In what some are calling one sign of an improving economy, if at the expense of newlyweds, a new survey by The Knot finds that the average cost of a US wedding jumped to $31,213 last year, marking a five-year high when adjusted for inflation. In its eighth report, the wedding site reveals in a press release that when it came to the 16,000 brides and grooms married in 2014 and then surveyed, most couples split that bill evenly with the bride's parents: On average, each footed 43% of the bill, with the groom's parents chipping in 12%. In fact, only 12% of couples paid for their weddings themselves. And sticking to the budget is apparently tough: 45% of couples didn't manage to do so (another 23% didn't even make a budget). As for the dress, brides spent an average $1,357.
The survey also found that the most expensive place to wed was Manhattan, where the average price tag was $76,328 (which is actually down almost $10,000 from the previous year), while the least expensive was Utah, where weddings cost less than half the national average at $15,257. Couples are spending more per head, too, as the average guest list shrunk from 149 in 2009 to 136 in 2014. On the subject of marriage and money, according to a February Redfin survey, 38% of millennials say they have or intend to put off marrying so they can afford to buy a home, reports Bloomberg Business. MarketWatch notes the average wedding price happens to be $92 less than a 15% down payment on a $208,700 home—the country's median price last quarter. (Check out some of the celebrities who perform at weddings.)