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Wedding Obsessions from The Knot The Knot

Top 20 Most Expensive Places to Marry

By The Editors of TheKnot.com Mar 23, 2012 10:21PM

The results are in from TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com 2011 Real Weddings Survey (over 18,000 couples married in 2011 took the survey) and for the first time since 2008, wedding budgets are on the rise with the average price of a wedding at $27,021 (excluding the honeymoon). While that may seem like a lot (like to those out of West Virginia where the average wedding is $14,203), weddings in these 20 cities will cost you the most, with some of them way over the national average.

1. NYC (Manhattan): $65,824

2. Chicago, IL: $53,069

3. NY Metro (Long Island, Hudson Valley and NYC Outer Boroughs): $50,087, $46,560, $40,356

4. Northern/Central NJ and Southern NJ: $46,600, $38,103

5. Rhode Island: $41,307

6. Santa Barbara/Ventura, CA, and Los Angeles, CA: $37,823, $37,690

7. Philadelphia, PA: $37,014

8. Boston, MA: $35,560

9. Southern Florida (Miami, Fort Lauderdale and surrounding areas): $34,465

10. Washington, DC, Northern Virginia and Suburban Maryland: $34,203

11. Connecticut: $33,789

12. Baltimore, MD: $32,702

13. Northern, CA, San Diego, CA, and Orange County/Inland Empire, CA: $32,261, $30,482, $29,826

14. Hawaii: $31,461

15. Pittsburgh, PA: $29,703

16. Louisiana: $28,790 *New to Top 20 List in 2011

17. Dallas, TX, Houston, TX, and Austin/San Antonio, TX: $28,717, $27,459, $27,735

18. California/Nevada (Sacramento, Tahoe and Reno): $28,028

19. Lehigh Valley/Poconos, PA: $27,339 *New to Top 20 List in 2011

20. Detroit, MI: $27,017 *New to Top 20 List in 2011


How much is too much to spend on a wedding? Tell us on Facebook.


More From TheKnot.com:

Where does the money go? Use our budgeter

10 Trends for 2012

500+ new wedding dresses

12Comments
Mar 29, 2012 12:59PM
Mar 29, 2012 1:33PM
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There's no question that weddings have become an industry and it's such a shame, given that weddings should be less about the occasion and more about the people. As I was looking for venues for our wedding, I'll never forget the advice an elderly couple gave me: "skip the fancy stuff and invest that money in your future." They were married 45 years and had paid $450 for their wedding in their Aunt's back yard: it makes me smile when I see articles like this and compare it to their story. 
Mar 29, 2012 10:29PM
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Let's see, flowers and cake were $260, church rental included the small attached hall, fee for the preacher and the organist.... maybe $350 total.  No debt, no hassles, my grandmother made my dress.    So what did I get for my cheap wedding?  I got my husband of 37 years now, now that was a great deal!!
Mar 29, 2012 4:02PM
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Weddings are expensive! For this and many other reasons "destination weddings" have become extremely popular. Usually held in a beachfront resort setting guests are excited to visit- often taking a few extra days and making wedding into a mini-vacation, the bride & groom have a "fantasy/fairy tale" romantic setting AND costs can be as much as 75% LESS than a wedding in the USA. As a wedding specialist travel agent, I have many "extras" for my brides & grooms- helping the couple save even more.

Mar 29, 2012 9:58PM
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Mine was a total of $22,000. My parents paid $10,000 for the reception site, open bar package, and family style dinner package. I paid $10,000 for everything else. I cut a lot of costs by using a family friend for my DJ (Who was absolutely amazing) and the girl who worked at the bridal shop that I got my dress at was also a florist and gave me an amazing deal on my flowers (I paid a total of $661 for 5 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 mom bouquets, 2 grandmother corsages, 1 jr bridesmaid corsage, 9 boutinnieres for the groomsmen, the groom, father of the bride, father of the groom, and grandfather of the bride, a bag of petals for the flower girl, and my bridal bouquet that utilized white calla lilies and black dahlias). My honeymoon cost us about $1600 for airfare, 7 days and 6 nights hotel stay, travel insurance, shuttle service to and from the airport from our hotel, and 1 excursion in New Orleans. We saved $2000 to take with us and came back with $400 even after we splurged and bought gifts back for our families. It's all about making your money work for you. We are not in debt from our wedding at all. We paid a little here and there until everything was paid off. A week before our wedding, all we had to do was enjoy the last week of singlehood :)
Mar 30, 2012 4:29AM
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People spend WAY too much on weddings.
My wedding cost less than $100 and has lasted 40 years.
That money could be better spent on a car or a house.

Mar 29, 2012 9:58PM
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Mine was a total of $22,000. My parents paid $10,000 for the reception site, open bar package, and family style dinner package. I paid $10,000 for everything else. I cut a lot of costs by using a family friend for my DJ (Who was absolutely amazing) and the girl who worked at the bridal shop that I got my dress at was also a florist and gave me an amazing deal on my flowers (I paid a total of $661 for 5 bridesmaid bouquets, 2 mom bouquets, 2 grandmother corsages, 1 jr bridesmaid corsage, 9 boutinnieres for the groomsmen, the groom, father of the bride, father of the groom, and grandfather of the bride, a bag of petals for the flower girl, and my bridal bouquet that utilized white calla lilies and black dahlias). My honeymoon cost us about $1600 for airfare, 7 days and 6 nights hotel stay, travel insurance, shuttle service to and from the airport from our hotel, and 1 excursion in New Orleans. We saved $2000 to take with us and came back with $400 even after we splurged and bought gifts back for our families. It's all about making your money work for you. We are not in debt from our wedding at all. We paid a little here and there until everything was paid off. A week before our wedding, all we had to do was enjoy the last week of singlehood :)
Jun 9, 2012 1:27AM
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I just got married in Hawaii.  Total cost was around $6K for a beautiful ceremony, gorgeous dress, and fantastic reception for nearly 100 guests at a breathtaking waterfront site.  These estimates are assuming that you just walk into a hotel and book everything through them instead of spending some time and effort to make less expensive arrangements on their own.  Hotels can easily be $20K+ but there are lots of other fantastic options that can be done within a budget.
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