Brides and Grooms Are Spending Less? Sort Of.

Cost of Wedding Down

While the economy is looking up these days, the supposedly watertight wedding industry didn’t make it through the downturn unscathed. The average cost of a wedding in 2009 dropped 10.2% over the 2008 totals, according to The Wedding Report, and that means bride and grooms (and their parents) were spending about $6,000 less per affair. Cost of Wedding had this to say:

On average, US couples spend $20,398 for their wedding. However, the majority of couples spend between $15,299 and $25,498 while their wedding budget is typically 50% less than the amount spent. This does not include cost for a honeymoon or engagement ring.

So where did those couples cut back? The wedding guest list was one area that got a little trim, with the average number of guests totaling 145 in 2008 versus 128 in 2009. Even as wedding stationery gets more and more beautiful, it wasn’t exempt from the squeeze. Reception menus in particular were downsized, with brides and grooms spending about 36% less on them. Other areas that suffered include gifts for the parents of the happy couple and… anklets. (Quelle horreur!)

And yet, as articles shout that wedding vendors are suffering in this weak economy, there are some area of the wedding budget that have seen definite increases. The Wedding Report found that brides and grooms spent about 23% more on musicians for their ceremonies and receptions, 16% more on their wedding photographers, and 13% on the wedding dress.

You’ll hear no judgments from me in either direction. People will spend what they want to spend on their weddings, and I’ve been to backyard weddings and huge elaborate multi-event weddings that were equally awesome. What I will say, though, is that brides and grooms who are cutting back because they have to shouldn’t feel like they’re the only ones doing so! The stats show that plenty of couples are keeping a tighter reign on those wedding budgets so you’re in good company.

Need a bit of help in that regard? I recommend How to Have an Elegant Wedding for $5000 or Less, Celebrate Simply, How to Plan Your Wedding and Save Thousands, and of course, iDo by yours truly!

(Photo via Art Vision Studio)

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