A wedding couple holding hands and smiling at the altar, with fall trees in the background.

Carats & Cake’s 2022 Fall Wedding Survey

We Asked, Couples Answered
BY C&C EDITORS / 11 10 22
Photo by Ellie McKinney Photography

As the year comes to a close, we’re noticing consistencies and a few new wedding trends. The idea of “more” is everywhere: more guests, more food and bev needs, more creativity, and more flexible budgets to pay for it all. Wedding sizes are seeing a consistent increase, and we’re seeing similar numbers to our last 2022 weddings survey. And with more guests and larger affairs in the works, wedding budgets are understandably on the rise too. 

To get a better idea of how couples are handling wedding finances, we went directly to the source. Polling more than 1,200 engaged people, we asked about everything from how they’re paying for their wedding to how many other weddings they plan to attend in 2023 (spoiler alert: a lot).


Big Weddings Are Here to Stay

Three-fourths of respondents shared that they were planning to host 100 or more of their favorite people—and that same figure still stands. Plus, about 13% are anticipating guest counts between 76 and 99. With the resurgence of larger-format weddings, couples are thinking bigger.


Venue Price Quotes Are on the Rise

About 35% of couples shared that their price quotes from venues were $50,000 or more, which is 6% more than the responses in our previous survey. Keep in mind, however, that some of these top-notch venues also offer on-site catering, which can factor into the overall quote.


It’s All About the ’Gram

Instagram, that is! A whopping 82% of couples shared that they’ve found their potential venues with a little help from the app. And relatively-new social media platform TikTok has also given some venue inspo to about 15% of respondents.


A Venue’s Aesthetic is Key

More and more couples are interested in the overall aesthetic of their prospective venues. About 44% of respondents marked it as the most important factor, while 32% shared that it was all about the location.


Most Couples Are Getting Financial Help 

There are so many expenses associated with an epic celebration. And now that we’re dealing with inflation and higher costs for, well, everything, it makes sense that couples’ families are contributing to wedding expenses. More than 83% of couples were receiving help from family, and the next most popular method was putting expenses on credit cards (17%). Taking third place were couples who had no form of help paying for their weddings (a little more than 15%).


More Couples Are Going Over Budget

The cost of popular venues, photographers, and more are just a few (albeit large) expenses. But with decor, attire, and more, things can really add up. So, it’s understandable that a whopping 83% of couples said they anticipated going over their original wedding budgets.


Most Couples Are Paying More Than $50,000 on Their Weddings

There is quite a range with wedding costs, and it all depends on where and how you get married. Intimate gatherings may cost $1,000 or less, while the most luxurious weddings can go into the six-figure range (or more!). With this in mind, we’re seeing a major jump from the standard wedding budget (think $11,000-30,000). Most couples (34%) indicated that most of their projected totals will be $100,000 or more, 20% shared that their celebrations would cost between $76,000 and $100,000, and 20% said their final budget would reach $51,000-75,000.


Photographers Are the Main Priority

Photographers are in high demand these days, and it’s easy to see why. About 27% shared that they would go over budget on their photographer, and nearly 22% said they were willing to spend a little more on their venue.


Catering Reigns as the Major Cost

With more guests coming to their festivities, more food and bev is needed. Roughly 50% of respondents agreed that catering was the most expensive part of their wedding. The next most-expensive was the venue (40%), followed by a steep drop to flowers (6%).


Couples Would Trim Their Guest List to Lower Costs

We saw a massive increase—73%, up from 53% during our last poll—in couples’ preferences to reduce their wedding size in order to pay for other must-have pieces of the puzzle. Photographers and venues were the items they were least willing to alter to meet their budgets.


Most Couples Are Attending at Least 3 Weddings Next Year

Along with their special days, couples are gearing up for a super-celebratory 2023. More than half of them said they’re going to attend somewhere between three and five weddings next year, and more than 12% are heading out to 6-10 of ‘em. These will undoubtedly be the most fun times of your year, but it’s important to factor any travel or gift costs into your financial planning too!

Carats & Cake's 2022 Weddings Survey was conducted in October 2022. Click here to download and share the full infographic below.