By Lenore Fedow
The average couple spent $5,680 on an engagement ring in 2018, down from $5,764 in 2017. This diamond halo engagement ring from Stuller is 14-karat white gold with baguette sides. It retails for $1,665, not including center stone.
New York—Weddings with a personal flair were all the rage in 2018, but U.S. couples spent less on a few key elements including the engagement ring, data from The Knot shows.

On Thursday—Valentine’s Day—the popular wedding planning website released the results of the 2018 Real Weddings Study, which surveyed nearly 14,000 couples in the United States who got married last year.

Overall, the average cost of a wedding, excluding the honeymoon, was $33,931, up about 2 percent compared with $33,391 in 2017. (Just to put it in perspective, $32,500 could get you a brand-new 2019 Mercedes-Benz A 220 Sedan.)

The most expensive place to get married was Manhattan with the average Big Apple wedding costing $96,910. The least expensive place was Idaho, where the average wedding runs around $16,366.

The average couple spent $5,680 on an engagement ring, down about 2 percent compared with $5,764 in 2017.

The bride’s wedding band cost an average of $1,078, nearly double the $584 average price tag of the groom’s wedding band.

The Wedding Report, a Tucson-based research company that tracks and forecasts spending and trends in the wedding industry, reported similar findings on engagement ring spending earlier this week, noting about a 1 percent drop.

Outside of jewelry, couples cut costs on the cake, spending $528 on average, about 2 percent less than $540 a year ago. Around 58 percent of couples celebrated with a traditional tiered wedding cake, while others opted for cupcakes or cookies.

The average amount spent on invitations also dropped, declining about 5 percent from $408 to $386.

There were a few areas where couples spent more money, including on the dress and on event planners.

The average bride spent $1,631 on the dress, about an 8 percent jump compared with $1,509 last year.

Couples spent an average of $2,002 on an event planner, a close to 1 percent increase compared with $1,988 in 2017. Around 29 percent of couples hired a professional planner to craft the perfect day.

Another interesting note from The Knot’s 2018 Real Weddings Study: Nearly 59 percent of Generation Z respondents—Gen Z is the group that follows the millennials—said they will likely include a charity on their wedding registry as a way of giving back.

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