Boston 12th Most Expensive U.S. City to Throw a Wedding

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Wedding-Cakes-e1455840723497You can’t put a price on love, but weddings are another matter. Every year, more than 2 million Americans tie the knot — and this year they can expect to pay an average of $12,189 for essential wedding services (excluding the venue, dress, and rings) for a wedding with 100 guests or less, according to Thumbtack Journal.

Overall, wedding spending in the U.S. is up 20 percent in 2016 from 2015 with most couples opting to spend more on a formal reception with catering, videography for sharing on social media and 3+ tier wedding cakes, said Thumbtack Journal in its ranking of 25 most expensive cities to throw a wedding.

“This year we looked ahead to what couples want in 2016 – and what they can expect to pay in the top 25 metro areas for 12 wedding essentials,” Thumbtack Journal said. “The results of this study show a surprising variation in cost in what it takes to throw a wedding from city to city.”

Here are the top 25 most expensive places you can throw a wedding in 2016 — and what you can expect to pay for essential services in those locations. (Photos, graphics and information courtesy of Thumbtack Journal.)

1. New York, NY

Average cost of a wedding: $16,077

At $5,162 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in the New York metro area. Wedding makeup and hairstyling services, both under $200 on average, were the least expensive services. Flowers ($1,807 avg.) are significantly more expensive in New York than in other cities.

Weddings by City-NYC

2. Philadelphia, PA

Average cost of a wedding: $15,434

At $5,009 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in the Philadelphia metro area. Wedding makeup ($225 avg.) was the least expensive service, while Limousine rental in Philadelphia ($635 avg.) was more expensive than in any other city on our list.

Weddings by City-Philadelphia

3. Pittsburgh, PA

Average cost of a wedding: $14,287

The biggest expenses include catering ($3,364 on average) and live music. The least expensive services included hiring beauty professionals and an officiant to formally wed the couple. Flowers ($1,496 avg.) were $400 more expensive on average than in Philadelphia, which ranked #2 overall on the list.

Weddings by City-Pittsburgh

4. Baltimore, MD

Average cost of a wedding: $14,261

At $4,634 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in the Baltimore metro area. Hiring a wedding officiant ($273 avg.) was the least expensive service. Wedding makeup in Baltimore ($322 avg.) was more expensive than in any other city on our list

Weddings by City-Baltimore

5. Providence, RI

Average cost of a wedding: $13,990

At $3,306 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in the Providence area. Hiring a wedding officiant ($211 avg.) was the least expensive service. A wedding DJ in Providence ($780 avg.) was more expensive than in any other city on our list.

Weddings by City-Providence

6. San Francisco, CA

Average cost of a wedding: $13,734

In foodie friendly San Francisco, catering is the biggest expense for weddings.  It’s also the most expensive city to wed in California.

Weddings by City-SF

7. San Jose, CA

Average cost of a wedding:  $13,418

The least expensive services in San Jose included hiring beauty professionals and an officiant to formally wed the couple. A wedding videographer in San Jose ($1,520 avg.) was more expensive than in any other city on our list.

Weddings by City-San Jose

8. Cleveland, OH

Average cost of a wedding: $13,416

The least expensive services included hiring beauty professionals and an officiant to formally wed the couple and The average cost of wedding flowers in Cleveland was among the highest in the country.

Weddings by City-Cleveland

9. Washington, D.C.-Northern VA

Average cost of a wedding: $13,303

Wedding makeup and a wedding officiant, both under $300 on average, were the least expensive services. Live music in Washington D.C. is, on average, over $1,000 cheaper than in neighboring city Baltimore, Maryland.

Weddings by City-WashingtonDC

10. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN

Average cost of a wedding: $13,173

Wedding hairstyling ($161 avg.) was the least expensive service while live music in Minneapolis ($2,396 avg.) was more expensive than in San Francisco and San Jose, both of which were more expensive cities overall.

Weddings by City-Minneapolis

11. New Orleans, LA

Average cost of a wedding: $13,089

The least expensive services including hiring wedding makeup artists and an officiant, both cost under $200 on average. Wedding planning in New Orleans ($1,511 avg.) was more expensive than in any other city on the list.

Weddings by City-New Orelans

12. Boston, MA

Average cost of a wedding: $13,028

A custom wedding cake ($197 avg.) was the least expensive cost. Wedding decorating in Boston ($627 avg.) was relatively affordable compared to other cities that ranked lower overall, like Miami, Los Angeles, and Chicago.

Weddings by City-Boston

13. Miami, FL

Average cost of a wedding: $12,923

In style conscious Miami, wedding hairstyling ($146 avg.) was the least expensive service. Flowers in Miami ($1,548 avg.) are more expensive than in several cities that are more expensive overall – including Boston, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C.

Weddings by City-Miami

14. Los Angeles, CA

Average cost of a wedding: $12,709

The least expensive services included hiring beauty professionals and an officiant to formally wed the couple. Several California cities ranked on the most expensive cities to get married nationwide, but Los Angeles was less expensive than both San Francisco (#6) and San Jose (#7).

Weddings by City-LA

15. Chicago, IL

Average cost of a wedding: $12,449

Hairstyling and makeup, both under $200 on average, were among the least expensive services. Wedding makeup in Chicago was less expensive than in other cities that ranked lower overall, including Seattle and Portland

Weddings by City-Chicago

16. Milwaukee, WI

Average cost of a wedding: $12,197

Day-of wedding coordination in Milwaukee ($1,223 avg.) is more expensive than in other cities that ranked higher overall, including Los Angeles and Chicago.  Wedding makeup ($165 avg.) was the least expensive service.

Weddings by City-Milwaukee

17. Seattle, WA

Average cost of a wedding: $12,149

Live music in Seattle ($1,079 avg.) is more affordable than in any other city on the list.

Weddings by City-Seattle

18. Detroit, MI

Average cost of a wedding: $11,819

Wedding planning in Detroit ($885 avg.) is more affordable than in any other city on our list. At $3,426 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in the Detroit area.

Weddings by City-Detroit

19. Memphis, TN

Average cost of a wedding: $11,805

Hiring a wedding videographer and a wedding officiant in Memphis is more affordable than in any other city on our list.

Weddings by City-Memphis

20. Portland, OR

Average cost of a wedding: $11,714

Catering in Portland ($4,098 avg.) is relatively expensive when compared to other cities that ranked higher overall, including Chicago, Seattle, and Memphis.

Weddings by City-Portland

21. Columbus, OH

Average cost of a wedding: $11,692

Wedding day-of coordination and decoration services in Columbus are more affordable than in any other city on the list.

Weddings by City-Columbus

22. Austin, TX

Average cost of a wedding: $11,519

Want a wedding with great food? Catering in Austin ($2,601 avg.) is more affordable than in any other city on our list.

Weddings by City-Austin

23. Rochester, NY

Average cost of a wedding: $11,472

Flowers and hairstyling are more affordable in Rochester than in any other city on our list. Wedding makeup and hairstyling services, both under $100 on average, were the least expensive services.

Weddings by City-Rochester

24. Charleston, SC

Average cost of a wedding: $11,448

Hiring a DJ and a photographer is more affordable in Charleston than in any other city on the list. At $2,901 on average, catering is the biggest expense for weddings in Charleston.

Weddings by City-Charleston

25. Sacramento, CA

Average cost of a wedding:  $11,349

A custom wedding cake in Sacramento ($462 avg.) was relatively expensive when compared to cities that ranked higher overall, including Austin, Portland, and Seattle.

Weddings by City-Sacramento

For more 2016 wedding trends including what couples want this year for music, food, entertainment, colors, transportation, flowers and more, check out the complete Thumbtack Wedding Trends Report 2016.

[Top photo via Laura Marie Wedding Cakes]

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