NEW YORK — Patience is a virtue, particularly if you’re hoping to get hitched soon. A new survey finds that the number of couples who have or are actively delaying their wedding after getting engaged has skyrocketed in the past decade.
A survey of 5,000 married Americans conducted by engagement ring retailer JamesAllen.com found that 30% of newly-engaged couples delay their marriage because of financial reasons, up from only 8% a decade ago. In fact, couples are now 12 times more likely to say money issues actually made the big day less memorable.
And while rising costs of getting hitched are leading more couples to put off the wedding, proposals and engagements themselves are much more involved and expensive than they were. About $452 is spent, on average, on proposal arrangements — and that doesn’t include a ring. That figure is up from $271.
What’s accounting for these costs? Documenting the event, for one. A third of the couples surveyed said a photographer was hired for the engagement, up from 20% ten years ago.
“A decade ago, proposals and engagements were not as meticulously planned as they are today,” says Oded Edelman, president of JamesAllen.com, in a press release. “Things that were rare in the past – like having a photographer present or adding a personal touch to the ring – have now become the norm among our customers as a larger importance is placed on the proposal itself.”
Perhaps even more stunning that more couples (about 1 in 10) are sharing the cost of the ring — which will set a person back $7,903.24 on average, according to the retailer — than ever before.
In a stranger, but still significant finding of the survey, 51% of respondents indicated a couple’s pet was involved in the engagement, compared to just 4% a decade ago.
Couples were also found to be more likely to keep their weddings small, as well as all the other festivities that weddings bring, like bachelor parties and receptions, because of costs.