Wednesday, June 29, 2011

How Much Does A Wedding Cost 2011

Cost Of A Wedding and recently released the results of their wedding industry studies for 2011. had nearly 3,000 participants that were surveyed between April 15 – April 28, 2011, while surveyed nearly 19,000 participants in 2010 to come up with these wedding industry statistics. Let's take a look at both studies.

The average cost of a wedding, including total wedding cost with average costs for the reception, engagement ring, photography and videography, live band, flowers (and decor), wedding rings, ceremony site and wedding gowns are outlined above. Also included are the costs for the rehearsal dinner, disc jockey, limo/transportation, wedding cake, ceremony musicians, invitations, favors and bridesmaid dress.

Key Statistics (average % from both studies -

The average length of the engagement is 14.5 months. 15/14

The average number of wedding reception guests is 147. 152/141

Destination weddings are becoming increasingly popular (19.5%). 15/24

December is the most popular month of the year to get engaged (17%). 18/16

Key Statistics (from

Many couples are blending old with the new.

More couples are preserving traditions like the first dance and cake-cutting.

Less sit-down dinners and buffets, more continuous cocktail hour and passed hors d’oeuvres.

The bride buys the wedding dress 9 months before the wedding.

The typical wedding party consists of 4.5 bridesmaids and 4.5 groomsmen/ushers, 1 maid/matron of honor and 1 best man (total: 11).

Couples spend $582 on gifts for each other. The top gift from bride to groom is a watch and the top gift from groom to bride is jewelry.

The favorite gift for bridesmaids is jewelry, the preferred gift for groomsmen is liquor related.

63% of brides-to-be provided input on their engagement ring.

21% of brides-to-be selected the engagement ring themselves.

Nearly 10% of all weddings have a “man of honor” or “best woman”.

Most couples register for wedding and shower gifts (93%).

The cake cutting is still a very important tradition (92%).

The majority of weddings have a maid/matron of honor (91%).

9 out of 10 newlywed couples are going on a honeymoon (91%).

9 out of 10 couples incorporate the first dance into their wedding (90%).

Friends usually pay for the bachelor and bachelorette parties (88%).

The bride and groom have a rehearsal dinner (87%).

Many grooms are still selecting a best man (87%).

Toasts are still an important part of the wedding reception (87%).

Brides wear something old, new, borrowed and blue (84%).

Friends pay for the bridal shower (72%).

Brides and grooms are paying for their honeymoon themselves (68%).

More than half of the wedding parties include a flower girl (62%).

Brides-to-be are the primary contributors for the bridesmaid’s luncheon (60%).

The groom's parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner (60%).

The bride's parents are primarily focused on paying for the wedding reception (58%).

Less brides and grooms are tossing the bouquet (68%) and garter (57%).

Brides-to-be are the primary contributors for the wedding ceremony (57%).

Brides-to-be are the primary contributors for the wedding weekend (53%).

The ring bearer will be present at 5 out of 10 weddings (53%).

Nearly half of all couples wed in the city or town where they currently live (48%).

Brides-to-be are the primary contributors for the post-reception party (47%).

Brides will box up their dress and pass it on (45%).

The bride and groom have an engagement party (35%).

More newlyweds are having a post-reception party (24%).

More brides and grooms are having a wedding weekend (22%).

More couples are using mobile apps to help plan their wedding (20%).

Photos booths are becoming very popular at weddings (20%).

Brides and grooms are using social media apps to plan, shop and/or register (17%).

More couples are getting married by a friend or family member who got ordained for the occasion (14%).

Couples make charitable donations on behalf of their guests (11%).

Key Statistics (from

The average wedding spend per guest is $194.

20% of brides are spending more than $30,000 on their wedding.

12% of brides are spending more than $40,000.

The bride's average age is 29 and the grooms average age is 31.

Hawaii has the most casual weddings, while Northern/Central New Jersey has the most formal weddings.

New York City Tri-State Area, New Jersey and Rhode Island brides are the biggest wedding spenders.

New York City is the most expensive area ($70,730) and Utah is the least expensive area ($13,214) to have a wedding.

More couples are living with each other before marriage (74%).

The most popular wedding color is white/ivory (43%).

Purple is the new popular color (21%).

June is the most popular month to get married (15%).

Most Expensive Areas for Weddings (

New York (NYC/Manhattan): $70,730
New York (Long Island): $51,811
New Jersey (Northern/Central): $49,347
New York (Hudson Valley): $45,695
New York (Outer Boroughs): $44,718
Rhode Island: $41,169
New Jersey (Southern): $36,694
Pennsylvania (Philadelphia): $36,294
California (Santa Barbara/Ventura): $36,233
Massachusetts (Boston): $35,458
Illinois (Chicago): $35,389
Connecticut: $35,197
Florida (Southern): $33,810
California (Los Angeles): $33,745
Washington DC Area: $33,727


Submitted by Joe Tortorello, owner and site administrator at, a popular Wedding Planning Guide online since 1997.

Friday, June 24, 2011

New York Becomes the Sixth State to Legalize Gay Marriage

ALBANY, N.Y. – DEVELOPING: New York has become the sixth state to legalize same sex marriage after a vote Friday night ruled in favor of the measure. Once Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs it into law gay weddings could begin 30 days after.

Leading up to this vote a veteran Republican senator had told The Associated Press he would vote yes on gay marriage, which apparently gave the measure the support it needed to become a law.

Sen. Stephen Saland says he has long been undecided. He voted against a similar bill in 2009, helping kill the measure and dealing a blow to the national gay rights movement.

Before he announced his intention, 31 senators were in favor, one short of a majority. Since they all still voted that way, and after Gov. Andrew Cuomo signs it into law, New York will officially become the sixth state, and by far the largest, where gay marriage is legal. Gay marriages can begin 30 days after the date that Cuomo signs it.

Republicans in the New York Senate agreed Friday to allow a full vote on legalizing gay marriage, setting the stage for a possible breakthrough victory for the gay-rights movement in the state where it got its start.

Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos had said that the bill would go to the floor and be brought up for an "up or down vote." It would be a "vote of conscience for every member of this Senate," Skelos said.

The heavily Democratic Assembly has already approved one version of the measure and was expected to easily pass the new version that contains more protections for religious groups that oppose gay marriage and feared discrimination lawsuits.

Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who campaigned on the issue last year, has promised to sign it.

Though New York is a relative latecomer in allowing gay marriage, it is considered an important prize for advocates, given the state's size and New York City's international stature and its role as the birthplace of the gay-rights movement, which is said to have started with the Stonewall riots in Greenwich Village in 1969.

The effects of the law could be felt well beyond New York: Unlike Massachusetts, which pioneered gay marriage in 2004, New York has no residency requirement for obtaining a marriage license, meaning the state could become a magnet for gay couples across the country who want to have a wedding in Central Park, the Hamptons, the romantic Hudson Valley or that honeymoon hot spot of yore, Niagara Falls.

Gay-rights advocates are hoping the vote will galvanize the movement around the country and help it regain momentum after an almost identical bill was defeated here in 2009 and similar measures failed in 2010 in New Jersey and this year in Maryland and Rhode Island.

The sticking point over the past few days: Republican demands for stronger legal protections for religious groups that fear they will be hit with discrimination lawsuits if they refuse to allow their facilities to be used for gay weddings.

Now, all 32 Republicans have approved stronger religious protections.

New York, the nation's third most populous state, would join Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont and Washington, D.C., in allowing same-sex couples to wed.

For five months in 2008, gay marriage was legal in California, the biggest state in population, and 18,000 same-sex couples rushed to tie the knot there before voters overturned the state Supreme Court ruling that allowed the practice. The constitutionality of California's ban is now before a federal appeals court.

While court challenges in New York are all but certain, the state -- unlike California -- makes it difficult for the voters to repeal laws at the ballot box. Changing the law would require a constitutional convention, a long, drawn-out process.

Movement on the bill comes after more than a week of stop-and-start negotiations, rumors, closed-door meetings and frustration on the part of advocates.

Online discussions took on a nasty turn with insults and vulgarities peppering the screens of opponents and supporters alike and security was beefed up in the capitol to give senators easier passage to and from their conference room.

(Newsfeed, Associated Press)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What He's Really Thinking Before The Wedding

Groom Musings

The thrill of engagement can quickly turn to anxiety: Now we must plan the wedding. While many brides-to-be have their noses in flowers, grooms often have one eye on the checkbook. (“$850 on invitations?” as one man I know shouted about the expense.) But cost is not the only pre-wedding concern. Here's what newlyweds, a couple men with nuptials this fall and some guys who've been married for a while say really goes on in a man's mind before the wedding.

Conversation Starters

"Can we talk about something else?" Getting married is big news, but not necessarily the only thing a guy wants to talk about. “It was a little awkward [telling everyone], 'Hey, we're engaged!' But Facebook made it easier," says Brad, 27, who married last Memorial Day weekend. "Then I couldn't wait for it be over so people can start asking me about other things. I wondered what would change once we were married. Turned out, nothing—just titles."

Planning Perils

"Why does it have to be so complicated?" Apparently guys can't just nod their heads and smile during preparations. "Wedding planning is the worst," says Greg, 29, who will be married this October. "Deciding on the tables was way more complicated than I imagined,” Brad recalls. "Figuring out who can or should sit with each other was like planning an Israeli-Palestinian negotiation."

Family Matters

"I hope that everyone will just be civil." Every family has its issues; ideally differences will be set aside on the big day. "I was worried about the families getting along at the wedding," says Brad. “Especially because my parents are divorced and their families don't get along well. Add another family in the mix and it could get messy.” For Dave, 29, his fears were realized: “I prayed that my [divorced] parents wouldn't make a scene. They did. Come wedding day, my mom refused to be in some family photos with my dad."

Must Be Dust

"I can't cry." Ravi, 30, married two months ago, reveals what many of the other grooms probably think too. “I was flat-out afraid of getting a little too emotional during the ceremony. My brother-in-law told me how his brother was a slobbering mess at his wedding, and I did not want that to be me.”

Boots Knocking

"Someone will inevitably hook up." There's just something about weddings that makes people take off their pants, which is fine with the grooms, as long as it doesn't end messy. "I can envision a couple of pairings that might want to have some fun together," says Greg. "I can also envision a few that could end badly."

Game Time

"I hope my team's not playing." Sports fanatics aren't any less invested in the wedding, but they would just prefer that a big event doesn't kick off while they're at the altar. "I checked the sports calendar when we were picking the date," says Brad. "We ended up with the weekend of the PGA Championship, but I decided that was OK. Plus, we would be done by Sunday afternoon, so I could watch the end of the final round."

Down the Hatch

"How much should I drink at my wedding?" This is a question Greg asked himself, with his wedding only three months away. "I don't want to get bombed and either make an ass out of myself or forget part of the night.” Brad echoes the sentiment: "I thought, Better make sure I don't get too drunk. You don't want to be 'that guy' at your own wedding." "But then again," says Greg, “all of these other people are drinking on my dime. … Why should they have all the fun?”

Making The Rounds

"I want people to know I appreciate them being here." Some guests come a long way for the wedding, many of whom the groom doesn't often get to see. "I wanted to make sure I spent some time with each guest," says Sean, 31, married this past April. "I still managed to mess it up. At the rehearsal dinner, I made it to two out of 11 tables. At the wedding, I made it to maybe five out of about 18.”

Is This Registering?

"I hope people buy from the registry." "Please, I beg of you, don't go off the grid and buy us a crystal candy bowl for a gift," says Ben, 32, who will be taking the plunge soon, speaking to the imagined cavalier gift-giver. "There's a reason we didn't put it on our registry in the first place. I would likely end up putting coins and paper clips in it and wish you had just followed simple protocol.”

List Service

"I wish I could invite everyone." Most guys grapple with the difficulty of narrowing the invite list and the associated cost of having everyone they desired attend. "Do we have to send one to that relative no one likes who won't come anyway?" Brad asks. "Our reception room fits about 150, but we have to invite 180. So if everyone decides to come, then we may have to seat people outside in a tent or in a separate room. Yikes.”

Article by Brett Smiley


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Get Married On Miami Beach

The Ultimate Stress-Free Wedding

For couples looking for a casual and relaxing marriage ceremony, the beach is the perfect choice. By its very nature, the beach is a beautiful place where you can sit back, unwind and enjoy the moment. A place where a sun-dress and shorts are considered dressed up, and a bathing suit with a sarong is the norm.

Imagine having your nuptials in a warm tropical setting. Gentle ocean breezes fill the air, the sounds of waves and seagulls in the background, the sun shining overhead, and soft sand beneath your feet. Next to you is the love of your life, passionately vowing their commitment and devotion to you.

Having your wedding on the beach is a wonderful way to set the mood for a romantic honeymoon. It is an intimate celebration that is convenient and carefree, the perfect way to start a lifetime together.

As more couples plan and pay for their own weddings, they want to have a casual unique celebration and combine it with their honeymoon. This is the concept of a destination wedding. For less than the cost of a traditional wedding, they can have a wedding and honeymoon with funds to spare. Couples can travel to a tropical location; stay in a luxury oceanfront hotel, have a beach marriage ceremony, and still have money left over for restaurants, dance clubs, shopping and attractions.

South Florida is a popular tropical destination for couples who want to combine their wedding and honeymoon, but do not want to travel outside the United States. For those who desire the laid back ambiance of the Caribbean mixed with the exciting energetic atmosphere of South Beach, Miami Beach is the ideal location.

Miami Beach has become a haven for tropical destination weddings because of its beautiful weather and amenities. It has many miles of lovely beaches with a wide range of hotels and accommodations overlooking the warm Atlantic shoreline. An abundance of world renowned restaurants, bars, dance and night clubs for vibrant evenings of food and entertainment. Water sports and activities like jet skiing, snorkeling, scuba diving, boating or para sailing to fill your days with fun in the sun. Trendy stores and shopping malls to satisfy all your shopping needs.

Relaxing by the water and sunbathing is a typical pastime. You may even catch a glimpse of your favorite celebrity during your stay. Centrally located between the Florida Keys and Ft. Lauderdale, Miami Beach is a great place for a romantic casual tropical beach wedding and honeymoon.

Monique N. Gilbert is a Wedding Officiant (Florida Notary) at Tropical Miami Beach Weddings. She caters to couples who seek a romantic and carefree beach marriage ceremony, commitment ceremony or vow renewal. She meets you at the beach of your choice and makes all the arrangements necessary. She even helps out-of-state couples obtain their Florida marriage license by mail.

Submitted by Monique N. Gilbert,