Provident survey: Rising cost of weddings is greater concern than you may realize

85% say expenses will impact financial well-being — 53% say they have spoken to bank/financial adviser about financing options

There are the rising costs around college — and housing. But more than a few folks know the biggest expense that breaks the proverbial bank: weddings.

How expensive has tying the knot become? A recent survey by Pollfish, a market research provider, on behalf of Provident Bank, found that a whopping 85% of more than 1,000 respondents said wedding expenses will impact their overall financial well-being.

The 2023 National Wedding Spending Survey offers this and plenty of other insights into how couples are financially planning for their weddings amid economic fluctuations, inflation and other considerations.

Vito Giannola, executive vice president and chief retail banking officer at Provident, said the survey provides a unique perspective on how consumers are modifying their wedding budgets and seeking financial solutions in response to the evolving economic landscape.

“Weddings are a significant, and oftentimes costly, milestone and come with various financial considerations,” he said. “The findings from our survey offer valuable insights for banks as well as customers, as we found that couples are turning to their banks and financial advisers during major financial decision-making moments for suitable options tailored to their needs.”

According to the survey, a considerable percentage of couples are seeking financial advice to manage their wedding expenses effectively — with 53% of respondents stating that they either have spoken or plan to speak with their bank or financial adviser about financing options for their wedding.

Several factors influenced couples’ decisions to modify their wedding budgets.

The survey asked participants to choose from a list of factors that contributed to their budgetary modification (respondents could choose as many factors as they wished that applied to their situation). Results revealed:

  • 31% cited insufficient personal savings;
  • 35% cited medical or emergency expenses;
  • 17% attributed a change in budget to a recent job loss or financial setback;
  • 29% reported limited access to loans or credit.

In regard to how they would be paying for their weddings, respondents selected all options that applied:

  • 46% said they would be relying on personal savings;
  • 22% said they would be paying for their wedding by taking out a personal or home equity loan;
  • 21% said they would be paying for their wedding with funds borrowed from a pension and/or 401(k);
  • 18% said they would be paying for their wedding by crowdfunding.

When asked what changes they made to stay within their budget or save money on their wedding, respondents said they were opting for cost-saving wedding attire, downsizing their guest lists, decorating themselves and using a cash bar.

Then, there’s this tried-and-true method: Some said they are eloping.