Special Report

10 Most Expensive Places to Get Married

4. Rhode Island
> Average wedding cost: $41,914
> Cost of reception venue:  $22,371
> Reception venue as pct. of total cost: 53.4%
> Median household income: $55,902

Rhode Island may be the smallest state, but it has some of the biggest wedding expenses. Newport has traditionally been a playground for the rich and famous, and ordinary Americans can now have their weddings in mansions that date back to the Gilded Age. These include such historic venues as the Aldrich Mansion, where John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was married, and the Eisenhower House, which served as the summer White House of the 34th president. The average Rhode Island reception venue costs $22,371, sixth highest in the nation and sharply more than the national average cost of $14,006. Rhode Island venues represent 53.4% of the total wedding cost, the third-highest share in the country. However, other costs are lower. Event planners in Rhode Island cost an average of just $906, which is nearly the lowest of any place considered and more than $1,000 below the national average.

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3. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
> Average wedding cost: $44,090
> Cost of reception venue:  $20,351
> Reception venue as pct. of total cost: 46.2%
> Median household income: $60,482

The average cost per head for a Philly wedding is $109, compared to $68 for the country as a whole. A number of expenses rank in the top 10 in Philadelphia, including reception venue, floral and decor, reception band, transportation, and officiant. The morning-after brunch averages $791, fourth-highest in the country, while the photographer costs $3,306, $750 more than the national average. Among the local venues where couples can tie the knot are the Pyramid Club, the riverfront Glen Foerd Mansion; and the Morris Arboretum.

2. Chicago, Illinois
> Average wedding cost: $50,934
> Cost of reception venue: $21,803
> Reception venue as pct. of total cost: 42.8%
> Median household income: $60,564

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, Chicago has the second most expensive wedding cots in the country. The average wedding venue costs $21,803 in Chicago, and other items are pricey too. Chicago ranks in the top five nationally for expenditures such as floral and decor and ceremony musician. There are many hotels and country clubs that host weddings, but couples can also choose off-beat venues such as the Adler Planetarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.

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1. Manhattan, New York
> Average wedding cost: $76,328
> Cost of reception venue: $30,401
> Reception venue as pct. of total cost: 39.8%
> Median household income: $65,786

Getting married in the biggest city in the country also means spending the biggest bucks. In fact, the total cost of an average Manhattan wedding is just under 50% higher than Chicago, the next most expensive city. The average cost per head for a Manhattan wedding is $181, more than twice the national average of $68, and everything from venues to videographers is expensive. The average venue costs $30,401, again more than twice the national figure. A Manhattan melody will also set couples back considerably — a reception band averages more than $8,000, nearly $1,000 more than the next most expensive location. These prices, however, come with some of the most exclusive wedding spots, including the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center and the Boathouse in Central Park. Couples can even get married at the Statue of Liberty.

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