Parents, if your kids' college bills didn't send you into a financial tailspin, better watch out for the wedding budget. In some of the priciest markets, the cost is as bad as paying for an extra year of college — or worse.
Couples married in 2016 shelled out an average $35,329 to cover wedding costs, according to The Knot's annual survey. That's a record high in the survey's 10-year history, and up from an average $32,641 in 2015.
(The survey polled more than 13,000 couples throughout 2016 who were married that year.)
If that's not bad enough, nearly half of couples copped to spending more than they initially planned.
Financial repercussions could affect the whole family. Parents still foot more than half of wedding costs, the survey found, with the bride's family contributing 44 percent on average and the groom's, 13 percent. In 8 percent of weddings, the couple didn't contribute any of their own money.
The happy couple's own contribution averages 42 percent. Only 10 percent of couples paid for the entire wedding themselves.
To put that wedding spending in perspective, the cost to attend a private four-year college averaged $45,365 for the 2016-17 academic year, including tuition, fees and room and board, according to data from The College Board.
In these dozen markets, hosting a wedding is even pricier than the average cost of college:
- New York City (Manhattan), New York: $78,464
- Long Island, New York: $67,831
- North/Central New Jersey: $62,606
- Chicago, Illinois: $60,035
- New York City (Outer Boroughs), New York: $59,027
- Cape Cod, Massachusetts: $58,608
- Westchester/Hudson Valley, New York: $54,428
- Rhode Island: $52,328
- Southern Florida: $48,596
- Delaware/Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: $48,093
- South New Jersey: $46,486
- Santa Barbara/Ventura, California: $45,957