$62,000 for a wedding? In Jersey, that’s about right
As wedding season gets underway, The Knot's 2017 Real Wedding Study unveils some shocking statistics.
The nation's leading wedding resource and marketplace says the average couple spends more than $33,000 for the big day. If you think that's expensive, you should see how pricey a Jersey wedding can be.
The Knot's senior editor, Ivy Jacobson, said the average wedding in North and Central Jersey costs more than $62,000 — and that does not include the honeymoon. South Jersey couples fork over about 40 grand.
So why so expensive? Jacobson said New Jersey has so many gorgeous venues such as country clubs and estates — so any venue like that is going to run for about half of the wedding cost.
Usually, a couple spends about $15,000 for a wedding venue — but not in New Jersey. The average couple plunks down anywhere from $20,000 to $29,000 on a reception site.
Another reason why New Jersey weddings are so expensive, Jacobson said, is couples are more likely to host additional wedding-related events such as after-parties and post wedding brunches.
Jersey couples also like to invite a lot of guests to their weddings. The average couple in the United States invites 136 guests. But in Jersey, the average guest list is 162 people.
Jacobson said Jersey couples really want the "wow factor" because they know the big day will be all over social media, or published somewhere. They also want their guests to have the best experiences ever at their wedding.
"They could do roaming sketch artists, tarot card readers, mariachi bands — you know couples are pulling out all the stops," says Jacobson.
Some other funky guest experiences that make for unforgettable nights include interactive food stations, make-your-own-ice cream sundae bars, make-your-own mimosa bars, cigar rolling stations, wine and cheese pairings, make-your-own flower crown activities —even fireworks sendoffs — Jacobson said.
She also says since a wedding is the largest, most expensive party you'll ever throw, it's important for couples to infuse their culture and religion into their celebration. Twenty-one percent of couples like to incorporate cultural and religious traditions into their wedding.
"You can do a Chinese tea ceremony or a flamenco guitarist, Irish step dancers, traditional Jewish hora dance, Moroccan belly dancers, Cuban cigar rolling station," Jacobson said.
Balloons are also very popular this year, especially balloon arches. Single-stem bouquets are also making a comeback. And instead of spending tons of money on a cake that most guests don't eat, couples are opting for cake bites. Those little bites of cake can be handed out to people on the dance floor so they can just pop bites and continue boogying all night long.