Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

Let’s get something straight right off the bat….You are NOT Kim Kardashian, Kate Cruise, or any other celebrity that is your favorite (or favorite for the moment) that has gotten married. Weddings – and darn-it…I’m going to say it; something that you may not want to hear or rather, what no wedding planner will dare say….

“This is a BIG PARTY for your family and friends.  Yes, they are celebrating your marriage BUT YOU are (or your parents…but I hope if you’re old enough to get married, you are at least paying a part if not all) paying for their fun. You are NOT going to get enough ‘envelopes’ to make up for what you paid out…you’re not!” 

That is reality and just as that is reality, I take issue with some of these numbers as “average” costs of weddings.

Fact:  A wedding in a major city will cost money. Yes a major city will cost more than a small town, but it’s a major city with more options available.  It’s expensive to have a venue, bridal shop etc so you are most times paying for this and not necessarily their talent.

Fact: You can have a wedding that is beautiful in NYC for $30,ooo.00.  Yes that means your dress, venue, photographer, flowers, wedding planner & suit for your groom.

Fact: Not all ‘weddings’ you see on blogs or magazines are real…they are staged by a ‘stylist’ whose job is to convince you that you ‘MUST HAVE XYZ’ or your wedding won’t be beautiful.  Don’t’ believe it.  Again, you are not a reality ‘star’ and my friends that are celebrities, don’t have million dollar weddings…and they can.  Don’t forget why you are getting married in the first place.

Fact: Weddings are a $74 billion wedding industry and that means that a lot of publications (not this one because I don’t have advertisers….yet…and when I’m ‘gifted an item, it in no way changes my honest opinion and I post a disclaimer) will only share with you their advertisers and say that they are the best thing since the invention of lace.  Not always true.  There are more and in some instances better vendors beyond what you see in a magazine…you just have to look.

Fact: September, October and November are the new May, June, August.  If you want a beautiful wedding without spending the farm, pick another time (especially if a major city) or have a destination wedding.

Fact: NYC brides have the highest wedding budget ($65,824) and Virginia brides have the lowest ($14,203).

Fact:  Brides in Manhattan spend the most on their dresses ($2,403), while North and South Dakotan brides spend the least ($745).

Fact: Wedding Size: Iowa brides host the most guests, averaging 215 per wedding, while Hawaii and Nevada have the smallest weddings, with 77 and 63 guest, respectively.

Based on average wedding spend in 2011, these are the areas around the US where couples spend the most on their wedding. These stats are provided from the Knot|Wedding Channel.

  1. NYC (Manhattan): $65,824
  2. Chicago, IL: $53,069
  3. NY Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs): $50,087, $46,560, $40,356
  4. Northern/Central NJ and Southern NJ: $46,600, $38,103
  5. Rhode Island: $41,307
  6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA, and Los Angeles, CA: $37,823, $37,690
  7. Philadelphia, PA: $37,014
  8. Boston, MA: $35,560
  9. Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $34,465
  10. Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland: $34,203
  11. Connecticut: $33,789
  12. Baltimore, MD: $32,702
  13. Northern, CA, San Diego, CA, and Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,261, $30,482, $29,826
  14. Hawaii: $31,461
  15. Pittsburgh, PA: $29,703
  16. Louisiana: $28,790 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  17. Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, and Austin/San Antonio, TX: $28,717, $27,459, $27,735
  18. California/Nevada (Sacramento, Tahoe and Reno): $28,028
  19. Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $27,339 *New to Top 20 List in 2011
  20. Detroit, MI: $27,017 *New to Top 20 List in 2011

OK, I’m not saying that a lot of these stats are far from off, I’m just one writer who is really tired of couples – no, let’s keep it real, brides thinking that if they don’t keep up with the Kardashians that they are a failure as a bride.  You Are NOT!  You will be beautiful, your wedding will be amazing and you know what….if  you sadly have to divorce…while you’ll miss your ex, the thought of how much money you ‘wasted’ will haunt you more.  So keep in mind why you are getting married and believe me….you’re guests will remember how much fun they had and how much in love you are…not how much money you spent.



9 thoughts on “Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

  1. This is really interesting. Some of those numbers are staggering. I’d like to see a similar breakdown of what it costs across the world.

    • You know, I’m curious too. What I’m hearing is the costs are creeping up but nothing like the US. Then again…most other countries don’t 1 – either get married (they have long term relationships, can even have children & live together but not marry) and 2 – have a lower divorce rate than in the US. I’ll keep my eye out and if I find one, I’ll be sure to post. Thanks much for your comments!!

  2. darling Lisa it was such a pleasure to hear from you. How have you been my dear? How is life treating you? Your comment was truly so kind and gracious, sending you a heartfelt thank you.
    The numbers are staggering! You are right, sometimes we forget that a lot of weddings in magazines are staged like a regular shoot just to promote the editorial content i.e the bridal labels and brands etc. With the celebrity weddings we forget that there is always on some level or to some extent, some publicity propaganda.
    My darling i wish you a wonderful week ahead.

    • That’s why I used to tell brides that I met…When you do ANYTHING…turn your ring around. The bigger the diamond…the bigger the price-tag. Have a great wedding and congratulations!!

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