This Was the Average Cost of a Wedding in 2021

And it's something to celebrate.
kim forrest the knot
by
Kim Forrest
kim forrest the knot
Kim Forrest
Senior Editor
  • Kim writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a speciality in etiquette and planning advice
  • Kim manages freelance writers for The Knot Worldwide
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Kim was Associate Bridal Editor at Washingtonian magazine and Associate Fashion Editor at Conde Nast’s Brides Local magazines
Updated Feb 15, 2022

Every year, The Knot Real Weddings Study reveals the average wedding cost and more official data per state. About 15,000 couples across the country, who married between January 1 and December 31, 2021, participated in the study. While in 2020 we saw the major impact of COVID on weddings, 2021 was a very different (and very welcome) story: Weddings are indeed back.

Based on our respondents' answers involving spend on ceremony and reception, the 2021 national average cost of a wedding is $28,000 ($34,000 including the engagement ring), the same as 2019's average wedding cost. For comparison, the average cost of a wedding in 2020, during the height of the pandemic, was $19,000.

You might be wondering: Why is this good news? Does a higher average wedding cost mean that weddings are more expensive now? Well, it's not that weddings were "cheaper" in 2020, it's that couples were forced to have much smaller events (minimonies, micro weddings, etc.) due to gathering restrictions, if they were able to host a wedding at all. Now that the cost of a wedding has returned to its pre-pandemic level, it's proof that these events are returning to a more typical size and scope—and that's great news for couples who are currently wedding planning for 2022 or 2023 events.

Average Cost of a Wedding In The U.S. By State

The cost of your wedding will likely depend on a variety of factors, including the number of guests, number of vendors hired, style and, perhaps most significantly, where your big day takes place. Throwing a wedding in a densely populated, expensive destination (a big city like New York City, San Francisco or Chicago, for example) costs more than it does in a smaller or less populated location (such as Idaho, West Virginia or Wyoming).

To get a better idea of what you can expect to spend in your chosen wedding destination, see our list of average cost of a wedding in the U.S. by state (excluding Alaska), below. Note that this is just the cost of the ceremony and reception, and doesn't include the engagement ring, which costs $6,000, on average.

  • Alabama: $20,000
  • Arkansas: $17,200*
  • Arizona: $20,500
  • California: $33,000
  • Colorado: $24,500
  • Connecticut: $38,500
  • Delaware: $29,900*
  • DC: $44,000
  • Florida: $27,000
  • Georgia: $27,000
  • Hawaii: $26,800*
  • Idaho: $16,000*
  • Illinois: $32,000
  • Indiana: $19,500
  • Iowa: $19,000
  • Kentucky: $20,000
  • Kansas: $17,000
  • Louisiana: $27,000
  • Maine: $29,100*
  • Maryland: $31,000
  • Massachusetts: $36,000
  • Michigan: $25,000
  • Minnesota: $22,500
  • Mississippi: $19,100*
  • Missouri: $24,500
  • Montana: $18,500*
  • Nebraska: $18,900*
  • Nevada: $20,500
  • New Hampshire: $30,000
  • New Jersey: $47,000
  • New Mexico: $21,100*
  • New York: $42,000
  • North Carolina: $23,000
  • North Dakota & South Dakota: $24,200*
  • Ohio: $25,000
  • Oklahoma: $16,000
  • Oregon: $19,500
  • Pennsylvania: $32,000
  • Rhode Island: $43,000*
  • South Carolina: $26,000
  • Tennessee: $22,000
  • Texas: $26,000
  • Utah: $17,500
  • Vermont: $32,700*
  • Virginia: $32,000
  • Washington: $23,000
  • West Virginia: $21,900*
  • Wisconsin: $23,000
  • Wyoming: $15,800*

*2019 data

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 in 2021, the average wedding guest count was 105 guests, which was an increase from the 2020 average of just 66 guests, and approaching the pre-COVID 2019 guest count of 131. It's important to note that the average guest list size increased as 2021 progressed. Those who hosted a wedding between January and June had an average guest count of just 94 people. But as vaccinations became more widespread and the weather for outdoor events improved, those who married between July and December averaged 110 guests—much closer to the pre-pandemic average of 131.

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 wedding 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

The number of vendors hired is one of the most important factors in determining the total cost of a wedding. According to our data, in 2021, couples hired 14 wedding vendors on average, which is on par with pre-pandemic data. And of course, how much wedding venues and 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 2021, below:

See how the average wedding cost in 2021 compare to previous years' price tags. Before the COVID-related dip in wedding spend in 2020, the average cost of a wedding was fairy consistent. The average wedding cost in 2019 was $28,000, and $28,200 in 2018. Interestingly enough, the average cost of a wedding in 2017 was $27,600, which is down from 2016, when the average spend on weddings reached an all-time high of $29,000. In 2015, couples spent over $2,000 less, averaging $26,800 for their weddings. The average cost of a wedding in 2014 was $25,400.

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