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    2023’s Best Places To Get Married

    2023’s Best Places To Get Married

    With Valentine’s Day around the corner and the average wedding costing $28,000, the personal finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2023’s Best Places to Get Married, as well as expert commentary.

    To help couples find the most wedding-friendly destinations, WalletHub compared more than 180 of the biggest U.S. cities across 26 key indicators of cost-effectiveness, convenience, and enjoyment. The data set ranges from average wedding cost to venues and event spaces per capita to wedding vendors.

    Best Places To Get Married in the U.S.

    1. Orlando, FL
    2. Las Vegas, NV
    3. Tulsa, OK
    4. Tampa, FL
    5. Atlanta, GA
    6. Miami, FL
    7. Knoxville, TN
    8. El Paso, TX
    9. New Orleans, LA
    10. Boise, ID
    11. Oklahoma City, OK
    12. Tucson, AZ
    13. Columbia, SC
    14. St. Louis, MO
    15. Cincinnati, OH
    16. Chicago, IL
    17. Charleston, WV
    18. Wichita, KS
    19. Richmond, VA
    20. Charlotte, NC

    Best vs. Worst

    • Fort Smith, Arkansas, has the lowest average wedding cost, $15,235, which is 3.1 times lower than in Honolulu and Pearl City, Hawaii, the cities with the highest at $47,813.
    • Washington has the most event planners per capita, 71, which is 8.9 times more than in Fayetteville, North Carolina, the city with the fewest at 8.
    • San Francisco has the most musicians per capita, 20, which is 58.8 times more than in Anchorage, Alaska, the city with the fewest at 0.34.

    Expert Commentary

    What factors should couples consider when setting a budget for their wedding?

    “When couples set a budget for their wedding, a key factor is whether they are on the same page and whether they can talk it through. Unfortunately, some couples start off their marriage with stress and tension about money and have style differences that are reflected in the wedding plans. Recent research suggests that more expensive weddings are often associated with shorter marriages, and it may be that elaborate plans bring stressors and unrealistic expectations that cause angst that is hard to overcome.”

    Jason Whiting, Ph.D. – Graduate Program Coordinator; Faculty, School of Family Life, Brigham Young University

    “This one is easy: How much money are you willing to spend that will not affect the start of your marriage and life together? What you do not want to do is go into debt to pay for a wedding or pay interest on a new (or current) credit card for what is essentially a big party. Think about your wedding as a celebration with family and close friends, rather than a show. Who do you really want to be there? Can your guests afford to travel to your wedding? The tradition of the bride’s – or bridegroom’s – parents paying for a wedding as a gift to the couple may be something you do not have an issue with – but what could you do with the money instead of paying for the wedding (such as a down payment on a house)?”

    Erika Engstrom, Ph.D. – Director, School of Journalism and Media, University of Kentucky

    How should a couple decide where to get married?

    “There are so many factors at play when deciding on where to get married; the wedding destination could range from where the bride or groom grew up or has family, to a place that is significant for both like the city where they met or currently live in, or perhaps a vacation destination where the couple would like to celebrate their union. Zeroing in on the wedding destination could very well be the first big decision being made by the soon-to-be-married couple, but like the marriage ahead, determining the destination should be a joint effort, while also giving due consideration to each person’s wishes.”

    Madhavi Menon, Ph.D. – Professor, Nova Southeastern University

    “This depends on, of course, the money and time the couple is willing to spend to travel. A destination wedding may serve as a well-deserved getaway or family reunion, or you might want to think about what is easiest and cost-effective for not only you but for your guests. A wedding should be a once-in-a-lifetime event, so if you can afford it and have considered whether or not the traditions associated with weddings align with your personal values and ethics, go ahead and go big. If you are more practical, backyard weddings can be just as fun (one of the most fun weddings I have attended was a backyard wedding). Or there’s always city hall, which can be as romantic as the $30,000 white weddings typically portrayed in magazines and movies. It really does not matter where you get married, but that you truly and authentically mark the occasion.”

    Erika Engstrom, Ph.D. – Director, School of Journalism and Media, University of Kentucky

    What tips do you have for a couple planning a wedding and hoping to stay on a budget?

    “Remember that a wedding and a marriage are not the same. Do not spend recklessly thinking it will be the thing that sends you into marital bliss. It is a fleeting experience and the memories will be wonderful, but is it really worth breaking the bank? Could your marital health be better protected by investing your money in more meaningful ways? YES!! Remind yourselves that this is a single day in your life and the money you spend will simply disappear into the wedding industry with no positive impact on your relationship. If you feel a need to impress people or ‘keep up with the Jones’s’ then you probably should rethink those priorities as you plan your wedding.”

    Daniel J. Puhlman Ph.D., C-LMFT – Assistant Professor, University of Maine

    “I would say think about the future as well as the now. How much are you willing to spend on a party? What will not cause you more debt? Do you really need the monogrammed napkin rings and ten-tier cake? Be wary of going down the rabbit hole of what Naomi Wolf calls ‘Brideland,’ where every conceivable accouterment becomes a life-or-death magical item that you think you must have.”

    Erika Engstrom, Ph.D. – Director, School of Journalism and Media, University of Kentucky

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    2023’s Best Places…

    by The Editors Of The Fox Magazine Time to read this article: 13 min