By Jennifer Calfas
March 4, 2018

Attention New York City dwellers: You may want to get married elsewhere.

Manhattan is the most expensive place in the country to get married, with an average of $76,944 spent per event, according to a recent study from The Knot that measured wedding costs around the country. That’s more than double the amount of money spent on the average wedding in the United States — which The Knot found was $33,391. Among the highest spenders, couples spend an average of $105,130 on their weddings. The Knot surveyed 13,000 U.S.-based brides and grooms who wed in 2017 for the study.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that Manhattan holds the title as The Knot’s most expensive location for a wedding in the U.S., given the city’s already pricey real estate and living expenses.

Indeed, couples spend the most on the venue for the reception, with an average of $15,163 per place (and a $42,801 average for the high spenders). The engagement rings are the next most expensive, with couples spending on average $5,764 on them. (Of course, high spending on wedding rings is often encouraged by marketing from companies that sell them, encouraging a person to spend at least two-month’s salary on the ceremonial ring.) Manhattan-based couples also spend the most on their wedding gowns, according to The Knot, paying about $2,504 per dress on average.

While the average wedding cost has gone down in recent years, according to The Knot’s survey, couples are spending more now per guest, doling out about $268 per attendee. The higher cost comes as a result of providing entertainment for guests like photo booths, games, candy bars and more. Other trends noted in the wedding survey include a higher demand in nontraditional reception venues, like farms, barns, beach houses and wineries, as opposed to banquet halls and hotels. Couples also still consider cost the most important consideration while planning a wedding, with the bride’s family spending the most on the celebration on average.

But Manhattan isn’t the only costly site for weddings these days. Surrounding areas like New Jersey and the boroughs around Manhattan are among the most expensive, as well as cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, along with destinations like Cape Code and Rhode Island.

Here are the top 15 most expensive places to get married in the U.S., along with their average costs:

  1. Manhattan, New York: $76,944
  2. North/Central New Jersey: $62,074
  3. Long Island, New York: $61,113
  4. Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York: $55,357
  5. Cape Cod, Massachusetts: $55,083
  6. Rhode Island: $52,777
  7. Chicago, Illinois: $52, 332
  8. Connecticut: $47,435
  9. New York City (boroughs outside of Manhattan): $46,808
  10. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania / Delaware: $46,211
  11. Los Angeles, California: $44,142
  12. New Orleans, Louisiana: $41,167
  13. Boston, Massachusetts: $40,635
  14. Southern Florida: $40,634
  15. South New Jersey: $40,231

The most affordable places to get married are half the price on average. Those destinations include New Mexico, the least expensive with an average cost of $17,584, and Utah, Oregon and Montana, among other destinations.


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