Wedding costs skyrocketing in Louisiana; 3 part series
NEW ORLEANS- Diamonds, as they say, are a girl's best friend, and they don't come cheap. Neither do wedding events once the question is "popped."
For all the Pinterest hunters, Esty foragers, and people who give it all to a wedding planner. WBRZ finds out waits for many couples after saying "yes”.
Brittny and Luther Mccray have a sweet love story, they met through a mutual friend.
"We ended up exchanging numbers and went on one date and kept dating,” said Brittny.
Then love came, and Luther decided to surprise Brittny with a Christmas Day proposal.
"He did a game of charades on Christmas. I didn't realize at the time, but now that I'm looking at the video, I should've picked up it was all wedding related stuff,” Brittny said.
Her answer was obvious.
"I was crying so much, and I forgot to say yes...I wasn't prepared for that.”
She wasted no time to plan her wedding.
"The next day, probably, like the next day,” she said.
She started with research. And what she found was surprising.
"I knew 23K was too much for us,” Brittny said.
That was just the projected price tag of what her dream wedding would cost her, and she's not alone. As couples try to make it down the aisle, prices of weddings are going up. And the wedding industry is worth nearly $80 billion in the U.S.. An average cost of $35,000 per wedding.
Allie Wester has been a wedding planner for more than 25 years. She says she sees it go even higher in Louisiana.
“The average cost of a wedding in New Orleans is almost $75,000 because New Orleans is a major destination site for weddings,” Wester said. "The average wedding I do is about 50 to 60K."
But it's not just the prices going up, so are the ages of couples.
"The couples I'm dealing with are older, and they're paying for the wedding themselves,” Wester explained.
The average age of women getting married is 29, for men it's 31. With the money coming out of their own pockets, spending is turning into a dilemma.
"That's a problem I have to deal with a lot because a lot of my brides don't even know their budget. Which is hard to plan a wedding when you don't know what to spend,” Wester said.
For Brittny and Luther, a beautiful wedding with all the bells, whistles and a honeymoon will cost $15,000. But is it possible?
On the next part of the series, WBRZ tests resources millennials like the McCrays are using that have wedding professionals on alert.
For part 1 of this series click here.
For part 2 of this series click here.
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