54 percent of couples say that the price tag, no matter how high, won’t derail their future plans to buy a car or a house or even start a family.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Sam Adams Creates Ale for Newlyweds

Boston Beer Company(BOSTON) -- Newlyweds now have a little something else to celebrate other than their nuptials: a new beer from Samuel Adams.  Newlywed Ale, a limited-edition pale ale, will only be available Thursday from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the brewery’s Boston location.

“Brides, grooms, couples, recently engaged and recently married” are invited to the event, which will feature wedding experts from and a justice of the peace to perform impromptu ceremonies.  (Wedding license not included.)  Couples can also enter for a chance to win up to $1,000 for their rehearsal dinner.

The site describes the beer as a “limited release Belgian-style pale golden ale.  A distinct and complex brew, Samuel Adams Brewlywed Ale offers layers of flavor including fruit and honeysuckle notes from the Belgian yeast, sweetness from malt and citrus character from hops.”

Jim Koch, founder and brewer of Sam Adams, describes the beer as the color of a golden wedding band.

The 750mL bottles are $14.99 each and can be purchased in a case of 12.  Only 350 cases of the beer have been brewed.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Here Comes the Bill -- What Guests Spend at Weddings

Comstock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Wedding season will soon be in full bloom and with it, rapidly depleted back accounts, not just for the people paying for the events but also those invited to them.

But on the bright side, as a survey by American Express Spending and Saving Tracker discovered, guests will be spending quite a bit less on average this year than in 2011.

The price tag for gifts, travel, clothing and wedding preparations will amount to about $339 -- which sounds steep, but really isn’t given that the cost this time last year was a whopping $490.

In 2012, gifts alone for close family members averaged $196, but that's now down to $166. The amount spent for newlyweds considered close friends drops to $105, while co-workers who get married are only worth $56 on average per gift from guests.

About four in ten guests say they determine what to spend based on their relationship to the couple, while a third say their personal budgets will dictate how much the gift will cost.

Overall, guests are more inclined to purchase gifts from a registry -- probably because it requires less thought -- even as couples would really prefer cash instead.

As far as what they regard as the best part of the wedding, just over 60 percent of the 1,500 adults surveyed say food is what they look forward to the most, with the venue, entertainment and wedding cake following the meal in importance.

Guests also say that the happy couple could help themselves financially by eliminating things like "save the dates," transportation for the wedding party or guests and party favors.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


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