This Was the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2020
Every year, The Knot Real Weddings Study reveals the average wedding cost and more official data per state. About 7,600 couples across the country, who originally set a wedding date between January 1 and December 31, 2020, participated in the study. In 2020, COVID impacted just about everything across the wedding industry, including the average wedding cost and more prewedding related event costs.
Nevertheless, the data still indicates a broader, industry-wide impact of the pandemic on the average wedding cost in America. Based on our respondents' answers involving spend on ceremony and reception, we were able to determine the 2020 national average cost of a wedding is $19,000, a drop from 2019's average wedding cost of $28,000. This number again accounts for the ceremony and the reception, and COVID, of course, has impacted both. The average wedding cost is typically influenced mostly by the guest count, the venue and the format of events, which have all been upended by the pandemic. Therefore, the average cost of a wedding in 2020 was heavily skewed.
The approximate average for couples' 2021 receptions is roughly $22,500, right on par with past spend on wedding receptions. In 2019, the average cost of a wedding reception per couple was $23,000.
As with every year, keep in mind that the average wedding cost is just that: an average dollar amount, which has been calculated by combining the total cost of tens of thousands of weddings, then dividing that sum by the number of couples surveyed. For reference as 2020 has been a nontraditional inflection point in weddings, we also share complete 2019 Real Weddings Study data below.
Average Cost of a Wedding In The U.S. By State
The average wedding cost by state from The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study is likely a good cross-reference point for couples who are moving forward with both their ceremony and reception in 2021. As with previous years, keep in mind too that these couples come from all over the U.S. and have entirely different wedding budgets, locations, number of guests and styles.
What they end up spending naturally varies—a lot. Throwing a wedding in a densely populated, expensive destination (a big city like New York or Chicago, for example) costs more than it does in a smaller or less populated location (such as Idaho, West Virginia or Wyoming). See the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. by state (excluding Alaska), below:
- Alabama: $25,500
- Arkansas: $21,800
- Arizona: $29,400
- California: $39,000
- Colorado: $30,000
- Connecticut: $41,000
- Delaware: $34,900
- DC: $40,600
- Florida: $30,600
- Georgia: $30,900
- Hawaii: $32,900
- Idaho: $19,800
- Iowa: $22,600
- Illinois: $39,700
- Indiana: $22,800
- Kentucky: $23,900
- Kansas: $22,400
- Louisiana: $33,900
- Maine: $33,500
- Maryland: $33,800
- Massachusetts: $43,600
- Michigan: $29,700
- Minnesota: $28,800
- Mississippi: $23,800
- Missouri: $26,600
- Montana: $23,000
- Nebraska: $23,300
- Nevada: $22,500
- New Hampshire: $32,100
- New Jersey: $53,400
- New Mexico: $25,600
- New York: $48,600
- North Carolina: $29,500
- North Dakota & South Dakota: $29,200
- Ohio: $29,300
- Oklahoma: $21,200
- Oregon: $22,400
- Pennsylvania: $35,900
- Rhode Island: $49,800
- South Carolina: $30,600
- Tennessee: $26,900
- Texas: $30,200
- Utah: $19,700
- Vermont: $38,300
- Virginia: $33,300
- Washington: $25,600
- West Virginia: $26,500
- Wisconsin: $27,800
- Wyoming: $19,800
Our respondents are also tapping professionals to help them pull it all off, as our study shows that nearly a third of couples hired some form of a wedding planner (whether it be a day-of coordinator or a full-service planner). Many wholeheartedly embrace or blend their cultural customs, while others intentionally turn tradition on its head by paying homage to pop culture (Harry Potter stilettos, anyone?), nixing old-school activities (like the garter toss) or reinventing big moments to suit their individual style (think: tequila shot unity ceremonies). Today's couples want their wedding to be a true expression of their unique love story and for guests to leave saying, "That was so them."
Speaking of guests, couples go to great lengths to make sure their loved ones have an absolute blast. The average couple hosts 131 guests, and 72 percent of those surveyed said their top priority was ensuring their guests were taken care of and had a good time. Besides the expected food, drink and music, nearly half of all couples hire or provide above-and-beyond guest entertainment. We're talking photo booths, cigar-rolling stations and craft margarita bars, to name a few.
And, of course, no wedding can happen without an entire team of incredible vendors. To-be-weds continue to lean on best-in-class local pros to make their day unforgettable, whether it's a macramé artist for bespoke bohemian wall décor or the perfect planner to bring their Jewish-Chinese fusion celebration to life.
Average Cost of Wedding Vendors
Of course, how much wedding pros charge varies—a lot. It's always best to research wedding vendors in your area and ask them about their specific rates (and what those rates include). An internal study found out exactly what couples spend on different wedding vendors last year on average. See the average cost of wedding vendors in 2019, below:
- Average cost of reception venue: $10,500
- Average cost of photographer: $2,400
- Average cost of wedding/event planner: $1,500
- Average cost of reception band: $3,700
- Average cost of reception DJ: $1,200
- Average cost of florist: $2,000
- Average cost of videographer: $1,800
- Average cost of wedding dress: $1,600
- Average cost of wedding cake: $500
- Average cost of catering: (price per person): $70
- Average cost of transportation: $800
- Average cost of favors: $400
- Average cost of rehearsal dinner: $1,900
- Average cost of engagement ring: $5,900
- Average cost of invitations: $590
- Average cost of hairstylist: $110
- Average cost of makeup artist: $100
See how the average wedding cost in 2020 and 2019 compare to previous years' price tags. Keep in mind the averages from previous years include engagement ring cost, whereas the 2020 and 2019 averages only encompass the cost of the ceremony and the reception. The average cost of a wedding in 2018 was $33,931. Interestingly enough, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $33,391, which is down from 2016, when the average spend on weddings reached an all-time high of $35,309. In 2015, couples spent about $3,000 less, averaging $32,641 for their weddings. The average cost of weddings in 2014 was just under $30,000—coming out to $29,858, while the average wedding cost in 2013 was $28,427.
Looking for some help with your wedding spend? Check out The Knot Wedding Budget Planner.