Big lighted letters that spell out Mr. & Mrs.

By Sara Guaglione , February 15, 2019

Couples spent an average of $33,931 on their weddings in 2018, according to the annual Real Wedding Study from The Knot, the site dedicated to wedding content and planning.In the 12th annual study, aptly released on Valentine’s Day, The Knot found the most expensive place to get married is in Manhattan at $96,910, up from $77,000 in 2017.

Idaho is the most affordable place to get married, at $16,366.

“With approximately eight in 10 couples using The Knot to plan their weddings, we conduct this survey each year to get a real read on how engaged couples across the country are spending for, planning for and celebrating one of the most important days of their lives,” Lauren Kay, deputy editor at The Knot, toldPublishers Daily.

The Knot‘s editorial team also uses data from the annual study “to provide thoughtful answers, recommendations and solutions to our couples,” she said.

The study surveyed more than 14,000 U.S. brides and grooms who were married in 2018.

Four out of five couples surveyed set a budget for their weddings, although 45% went over their planned budget. Just 9% of the couples in the study paid for their wedding entirely on their own.

For the first time, The Knot also included Gen Z in the survey this year, to determine the attitudes of those between the ages of 14-23 toward weddings.

Some 92% of the Gen Z respondents reported that being financially stable before marriage is very important to them.

One in three (33%) Gen Zers predict they will pay for their wedding on their own.

Nearly half (43.8%) of Gen Zers reported planning to merge traditions from more than one culture into their wedding, which makes sense for the most diverse generation yet.

The majority (58.7%) of Generation Z reported they are likely to include a charity on their own wedding registry.

“Weddings in 2018 showcased more personality and attention to detail than ever before,” stated Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor in chief of The Knot. “Couples are rethinking conventional traditions and putting their own creative spins on long-standing wedding moments, like unity ceremonies and first dances.”

One in five couples (18%) in the study incorporated cultural elements and traditions into their wedding, such as a Chinese tea ceremony or the exchange of an Irish Claddagh ring.

Nearly half (43.8%) of Gen Zers reported they were planning to merge traditions from more than one culture into their wedding.

“The study is designed to uncover all sorts of trends and information to help the pro-side understand exactly how today’s couples are planning their weddings and hiring their pros,” or professional business owners, Kay said.

The Knot Pro team also uses the data to help educate pros on how to reach and connect with today’s couples.”

XO Group Inc., which is the owner of The Knot, announced last year that it would become a privately held company, merging with WeddingWire, Inc. in a transaction valued at $933 million, expected to close in the first half of 2019.