The Average Cost of a Wedding Went Up — Again. Here's How Much a Celebration Will Cost You in 2023 Inflation and increasing demand for services are the main drivers of the year-over-year increase.
Love is priceless — unless you want a wedding.
According to a new report from wedding planning site Zola, saying "I do" just got more expensive. In 2023, the average wedding cost is $29,000, up $1,000 from last year. The wedding site noted inflation as one of the main drivers racking up the price, along with exceeding demand for goods and services that outpace supply.
"Wedding industry vendors have had to raise their rates because they're also paying more for goods and services like food, flowers, and labor," Emily Forrest, director of communications at Zola, told CNN.
The report found that 29% of couples will optimize credit cards to cover the cost, 26% have saved "for years," and 24% will include cash funds on registries to assist with paying the tab.
While intimate weddings can cost a fortune and big guest lists can be done on a budget, Zola found that, on average, the more attendees, the pricier the ordeal. Weddings with over 200 guests cost at least $40,000, whereas weddings with 75-100 guests cost an average of $22,000.
Breaking down the price to get hitched by city, couples in New York will face the biggest price tag this year at $43,536, followed by San Francisco ($37,284), Boston ($35,902), and Philadelphia ($34,111). Of the 20 largest metropolitan areas included in the report, the city with the lowest average wedding cost was Seattle at $21,458, followed by Dallas ($21,602), Sacramento ($22,372), and Minneapolis ($22,664).
For those looking to save, Nerdwallet recommends cutting costs by being intentional with spending, such as skipping fancy invitations and going paperless, picking an off-peak wedding date to bring down venue costs, and minimizing drink and menu options to avoid a pricey catering tab.