2018 Average Cost of Wedding in the U.S. Drops by 4% to $24,723

Spending for weddings in 2018 was down 4% from $25,764 in 2017 to $24,723 in 2018. The good news is that the wedding market is still worth $54 billion per year. The bad news is that couples are not spending more despite a relatively good economy. The reasons for which I have posted about previously and still see lifestyle creep and general life expenses changing the priority of how couples spend and what they plan to purchase for their wedding.

While spending is generally flat with some decrease in service categories, it's the demand for traditional wedding expenditures that is driving the lower overall spending. Almost every item is seeing lower demand with the exception of a few items. Event location, food, and decorations all saw higher demand. To me this points to couples looking for an experience, not a traditional wedding. And if there is one opportunity area, look at certain planning services; such as, day of, getting started, and month of direction.

The latest average wedding cost is based on 6,792 survey samples collected from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2018. Includes couples that were married and spent money on their upcoming wedding. The average number of guests was 125 and the average travel distance from home to get married was 48 miles. The average number of bridesmaids was 4 and the average number of groomsmen was 4.

All markets have been updated with the latest information including number of weddings, spending, guests, travel distance and 2023 estimates. Updates to additional market data will be coming soon.

2017 to 2018 Wedding Cost Changes

Market Totals 2017 2018 Chg %
Market Summary $25,764 $24,723 -4.0%
Attire & Accessories 2017 2018 Chg %
Dress Accessories $224 $223 -0.4%
Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories $104 $104 0.0%
Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase $209 $210 0.5%
Wedding Dress/es $1,220 $1,217 -0.2%
Beauty & Spa 2017 2018 Chg %
Hair Service $67 $68 1.5%
Makeup Service $54 $55 1.9%
Manicure & Pedicure $45 $45 0.0%
Entertainment 2017 2018 Chg %
DJ $736 $737 0.1%
Entertainment lighting $337 $334 -0.9%
Live Band $1,700 $1,693 -0.4%
Musician/s, Soloist, or Ensemble $618 $612 -1.0%
Flowers & Decorations 2017 2018 Chg %
Boutonnieres, Corsages $148 $150 1.4%
Bouquets $339 $338 -0.3%
Event Decorations $445 $444 -0.2%
Event Flowers & Arrangements $613 $604 -1.5%
Event Table Centerpieces $326 $326 0.0%
Gifts & Favors 2017 2018 Chg %
Gift/s for Attendants $103 $102 -1.0%
Gift/s for Parents $122 $122 0.0%
Tips (for all services) $384 $385 0.3%
Wedding Favors $239 $240 0.4%
Invitations 2017 2018 Chg %
Ceremony Programs $128 $128 0.0%
Engagement Announcements $109 $110 0.9%
Guest Book $61 $61 0.0%
Invitations & Reply Cards $225 $223 -0.9%
Postage $105 $105 0.0%
Reception Menus $125 $125 0.0%
Save the Date Cards $112 $112 0.0%
Table Name and Escort/place Cards $85 $85 0.0%
Thank You Cards $90 $90 0.0%
Jewelry 2017 2018 Chg %
Bracelet $174 $174 0.0%
Earrings $151 $151 0.0%
Engagement Ring $3,402 $3,388 -0.4%
Necklace $199 $199 0.0%
Wedding ring/band for HER $782 $775 -0.9%
Wedding ring/band for HIM $455 $454 -0.2%
Photography & Video 2017 2018 Chg %
Digital or Photo cd/dvd $291 $285 -2.1%
Engagement Session $395 $390 -1.3%
Photo Booth $379 $377 -0.5%
Prints and/or Enlargements $237 $236 -0.4%
Wedding album/s or photo book/s $417 $410 -1.7%
Wedding Photographer $1,606 $1,597 -0.6%
Wedding Videographer $1,072 $1,066 -0.6%
Planner/Consultant 2017 2018 Chg %
A La Carte Services $941 $942 0.1%
Day of Coordinator $809 $808 -0.1%
For Getting Started $873 $869 -0.5%
Full Service $2,754 $2,722 -1.2%
Month of Direction $1,058 $1,036 -2.1%
Venue, Catering & Rentals 2017 2018 Chg %
Ceremony Officiator $214 $213 -0.5%
Event Accessories $326 $325 -0.3%
Event Bar Service $2,374 $2,368 -0.3%
Event Food Service $4,667 $4,632 -0.7%
Event Location $3,611 $3,618 0.2%
Event Rentals $1,736 $1,737 0.1%
Hotel Room for After Reception $315 $314 -0.3%
Limo Rental $483 $485 0.4%
Other Transportation $517 $518 0.2%
Rehearsal Dinner $570 $566 -0.7%
Wedding Cake/dessert $418 $416 -0.5%

2017 to 2018 Wedding Demand Changes

Demand is the percent of total couples getting married that purchase the product or service

Attire & Accessories 2017 2018 Chg %
Dress Accessories 89% 90% 1.1%
Tuxedo/suit/other Accessories 84% 77% -8.3%
Tuxedo/suit/other Rent/purchase 87% 87% 0.0%
Wedding Dress/es 95% 94% -1.1%
Beauty & Spa 2017 2018 Chg %
Hair Service 84% 78% -7.1%
Makeup Service 70% 64% -8.6%
Manicure & Pedicure 79% 73% -7.6%
Entertainment 2017 2018 Chg %
DJ 76% 70% -7.9%
Entertainment lighting 60% 59% -1.7%
Live Band 30% 19% -36.7%
Musician/s, Soloist, or Ensemble 43% 31% -27.9%
Flowers & Decorations 2017 2018 Chg %
Boutonnieres, Corsages 87% 82% -5.7%
Bouquets 95% 93% -2.1%
Event Decorations 84% 86% 2.4%
Event Flowers & Arrangements 82% 79% -3.7%
Event Table Centerpieces 85% 84% -1.2%
Gifts & Favors 2017 2018 Chg %
Gift/s for Attendants 77% 64% -16.9%
Gift/s for Parents 68% 60% -11.8%
Tips (for all services) 87% 81% -6.9%
Wedding Favors 82% 75% -8.5%
Invitations 2017 2018 Chg %
Ceremony Programs 72% 59% -18.1%
Engagement Announcements 47% 39% -17.0%
Guest Book 85% 79% -7.1%
Invitations & Reply Cards 95% 92% -3.2%
Postage 94% 88% -6.4%
Reception Menus 51% 38% -25.5%
Save the Date Cards 70% 64% -8.6%
Table Name and Escort/place Cards 65% 55% -15.4%
Thank You Cards 89% 83% -6.7%
Jewelry 2017 2018 Chg %
Bracelet 27% 24% -11.1%
Earrings 44% 39% -11.4%
Engagement Ring 88% 87% -1.1%
Necklace 33% 30% -9.1%
Wedding ring/band for HER 88% 86% -2.3%
Wedding ring/band for HIM 93% 92% -1.1%
Photography & Video 2017 2018 Chg %
Digital or Photo cd/dvd 61% 48% -21.3%
Engagement Session 59% 56% -5.1%
Photo Booth 26% 26% 0.0%
Prints and/or Enlargements 60% 54% -10.0%
Wedding album/s or photo book/s 50% 46% -8.0%
Wedding Photographer 92% 90% -2.2%
Wedding Videographer 49% 39% -20.4%
Planner/Consultant 2017 2018 Chg %
A La Carte Services 7% 7% 0.0%
Day of Coordinator 17% 18% 5.9%
For Getting Started 4% 7% 75.0%
Full Service 18% 17% -5.6%
Month of Direction 6% 7% 16.7%
Venue, Catering & Rentals 2017 2018 Chg %
Ceremony Officiator 85% 79% -7.1%
Event Accessories 86% 84% -2.3%
Event Bar Service 71% 67% -5.6%
Event Food Service 83% 87% 4.8%
Event Location 85% 86% 1.2%
Event Rentals 76% 74% -2.6%
Hotel Room for After Reception 76% 66% -13.2%
Limo Rental 44% 30% -31.8%
Other Transportation 36% 25% -30.6%
Rehearsal Dinner 78% 67% -14.1%
Wedding Cake/dessert 92% 92% 0.0%

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