Daily Archives: September 11, 2007

Do weddings really cost that much?

The average wedding costs nearly $30,000 according to three major surveys (the Wedding Report, the Knot, and Condé Nast Bridal Media). The average wedding costs I’ve seen reported have always boggled my mind — how do you really spend that much on a single day!?!

The Numbers Guy (Carl Bialik) recently addressed this topic on his blog and his print column and debunked this crazy number. There are two problems with what has been reported about the average wedding cost:

1. The surveys aren’t really representative. The people most likely to be contacted registered on certain wedding web sites and databases — people who are more likely to have thrown extravagant and expensive weddings. In addition, response rates to these types of surveys are very low (as low as 2%), so it’s not clear who is really responding.

2. Of course, these surveys report the average wedding cost, which is sensitive to extreme values. Even just one crazy wedding could skew the average. Naturally it is better to report median wedding costs since it is more representative. The median is about $15,000.