Wedding DebtThe United States economy is rebounding and so are grandeur weddings. The Knot surveyed 17,500 couples married in 2012 and found newlyweds and their families spent an average of $28,427 on weddings and related events, including bridal showers and bachelor/bachelorette parties. The $28,000 benchmark is the highest median since 2008.

Couples increased spending on almost every aspect of weddings, including invitations, flowers, and catering. More than 25 percent of couples splurged on entertainment, hiring a live band or photographers, which is double the 2011 statistic.

Anja Winikka, The Knot’s site director, credits this increase to the economic upturn.

“Couples are a little bit more comfortable and able to splurge a little bit more,” she said.

Statistics support her assertion. A smaller percentage of respondents were impacted by the economy. Only 26 percent of couples reported the economy as a factor in their wedding budget, compared to 29 percent in 2011.

Same-sex couples, who were included in the survey for the first time, spent more on their wedding than heterosexual couples, but had fewer guests.

More than 50 percent of marriages end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association, so is an expensive wedding worth the cost?

The Knot’s full findings are included in the infographic below.

The Knot Survey

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  • Orange Starr Happy Hunting

    WOW, if I ever get married it will be a simple, elegant and chic affair. No huge expensive wedding for moi, maybe a lil splurge on the honeymoon and or our home.

    Loving this edit feature btw, missed it!

    • Agreed! I can’t see paying almost $28k+ for a ceremony when you can put that money to good use for the next phase of your life. But the price tag doesn’t surprise me really…people go all out for a wedding but more than likely end up divorce or some go back to living the same way they were living before the “I Do” and boomerang back to mom’s/dad’s house…priorities

    • Chic Noir

      You took the words out of my mouth. 28k for something that’s over in a day and may not last a lifetime.

      28k is about the average student loan debt too. Can you imagine being 25 with wedding debt, student loan debt,and a mortgage. Yikes!

  • K

    i got married privately, the two of us only, easy peasy …its kills me spending all that $ so people can bask in all your glory, you pay for everyone to have a good time and they get you a gift, i guess in that mindset “fair exchange aint no robbery” …i just dont get it but thats just me, i went to a wedding in a posh coastal area meanwhile they were “begging” er umm *cough* excuse i mean asking for donations/a gift on honeyfund.com (which by way i had never heard of before this) so they could honeymoon in Asia (including first class tickets, excursions, taxi ride etc) ….i assume the donation is suppose to replace a gift, but i mean honestly …i will just never understand the spending 28000+ on a wedding in exchange for a toaster oven.

  • London

    My fiance and I are planning on going to the courthouse to exchange our vows ALONE, and then we’re having a small get-together back at our house with family. Honestly, I have seen the worse come out of couples who try and have elaborate weddings. Not to mention the debt and the nasty fights between the soon-to-be brides and grooms and their families during the actual planning of the wedding. The end result, the ceremony, just seems so fake and unnecessary when you know what happened behind the scenes.

    • ChaCha1

      Good idea. Similar to what I did. Saves a lot of money. Just take really good photos and have a good time. Doing it the simple way removes a lot of the stress that you have with a wedding-wedding.

    • Von

      @London
      That was my experience. We were fighting b/c of how expensive it was getting. finally, we settled on having a ceremony at city hall and then a party later this summer. Best decision we’ve made as a couple! Everything we’ve planned, ceremony, small party, and honeymoon, all fall within the budget we set, without any credit card debt.

    • Miss A

      That’s exactly what me and my fiancee are planning! I was out of my mind for a minute until he set me straight! We will go to the JOP in a few weeks then have a reception in the park this summer for our families to meet and celebrate. The whole thing shouldn’t cost more than $3K with family helping with food, renting the park banquet hall, etc.

  • LemonNLime

    That is more that I just got paying off in college loans!

    I truly believe some people just want to have a wedding not actually be married and this is one reason why.

    I don’t think I want to get married but if I ever do, I would just do it on a beach in the Caribbean. Let Mother nature be your decorator, simple dress, close friends and family. I say this as a 27 y/o who as a teenager wanted a wedding at a rented Catholic church with a mandatory center aisle, 2 wedding dresses, 5 tiered cake, 50’s style big band, with a reception on a vineyard but somehow still in Ohio…in the autumn. Then I realized I didn’t have to have a wedding to do that, I could just have a big a** party.

  • Gina

    This is what I want:

    Simple wedding, Extravagant Honeymoon.

    I think people forget that your not getting married for other people, or even your family. At the end of the night, its you and your husband. The wedding doesn’t mean a damn thing. Just ask Tom Cruise and Katie, Ivana and Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian and her ex-husband.

    I think these people get so caught up in the romance of the wedding that they forget what its really about! Screw everyone else. Just focus on you and yours and forget the naysayers who predict your type of relationship based on how big or small the wedding is.