TheKnot.com 2013 Wedding Statistics

Largest survey in US – 13,000 brides – finds average wedding budget in America rising despite more casual weddings…

The XO Group Inc, creator of the top wedding website TheKnot.Com, conducted a comprehensive report surveying nearly 13,000 US brides and grooms married in 2013. TheKnot.com 2013 Real Weddings Study captures detailed information on the average cost of a wedding, average number of wedding guests, wedding style trends and other key statistics related to weddings in America.

“Wedding budgets have been increasing steadily since the economic downturn of 2008, and in 2013, couples spent a record high average of nearly $30,000,” said Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot. “Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests – plus they’re doing so in a modern way, by planning from their smartphones, publicizing details on social media and more.”

We put together an infographic on the Top 2013 Wedding Statistics from their survey:

Wedding Trends Statistics Averages

Top 2013 Wedding Trends

GROWING BUDGETS. Couples are spending more on their weddings than ever. Following the trend of growing budgets for the past two years, wedding budgets are at an all-time high with the average wedding cost hitting $29,858, the highest level ever. Less couples (20%) say the economy affected their wedding budget – a statistic that has continually decreased year over year, since reaching an all-time high of 34% in 2009. Wedding standards also continue to rise, in fact, about 1 in 8 couples (14%) spent more than $40,000 on their nuptials, and nearly 1 in 4 (24%) didn’t even have a budget.

GUESTS CONQUER ALL. Couples are concentrating on creating an experience for guests. Not only did spend per guest increase to $220, up nearly $26 per guest from 2009 when couples spent $194 per guest, but guest entertainment continues to gain popularity. This rapidly rising category only continues to grow – in 2013, nearly 1 in 3 couples (30%) provided additional guest entertainment, compared with just 11% in 2009. Additionally, while the number of brides who throw a rehearsal dinner, after-party or morning-after brunch has remained steady, brides are spending more money on these events. In 2013, brides spent an average of $1,184 on their rehearsal dinners (up from $1,135 in 2012) and $457 on their morning-after brunch (up from $429 in 2012).

TRADITIONS CONTINUE TO EVOLVE. Couples are foregoing some traditions to modernize their nuptials. Couples are becoming more liberal in their prewedding lifestyles; nearly 3 in 4 couples (74%) now opt to live together prior to getting married. Casual weddings are also on the rise, with 17% of brides classifying their weddings as casual in 2013, up from 12% in 2008. Along the same lines, couples aren’t marrying in religious institutions as much as they used to; just 33% chose to do so in 2013, down from 41% in 2009. While the majority of brides still opt to take their spouse’s last name (80%), this tradition is becoming less popular, down from 2009 when a whopping 86% changed their last names. Similarly, 1 in 10 (10%) brides kept their names in 2013, up from just 7% of brides who chose to do so in 2009.

SEASONAL SHIFTS. Summer is slowly making its way out of style as the wedding season. Summer is generally defined as wedding season, however, the trend toward beautiful summer weddings is shifting. In 2013, 35% of couples opted for sunshine-filled nuptials, down from 2009 when 41% of couples opted for the season. In recent years, fall has been making headway as the “new” wedding season, but the rise of fall weddings is pausing. In 2013, 32% of couples chose the season, down from its high of 36% in 2011. Spring is gaining traction with couples who aren’t afraid of April showers; 26% of brides chose pretty spring weddings, up from 22% in 2011. Winter is also coming from behind to give couples gorgeous snow-filled portraits; though still the minority, 7% of couples chose a winter wedding in 2013, up from 5% in 2012.

PERSONALIZATION AT A PEAK. Weddings are the ultimate form of self-expression. The trend in weddings for many years has been to create a personalized experience, where the couples’ personalities are evident in many areas of the wedding. This trend is on the rise, with couples opting for unique details like signature wedding cocktails, which 20% of couples had, up from just 12% in 2008, and hosting interactive food stations (15% of weddings in 2013, up from 13% in 2010). Couples are also personalizing their ceremonies into unique, touching experiences with a family member or friend officiating – just 57% of couples hired a professional ceremony officiant, down from 63% of couples who did so in 2009.

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