When it comes to the cost of a wedding, where you live can make a major difference in price. In several U.S. states, couples spend an average of more than 45% of their annual income on their wedding.
That's according to new data from personal finance site Magnify Money, which compared the median household income in each U.S. state to the average amount spent on weddings there to determine where couples spend the highest percentage of their income on their wedding. The site used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and TheWeddingReport.com.
New York earned the No. 1 spot in the ranking. The average wedding there costs about $34,300, which is just under 53% of the state's median household income. Vermont comes in second place, with the average couple spending more than 52% of their annual income on their wedding. In third is Pennsylvania, with couples spending an average of just over $28,800 on their wedding — more than 48% of the median household income in the state.
Here's the full list of the 10 U.S. states where the cost of the average wedding is highest relative to median household income:
- Median household income: $64,894
- Average wedding cost: $34,315
- Average wedding costs 52.9% of income
- Median household income: $57,513
- Average wedding cost: $30,257
- Average wedding costs 52.6% of income
- Median household income: $59,195
- Average wedding cost: $28,827
- Average wedding costs 48.7% of income
- Median household income: $77,765
- Average wedding cost: $37,827
- Average wedding costs 48.6% of income
- Median household income: $63,870
- Average wedding cost: $30,861
- Average wedding costs 48.3% of income
- Median household income: $74,168
- Average wedding cost: $35,702
- Average wedding costs 48.1% of income
- Median household income: $73,181
- Average wedding cost: $34,298
- Average wedding costs 46.9% of income
- Median household income: $56,277
- Average wedding cost: $26,211
- Average wedding costs 46.6% of income
- Median household income: $77,385
- Average wedding cost: $35,966
- Average wedding costs 46.5% of income
- Median household income: $80,088
- Average wedding cost: $36,943
- Average wedding costs 46.1% of income
When planning a wedding, it's important to not only consider the total cost, but how that compares to your own income.
While Hawaii comes in at No. 4 on this list, for example, weddings held there are actually the most expensive of any U.S. state, costing an average of $38,000. However, the median annual income in Hawaii is higher than places like New York or Vermont, so residents are spending a lower proportion of their earnings.
But if you're set on a certain location, there are other creative ways to cut down on costs. One idea is to check out alternative venues. Places like industrial warehouses, summer camps and public parks are often cheaper since they typically lack a wedding venue fee. However, if you rent a venue that isn't typically used to host weddings, you will often have to rent things such as chairs and tableware yourself. Those extra costs can quickly escalate your budget.
"This is how brides are misled," wedding planner Angela Christoforo, owner of Elite Wedding & Event Planning in Hudson Valley, New York, said in an interview with CNBC. "The venue gets the bride in the door, booked, based on a low site fee. Then after she books — bam — she finds out how costly her wedding really is going to be."
"Most couples don't anticipate how much a wedding is actually going to cost, so they end up underestimating what they're going to spend and then going over their budget," Anne Chertoff, a former trend expert for WeddingWire, tells CNBC Make It.
It's important to be mindful of the costs as you go, so if you overspend in one area, you can cut back in another.
Correction: This story was updated to correct the median income figures for Maine and Massachusetts.
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