New Survey Reveals Hawaii and New Jersey Are Most Expensive for Weddings

Marital bliss doesn't come cheap.

How much money a couple spends on their wedding day depends on their financial situation and their personal preferences, of course. But, according to new research from Magnify Money, location plays a big role in the price of the final bill as well.

Researchers crunched the numbers on how much people spent on weddings in 2018, and determined that Hawaii was the most expensive place to get married in the U.S. On the idyllic islands of America's final state—where Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson recently wed his longtime girlfriend, Lauren Hashian—tying the knot costs $38,000 on average. It's followed by New Jersey, where the average wedding costs $37,000, and Washington, D.C., where newlyweds tend to spend $36,000 on average.

The researchers also used U.S. Census Bureau data to determine where couples spend the most money on their weddings relative to their income. And, according to these calculations, the crown goes to the people of New York. In the Empire State, the average cost of a wedding ($34,300) is just under 53 percent of the state's median income.

And that's not the only state where couples are willing to shell out about half their yearly salary on their big day. In Vermont, the average wedding costs $30,257, which is 52.6 percent of the average income. And in Pennsylvania, tying the knot typically costs $28,827, which comes out to 48.7 percent of residents' salaries.

Regionally, southern states have a more economical approach to nuptials. In Kentucky, Alabama, Tennessee, and Mississippi, the average wedding costs $17,100, which is a relatively modest 35 percent of the average annual income for the area.

The Magnify Money findings also reveal that wedding costs seem to be higher in states in which people get married later on life, possibly because they have a little more disposable income.

Finally, if you think of a wedding as an investment on your longterm relationship, Michigan seems to have the highest return in that sense. That's because, in that state, the average marriage spans more than two decades, so a wedding would cost 1.8 percent of a couple's income throughout the duration of their union. By comparison, in Washington, D.C., the average marriage lasts around 11 years, which would make the average cost of getting married 4.1 percent of a couple's income.

If you want to get married on a modest budget, experts tell Washingtonian to keep the dining options simple, or book a venue during the off-season or on a Friday. Most importantly, determine what your priorities are as a couple, and remember that the day should be about celebrating love rather than showing off!

And for more great wedding advice, check out 27 Secrets Wedding Planners Will Never Tell You.

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Diana Bruk
Diana is a senior editor who writes about sex and relationships, modern dating trends, and health and wellness. Read more
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