Wedding costs vary depending on year, state, city and, of course, the type of vendors on board. However, the numbers are always a fascinating look into the wedding industry. Brides, as well as vendors, often find that viewing the spending habits of other couples can help them set their own budget to build the vision of their dreams.
For example, brides in Utah (or destination brides heading to Utah) spend far less than other states. However that doesn't necessarily mean they opt out of all luxuries, as the average cost of weddings usually still comes out to around $20k. Ready to see how much weddings cost by state? And how wedding costs are trending year over year? Here we go.
Average Wedding Cost (by Year)
Weddings reached their peak in 2016, while bottoming during the pandemic in 2020. Naturally weddings in 2020 were deeply affected by COVID (with most trimming down their guest list significantly, and fewer vendors being included due to regulations), so the average cost is not surprising. However the trend has steadily been climbing ever since, hitting a national average of $23.5k in 2022.
Photo Credit: Digital Creative Media
Average Wedding Cost (by State)
Highest Wedding Cost Average:
New Jersey ($53.4k)
The top 5 states with the highest average wedding budget (according to wedding.report) are New Jersey, Rhode Island, New York, Massachusetts, and Connecticut, all Eastern coastal states.
Photo Credit: Zion Wedding Films
United States Average:
$23.5k per wedding
Weddings that fall closer to the average include Florida, Colorado, New Mexico, and Ohio. Many in the mid-range fall between $25k and 30k, a respectable number for a beautiful wedding or elopement.
State with lowest average wedding cost:
|Wedding Budget by State|
While all of the top 6 spots are Eastern coastal states, many of the lower averages fall in the Western states like Idaho, Wyoming, and Utah-- with Utah coming in last at $19.7k. Interestingly enough, this is also the reason many destination brides find Utah so appealing.
It's reasonably priced, beautiful (and unbeatable) scenery, and the vendors couldn't be more friendly. Utah, along with California, is also known as an exceptional location to elope.
Why is Utah the Least Expensive?
The consensus on Utah's budget seems to be that, because costs like alcohol and venues rank as one of the biggest expenses, weddings among those in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints faith (a majority of weddings in the state) usually save on such expenses. They neither drink nor often use a large venue, instead deferring to a meetinghouse (which is free). They also often use family members in several role often reserved for vendors.
Photo Credit: Gideon Photo (submitted by Poppy Lane Events)
While resourceful in some ways, the engaged bride-to-be will regularly hear warnings from their married friends who did the same. Not to knock on volunteers just wanting to help (we love our family and friends who pull together for special events), but it is common to hear from former brides that, if they were to do it over, they would have gone with professionals-- especially for their photographers, dresses, and florals. That's why we recommend vendors like these.
For those "out of town" destination brides, most find that while they prefer a venue and a serving bar, their vendors are some of their favorite experiences. If you're planning a destination wedding to Southern Utah, Nevada, or anywhere in the West with an epic venue (indoors or out), you'd be hard-pressed to find better than these top-notch choices.