Wedding season officially starts the first weekend of June, and a new study from The Knot reveals that saying “I do” costs couples — and their parents — $31,213 on average. Not only that, but the average wedding guest will spend about $675 in 2015. One factor driving up the cost of nuptials this year — at least 15% of weddings are now destination weddings.
In May, a new report found that the number of destination weddings held around the Finger Lakes has skyrocketed in the last decade.
“Ninety percent of our brides are from out of town,” says Stacy Ercan, a florist based out of Rochester. “They may have vacationed here, have summer homes in the Finger Lakes or have grown up here.”
According to local experts, many people searching online for destination wedding locales use keywords like “winery weddings” and “destination lake weddings,” which points many soon-to-be-newlyweds to venues in Canadaigua, Seneca, and Cayuga lakes. Rebecca Dolgin, editor of The Knot’s annual wedding report, says brides no longer think of weddings as simple family gatherings.
“Couples are focusing on creating an amazing guest experience and reception details, including finding unique venues to reflect their personality,” Dolgin says.
Not only are visitors from California and Arizona coming to Upstate, but event planners say more New York City brides are planning weddings in the Finger Lakes, too. In Manhattan, the average wedding costs $76,328.
A decade ago, the Aurora Inn on Cayuga Lake booked about 10 weddings annually; in 2014 they hosted 60. Aurora Inn and other popular Finger Lakes wedding venues have been featured in Martha Stewart LivingCountry Living, and other publications in the last few years.
Experts say the average price of a wedding, and the average amount spent by guests, will continue to rise this year. That means a mini economic stimulus for Upstate this June, the most popular month of the year to walk down the aisle.