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Taking the plunge: number of weddings held at religious institutions drops to just 28%

Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 05/29/15

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A few days ago, I posted on the rising expenses of the wedding industry—and an alert reader pointed me to this release from a couple months back, which helps put it in context:

The Knot 2014 Real Weddings Survey can be broken down on a region-by-region basis across more than 80 markets. Regional highlights include: Cost of Weddings: New York City (Manhattan) and Long Island have the highest average wedding spend ($76,328 and $55,327, respectively), and Arkansas and Utah had the lowest average wedding spend ($18,031 and $15,257, respectively), excluding honeymoon. Marriage Age: Nevada and New York City (Manhattan) have the oldest brides (32.7 and 32 years, respectively), whereas West Virginia and Kentucky have the youngest brides (26.8 and 26.9 years, respectively), on average. Engagement Length: North/Central New Jersey and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, brides have the longest engagements (18 and 17.5 months, respectively), while brides in Utah and West Texas have the shortest (10 and 9.9 months, respectively), on average. Wedding Size: As in 2013, Nebraska and Iowa brides have the largest number of wedding guests (208 and 189, respectively), and Hawaii and Nevada brides still have the smallest number of wedding guests (82 and 66, respectively).

But here’s the kicker, which probably won’t surprise priests and deacons out there:

COUPLES ARE SPENDING MORE ON THEIR RECEPTION ELEMENTS, AND LESS ON THEIR CEREMONY. Couples are spending less on the ceremony. In 2014, 33% of couples hired pianists and organists for their ceremony, down from 49% in 2009, and 28% of couples held their ceremony in a religious institution, down from 41% in 2009.
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