Wedding Costs Skyrocketed In 2012, Averaged $28,427

Getting married in 2012 was the second most expensive year for marriage in recorded history. According to a study by, the average couple spent a whopping $28,427 on their dream wedding.

The study which surveyed 17,500 people showed an increase over the 2011 average of $27,021.

Averages were pushed up by higher spending in large cities. For example, the average wedding budget for a Manhattan couple was $76,686, and, in Chicago, that price was still high at $49,810. Also spending big cash on weddings were New Jersey residents, who blew through $48,496 on average.

Not all states and cities were big spenders. Couples in Alaska spent a rather low $15,504 on their dream weddings.

The study found that all categories of wedding spending increased including flowers, DJ services, photographers, and wedding invites.

While the national average is mind-boggling for frugal spenders, it is still below the 2008 high of $29,334.

The cost of each person’s wedding didn’t include their honeymoon, which can easily add thousands of dollars to the overall cost of getting married.

TheKnot also surveyed same-sex couples for the first time and found that they spent more on their weddings than heterosexual couples. The higher spend among gay couples was despite having fewer guests at their weddings.

In the survey, 26 percent of respondents said they would have spent more if the economy was in better shape. That response is actually a 3 percent decrease over 20011 numbers and an 8 percent decrease over 2009 responses.

On average, each wedding spent $204 per guest, costs that were pushed higher in 2012 thanks to the inclusion of shuttles and buses that ferried guests from their hotel to the wedding ceremony, then to the reception, and finally back to their hotel rooms. Extras in 2012 added $10 to the average cost per guest. More than 25 percent of wedding respondents said they included shuttle or bus service for their special day.

Do you think wedding spending has gotten out of control?

[Image via ShutterStock]