Survey: What Couples Spent on Weddings in 2010

Posted by on Thursday March 3, 2011 | Business

Couples spent $2,320 on average to hire a wedding photographer in 2010, and $1,463 on average to hire a videographer, according to a new survey of 19,000 US brides. and surveyed brides married last year to gather results of their 2010 Real Wedding Survey.

The survey shows that the average amount spent nationally on an entire  wedding (excluding the honeymoon) was $26,984, of which the photographer fee made up roughly 8.5%.  (For comparison’s sake: The national average amount spent on the wedding dress was $1,099; the average spent on flowers was $1,988.)

The survey has some modestly good news for photographers and others in the wedding business.  About 31 percent of the 2010 survey respondents said that the recession had affected their wedding budget; that’s down slightly from 34 percent in 2009. The most common cost-cutting measure was to reduce the number of guests.

There are still a lot of lavish spenders out there. Approximately 1 in 5 couples spent more than $30,000 on their wedding last year, and 12 percent spent more than $40,000. The survey notes that the location where couples spend the most on their weddings is Manhattan, where the average wedding spend last year  $70,730.  (Not, we’d like to point out, any Manhattanites we know,) Utah had the lowest average wedding budget:  $13,214. According to the survey, destination weddings are still on the rise, and 1 in 4 considered their wedding a destination wedding.

Thanks to recent trends, more brides may be using engagement photos and other portraits in new ways.  The number of couples creating personalized web sites devoted to their weddings grew 23 % between 2008 and 2010. In addition, 40 percent more couples in 2010 created or sent their save-the-date  notices and invitations online, compared to 2008.

More survey results can be found at



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