A friend of mine recently told me he's getting married this summer. He's a little overwhelmed by all the details and the planning. Maybe some of these statistics will help him feel better.
- In 2001, 2.3 million couples got married in the US. That's almost 6,200 weddings per day.
- From June 2003 to June 2004, about $80 billion was spent on weddings, not including the honeymoon.
- The average wedding budget is $20,000, with an average of 178 guests.
- On average, over $1,000 is spent on wedding rings.
- Tradition has it that the father of the bride is supposed to pay all the costs of the wedding and the reception. Today, however, about 30% of all brides and grooms pay the costs themselves. In only 17% of weddings do the bride's parents pay everything. The rest of the weddings are paid for by some combination of the bride and groom and both sets of parents.
- During an average 13-month engagement, the bride spends 8 hours a week planning the wedding. The bride's biggest worries:
- budget 65%
- forgetting a crucial detail 50%
- reception won't be fun 39%
- people not showing up 25%
- June is the most popular month for weddings. However, since weddings now pretty much happen all year round, "most popular" means just over 10% of weddings happen in June.
- Other popular months are August, September, and October.
- 80% of weddings are performed in churches or synagogues.
- 99% of newlyweds go on a honeymoon.
- The city where the most weddings take place in the world is Istanbul, Turkey. Las Vegas comes in second, with 138,600 weddings. Third most popular city is -- where else? -- Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
So I had to find out, why Gatlinburg. The Gatlinburg website says it's the "wedding capital of the south." They give lots of reasons: it's pretty because it's near the Smoky Mountains, it's centrally located for half the population of the US, there are all kinds of romantic hideaways, etc. But the real reason may be this one:
"It's also easy to get a marriage license in Tennessee. There's no blood test and no waiting period. Plus, here in Sevier County, the wedding license is only $38.50 for out-of-state couples and $98.50 for Tennessee residents."
Oh, and one last thing. Did you know, the current, widespread conviction that the diamond ring is the only acceptable kind of engagement ring is because of an advertising campaign?
(Some of this data is kind of old, by the way. A few of the sources reference things going back to 2001 or 1998.)
"Statistics on Weddings in the United States," SoundVision.com
Statistics for the Wedding Industry, Association for Wedding Professionals International
Valentine's Day Facts for Features press release, US Census Bureau, December 16, 2004
Tips & Stats at SelltheBride.com
Bridal Industry Statistics at The Knot.com
Gatlinburg, Tennessee Chamber of Commerce website