2016 Wedding Trends & Spending Habits. Findings, Facts & Figures.

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The 2016 American Wedding Study was recently released and there were some very interesting findings.

For one thing, engaged couples are far more likely to spend their own money to get the wedding of their dreams. Just under two-thirds either pay for the wedding themselves or contribute money towards it.

Because of their financial and personal involvement, couples want a wedding to reflect their personalities. Couples are turning to the media, both traditional and online, to look for inspiration. 72 percent turns to Pinterest and just over a third check out Instagram for ideas.

This also means couples are more likely to spend money on items that reflect themselves instead of the those that don’t. For example, the average spend on a wedding dress is a whopping $1,517. That up from $1,380 in 2014. Whereas in 2014, the average number of guests was 142. This year it is 135. No point inviting the third cousin you never see when you can use that money to get the frock you really want! Despite this, good old white and off-white is still the most popular wedding dress color — 93 percent of brides choose a traditional dress.

Brides are also trying to make the wedding planning more enjoyable for everyone involved. One recent trend is to ask bridesmaids to wear dresses of the same color, instead of exactly the same dress. Anyone who has ever been a bridesmaid will be glad to hear that!

Contemporary couples are also more likely to write their own vows. Around 42 percent are planning on doing so, up from 37 percent in 2014. Having a friend or family member officiate is steadily becoming more popular too. Two years ago, only a fifth of couples did this. Now around 28 percent do.

Brides are not necessarily the only ones setting the trends. Around 14 percent of grooms have had a “man of honor” in their wedding party.

Even months to get married change with the times. September and October have replaced May and June as the most popular months to get married.

Here are some of the most important facts and figures from the survey:

Key findings, facts and figures

  • The total average wedding cost is $26,522
  • The average reception costs $11,380
  • The average cost of the three most expensive items are the engagement ring ($5,135); photography ($2,099) and videography ($1,533)
  • The average wedding cake costs $417
  • The average wedding dress costs $1,517
  • The average bridesmaids' dress costs $133
  • Just under a fifth (17 percent) of weddings are destination weddings.
  • Couples having destination weddings invite fewer guests, but what they save on dinner costs they spend on items such as gift bags, planned activities and shuttle buses
  • Just over a third of couples spend more on their wedding than they planned to, and 58 percent are willing to increase their budget to get the wedding they want
  • Engagement parties are falling out of favor — only 29 percent of couples still have them
  • Bridal showers are still popular though — nearly two-thirds of brides have one
  • About 10 percent of couples combine their bachelor/bachelorette parties

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