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Sam Bennett

Sam Bennett

1 Jun 2023


27 Read.

Wedding Costs on the Rise: Average Wedding Expenditure Reaches $29,000

Weddings are making a comeback, and with that, the costs associated with tying the knot have reached new heights. According to online wedding planning site Zola, the average wedding costs in the United States in 2023 is $29,000, marking a $1,000 increase from the previous year.

In major cities, the price tag can surpass $35,000. This surge in wedding expenses can be attributed to inflation and the high demand for wedding goods and services.

As couples seek more personalized and unique experiences, wedding costs continue to rise. Let’s delve into the details of this report.

Rising Wedding Costs Driven by Inflation and Demand

Wedding Costs

Zola’s survey of 4,000 engaged couples getting married in 2023 reveals that wedding expenses have escalated due to two key factors: inflation and the scarcity of wedding-related goods and services.

Wedding vendors have had to increase their rates to offset higher costs for items like food, flowers, and labor.

As the wedding industry rebounds from the pandemic-induced hiatus, the demand for venues, photographers, wedding planners, florists, and wedding cakes has surged.

This, coupled with couples’ desire for highly customized weddings, has further contributed to the rise in prices.

Expensive Cities to Get Married in 2023

Wedding Costs

New York City tops the list of the most expensive cities in the US to have a wedding this year. A wedding in the Big Apple is expected to cost approximately $43,536. Other costly cities include San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose ($37,284), Boston ($35,902), Philadelphia ($34,111), Miami-Ft. Lauderdale ($33,622), Washington, DC ($33,199), Chicago ($32,281), and Los Angeles ($30,712).

These figures highlight the substantial financial commitment required to celebrate a wedding in these metropolitan areas.

Amidst the trend of intimate weddings, with some couples opting to trim their guest lists, less traditional and more cost-effective options are gaining popularity.

David’s Bridal, a prominent wedding dress retailer, has observed a decline in sales of traditional dresses, with many brides opting for casual or vintage styles.

However, unique wedding experiences can also come at a higher wedding costs. The desire for hyper-personalization has led couples to infuse their weddings with influences that hold deep meaning for them.

Themes such as antiquities, incorporating ancient book readings or Byzantine and Roman Empire motifs, have gained traction.

Wedding Costs

Pinterest has identified a growing interest in alternative weddings, particularly underwater weddings, with searches for such ceremonies experiencing a 305% surge on the platform.

Unique and unconventional wedding ideas are captivating couples, potentially inspired by the live-action adaptation of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”

Underwater wedding photographer Kimber Greenwood has witnessed a significant increase in bookings for such events. Despite the logistical challenges, couples find the experience unforgettable.

Alongside unconventional themes, couples are seeking ways to infuse their personalities into every aspect of their wedding day.

According to the Zola report, 33% of couples contribute to their wedding budgets, while 16% fully fund their weddings independently.

However, jewelers report a decline in recent engagements, likely due to the limited opportunities for meeting partners during the Covid-19 quarantine era.

As the wedding industry enjoys a post-pandemic recovery, it’s uncertain how long the surge in demand will last.

Wedding costs continue to climb, with the average expenditure reaching $29,000 in 2023. Inflation and high demand for wedding-related services are the driving forces behind these escalating expenses. Couples are seeking unique and personalized experiences, further contributing to the rising costs.

However, trends such as intimate ceremonies and unconventional themes offer couples the opportunity to tailor their weddings while potentially mitigating some expenses.

As the wedding industry witnesses a resurgence, it faces an uncertain future, given the evolving dynamics of engagements and societal changes.

Wedding Costs on the Rise: Average Wedding Expenditure Reaches $29,000