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The Knot Reveals New Data About Real U.S. Weddings

Happy couple outdoors

The results of The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Study are in after a year of collecting data from 16,000 newly wed couples across the U.S. Here is an overview of the results.

What’s Changing ($), And What’s Not
Perhaps the most notable change about U.S. Weddings is how much brides and grooms-to-be are spending on wedding celebrations. The average wedding now costs $31,213 — and that’s before the honeymoon! Of course, there are also distinct trends governing how exactly couples spend this money. “Spending is on the rise across reception categories, and couples are spending more on their catering, musicians and cake in 2014,” according to a March 12 news release. “Spending for cocktail hours also rose to 76% from 69% in 2010.” More couples (61%) are using mobile phones to make wedding plans and browse the best wedding places and event venues.

What isn’t changing? Many brides and grooms continue to throw wedding receptions in fairly traditional venues. Twenty-two percent choose banquet halls, 11% pick country clubs, and 11% celebrate wedding receptions in hotel venues. (The remainder select different types of venues. About 15% throw weddings outdoors, for example.)

Start A New Trend
With upwards of $72 billion spent on weddings every year, more Americans are urging newly weds to consider the less fortunate. Instead of stowing wedding dresses at the back of the closet and never wearing them again, more brides are choosing to donate their dress. Whether your dress is white, ivory, or another color altogether (10% of brides choose a non-traditional color), several organizations accept and donate dresses to women who are struggling with cancer. There is another opportunity to be charitable when clearing the wedding reception area or banquet hall: donating food. More caterers are donating remaining food to those in need. Ask if your caterer has a donation program in place.

The Knot’s annual survey makes one thing clear: Americans are spending more and more on their wedding day. With this in mind, it is also wise for brides and grooms-to-be to consider being charitable and donating wedding dresses or food to the less fortunate.