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Weddings are expensive, especially if your friend group is comprised of a bunch of shitheads who convince the bartenders at the open bar to pour tequila on the rocks to get around the “no shots” policy (sorry to every father-of-the-bride out there that I’ve wronged). If you’re a lucky bride and groom, you’ll get out of there with a flower bill just slightly below the cost of a small car loan and a bar tab that won’t make you get a second mortgage on the home you just bought to start your new life.
The bad news: it’s not getting any fucking cheaper to have wedding despite the surplus of fake “wedding planners” and “photographers” flooding the market. The Knot surveyed 13,000 brides and grooms who tied the knot in 2016 and the numbers are going to make your head spin so fast that you can’t even Google “elope.”
The average cost for a wedding? $35,329 which is up over $3,000 from the year before. I’m no financial expert, but I do know that $35,329 will get you a baseline Audi A4 (no sunroof). But with that being said, you can just head to Arkansas, which is apparently the least expensive places to get married at $19,522. Or, if you’re the type of socialite to put your name in The New York Times marriage announcement section, you can drop a casual $78,464 for an “average” wedding, whatever that means.
In order, the cheapest places to get hitched are Arkansas, Utah, Montana, West Texas, Oregon, Idaho, Tucson, Iowa, Nevada, and Oklahoma. Conversely, the most expensive places to get married (in order) are Manhattan, Long Island, North/Central Jersey, Chicago, New York City’s outer boroughs, Cape Cod, Hudson Valley, and Rhode Island. So essentially, if you want to get married on the cheap, stay away from the northeast where you’re going to pay out the ass for wedding venues that are averaging $16,107 (up from $14,788).
It’s no mystery as to why our generation is getting married later and later in life, and price definitely factors into that. Student loans come before engagement rings, and the idea of throwing a $30,000 party just so the rest of their friends can get drunk for free is a dark cloud that hangs over what should otherwise be a great day. Complain all you want about how much you’re spending on tux rentals and flights to your friend’s wedding – just be glad you’re not shelling out the equivalent of a Mazda for five hours of fun.
Or, you know, run to the altar now before the price skyrockets any higher next year. .