On the Money

Tying the knot to make sure your finances don't end up on the rocks

Wedding season
Wedding season

June is not only the beginning of summer, it also marks the beginning of wedding season. And save the date for June 18th: It will be this year's most popular date to say "I do," according to wedding marketplace The Knot.

While there are fewer couples getting married than ever before, the wedding industry that IBIS estimates is $60 billion continues to grow as couples are spending more than ever on the event.

The Knot found that wedding costs have increased by more than $5,500 in the past five years. After surveying 18,000 couples that were married in 2015, couples spent more than $32,000 on average for their the big day, which excludes the cost of the honeymoon.

Couples spend the most money getting hitched in New York City, specifically Manhattan: On average couples married there will spend $82,000, The Knot found. Where do couples spend the least? In Alaska, where getting hitched costs a little more than $17,000.

While the spending has gone up in recent years, the guest list size has gone down. The 2015 wedding had 139 guests, down from 149 in 2009. So where are the extra dollars per guest going?

"They're looking to have a personal experience that really speaks to them as a couple," Kristen Cooper Maxwell, Executive Editor of The Knot told CNBC's "On the Money" in an interview.

For example, "they're looking to have a cigar roller maybe, if the groom is a cigar aficionado, or they're looking to have a satellite bar with margaritas if they met on Cinco de Mayo," said Cooper.

Planning the big day

Blame social media for the rising cost of weddings

Planning the wedding can be a huge job. Many couples wonder if they should hire a professional to help organize the big day.

The Knot's survey found 26 percent of couples last year either hired a wedding planner to help them throughout the entire experience, or a day-of-coordinator. On average, couples will spend close to $2,000 for this service. So is it worth the cost?

"It's the professionals that are really going to make your vision come to life, but really it's a personal preference," said Cooper.

When it comes to booking the venue, the bride and groom-to-be need to decide if they are going to do a package deal or choose vendors "a la carte." Cooper said it's really comparing "apples to oranges."

"A package deal you pay one set price and you get it all, but 'a la carte' you're going to get to mix and match," she said.

Savvy wedding spending

What can couples do to save money without looking like they are saving money? Cooper says the number one way to save money is cut the guest list. With fewer people, the couple will spend less money.

Cooper, however, said there are many tips and tricks couples can try. For example, have a smaller wedding cake and keep a sheet cake in back. "Guests will never know the difference" she said.

And if you're attending a wedding (or two or three) this year, there are ways guests can keep their expenses in check. Cooper suggested that guests should find out if the couple has a room block at the hotel—the better to pay a discounted rate. If there's an expensive item on the registry, have friends go in on the gift with you.

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