The Truth About “Average” Wedding Costs

Recommended reading for today – especially those struggling with your wedding budget – is an excellent article from in 2013:…/average_wedding_cost_published_numbe…

The article’s writer, Will Oremus, does an excellent job of explaining the difference between “average” and “median” and why couples should beware of falling into the trap of thinking that “average” is what you should pay for a wedding.

In questioning TheKnot’s “average” wedding costs (which are frequently quoted and relied upon by media and industry folks), Oremus says:

In 2012, when the average wedding cost was $27,427, the median was $18,086. In 2011, when the average was $27,021, the median was $16,886. In Manhattan, where the widely reported average is $76,687, the median is $55,104. And in Alaska, where the average is $15,504, the median is a mere $8,440. In all cases, the proportion of couples who spent the “average” or more was actually a minority. And remember, we’re still talking only about the subset of couples who sign up for wedding websites and respond to their online surveys. The actual median is probably even lower.

In 12+ years of running this blog, it is constantly frustrating that reported wedding costs are nearly always inflated by averages – and that smart couples struggle to save the equivalent of an entire year’s wages to pay for a single wedding day.  Or worse: they (and/or their parents) get into debt for it.

I’m curious what your thoughts are about the Slate article and if you’ve felt pressure to expand your budget to fit the industry model of average costs.

1 comment
  1. That’s an interesting observation and thank you for pointing out! But even when I am planning my own wedding, I didn’t think I would get close to the average but was surprised how quickly the costs added up and are quite close to it! Everything wedding is different though! I totally think you can do it for much less than and the stats they put out there is so shocking! I would so not go into debt for it or do something we could not afford!

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