The Knot’s wedding survey shows how much people are spending to say 'I do'

We hate to be those people who take something as ~magical~ as love and break it down by the numbers (especially in this, the month of love), but it’s sort of our thing.

So why stop now?

On Valentine’s Day, The Knot released its annual wedding spending survey, and we’ve got the lowdown on how much couples in the U.S. spent on their nuptials in 2017. (The good, the bad and the downright budget-busting.)

And while overall, 2017’s wedding spending was slightly less than 2016’s, it was still enough to make even the most romantic among us a little queasy.

RELATED: Celebrity Weddings of 2017

20 PHOTOS
Celebrity Weddings of 2017
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Celebrity Weddings of 2017
'Dancing with the Stars' alums Peta and Mak tied the knot on July 8: "07~08~2017 was the most ✨magical✨day of my life. I married my soul mate, my perfect man, the only man I could see myself growing old with," she wrote.
How gorgeous was Peta's dress? Truly one of the most beautiful wedding gowns we saw on any celebrity this year.
Erin Andrew made it official with pro hockey player Jarret Stoll in June.
Samira Wiley and Lauren Morelli, who met on set of 'Orange is the New Black,' celebrated their wedding in March with a service in Palm Springs. 
Idina Menzel shared this after her big day: "Wanted to let you know... married the love of my life Aaron Lohr this weekend at our home. Dad & son walked me down the aisle. It was magical. Thank you to everyone who helped make my wedding day so special."
Pippa Middleton married James Matthews at St Mark's Church, Englefield Green on May 20, 2017.
Serena Williams and Alexis Ohanian wed in November in one of the highest-profile celebrity weddings of the year! The "Beauty and the Beast" themed night was nothing short of magical.
"This Is Us" star Justin Hartley looked dapper as ever as he wed Chrishell Stause.
Meghan McCain's father, Senator John McCain, walked her down the aisle during her November ceremony. 
Colton Haynes and Jeff Leatham could hardly contain their joy during their big night -- as none other than Kris Jenner presided over the ceremony!
Patton Oswalt and Meredith Salenger wed in November -- and Patton's daughter, Alice, was a big part of the day!
In what easily may have been the most extravagant wedding of the year, Gucci Mane wed Keyshia Ka’oir in a lavish ceremony fit for royalty.
Kate Upton and Justin Verlander wed just days after Justin, a pitcher for the Houston Astros, won the World Series!
We love Clare Bowen's chic but simple ceremony aesthetic. The 'Nashville' star loves a southern charm vibe! 
Shay Mooney of Dan + Shay wed his lady, Hannah Billingsley, in a lovely ceremony.
Kacey Musgraves couldn't have looked more beautiful as she wed fellow country singer Ruston Kelly in October.
Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender tried to evade the paparazzi by having their ceremony in a private area of Ibiza.
Amanda Seyfried and Thomas Sadoski kept photos of their wedding private -- but no doubt it was stunning!
Miranda Kerr and Evan Spiegel kept most of the details under wraps, but they wed in May. They are now expecting their first child. (Kerr has another child from a previous marriage.)
Alison Brie and Dave Franco wed this year after three years together.
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The Average Cost of a Wedding in 2017

Last year, the average cost of a day full of fluffy tulle, five-tiered cakes and sickly sweet smelling roses was $33,391.

On the high end of the spectrum, meaning for the grouping of special days that cost more than $60,000, the average was a whopping $105,130. And while some of us can’t imagine dropping that kind of cash on a single celebration, there are some people out there who throw off the grading curve with pretty, uh, lavish affairs.

But we’ll stick to focusing on the average Joes.

The biggest line items for the average wedding in 2017?

The venue, coming in at an average of $15,163; the engagement ring, with an average price tag of $5,764 and the reception band, clocking it at an average of $4,019. (Pro tip: Moissanite engagement rings are a thing, and they come at a fraction of the cost.)

Food is another hefty expense at most weddings, and in 2017, that figure was no different. Couples spent an average of $70 per head on catering at the reception to keep their guests fueled up to dance the night away. And while the average number of wedding guests dropped to 136 last year, a $9,520 price tag is still nothing to scoff at.

The least expensive elements couples shelled out for included favors ($252), an officiant ($284) and the groom’s attire ($286).

Meanwhile, the average wedding dress worn by brides in 2017 cost just $1,509. (And I feel pretty comfortable using the word “just” there after accompanying my sister on her own dress-shopping trip and stumbling across a few too many $15,000 gowns. Ooph.)

But your total budget isn’t entirely up to your savvy planning and budgeting skills (even if you’re really good): It looks like location matters when it comes to your wedding bill.

In New York (Manhattan to be exact), you can expect to spend an average of $76,944 on your big day. If you’re looking to celebrate your love for less, however, a move to New Mexico might be in your best interest. There, the average wedding spend was just $17,584.

RELATED: Celebrity Weddings 2016

23 PHOTOS
Celebrity Weddings 2016
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Celebrity Weddings 2016

Swimmer Michael Phelps secretly tied the knot in July with Nicole Johnson before the Rio Olympics. Phelps managed to keep their wedding a secret for five months!

(Photo: Instagram)

Singer Ciara secretly tied the knot with Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson in July.

(Photo: Instagram)

Mark Ballas and his ladylove BC Jean exchanged "I do's" in a gorgeous Malibu ceremony. The "Dancing With the Stars" pro looked handsome in a navy suit while his bride looked lovely in an embroidered gown.

(Photo: Getty)

"Teen Mom" star Maci Bookout got hitched to Taylor McKinney. Of course, the whole ceremony was filmed for the whole world to see.

(Photo: Instagram)

"High School Musical" star Corbin Bleau got hitched to actress Sasha Clements in July. Bleau said marrying his love was "best moment of his life."

(Photo: Instagram)

Things may not have worked out for Nikki Ferrell on "The Bachelor," but she got a second chance at a happily ever after with her new husband Tyler VanLoo. They tied the knot in Kansas City, Missouri, in October.

(Photo: Instagram)

"Pitch Perfect" Anna Camp tied the knot with her hubby in a romantic California vineyard wedding in early September.

(Photo: Instagram)

Eva Longoria describe her Mexico nuptials to Jose Baston as the "happiest day" of her life. The cute couple got married in late May.

(Photo: Instagram)

"Empire" actress Kaitlin Doubleday wed DJ Lucien in a stunning rainy day ceremony in early May.

(Photo: Instagram)

Love was definitely in the air on the "Empire" set this year! Co-stars Trai Byers and Grace Gealey secretly got hitched in the Caribbean. 

(Photo: Instagram)

Shawn Johnson may have some gold medals under her belt, but her wedding ring definitely takes the cake! She and Andrew East said their "I do's" in a romantic, rustic wedding in April.

(Photo: Instagram)

So long Justin Bobby! Former "The Hills" star Audrina Patridge married her beau Cory Bohan in a secret Hawaiian wedding. 

(Photo: Getty)

Dianna Agron wed Mumford & Sons musician Winston Marshall in late October -- and we're totally obsessed with her wedding dress. The "Glee" star opted to skip the traditional wedding gown and instead donned an off-the-runway creation by Valentino.

(Photo: Instagram)

Comedian Kevin Hart got married to Eniko Parrish in a fairytale wedding. They made it official in front of their closest friends and family in Santa Barbara in August.

(Photo: Instagram)

"Rich Kids of Beverly Hills" stars Morgan Stewart and Brendan Fitzpatrick said 'I do' in a gorgeous California ceremony in June.

(Photo: Instagram)

Another "Dancing With the Stars" wedding! Pro dancer Kym Johnson sealed the deal with Robert Herjavec in a dreamy ceremony in August. The blonde bombshell looked stunning in a strapless wedding gown!

(Photo: Instagram)

Lyndsy Fonseca and Noah Bean said "I do" in front of 160 guests in Connecticut. The "Nikkita" co-stars couldn't have looked more perfect on their special day, don't you agree?

(Photo: Instagram)

The stars of "Duck Dynasty" don't hold back when it comes to weddings! Reed Robertson married his high school sweetheart in a rustic-chic outdoor wedding. By the looks of this picture they look totally in love!

(Photo: Instagram)

Robbie Amell and Italia Ricci got married in a romantic downtown Los Angeles wedding in mid-October. The duo invited their closest friends, including victor Garber and Carlos and Alexa PenaVega. Victor Garberand Carlos and Alexa PenaVega

(Photo: Instagram)

Lovers in Paris! "The Real" host Adrienne Bailon wed gospel singer Israel Houghton in the City of Love. The couple looked totally loved up in a series of photos of their big day she shared in on Instagram.

(Photo: Instagram)

Actress Jamie-Lynn Sigler got married to pro baseball player Cutter Dykstra after dating for almost three years! Sigler described their wedding as "laid back" -- and that's evident by the looks of this adorable photo of the two.

(Photo: Instagram)

"The Office" star Angela Kinsey tied the knot with her longtime lover Joshua Snyder. The actress turned heads in a stunning J. Crew dress, which was fitting for the intimate California ceremony. 

(Photo: Instagram)

Courtney Anne Mitchell and actor Corey Feldman tied the knot in an unexpected Las Vegas wedding just a couple weeks after announcing their engagement! He reportedly proposed with a hand-written note that asked: "Will you marry me?"

(Photo: Getty)

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Follow the Trends

Thankfully, the study also shows that couples are starting to embrace trends that should ultimately continue to bring the average wedding spend down no matter where they are.

Formal weddings are on the decline, and the demand for more casual, nontraditional reception venues is on the rise. In 2009, 20% of all weddings were black-tie, compared to 16% in 2017. It makes sense, then, that the use of country clubs, banquet halls and hotels as reception venues were all down, too.

The number of outdoor ceremonies and receptions, however, jumped from just 39% in 2009 to 52% last year — and considering how much an outdoor wedding and reception can save you, that’s a trend we can get on board with.

But while couples are ditching the ballrooms for less formal celebrations, they’re upping their focus on overall guest experience — and that’s actually driving prices up. While the average number of wedding guests did come down this year, the average spend per guest has gone up $74 since 2009.

This is largely due to reception activities like photo booths, candy stations and special musical performances, (although according to the survey, some folks are even having cigar rolling stations and firework displays, to which we politely say “to each their own”).

Overall, though, the wedding scene seems to be making a shift toward becoming less about outdoing the Joneses and more about creating a tailored experience that celebrates the couple and their love for each other — and that’s naturally leading to a less forced (and less expensive) set of traditions and to-dos.

Ultimately, it’s a day to celebrate, and nothing dampens a celebration faster than a busted budget and a massive pile of debt.

If you’re planning your wedding this year, focus on creating an event that gives you, your partner and your loved ones space to celebrate — without spending every second stressed about how much it’s costing.

Grace Schweizer is a junior writer at The Penny Hoarder.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

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