Planning a wedding? Expect to spend about $30K in the Phoenix area

For anyone planning a wedding, either their own or another’s, everything is overwhelming and it can help to know what others have been doing.

How much is an average wedding? An average dress? An average crowd?

The Knot released its 2015 Real Weddings Study this week. The report surveyed nearly 18,000 U.S. brides and grooms who got married in 2015, asking about spending habits and trends.

Along with national trends, we asked the Knot for information specific to the Phoenix and Tucson areas.

Average cost: $32,641

That total cost, which includes the engagement ring but not the honeymoon, has increased by more than $5,500 in the past five years.

In Phoenix, the average wedding is $29,948 and in Tucson it’s $25,584.

The main categories to blame are the reception venue (now $14,788, up $1,950 since 2009), ceremony site ($2,089, up by $652) and reception band ($3,833, up by $545).

The most expensive place to get married is Manhattan, where the average wedding is $82,299, and the least expensive is Alaska at $17,361.

Average marrying age: 29 for the bride, 31 for the groom

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Anastasia Stevenson used roses and various succulents to create this bridal bouquet. (Photo: Blue Owl Photo/Associated Press)

In Arizona, the ages are slightly older than national averages. The average bride is 29.2 nationally but 29.6 in Phoenix and 29.8 in Tucson. The average groom is 30.9 nationally but 31.9 in Phoenix and 31.6 in Tucson.

Note: The Knot uses bride- and groom-specific language. There was no data on same-sex marriages.

Average engagement length: 14.5 months

In Phoenix, the average is 16.4 months and in Tucson it’s 14 months.

Average engagement ring: $5,871

For some blessed reason, in Phoenix it’s much less at $4,357. In Tucson it’s $6,716.

Most popular month to get engaged: December

If you assumed that it would mathematically stack up to an even distribution, you’re wrong! A whopping 16 percent of couples got engaged in December.

Most popular month to get married: October (17 percent) and September (15 percent)

Summer used to be king but in 2015, only 33 percent of couples across the country opted for summer ceremonies.

Average wedding gown: $1,469

It’s less in Arizona: $1,392 in Phoenix and $1,060 in Tucson.

In addition, average wedding accessories are $297 and wedding-day hair styling is $144, so that’s a national average of $1,910 for the bride to look pretty for her moment.

Average groom attire: $269

There is a lot to consider here about beauty standards, gender inequality, the patriarchy … but we’ll just tell you, in Phoenix the cost is $282 and it’s $290 in Tucson.

Average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen: Five each

Cost to them: $218 per woman, $173 per man

For women it’s $147 on a bridesmaids dress and $71 on wedding-day hair styling ($145 and $71 in Phoenix, $123 and $79 in Tucson). For men, it’s $176 in Phoenix and $190 in Tucson.

Your bridesmaid dress will be … metallic

The most popular wedding colors are ivory/white (47 percent), blue (39 percent), pink (30 percent), metallics (34 percent), and purple (21 percent). The popularity of metallic gold has skyrocketed: 7 percent used it in 2012 but 22 percent did in 2015.

Average number of wedding guests: 139

In Phoenix it’s 110 guests and in Tucson it’s 117. If you think that’s big, get this: Nebraska weddings have an average of 219 guests and in Iowa it’s 211. Want to go smaller? Weddings in Hawaii and Nevada have 71 and 74 guests, respectively.

Average cost per guest: $237

The Phoenix guest is pricier, at $265, and in Tucson it’s $219.​ So stop being so cheap with your gifts!

Trends: Ethnic elements, custom entertainment

“Ethnic, religious and local elements—ranging from bilingual music and Celtic hand tying, to Chinese tea ceremonies and jumping the broom—continue to be a strong part of wedding celebrations, with 19 percent of couples incorporating an ethnic or religious element into their wedding day,” the Knot wrote.

A full 40 percent of couples had a family member or friend officiate their ceremony. Almost a quarter of couples have a themed wedding, though no word on if those all were “Game of Thrones”-related. As for receptions, it’s all getting more expensive.

“Since 2009, custom guest entertainment that reflects couples’ personalities has more than tripled, from 11 percent to 36 percent, including cigar rolling stations, wine and liquor tastings, and live dance performers. Couples offering signature cocktails have nearly doubled at 22 percent, up from 12 percent in 2008,” The Knot wrote.

​So, who’s paying?

On average, it breaks down like this.

  • The bride’s parents: 44 percent of the overall wedding budget
  • The bride and groom: 43 percent
  • The groom’s parents: 12 percent
  • Others: 1 percent

However, some 12 percent of couples paid for the whole wedding themselves, and 9 percent of couples don’t pay at all.​

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Bouquet by Anastasia Stevenson – The DIY Wedding Planner

Photography by  BLU OWL