A Thumbtack Study predicts 2016’s biggest wedding trends. The largest survey of U.S. couples to be married in 2016 finds that couples will spend 20% more on wedding services this year, or $12,189 on average nationwide. Each year, Thumbtack receives more than 320,000 wedding services requests.

Thumbtack, an online service that connects consumers with skilled professionals, released the results of its first Thumbtack 2016 Wedding Trends Report. For this report, we looked at wedding requests placed for 2016 weddings, uncovering the upcoming trends and spending habits of real couples in America.

The study includes statistics on upcoming wedding trends and unveils average pricing for wedding services both nationally and regionally.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of couples come to Thumbtack looking for wedding professionals across nearly 50 categories of service. The data from this study reveals a unique look ahead on what will trend at weddings to come this year – not just what happened at weddings last year.

2016’s Top Wedding Trends

  • 20% increase in spending — The average couple will spend about $2,000 more on average, with much of that going to a more upscale dinner experience.
  • Formal receptions on the rise — For 2016 weddings, there’s been a 26% increase in couples requesting servers for formal dinner receptions, and a 32% increase in couples requesting plated meals.
  • Traditional tiers — Cakes are getting taller than ever, with a 55% increase in couples requesting a 3-layer cake this year compared to last year.

The Real Cost of Getting Married

  • $12,189: The amount the average American couple will spend on essential wedding services in 2016, excluding the venue, dress, and rings, for a wedding with 98 guests on average.

Top 5 Most Expensive States to Get Married

  1. Connecticut – $17,211
  2. New York – $16,305
  3. District of Columbia – $15,835
  4. Rhode Island – $15,233
  5. Pennsylvania – $14,722

Top 25 Most Expensive Metro Areas to Get Married

  1. New York, NY — $16,077
  2. Philadelphia, PA — $15,434
  3. Pittsburgh, PA — $14,287
  4. Baltimore, MD — $14,261
  5. Providence, RI — $13,990
  6. San Francisco, CA — $13,734
  7. San Jose, CA — $13,418
  8. Cleveland, OH — $13,416
  9. Washington, D.C.-Northern VA — $13,303
  10. Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN — $13,173
  11. New Orleans, LA — $13,089
  12. Boston, MA — $13,028
  13. Miami, FL — $12,923
  14. Los Angeles, CA — $12,709
  15. Chicago, IL — $12,449
  16. Milwaukee, WI — $12,197
  17. Seattle, WA — $12,149
  18. Detroit, MI — $11,819
  19. Memphis, TN — $11,805
  20. Portland, OR — $11,714
  21. Columbus, OH — $11,692
  22. Austin, TX — $11,519
  23. Rochester, NY — $11,472
  24. Charleston, SC — $11,448
  25. Sacramento, CA — $11,349

Regional Differences

  • Northeast and Mid-Atlantic affairs tend to be more expensive: This higher cost is most often driven by formal dinners and a large number of guests.
  • Midwestern states throw the biggest weddings: Weddings are the biggest in Midwestern states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, where over 60% of couples welcome 100+ guests.

This is an audience ready to spend! Make sure they spend the money with YOUR advertisers by targeting Marriage Seekers with AudienceSCAN’s help. 17.4% of Marriage Seekers plan to attend bridal shows and are 20% less likely than average to go past the first page of search results. This young crowd is 69% more likely than average to be on Instagram, so image-focused marketing could really take flight for your advertisers. 20% made a reservation or service appointment via the web, so be sure retailers and service providers are offering this easy scheduling service for wedding shoppers. Try some radio ads: 15% listen to a local radio station via their website or app. In the next 12 months, 34.2% want to buy things that help them feel “sexy.”

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to AdMall for Agencies, or with the SalesFuel API. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.