With wedding season in full swing, wedding spending is at an all-time high, adding on to the $70 billion a year industry. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Some couples happily splurge on an Italian castle, others opt for a low-key, just-the-two-of-us bash. As the wedding season is getting into full swing, wedding spending is at an all time high, adding on to the already $70 billion a year industry. Anja Winikka is the site director of the Knot.com, a company that helps couples plan their big day and follows trends in the business. (SOUNDBITE) ANJA WINIKKA, SITE DIRECTOR, THE KNOT.COM (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "Ever since 2007, 2008 the cost of an average wedding has been on the rise, and it's at the all-time high now. And, you know, this probably, sort of, indicates that couples are willing to spend a little bit more." Average cost of a wedding in the U.S.? Almost $30,000, not counting the honeymoon. The most expensive place to get hitched? Manhattan, with an average bill approaching $90.000. On the other end of the scale, Idaho, a bargain at a little over $16.000 on average. Wherever the wedding is, the perfect wedding dress rings in at close to $1,300. The only thing that seems to be shrinking? The guest list: (SOUNDBITE) ANJA WINIKKA, SITE DIRECTOR, THE KNOT.COM (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "The number of guests being invited to a wedding has actually gone down, and the spend has gone up, which can only lead us to believe that guests are actually getting the royal treatment more and more." Manhattan-based Kennedy and Kirk Reynolds took that to heart, cutting their guest list to, well, just themselves. (SOUNDBITE) KENNEDY REYNOLDS, RECENTLY MARRIED, (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "It was the biggest, you know, moment of our life, so we didn't want to cut any corners, and we kind of knew, generally, the way we wanted to go about it, so how it would work into some kind of budget." That meant leaving Manhattan and their guest list behind: (SOUNDBITE) KIRK REYNOLDS, RECENTLY MARRIED, (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "We wanted to go away somewhere. We wanted to be around the mountains and water, and we wanted it to be just us, and so that was kind of tough to tell the family and some friends, but they all understood. But, moneywise, because it was just us, we actually didn't have to cut corners, so it was great." By having a small ceremony in Iceland, they spent about $20,000. (SOUNDBITE) KENNEDY REYNOLDS, RECENTLY MARRIED, (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "Getting married in another country was a big part of our expense. We could have just as easily kind of eloped or have a two person wedding here in the states, and it would have been beautiful. We talked about that, you know, we've got Central Park right here, so that would have been lovely, but we decided to go some place we haven't been, and so that was an expense but, again, totally worth it." Because not only did they have their once-in-a-lifetime wedding moment, they had their journey to Iceland to remember as well. Their big splurge? Bringing their photographer with them to document it all for the friends and family that couldn't be there. (SOUNDBITE) KENNEDY REYNOLDS, RECENTLY MARRIED, (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "It was just such a special moment for us, and there was no part of us that came back and thought 'oh man we've got to, you know, pay off this wedding.' It was completely, absolutely, completely worth it."