Wedding Bills Soar In New Jersey [AUDIO]
Couples are spending more on weddings these days, especially in Central New Jersey, where the average cost of a wedding in 2012 was $48,496.
That compares to the national average of $28,427, which is still the highest amount since the beginning of the economic downturn in 2008. That's according to wedding website TheKnot.com.
"Prices in general are higher on the coast. I think it really does tie straight into the average cost of living and rent and what it means to own a business in this area," said Site Director Anja Winikka. "With that come additional costs which drive the cost of a wedding up as well. People also do have fancy taste in New Jersey, but it also ties into what it costs to have a venue and dancing and a wedding dress."
"In fact, the average spent on a wedding dress in New Jersey was $1,789 compared to the national average of $1,200. "
So, what can we expect in 2013?
"I think it may go up a little bit more, but I think we're beginning to see a leveling out of these prices," said Winikka. "We've been tracking these numbers for quite some time. At the height, in 2008, the average wedding budget nationally was $29,334 which is more than it was last year. Once we started going through the recession, the average cost of a wedding went down and it has been slowly climbing back up."
As the economy begins to pick up, couples are more comfortable spending.
"In times of recession, couples are obviously going to hold onto those dollars a little bit more than they are when the economy is looking up," said Winikka. "On average, couples spent about $204 per guest in 2012, that's up from $196 per guest in 2011."
This was the first year same-sex couples were surveyed and it was discovered that they spend slightly more on their weddings than heterosexual couples, despite having fewer guests.
"Household incomes of same-sex couples tend to be a little higher. They tend to have smaller weddings and they spend more on their guests. So, if you get invited to a same-sex marriage, you'll likely get wined and dined," said Winikka.