Weddings: Too Expensive?

The latest numbers from XO Group, Inc:

On March 7, 2013, XO Group Inc. released results of their annual Real Weddings Study, something I stumbled on while doing research for another writing project. This report surveyed over 17,000 brides to find out how much they spent on their weddings.

Here are some highlights:

  • Average Wedding Budget: $28,427 (excludes honeymoon)
  • Most Expensive Place to Get Married: Manhattan, $76,678 average spent
  • Least Expensive Place to Get Married: Alaska, $15,504 average spent
  • Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,211
  • Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; Groom, 31
  • Average Number of Guests: 139
  • Average Number of Bridesmaids: 4 to 5
  • Average Number of Groomsmen: 4 to 5
  • Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24%
About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than forty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • danaames

    This is nuts.

    And I think it has a lot to do with the cultural myth of “finding the one meant for me” and all that implies, with so many unrealistic expectations and weight on marriage as the be-all and end-all of relationships (if a couple even gets married). Christians are also captive to this myth.

    Not to mention that people really do want some kind of “sanctification/blessing” of the important events in their lives, but in a 2-story world – a world in which many Christians also live – we have rejected the very thing that would satisfy that longing. I think in many ways the contemporary wedding is an attempt to construct a kind of individualistic sacrament in the face of rejection of sacramental reality. In addition, I think the “perfect day” and attendant amounts of money spent could be a superstitious hopeful hedge against the specter of divorce that haunts so many.

    As an “old hippie type” I had a very do-it-yourself wedding 35 years ago, with about 40 guests. Neither set of parents could contribute much monetarily. Aside from the honeymoon, we spent less that $1000 (with inflation, less than $4000 today’s money). We paid cash for everything except the tux rentals for the ushers. We had the day we wanted, and it was lovely – and did not break anyone’s bank or cater to any sort of pressure.

    Dana

  • John Jacobi

    My wife and I have a daughter who is getting married in November of this year. The total cost is capped at $3,500 and our daughter is going to have a great wedding. It helps that it’s all happening at our church and I’m a pastor. Yes, we are having a catered meal ($9.50/person) and the dress came from a resale shop. There are all sorts of options when a person has a firm budget.

  • Juanita_G

    And then we’re surprised that lost of young people prefer to live together instead of marrying…

  • Scott C

    We had two daughters get married this summer (yikes!). Outdoor weddings and receptions in a beautiful garden, 280 guests each. The girls shopped (dress on Ebay), bargained, made things, had craft parties. Our kitchen had a giant calendar/to-do list posted on the wall all summer. Dozens of friends helped. Our whole family sacrificed, worked hard; worked through decisions, conflicts and budgets. It was good old fashioned barn raising, and we are so grateful. Community. And these two men love my daughters and God. $8000 each.

  • JoeyS

    We did ours for under 5k and had a blast. Borrowed a dress (which had a retail price higher than we paid for the whole shebang), had chili with a potato bar, and had a great band play the reception. I wouldn’t change a thing.


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