The average cost of a wedding climbed to a record high of $35,329 last year, according to The Knot’s 2016 Real Weddings study. That’s up 8% from the 2015 average.
Meanwhile, the number of guests has dropped.
“Couples are spending their budgets to focus on guests, they are taking care of them and showing them a very personalized experience,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, executive editor at The Knot. “But personalization is not cheap.”
Last year, the average number of wedding guests was 141, down from 149 in 2009. Smaller invite lists mean guests are getting pampered: Couples spent an average of $245 per wedding guest last year, up from $194 seven years ago.
Spending on custom guest entertainment has more than tripled since 2009 as couples add things like photo booths, fireworks, cigar rollers and dance performers to their wedding day agendas.
Some couples are choosing to have both a band and a DJ at their receptions.
“The DJs are staying later,” said Anne Chertoff, trend expert at the WeddingWire, especially as couples add after-parties to their receptions.
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