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.

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5 responses to “Do weddings really cost that much?

  • tungsten wedding band

    That number can’t be accurate?

    30 GRAND?

    Isn’t that pretty much?

    Interesting post thanks for that!

  • Gorgeous-Weddings

    I can well imagine people spending $30K on one day. But I can also understand that many people will prefer to be more moderate and save some of their cash for other things.

    I agree that the statistics may be skewed. Skewed by people who want to show off their own extravagance but also skewed by our tendency to “round up” to the nearest thousand!

    It is possible to have a Gorgeous Wedding without the extravagant costs. Remember, it’s all about the bride and groom and the promises they are making.

  • best weddings

    For me…As Much or as little as you want it to… How big are you hoping for.. I think average now for a pretty nice wedding can be 10,000-20,0000.

  • Anonymous

    We had our wedding early this year, and were able to have a beautiful wedding for under $10,000.00. I still think it’s silly to spend so much on one day, but it’s a once in a lifetime event.

  • custom cookies

    who knew weddings were so costly – OUCH!

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