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For richer or poorer? The most expensive U.S. cities to get married in

By Clayton Guse
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It's no secret that hosting a good old fashioned American wedding ain't cheap. From the cost of the venue to the caterer to the dress (and let's not even get into the photographer!), a lot of couples end up shoveling out a small mountain of cash to declare their love to one another in front of a group of their friends and family. But how high that mountain of cash is can depend on which city a wedding is held in. Commerce website Thumbtack looked into the average cost of a wedding in 25 different metro areas across the country, which led to some interesting findings. 

For starters, they found that the average cost of a wedding in America is $12,189, which is about how much you'd make in a year if you work a full-time, minimum–wage job. Not surprisingly, New York was the most expensive place to get hitched: an average New York wedding will run up a bill of $16,077—$5,162 of which is spend on catering alone.

Philadelphia came in second by a smidgen at an average cost of $15,434. Folks there spend more money on wedding photography than any other market with an average of $1,319, so if you snap weddings for a living, the city of Brotherly Love calls for you.

Pittsburgh (what?), Baltimore (again, what?) and Providence (understandable) round out the top five most expensive cities in the country to tie the knot. San Francisco ranked sixth at $13,734, but we already know that everything in the city by the bay costs an arm and a leg. Grumble grumble Silicon Valley types grumble.

Strangely enough, the second and third-largest markets in the country are relatively affordable locations to look your lover in the eye and promise that you'll love them for eternity. The study found that an average Los Angeles wedding costs $12,709, and one in Chicago costs an average of $12,449. The pair of cities ranked 14th and 15th, respectively—so if you want to have a wedding in a huge city without selling your first-born child, those two markets aren't a bad call.

Sacramento came in at number 25, with an average wedding cost of $11,349.

But if you want to avoid all of the costs and ballyhoo that are generally associated with a wedding, you could take some notes out of Liz Lemon's playbook and have a (surprisingly emotional) ceremony at City Hall while dressed in a Princess Leia costume. We hear you can get one for like, $15. 

Here's a complete breakdown 25 most expensive cities for weddings in America:

1. New York: $16,077

2. Philadelphia: $15,434

3. Pittsburgh: $14,287

4. Baltimore: $14,261

5. Providence, R.I.: $13,990

6. San Francisco: $13,734

7. San Jose, Calif.: $13,418

8. Cleveland: $13,416

9. Washington D.C.: $13,303

10. Minneapolis-St. Paul: $13,173

11. New Orleans: $13,089

12. Boston: $13,028

13. Miami: $12,923

14. Los Angeles: $12,709

15. Chicago: $12,449

16. Milwaukee: $12,197

17. Seattle: $12,149

18. Detroit: $11,819

19. Memphis, Tenn.: $11,805

20. Portland, Ore.: $11,714

21. Columbus, Ohio: $11,692

22. Austin, Texas: $11,519

23. Rochester, N.Y.: $11,472

24. Charleston, S.C.: $11,448

25. Sacramento, Calif.: $11,349


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