Nuptials by the Numbers

We reveal the results of The Knot's 2014 Real Weddings study—how does your wedding match up?

Beautiful bride and groom at church wedding via Shutterstock

Church wedding photo via Shutterstock

Just when you felt like the wedding industry is a crazy whirlwind of information, The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study proves you right. This eighth annual comprehensive report surveys nearly 16,000 U.S. brides and grooms married in 2014 and wraps up all their details in a neat little bow. It uncovers all the goods—including how big the weddings were, where the money went, how they planned their big day, and more.

Boston ranks as the 14th most expensive city to tie the knot in, reaching an average $38,665 price tag. How does your wedding match up against other national averages?

Top 2014 Wedding Statistics

Average Wedding Cost: $31,213 (excludes honeymoon).
Average Spent on a Wedding Dress: $1,357.
Average Marrying Age: Bride, 29; groom, 31.
Average Number of Guests: 136.
Average Number of Bridesmaids and Groomsmen: Four to five each.
Most Popular Month to Get Engaged: December (16 percent).
Average Length of Engagement: 14 months.
Most Popular Month to Get Married: June (15 percent) followed by October (14 percent).
Popular Wedding Colors: Ivory or white (44 percent), blue (37 percent), pink (28 percent), metallics (26 percent), purple (23 percent).
Percentage of Destination Weddings: 24 percent.

Top 2014 Wedding Trends

Matrimony Gone Mobile: Get out your iPhones, ladies, and join the six out of 10 brides using these devices to plan their weddings and research gowns and wedding vendors. In fact, over the course of three years, the use of smartphones to access wedding planning websites has nearly doubled, from 33 percent in 2011 to 61 percent in 2014. Did we mention that you can access Boston Weddings from your smartphone?

Unique Reception Locations: Apparently, couples aren’t into the same old hotels and country clubs they used to be. About 40 percent are looking for unusual venues that better reflect their personality. Two such nontraditional sites—historic buildings/homes and farm venues—have increased in popularity since 2009.

Spending More on the Reception Than the Ceremony: Brides and grooms are opening their wallets more for the big party, spending more on catering, musicians, and cakes in 2014. Cocktail hour costs also rose to 76 percent from 69 percent in 2010. At the same time, people are cutting back on such traditional wedding ceremony extravagances as hiring pianists and organists and holding the event in a religious institution (down 41 percent from 2009 figures).

Who’s Paying?: If you go over budget, you’re in good company. The study shows almost half of couples do. Of that price tag, the bride’s parents contribute 43 percent, the bride and groom contribute 43 percent, and the groom’s parents contribute 12 percent. Only 12 percent of couples pay for the wedding entirely themselves.

Where’s the Money Going?

Here’s the breakdown of last year’s average wedding costs. As you can see, compared to the 2013 figures, spending in 2014 increased in all categories, except for invitations and wedding favors. With costs on the rise, it might be good idea to check out our experts’ tips on keeping your wedding budget under control.



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