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The Average Wedding Costs WHAT?

If you're the father of the bride, you might want to look for a second job.

Nationally, the average cost of a wedding is $32,641, up 4.5 percent from just one year ago. Oh, and that doesn't even count the honeymoon.

It could be worse: Just like real estate, the cost is affected by location. If your wedding is in Manhattan, expect to pay a staggering, eye-popping, wallet-busting $82,000.

That's the word from the annual survey by of nearly 18,000 U.S. brides and grooms who were married in 2015. The poll's purpose is to reveal the financial spending habits and trends of real weddings in America, including who pays and how couples budget and plan.

Here's an interesting trend: While the cost of a wedding is rising, guest lists are shrinking. The average wedding now has 139 guests, down from 149 in 2009.

Fun facts to know and tell about the average costs of weddings:

  • Most expensive wedding location: Manhattan at $82,299, on average
  • Least expensive wedding location: Alaska at $17,361, on average
  • Engagement ring: $5,871
  • Wedding/Event Planner: $1,996
  • Invitations: $445
  • Rehearsal dinner: $1,296
  • Ceremony site: $2,089
  • Officiant: $273
  • Ceremony musicians: $703
  • Florist/décor: $2,300
  • Wedding gown: $1,469
  • Groom's attire: $269
  • Reception venue: $14,788
  • Reception band: $3,833
  • Videographer: $1,824
  • Wedding cake: $575
  • Catering cost per guest: $68
  • Favors: $267
  • Reception DJ: $1,171
  • Photographer: $2,618
  • Transportation/limousine: $792
    (These figures are based on respondents who hired a professional vendor for the service.)

Other fun facts to know and tell:

  • Average number of guests: 139
  • Percentage of destination weddings: 21 percent
  • Average age of the bride: 29
  • Average age of the groom: 31
  • Number of bridesmaids and groomsmen: 5
  • Average length of the engagement: 14.5 months
  • Most popular engagement month: December (16 percent)
  • Most popular wedding seasons: fall (39 percent) and summer (33 percent)
  • Most popular wedding colors: ivory/white (47 percent), blue (39 percent), pink (30 percent) and purple (21 percent). But the hottest color may be metallic gold, which has more than tripled from 7 percent in 2012 to 22 percent in 2015.

Who pays for all this? Tradition lives on! Although parents pay for a large portion of wedding costs, today's couples are usually happy to contribute. On average, the bride's parents contribute 44 percent of the overall wedding budget, the bride and groom contribute 43 percent, and the groom's parents contribute 12 percent. (Others account for the remaining 1 percent). In 2015, 12 percent of couples paid for the wedding entirely by themselves, and 9 percent of couples did not contribute anything the wedding budget.

--From the Editors at Netscape

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