Wedding Statistics

Gotta love leftovers!

mushroom spinach wheat berry risotto 005

Lunch today came together quickly thanks to reheated leftovers from last night’s dinner. All of the sausage pieces were gone thanks to Ryan, but the remaining wheat berry risotto was still fantastic.

mushroom spinach wheat berry risotto 003

I added a sprinkle of parmesan cheese on top because I’m cheesy. Smile

Since today’s portion wasn’t that large, I also ate a cup of Fage 2 percent Greek yogurt on the side.

yogurt pudding 001

If you see a green tint the the yogurt, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. I added a spoonful of pistachio pudding mix to the yogurt for some sweetness and flavor. Yogurt pudding! It’s a great little treat!

Now for some wedding fun!

Wedding Statistics

Since the wedding-related posts that pop up on this blog always seem to be relatively popular (dating duration before engagement + average engagement length), I figured a handful of you guys would likely find the following collection of statistics as interesting as I did when I read them at the gym this morning!

In the February 2012 issue of Ocala Magazine, a large portion of the content is dedicated to weddings trends and wedding planning.

ocala magazine

Even though I am already married, I still love reading about weddings. And yes, I even have a “Wedding Ideas… For Other People” board on Pinterest. I’m pretty sure everyone who got married before Pinterest took off wishes that site was around when they were planning their big day!

Well, one page in the latest issue of Ocala Magazine included a plethora of wedding statistics compiled by Caroline Fischer, many of which completely surprised me.

Most Popular:

  • Most popular month for weddings: June, followed by August and May
  • Most popular engagement month: December
  • Most popular wedding location: Istanbul, Turkey, followed by Las Vegas

By the States:

West Texas has the youngest average brides, New York has the oldest. Nebraska and Iowa have the largest weddings, while Hawaii and Nevada have the smallest wedding guest lists.

The most expensive wedding areas in the United States in 2010 were Manhattan ($70,730), Long Island ($51,811) and North/Central New Jersey ($49,374). (Floridians: South Florida was number 10 on the list.)


  • Average number of weddings per year: 2.3 million (6,200 weddings per day or 44,230 weddings per weekend)
  • Average budget: $26,951
  • Average number of guests: 178
  • Average cost of wedding dress: $1,124
  • Average cost of bride’s ring: $6,113
  • Average cost of groom’s ring: $468
  • Average cost of a wedding cake: $591
  • Average age of bride: 25.3
  • Average age of groom: 26.9
  • Average number of bridesmaids/groomsmen: 5



Question of the Afternoon

  • Did any of these wedding statistics surprise you?

I remember reading a handful of wedding statistics when Ryan and I started planning our big day and felt completely shocked by the average cost of everything. Wowza!   


  1. says

    Turkey being the most popular wedding location surprised me!!! Got invited to two wedding today, one in 4 week and one in Spain in June! Super excited! Dress shopping time!


  2. Cassie says

    The average number of guests seems kind of high! Then again, people who have huge weddings would throw off the average so…maybe that’s it?


  3. says

    Ugh! Living in north New Jersey, right outside of Manhattan, I know how pricey weddings can be around here! It’s ridiculous! I guess it follows the trend of everything being over priced in this area….orrr the Housewives of NJ are just making that average price rice higher!


  4. says

    Maybe it’s because I’ve never had to buy one (probably because of that) but I was surprised with how much the average bride’s ring costs. I wonder if that’s just the wedding ring, or if that’s the engagement + the wedding band.

    Either way, that’s a LOTTA BLING!


  5. says

    These are really interesting facts! I never would have thought Turkey or Istanbul would be among the most popular places to get married.

    I’m getting married in one of the most popular months, August but since we are getting married on a Friday, we were able to get a ton of discounts and I had room to finagle with pricing 🙂


  6. says

    I love fun statistics like this, and I am actually glad Pinterest wasn’t around when I was planning! This is only because I spent enough time on wedding related planning, I don’t know if I could have afforded to zone out for another two or three hours per day! 🙂 I would be interested to see the data of how these stats were produced. Maybe the wedding budget/cost of ring and dress/etc. we’re skewed due to a few huge purchases. $26,000 sure sounds like a lot for the average budget! I also thought $6,000 seemed like a lot for the average wedding band! Very interesting! 🙂


  7. says

    This is a fun post! And ok… Geeze!! I can’t believe how much the weddings in the most expensive places cost. I know it is going to be expensive whenever I get married, but it is so hard to justify spending a college tuition on one day.


  8. says

    I’ll have to send this post to my sister who just got engaged 🙂 Most of the statistics don’t surprise me, with the exception of the most popular wedding months. Maybe it’s just because I grew up in Houston where it’s 100 degrees in both June and August, but I don’t think I’ll want to get married when it’s so hot out!


  9. arc says

    I’m not surprised at this – except for Turkey!?! what?! I think too much money and focus is spent on weddings. Ours cost half of the average you stated, and I thought that was still too high!


  10. says

    Average number of guests– 178?! Omg that blew my mind! My bf and I don’t even know that many people!… Seriously, haha. I mean, maybe with extended friends from college, but not actual people we would invite…

    His family is fairly small (3 brothers, a girlfriend or 2 of the brothers, 3 nieces/nephews, mom, dad, one living aunt) and my family is SUPER small (I’m an only child, mom, dad, 2 cousins, maybe 4 aunts/uncles max… one grandma)… and then a handful of close, close friends…

    Our guest list is probably going to be like 20-25 people, and that’s if everyone can fly to come (our family and friends are split among many states!)

    So yeah… 178 blew my mind 🙂


  11. says

    Omg those are scary big numbers. I’m years away from getting married but I truly can’t imagine where I’m going to come up with $25,000 to spend on a day. And I want a really nice wedding. I need to start playing the lottery or something.


  12. says

    Turkey? Hmmm… now that is interesting. And, while the costs seem high they don’t actually surprise me. Although, I can’t ever imagine spending that much on a wedding! Crazy!


  13. M says

    Wow! Weddings are seriously out of control. What’s sad is when you add up all that money spent on one day and then look at the national divorce rate.


  14. says

    i definitely wish i knew of pinterest as we were planning our wedding! ahh it would’ve been SO nice! i think i would be more surprised by the statistics if i weren’t married yet. my eyes were definitely opened at costs and everything that goes into it when we were planning our’s.


  15. says

    When I moved to DC, I was surprised to feel so isolated for being married. It’s totally normal to get married “young” meaning early 20s. I was 23 and I wasn’t even the first to get married of my friends! In DC, people like to say I’m weird. I don’t care if you get married when you’re 23 or 30, but people can be pretty judgmental about young marriages.


  16. says

    Wow! I loved this! I would have had no idea that Istanbul is the most popular wedding location. Looking at those averages makes me a little scared for the time that my wedding eventually rolls around.. that’s a lot of $! Mine likely won’t be as large as that Manhattan budget, that’s for sure!


  17. says

    Wedding costs are definitely the biggest eye opener I’ve encountered when planning a wedding. My fiance even got worse sticker shock. I knew we were going to spend at bare minimum one grand on a photographer. He thought they only cost a couple hundred bucks!


  18. Katie says

    26k for the average cost of a one-day wedding??? That’s money that could be used towards a down payment on a home, or a new car, or towards an emergency fund. Wow!

    I love going to weddings but if my boyfriend and I ever get married, we are happily going to city hall and paying $200 for the certificate.


  19. says

    Statistics can be so interesting! i’m really surprised by quite a few. I knew I wasn’t with the norm with an April engagement and an October wedding (18 months later).


  20. says

    thats a lot of weddings per year! No wonder so much planning is involved with dates, location etc.
    I may have already started some inspiration with interest 🙂 I eat green greek yogurt too – key lime oikos!


  21. says

    Uhhhh Turkey?! That is crazy hilarious!

    My averages were way less, we were really smart with spending, and spent a lot less than usual. But we also got married in a location that did not cost a thing-so I guess that helps 😉

    Love this! I am a nerd and love statistics and numbers.


  22. Amanda says

    Thanks for posting more interesting wedding stuff. I have to tell you that I love your blog! I was directed to it by your awesome “first look” picture behind the door through Pinterest nonetheless. I got engaged December 2011 and we’re planning a September 2013 wedding. Keep up the good work!


  23. says

    I was just thinking the other day how I wish Pinterest had been around when I was planning my wedding! It would have made it MUCH easier {or more complicated, considering how MANY ideas are out there}!


  24. says

    26,000$$$$$$$$ is AVERAGE? holy sh**
    that is insanely high. I get it, I mean it’s a very important day and all.. However, I think I would like to take about $18,000 of that money and put it towards idk. a house? jeebus.

    My fiance and I are planning the lamest wedding ever compared haha. (jk but seriously not even HALF of that price)


    • Katie says


      I’m so with you there. I’m sure your wedding is going to be beautiful! 🙂 I would absolutely put that money towards a house instead of something that lasts a day. Just me. 🙂


  25. Jodi @ I Run for Food and Wine says

    I’m surprised at the average cost of the ring. While, I love beautiful rings, I’m pretty sure the cost is just charged on a credit card and the couple/groom cannot afford to spend over 6k on it. I have always thought a beautiful stone (emerald, sapphire) is much prettier, inexpensive and a different approach if a diamond ring cannot truly be affordable.


  26. Lynn says

    I was super interested that Istanbul was one of the top places to get married. My fiance and I are from the same area but we fell in love while working in Istanbul (but our wedding is going to be in his home town) .

    I am glad that we don’t live in one of those super expensive areas because it would make it hard to hold our 200 invite wedding.


  27. says

    I love reading stuff like this!! One of my bridesmaids has family in New York and she said their weddings are out of control. They even spend hundreds of dollars on an ENGAGEMENT present!!! I mean come on, a bottle of wine or cute monogram napkins! Our wedding was exactly the average and I did a lot of DIY to cut costs!


  28. says

    I’m not married but I LOVE to hear about weddings and marriage stats. I wasn’t really surprised by much here, except the average age of couples getting married… I’m 25 1/2 (yes, i included the half) and my bf is 26, and I don’t think we are tying the knot anytime soon… although everyone else around us seems to be haha.

    I’m originally from the NY area and going to two weddings in Long Island, so I know how absurdly expensive they are.. it’s crazy!!


  29. says

    for some reason alot of those statistics didnt surprise me..except maybe the cost of the brides wedding band. everytime kevins family talks about how much was spent on his sisters wedding a few years ago, it makes me a bit nauseous…i’m scared to plan my own wedding. i’m going to cut down costs by having the reception at chuck e cheese…hahaha jk (maybe) 😉


  30. says

    Living, planning and having our wedding in NY, it doesn’t surprise me one bit that we have the highest prices. When I talked about our price per head with my friends from other states like PA and MD when we were all getting married, they were floored.
    Kinda wish we had done the destination thing in retrospect!


  31. Erin B says

    The cost of weddings always makes me choke a little 🙂 We came in at about half that, including the honeymoon.

    I think a good thing to remember is that some of the BEST weddings I’ve been to have been the ones with lots of personal, homemade, free or low cost touches. A beautiful day does not actually take $26k. See Pinterest for inspiration!


  32. Kristina says

    Loved this post! Like you, I love thinking about other people’s weddings… only I’m the opposite, I’m 24 and I can barely see myself getting married before 28-30 (I also live in NYC – hello, old brides!)

    The most expensive places did not shock me at all… I’m originally from North/Central Jersey and all of the ‘nice’ places that friends/family have gotten married at are between $175-250 a head — good thing i have time to save (or maybe i’ll just elope 😉 )

    Love your blog!


  33. says

    I love that I’m below average on almost all of the stats…especially wedding cost! My fiance and I are planning a (budget-friendly) wedding for October of this year – and we’re both going to be 23 when we marry, so we’re below the average age too 🙂 I never thought I’d get married this young, but we’ve been together almost 4 years, have “real” jobs, and we just know we’re ready! 🙂 Unfortunately, I’m not below average on wedding dress cost! haha


  34. Tricia says

    Makes me feel better – I live in NY and am barking up about 75K on my wedding and it’s right outside of Manhattan i think that Manhattan number is way off. Manhattan weddings are 120K+


  35. says

    oh mannnnn I can never get over the fact that weddings can cost over $25,000!!!! It definitely helps me not feel to stressed about paying anything for our wedding hehe 🙂 I’m aiming for less than $18000, and I’m happy to say that I think it’s working!!! It’s not TOO surprising that NY has oldest brides, since it’s such a fast-paced culture there!


  36. says

    Wow those statistics are pretty close to me haha! I just got engaged in December and am getting married in August. Our ages are a little off the average. And we are planning on 150 guests… although we aren’t sure how many will attend since we are inviting way more. I’m trying to keep my budget under $20,000, but Dad is braced for up to $30,000… So the fact that the average budget is in the middle is kind of funny. I don’t think I need it though and hope it stays that way! The cake throws me off… I’m about to start looking… How much did your cake cost?
    Oh btw, I look at your wedding posts all the time to help me keep on track with how planning should go 🙂


  37. says

    The average cost of the wedding definitely surprises me. I know that there are a lot of people who spend extravagant amounts of money on their weddings, but I would have thought there would be a lot MORE people who could only afford an inexpensive affair. Very interesting!


  38. says

    I’m sorry, the bride’s ring(s) cost HOW much?!??

    That’s it. When The BF proposes, the ring better be one of those plastic ones from the $0.25 vending machines at grocery stores.


  39. Lindsay says

    The average price of a wedding dress seemed kind of low to me (though mine definitely won’t be more than that!). I guess shows like Say Yes To The Dress have made me think everyone spends 5 grand and up on a dress….


  40. Marie says

    Wow, there were a lot of new stats for me. Personally, we had 300 guests and that was trying VERY hard to trim it down. His parents know a lot of people! Not surprisingly, we didn’t get to eat but my matron of honor’s hisband packed food up for us which we enjoyed after. The Vietnamese wedding receptions are pretty delicious. 8 course meals! We spent more money on the food and areas where we thhad many friends say it was the most fun wedding in which they had been.


    • Marie says

      Sorry, accidentally clicked Submit. On the mobile. I meant to say we concentrated more on what would be fun for the guests, the rings, and the dress, of course. I didn’t care about any of the other details really and even when we got rained on taking outside photos with the bridal party and ha to run inside. My hair was wet and I forgot to bring the curling iron and extra make-up…I didn’t let any of it ruin the day. Best day of my life! 😉


  41. Ryah says

    Not to pry, but did you and Ryan (or any pbf commenters) spend anywhere near $26,000 on your wedding? That number seems insanely high. I mean if you have the money and want to spend it great, but it just seems like most people don’t have that much money to spend on a wedding. My parents and my boyfriend’s parents will both help out when we get married but there’s no way we’ll be spending anywhere near the average. I just can’t even imagine spending as much money on my wedding (roughly) as I have on college!


  42. says

    Aren’t these numbers STAGGERING?! In NYC – the average wedding dress costs 3X that amount – around $3500!

    For all of you ladies looking to save – RENTS designer bridal accessories for a fraction of the retail price!

    We love Julie and her PB blogging (favorite…cinnamon raisin PB by PB&Co) – and we’re happy to style any of her readers!!

    Something Borrowed NY


  43. says

    I’m surprised by the fact that the largest weddings were in Nebraska and Iowa!!! But I guess they might to less expensive weddings in smaller towns where they just invite everyone? I love this post, haha because I love weddings AND statistics!


  44. says

    LOVE weddings…and I love learning about them even more now that I’m planning mine :D. Some of those cost values do surprise me, but after beginning to plan I’m not as shocked as I would have been before I got engaged! It’s crazy how expensive weddings can be! I should go into the business haha 😉


  45. Nathan Miller says

    Im surprised at the average number of guests. We have 450 invited and had to cut the list by 50 or 60…..Guess big families of 8-10 kids like my parents have are a thing of the past…


  46. Whitney says

    The cost of the bride’s ring surprised me. I felt it was a little low if its the engagement ring. I know $6,000 sounds like a lot of money, but most people don’t have a clue how much diamonds cost! Crazy expensive!


  47. says

    Hold on a second. Can I assume that the cost of the bride’s ring includes her engagement ring, and not just her wedding band? Because that’s just nutty—either way!


  48. Valerie says

    Justwanted to say I was browsing pinterest and just saw your photo with you and Ryan holding hands on other sides of the door pre-wedding!


  49. says

    None of them line up with my stats, but that’s ok 🙂 PS. Did I see that Lindzi on The Bachelor is from Ocala, FL?? Am I confused? There weren’t any palm trees???


  50. Ellee says

    I am from West Texas, and it DOES NOT surprise me that the youngest brides are from there. I am getting married in September and I am 25, an old maid per our standards!! Probably why I am having a destination wedding 😉


  51. says

    The average cost makes me so sad! Like, I knew this (read it somewhere recently) but I chose to pretend it’s not real. What kills me is that that’s actually LOW compared to the more expensive states. I know that costs add up quickly, but…ugh. I wish more people would just be like, “OK so we can all agree this is ridiculous? And just because people have been doing this for the past 20 years, we’re going to be part of the solution? And…get married at City Hall and have a party in someone’s backyard?” But no. Everyone just seems to think, “Oh, yeah, $26K NBD.”

    It blows my mind.


  52. says

    Turkey was my first destination wedding location, but I opted to stay in Orlando….

    I TOTALLY wish that pinterest was around when I got married! Facebook wasn’t even much of a thing at all when that happend lol…lord I’m only 30 lol!!

    I totally underspend on my wedding, although my dress was right there. I spent more on my cake though. I wonder why no averages on photography or catering? I assume that’s in the total average cost. Interesting!


  53. says

    I’m always amazed by how expensive it seems to be. My grandmother had a church service and a reception in a local cafe…my mother had a church service and a reception in the local community centre…suddenly this generation wants it to be a massive event!

    Of course it is an important event but I don’t like the way retailers hear the word “wedding” and add a few zeros to the price. For example, I saw a white iced square cake for £20, and next to it a white iced square cake with a “wedding” tag on it for £50! It’s the same cake, I was thinking…


  54. Amanda says

    I spent nearly my entire life in Nebraska and was a little suprised at first to read that they (along with Iowa) have the largest weddings! But then I got to thinking about it… and I personally think the reason is because people seem to invite anyone and everyone they have everyknown… and because most people have spent their entire lives in the same town, they invite the entire town… or leave an open-ended invitation and people just kind of show up.

    Both of those things drove me crazy… We didn’t do it either of those ways when we were married…

    I’d be curious to know the real reason behind this stat 🙂


  55. says

    That’s about how much was spent on my wedding (the average) but my dress, ring, and the cake were MUCH cheaper!

    Dress: <$700
    Ring: <$500 (my engagement ring was an heirloom so we only had to pay for the wedding band)
    Cake: FREE! We had a family friend that gave the cake as a gift 🙂

    I wonder where all that money went to haha


  56. duddes02 says

    I got married in New York and it wasn’t too bad. We spent about $30,000 on 325 guests. My dress was $499 and my engagement ring was $1,200 🙂


  57. Valerie @ FreshMutz says

    I had no idea about Istanbul being a popular wedding location. It is a truly amazing city and I highly recommend a visit. My husband’s family is from Istanbul. We got married in November in Marco Island, Florida which was a destination wedding for us being from New Jersey. Coincidentally, we’re planning a second wedding celebration in Istanbul this summer.


  58. says

    These stats are NUTS!
    For my wedding: We got engaged in June 2010, married in July 2011. I was 31, my husband was 37.
    My dress was $180 (it was a bridesmaid dress- and it was perfect!) and our cake was around $400 (and it was custom designed with tasteful Red Sox logos and mini edible figurines of us and our dogs). I don’t remember what our rings cost- that’s the one thing we didn’t really skimp on.
    We had 100 people at our wedding ( I can not imagine having MORE!) and I think we spent around 15,000 when all was said and done (including what we wore). The biggest part of our budget was the location- we got married at a vineyard and had to serve their wine.
    Our wedding was awesome and I wouldn’t change it- but if we were to do it over again- we might just elope. 🙂


  59. Lindsey says

    sooo Caroline is the sister of one of Beau’s groomsmen..her mom is the one throwing my lingerie shower! She told me she was doing that article for Ocala mag. So funny!


  60. says

    I’m the SAME way! I still love reading about weddings and pretend wedding planning even though I’m already married! I loved reading through these wedding statistics. My husband and I were both the “average” age list when we got married: me 25 and him 26. And we got married in the 2nd most popular month: August. Interesting!


  61. Rachel Waggoner says

    I know I am crazy late on this post, but I am amazed on how much weddings cost. My husband and I got married young. He was 19 I was 18. We got married quietly with only our parents at the ceremony, after he came back from living in Europe for 4 months we decided to have a big celebration with family and friends. We had close to 250 guests and only spent $800. I borrowed my dress, and someone had gave us our simple wedding cake as a gift. We had people bring in food for their gifts also so we didn’t have to cater.
    I just don’t understand how people can spend more on a wedding that is one day than a nice car. That blows my mind. Plus I don’t think its a good idea to start off your wedding in debt.



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