And the most expensive American city to get married in is … you guessed it: New York, according to the 2018 Newlywed Report by WeddingWire.
While the average age of engaged couples is 32 years old, and 56% say buying a home in the following two years is in the cards for them. Online resources are used for 83% planning (on desktop computers, tablets and cell phones), and Pinterest is the most popular social media platform utilized during this process at 69%. Facebook came in second place at 60%, while Instagram came in third at 44%.
The data comes from a survey of 17,862 people who got married in 2017, drawing data from WeddingWire’s Newlywed Survey, compiled yearly. Millennials were defined as those born between 1982 and 1996.
The top 10 most expensive American cities to get married in
Here’s how much weddings cost, on average, in the 25 biggest “metro area markets.”
- New York & surrounding metro area, NY: $45K in 2017 ($48K in 2016)
- Boston, MA: $37K in 2017 ($36K in 2016)
- San Francisco – Oakland, CA: $36K in 2017 ($40K in 2016)
- Washington, DC: $34K in 2017 ($35K in 2016)
- Chicago, IL: $34K in 2017 ($35K in 2016)
- Hartford – New Haven, CT: $34K in 2017 ($27K in 2016)
- Los Angeles, CA: $33K in 2017 ($33K in 2016)
- Baltimore, MD: $33K in 2017 ($31K in 2016)
- Philadelphia, PA: $32K in 2017 ($34K in 2016)
- Miami – Ft. Lauderdale, FL: $31K in 2017 ($31K in 2016)
The most popular time of the year to get engaged and married
While WeddingWire deemed November to February “engagement season,” the most popular month was December at 16%. The average cost of a ring is $5,000, “1 in 4 couples” throw a party for their engagement, and the average engagement length is 13 months.
These were the five most popular engagement days in 2017:
- Christmas Day
- Valentine’s Day
- Christmas Eve
- New Year’s Day
- New Year’s Eve
While fall is the most popular wedding season at 38%, summer is up next at 30%, then spring at 23% and winter at 9%.
Lauren Goodson, Director of Insights at WeddingWire, commented on the research in a statement.
“We are excited to see that while many wedding fundamentals have stayed consistent, there are a number of noteworthy progressions and evolutions, including more prominent celebrations for LGBTQ couples (with an increase in guest size and parents’ financial contributions) since the Supreme Court ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide, and the increased reliance on technology to pull off a unique and personalized wedding celebration.”
These parties pay for the wedding
The average price tag for a wedding is $36,000 (including the engagement ring, ceremony and reception and honeymoon). Couples tend to pay for 45% of the wedding, while parents chip in 46% and others contribute to 9% of the cost. Among LGBTQ couples, 61% paid for all or most of their wedding costs in 2017, versus 79% in 2013.
The research found that 42% of couples are too conservative when coming up with a wedding budget, and tend to underestimate how much the event will cost.
But, here’s where parents who help out with the cost get the money from— like their retirement funds:
- “Took out money from savings account:” 56%
- “Took out money from a specific account created for their child and/or their wedding:” 22%
- “Credit cards:” 20%
- “Dipped into retirement:” 9%
- “Cashed in stocks and/or liquidated assets:” 7%
- “Took out a loan:” 7%
- “Refinanced/home equity:” 3%
But some Millennials have less to think about when it comes to the wedding cost— the research found that 20% in this generation have the total price tag covered by their parents or others.