Planning a wedding can be one of the most frustrating (and rewarding) tasks people will do in their lives. After all, you're planning a celebration of your love and want everyone to have a good time. With the average wedding in the United States costing couples up to $33,000 for their big day, it's important for many people that things go well.
The list of tasks that need to be accomplished is huge. Heck, couples have to send out save-the-dates and invitations for wedding showers, bachelorette and bachelor parties, and the big day itself. That's just one part of the wedding, to say nothing of planning the menu, deciding between a DJ or band, and of course, obsessing over finding the perfect cake, dress and venue.
In an attempt to help couples cut down on the stress of their upcoming nuptials, personal finance website WalletHub examined 180 cities in the U.S. to find which ones offer the cheapest and most convenient wedding destinations for couples that also promise to give them a memorable day.
It should be no surprise that places with generally nice weather top the list of best wedding cities in the U.S. Orlando, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Los Angeles, California are among the best cities in the country to have a wedding in. Los Angeles was also tied for 1st for having the most bridal shops per capita, with New York, NY, and Miami, FL. L.A. and New York were also tied for having the most flower shops per capita giving couples in those cities lots of options for their centerpieces.
If you aren't looking to spend a lot of money, you WalletHub found that couples can plan a pretty cheap wedding in Texas or New Mexico with El Paso and Brownsville Tx ranking as the cheapest cities in the U.S. to get hitched. Those couples who are too busy to plan a wedding or who want to leave the details to someone else can look into getting married in Washington D.C. Denver, CO, or Aurora, CO, as those cities boast the highest number of wedding planners per capita.
If you're looking to plan a destination wedding in an area with some great weather (helps cut down on the guests you didn't really want to come anyway), Southern California in general appears to be the place to be, with Glendale, Riverside and Bakersfield boasting the best weather for weddings in the nation.
Of course, deciding on a venue or location isn't just something you can do by throwing a dart at a map. Kendal Holtrop, a professor at Michigan State University says it's a great opportunity for couples to practice their communication skills before they get married.
"Make sure each person gets a chance to weigh in on this decision. When it is your turn to talk, present one point at a time and try to keep a positive tone. Be sincere and speak from your own perspective. When it is your turn to listen, really work to understand your partner’s perspective," said Holtrop. "It may help to try and paraphrase what they are saying and to ask clarifying questions, but avoid the temptation to interrupt and jump to conclusions. No matter what place you choose, your wedding location will be the right one if you work together to find a location that feels right to both of you."
It's also important for couples to prepare a wedding budget they can stick to and be prepared to problem-solve if issues come up, Holtrop says.
"Be creative and thorough. We can often be tempted to go with the first solution that comes to mind rather than exploring multiple options, so it is really important not to skip this step! Once you have several possible ideas, narrow them down based on their pros and cons," said Holtrop.
Photos: WalletHub and Unsplash