hold on to your heart and wallet The average wedding now costs more than $30,000 By Gregory Bresiger June 6, 2015 | 9:45pm Modal Trigger Ah, it’s the first Sunday in June, the peak season for weddings. Hold on to your wallet. The average wedding in 2014 cost $31,213, up 4.5 percent from the previous year — and that doesn’t include honeymoon costs, according to the annual Real Weddings Study by TheKnot.com, which tracks the price of getting hitched. And while that can bust the budget of many a couple, it’s also getting costlier to attend a wedding. The average wedding guest will spend $673 in 2015, compared with $592 last year, a 14 percent increase. (That is nearly double the $339 average gift in 2012.) The attendees’ cost includes airfare, hotel, dining out and dressing up for the affair as well as a gift, according to the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker. The average member of the bridal or groom’s party is also spending more this year. He or she will spend $701 vs. $618 in 2014. “We know increasing costs are a continuing upward trend year over year,” a spokeswoman for the American Express Spending and Saving Tracker said. Who pays these bigger and bigger bills? Modal Trigger Photo: Getty Images The bride’s parents are shelling out 43 percent of the bill, the bride and groom are paying 43 percent, and the groom’s parents are taking care of 12 percent, with others accounting for the remaining 2 percent, TheKnot.com study said. Wedding guests are having to dig deeper for more than just gifts. American Express said the guests’ airfare, hotel, dining out and the costs of “dressing up” have all risen, which some studies suggest is a drain on the actual wedding gift. “They’re also taking advantage of the opportunity to purchase and show off a new outfit, or turn a destination wedding into a mini-vacation,” according to Jed Scala, senior vice president of proprietary lending at American Express. A destination wedding is defined as one held at least 100 miles from where the bride lives, and will run up the travel costs for almost all involved. So the pricey business of today’s weddings means fewer guests are invited. “The average wedding now has 136 guests, down from 149 in 2009,” said Rebecca Dolgin, TheKnot.com’s editor-in-chief. She added that brides and grooms are concentrating on quality, not quantity. “Couples are focusing on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details,” Dolgin says, “including finding unique venues to reflect their personality.” She added that the biggest change in wedding planning is the use of smartphones as a tool. Smartphone use has on average doubled over the last three years, she says. Here are some other average wedding costs and statistics as compiled by theKnot.com. Most expensive place to marry: Manhattan, $76,328. Least expensive place to marry: Utah, $15,257. Most popular month to get married: June, followed by October. Average number of bridesmaids and groomsmen: four to five. Most popular month to get engaged: December. Average length of engagement: 14 months. Percentage of destination weddings: 24 percent.