Surprising Facts About Weddings and Budgeting

Surprising Facts

When planning your NC wedding it is hard to foresee what is going to have the biggest impact on creating an unforgettable event. Will it be the dj, the flowers, the venue, the food?  You really only get one chance to make it the day of your dreams.  Below we have compiled some very helpful statistics and information that you may find insightful when planning and budgeting for your event.  They say hindsight is 20/20 and the following information was gathered by asking brides and grooms what they would change about their weddings, a few weeks after their events:

72% of all brides say they would have spent more time choosing their reception entertainment.  

Almost 100% say they would have spent more of their budget on the entertainment.

During wedding planning, brides say their highest priority is their wedding dress, attire, followed by the reception site and caterer - reception entertainment is among the least of their priorities! 

Within one week after their reception, 78% of brides say they would have made the entertainment their highest priority!

When asked, 81% of guests say the thing they remember most about a wedding is the entertainment (Band / DJ).

A full 65% of couples that used a band to entertain at their wedding reception, said, if they had it to do over again, they would have chosen a disc jockey!


Wedding disc Jockey rates vary based on skills, year of experience, emcee abilities, level of service, level of involvement/coordination, quality of equipment, music knowledge, mixing ability/DJ talent, and personality. Not all wedding DJ's are created equally.  Everyone has seen a "bad" or cheesy wedding DJ at some point.

Rates for the DJ industry vary greatly, ranging from $750.00 to $3,500.00 with an US average of $1,400.00 for a 4-5 hour reception. 

The best price is not always the best deal, especially if you are planning a wedding.  100% of brides would have spent more money on their entertainment & made it their #1 priority in hindsight!

A professional wedding entertainment company will normally invest 12 to 20 hours to your special event, but it may appear that you are only paying for "4 hours".  

According to Modern Bride Magazine, entertainment is, on average, 5% of a bride's wedding budget, however, over 50% of your guests will remember the performance of your disc jockey more than anything else at your reception.  


The average American engagement is 16 months.

June is the most popular month for weddings, then August, followed by 

September October and May

Every year an average of 2.4 million weddings are performed in the U.S.

Average age for first-time brides is 25 years, for grooms it's 27.5

175 guests are invited to an average wedding

One third of engaged couples retain a Wedding Consultant

An average honeymoon vacation is one week

The average household income of a newly married couple is $60,000/year

Tuxedoes are typically purchased 5-6 months after the wedding gown

Bridesmaids' gowns are general purchased 3-4 months in advance of the event

Average size of wedding party: 12

Most brides (30%) plan their weddings for 7 to 12 months

Most (about 75%) first-time brides will receive a diamond engagement ring (67% of repeat brides).

About 15% of weddings include ethnic customs

35% of weddings occur in the summer; 29% in the spring; 23% in the fall; 13% in the winter.

11%of winter weddings are Christmas weddings


$22,000 is the average amount spent on a traditional American wedding

A total of $72 billion is spent on weddings annually in the U.S.

$19 billion is spent buying presents at wedding gift registries

The average amount spent on a bridal gown is $800

The average ring costs $2,000


Las Vegas (100,000 weddings/year)

Hawaii (25,000 wedding/year)

Bahamas (5,000 weddings/year)

Jamaica (5,000 weddings/year)

U.S. Virgin Islands (4,000 weddings/year)


80% of traditional weddings are performed in churches or synagogue.

Four out of five brides are employed.

35% of Brides and Grooms have a valid passport.

Percentage of couples living together before marriage: 64%

Percentage of engaged couples who’ve known each other longer than 3 years: 69%

Percentage of brides who say they’ll be changing their surnames: 60%

53% of weddings occur in the afternoon; 31% in the evening; 16% in the morning.

30% of receptions are held in churches; 20% in hotels; 20% in country clubs;

and 10% each in fraternal halls, private homes, and other locations.

38% of weddings have a buffet; 34% have a sit-down dinner; 28% serve only cake and punch.

62% of weddings have a flower girl.

56% have a ring bearer.

More than 4.2 million unmarried couples live together.

67% of women continue to wear the same fragrance they wore on their wedding day.


January 4.7%

February 7.0%

March 6.1%

April 7.4%

May 9.8%

June 10.8%

July 9.7%

August 10.2%

September 9.6%

October 9.4%

November 7.4%

December 7.8%


Reception 28.3%

Consultant 15.0% (if hired)

Wedding Rings 11.5%

Photography/Video 6.6%

Bridal Gown 6.1%

Music 5.2%

Flowers 4.6%

Bridal attendants' apparel 4.5%

Rehearsal dinner 4.2%

Men's formal wear 3.2%

Invitations 2.8%

Attendants' gifts 2.1%

Mother of the bride apparel 1.7%

Bride's veil 1.6%

Clergy and ceremony fees 1.2%

Limousine 0.9%

Groom's attire 0.8%


Among couples who choose a traditional wedding, 99 percent take a honeymoon.

Couples spend an average of $4,000 on their honeymoon. That's three times as much as the average U.S. adult spends on a vacation.

The length of an average honeymoon is seven days.

45 percent of honeymoon trips are to domestic locations; 55 percent are foreign.

The Honeymoon Industry is a 12 billion dollar a year industry.


Visiting a new place for sightseeing, restaurants, entertainment and nightlife- 75%

Beaches and lakes - 45%

Casinos - 20%

Cruises - 15%

Golf/sports vacations - 10%

Skiing trips - 5%


Aruba 8%

Bahamas 20.2%

Bermuda 3.1%

British Virgin Islands 7%

Caribbean 34%

Caribbean Islands 6.3%

The Cayman Islands 10.5%

Europe 4%

Hawaii 33%

Jamaica 17.1%

Mexico 7%

Puerto Rico 3.8%

St. Marten 5.6%

US Virgin Islands 7%


76.2% Airplane

60% Rent Car

16.4% Their Own Car

27% Boat/Ship

2.7% Railroad


46.1% Hotel/Motel

35.2% Resort

20.1% Boat/Ship

8.2% Bed and Breakfast/Inn

8.9% Other


Association of Bridal Consultants

Condé Nast Bridal Group National Bridal Service

National Center for Health Statistics

Greeting Card Association

National Association of Wedding Ministers


USA Today

National Bridal Service

The Knot

Brides Magazine

St Louis Bride & Groom Magazine