New York--Though lovebirds who tied the knot last year spent slightly
more on average than those who wed in 2010, the engagement ring was not
an area where they were doling out any extra cash, a new survey shows.
According to The Real Weddings Survey, conducted by TheKnot.com and
WeddingChannel.com among couples who wed in 2011, the average wedding
budget increased minimally (0.1 percent) between 2010 and 2011, from
$26,984 to $27,021.
Engagement ring spending was down 5 percent, from $5,392 to $5,130.
Areas where couples were spending more included the ceremony site (up
from $1,393 to $1,599), wedding planner ($1,683 to $1,753), wedding
dress ($1,099 to $1,121) and entertainment, with spending on the
reception band, DJ, videographer and ceremony musicians all climbing.
The most expensive place to get married still is Manhattan, where
couples spend an average of $67,824 on their wedding, the survey showed.
The least expensive location to tie the knot is West Virginia, where
the average couple spends $14,203.
The average marrying age of a bride and groom in the U.S. in 2011 was
29 and 30, respectively. The most popular month for engagements was
December, with 16 percent of proposals taking place then, while
September was the most popular month to wed.
Other findings from The Read Weddings Survey include:
- Hawaii has the country’s oldest brides at 31, while Utah boasts the youngest at 26.
Fall weddings were more popular in 2011, partially due to the high
demand to get married in September on 9/10/11 and in November on
- A total of 69 percent of couples now have a wedding
website, up from 65 percent in 2010 and 60 percent in 2009. Brides also
are using social media more to share wedding details with guests and
keep in touch with vendors.
- Nearly three out of five brides
reported using their smartphones for wedding planning. Popular uses
include taking and sharing wedding-related pictures (58 percent),
looking up vendor contact information (47 percent), accessing wedding
planning websites (33 percent) and managing gift registries (32
The 2011 Real Wedding Survey included responses from about 18,000
couples who got married last year. Survey-takers were recruited through
TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com membership, and all were 18 or older.