The Average Wedding Cost Just Went WAY Up. Here’s Why.

Brides just released its 2018 American Wedding Study, an annual survey of engaged and newly married women that reveals things like the most popular time of the year for engagements, how couples discuss finances, dress trends, and more. Perhaps the most important piece of information though, is the average wedding cost.

Read on to see what 2018 looked like for brides and grooms from all over!

via Kelcy Leigh Photography


Total Cost

In 2017, the average cost of a wedding was approximately $27,000. That number rose to a whopping $44,000 in 2018. While couples are inviting less guests, they’re spending more per guest on everything from food to experiences, as well as things like attire and decor.

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Brides are typically 28 when they get married, and their partners are usually one year older, at 29.

Number of Bridesmaids & Groomsmen

via Jadie Jo Photography

While some brides opt out of a bridal party entirely, 85 percent still choose to have one — and most often with 5.4 bridesmaids. The number of groomsmen in the average wedding is close, at 5.3.

Number of Guests

Weddings typically have less than 200 guests, and according to the study, the exact average is 167.

Engagement & Wedding Date

While summer weddings have actually decreased by more than 20 percent — it’s all about fall now — July and August actually tied for second for the most popular time for proposals. December continues to reign supreme, and holidays are still popular, too. In fact, 28 percent of couples got engaged on a holiday or special occasion last year, compared to just 12 percent in 2017.

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Dress Investment


Brides spent an average of $2,260 on their wedding dresses in 2018 — considerably more than the year before, at $1,562.

Groom Attire

Whether grooms opt for a tuxedo or suit, they’re also spending more than they did in 2017:  $602 versus $328.

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It’s undoubtedly more common for couples to live together prior to their wedding. In 2018, 84 percent did so.

Financial Transparency


Money problems can take a toll on any couple, so it’s best to be open about your finances before you tie the knot. This seems to be what couples are doing, too: 90 percent revealed their credit scores before their wedding; 97 percent discussed their current debts; 95 percent shared their future financial goals with one another; 41 percent opened a joint bank account; and 83 percent began splitting expenses like rent.

More Groom Involvement

Gone are the days that brides handle all of the planning duties. 97 percent of brides said their partners were “involved” in the planning process, and 36 percent even said that they’re “very involved.”

Traditional Colors, Trendy Designs

The number of brides that chose a traditional white or off-white wedding dress decreased from 2017’s 92 percent to 83 percent. But that doesn’t mean brides aren’t opting for some modern flair — jumpsuits and separates actually grew in popularity. Veils did, too.


via Cake Design Italia

The study found that nearly half of couples surveyed wrote their own vows, and nearly the same amount served a favorite food or drink of theirs and handed out personalized favors. Customized decorations and non-traditional wedding cakes were also popular.

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