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March 05, 2018

Philly lands in top 10 for most expensive weddings in United States

Marriage Weddings
Wedding Stock Photo Source/


There may be some truth to the idea that the best weddings — not the most important, to be clear — are almost always other people's.

It's a whole lot easier to enjoy the festivities when you're not the one who paid for them, after all.

A new study from The Knot puts the eye-popping reality of American weddings in perspective, breaking down the average cost of various budget items and revealing the most expensive places to get hitched in the United States.

“Weddings in 2017 showed us that couples are focused on guests, as we see them pulling out all the stops to create a truly memorable experience for their wedding attendees,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot. “Couples are also shifting away from formal affairs to create an experience that’s truly reflective of their personalities, and infusing more unique and unconventional ideas — from their venue and invitations to food, entertainment and more.”

The average cost of a wedding in the United States in 2017, minus the honeymoon, came in at $33,391, according to the analysis. On average, there were 136 guests per wedding and an average engagement period lasting 14 months.

For those who got married in Manhattan, weddings were more than twice as expensive as the national average—$76,944.

Here are last year's top 10 locations for the priciest weddings in the country:

• New York – Manhattan: $76,944
• New Jersey – North/Central: $62,074
• New York – Long Island: $61,113
• New York – Westchester/Hudson Valley: $55,357
• Massachusetts – Cape Cod: $55,083
• Rhode Island: $52,777
• Illinois – Chicago: $52,332
• Connecticut: $47,435
• New York City – Boroughs Outside of Manhattan: $46,808
• Pennsylvania: Philadelphia/Delaware: $46,211

South Jersey wasn't far behind, coming in at No. 15 with an average wedding cost of $40,231.

The highest spender in 2017, according to the study, shelled out $105,130 on their wedding. This was probably a drop in the bucket for them, one can only assume.

If you're looking for a cheap place to get married, couples spend the least in New Mexico ($17,584), Utah ($18,516) and Oregon ($20,652).

Here's a breakdown of the national average wedding budget.

Category  2017 National
Average Spend
Overall Wedding (with ring,
excluding honeymoon) 
Venue (reception hall) $15,163 
Photographer $2,630 
Wedding/Event Planner $1,988 
 Reception Band $4,019
 Reception DJ$1,231 
Wedding Dress $1,509 
Groom’s Attire and Accessories  $286
Wedding Cake  $540
Ceremony Site  $2,311
Ceremony Musicians  $761
Transportation  $830
Favors $252 
Rehearsal Dinner $1,285 
Engagement Ring $5,764 
 Catering (price per person)$70 
 Officiant $284

Check out the full study here