Smaller weddings may be increasing popular, but that doesn’t mean costs are going down. According to The Knot 2016 Real Weddings Study, the average price tag for a wedding was $35,329 last year – an all-time high. The 10th annual report surveyed almost 13,000 U.S. brides and grooms who tied the knot in 2016 about their spending and wedding plans.
“Wedding spend continues to rise, but at the same time, guest lists are shrinking as couples spend more per guest to create an unforgettable experience for those closest to them,” said Kellie Gould, editor in chief of The Knot in a statement. “Couples are also using their wedding day to make their first big statement as a couple. From invitations to the reception band, couples are spending more to put their personal stamp on every detail.”
Here’s a breakdown of how modern couples are pampering and entertaining their wedding guests:
- Custom guest entertainment tripled from 11 percent in 2009 to 41 percent in 2016.
- Photo booths top the list of must-haves with 78 percent of couples including the feature at their reception.
- Other popular entertainment features included games (18 percent), live musical performances (12 percent) and fireworks (8 percent).
- Personalization continues to increase with 75 percent of couples providing a signature element, such as a signature cocktail (24 percent).