How ‘normal’ is your wedding?

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New York, where the average cost of a wedding is $65,824, is the most expensive city in the United States to get married.

Most things in Manhattan and the New York metropolitan area are expensive and weddings are no exception, according to the nuptial websites TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com, which polled nearly 18,000 U.S. brides who were married in 2011 about the cost of their big day.

Chicago came in second with wedding costs of $53,069. New Jersey and Rhode Island were included in the top five.

Nationally, the average cost of a wedding is $27,000, the survey found, and that doesn’t include the cost of the honeymoon.

The state of West Virginia, where nuptials cost an average of $14,203, was the least expensive wedding location according to the poll of 20 U.S. cities.

“For the first time since 2008, wedding budgets are on the rise,” said Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot. “In 2011, one in five U.S. couples spent more than $30,000, and 11 percent spent more than $40,000 on their weddings.”

Anja Winikka, the site editor of TheKnot.com, said the economy could be playing a part in the rising price tags of weddings.

“It probably has to do with attitudes toward economic recovery,” she said.

So, according to those 18,000 brides, what’s considered normal these days in wedding planning and costs?

The venue usually accounts for 50 percent of the budget and the average cost per guest is $196, according to Winikka. She added that 75 percent of couples contribute to the cost of their wedding, as opposed to having the entire affair paid for by parents, for example. The average fee for the wedding planner was $1,753.

Brides, whose average age was 29, paid about $1,100 for their wedding dress. On average, they invited about 140 guests, had four to five bridesmaids and about a 14-month engagement, according to the survey.

Although June is considered the month for weddings, September was the most popular time for nuptials and blue, purple and green are the top colors.

Hawaiians tend to have the most casual weddings, while couples in Long Island, New York are most likely to opt for the most formal, the survey found.


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