Best Cities to Tie the Knot: The Wedding Capitals of the US

couple hugging and smiling highlighting their wedding and engagement ring
couple hugging and smiling highlighting their wedding and engagement ring

From perfect flower arrangements to one-of-a-kind engagement rings, the journey of planning a wedding is filled with so many decisions that set the stage for a truly unforgettable and romantic milestone, and one of the biggest decisions is where the big day is going to take place. With so many factors to consider, which U.S. city is the best location to tie the knot?

To identify the best U.S. cities for weddings, Shane Co, researched the percentage of wedding venues, photographers, florists, caterers, and beauty salons with an “award-winning” status. This helped us find the cities with the top wedding suppliers offering customized experiences. We also considered the average cost of a wedding, annual sunshine levels, and the number of Instagram posts related to weddings in each location.

And to help you stay ahead of the curve this year, we also looked into the latest bridal and wedding trends.

The US Wedding Capitals Index 

RankCityVenuesPhotographersFloristsCaterers Beauty SalonsAvg. Cost of a weddingTotal Hours of Sunshine per Year
Wedding Instagram Posts
Wedding Score
% That Are Award Winners
1Philadelphia39.4%97.6%38.8%13.8%48.8%$44,7222,498152,4057.07
2Chicago23.5%63.8%21.3%16.3%38.8%$37,7692,508665,4596.86
3Boston43.8%65%21.3%10%57.5%$43,2562,634308,2716.60
4Dallas27.3%53.8%22.5%13.8%41.3%$37,1202,850396,1146.53
5Colorado Springs27%53.5%30%13.8%42.5%$34,3343,26633,2706.50
6Denver27%53.5%30%13.8%42.5%$39,3003,107182,2086.47
7Miami12.6%56.3%26.3%10%26.3%$33,1393,154415,0336.09
8Orlando23.5%43.8%16.3%13.8%33.8%$30,0512,930212,1965.98
9Austin16.7%53.8%16.3%12.5%31.3%$34,8232,644302,5285.59
10San Diego21.7%36.3%16.3%10%31.3%$45,8833,055450,8915.44
11Fort Lauderdale12.6%56.3%25%10%26.3%$33,1393,15017,6795.38
12Houston24.8%42.5%16.3%12.5%25%$37,2822,578251,9495.34
13Sedona18.1%37.5%7.5%6.3%27.5%$24,0433,76249,3655.31
14Cincinnati26%36.3%17.5%11.3%25%$28,4712,335122,8275.20
15Long Island374%51.3%20%2.5%43.8%$46,7562,535226,7165.13
16Atlanta23.8%47.5%12.5%6.3%30%$35,0182,738261,7755.12
17New York City26.2%55%15%6.3%32.5%$46,7562,535385,3895.05
18Phoenix18.1%37.5%7.5%6.3%27.5%$36,1223,872113,8875.05
19St. Louis31.1%38.8%15%5%30%$28,0592,59466,7775.03
20Kansas City26.6%17.5%12.5%12.5%13.8%$28,0012,81083,1164.95

View as an image (All Values) View as an image (Ranks, City, Wedding Score)

1. Philadelphia

Taking the crown for the best wedding capital in the U.S. is Philadelphia, boasting the highest percentage of award-winning vendors overall. The city has some truly beautiful wedding venues to choose from, from ballrooms and picturesque hotels to vineyards and waterfront locations. In fact, it ranks in second place for the highest percentage of venues that have won awards, with 39.4% achieving a top-quality status.

Finding the perfect wedding photographer is a highly personal decision, and it’s not always easy. Luckily for those getting married here, Philadelphia has the highest percentage of photographers offering excellent services, with a staggering 97.6% recognized as award winners.

And what’s a wedding without flowers? Philly also has the highest percentage of top-quality florists, as over a third (38.8%) of them in this city have an award-winning status. Plus, almost half of the beauty salons on offer here (48.8%) have been handed awards, ranking in second place for this metric.

2. Chicago

Our research revealed that Chicago is the second-best U.S. location for a wedding. Known for its iconic skyline, famous landmarks, and gorgeous architecture, it’s no surprise it’s Instagram’s most posted-about location, receiving a total of 665,459 Instagram posts tagged “#chicagowedding.” 

Chicago also has the highest number of award-winning caterers, totaling 16.3% overall. From Mexican sharing plates and BBQ buffets to boutique catering services, the city has everything when it comes to putting on a perfect wedding banquet.

The Windy City also stands out when it comes to photography, coming in third for the highest percentage of photographers who have won awards, at 63.8%, following behind Philadelphia and Boston.

3. Boston

It seems that the Northeast takes the lead, as the top three destinations in our ranking aren’t all that far apart. The city of Boston ranks third on our list of the best cities for saying “I do.”

Leading the way for top-quality wedding venues, the city has the highest percentage, with an impressive 43.8% of all those we found in the city having an award-winning status.

With many brides opting to have their hair and makeup done professionally, beauty salons are an important step in the process of wedding preparation. Boston has the highest percentage of award-winning beauty salons, with over half (57.5%) having won awards.

For photographers, the city ranks in second place, with a commendable 65% being award winners.

Claiming fourth position in the ranking is Dallas, Texas, with 41.3% of beauty suppliers offering a premium service and 53.8% of photographers with award-winning status. In fifth is Colorado Springs, with an impressive 30% of florists having won awards.

Taking the sixth position is Denver, with 27% of venues labeled as award-winning, ranging from chic downtown lofts to rustic mountain lodges. Over half of the photographers here have claimed awards for their skills, and 30% of florists are at an award-winning level. Book an appointment or simply drop by one of our Shane Co. stores located in Denver, where our knowledgeable, welcoming jewelry consultants will give you a personalized experience and help find the perfect jewelry for your big day.

For those farther south, weddings in Atlanta combine Southern charm with modern elegance, making the city a great destination for couples in this area. Atlanta ranks 16th on our list, with nearly half of all wedding photographers with award-winning status and just under a quarter of venues holding the same title. Three of our stores are located in the Atlanta area, so visit us to discover your dream wedding jewelry.

couple holding hands on the beach, the sun shining through their arms

Cities with the Best Weather for Outdoor Weddings

RankCitySunshine Hours per Year
1Phoenix3,872
2Tucson3,852
3Las Vegas3,825

Many couples want sunshine and warm weather for their wedding day, but with only a small window each year to get perfect weather, this can be tricky. We looked into which U.S. city experiences the most sunshine hours throughout the year. This way, couples have more flexibility when choosing the perfect date for their big day.

We found that the city of Phoenix has the best weather for an outdoor wedding this summer, with 3,872 hours of sunshine per year. For context, that’s 161 days — almost half a year of sunshine!

Not only is the weather ideal, but breathtaking sunsets, the desert landscape, and a plethora of beautiful venues make Phoenix an extremely romantic wedding destination. If you’re planning to propose or get married in Phoenix, visit our Shane Co. stores in Chandler or Scottsdale and talk to one of our jewelry experts to find the perfect engagement ring, wedding bands for both of you, and more.

In second place is Tucson, experiencing 3,852 hours of sunshine each year, following closely behind Phoenix with around one day less of sunshine each year. Las Vegas ranks in third place, with 3,825 hours of sunlight throughout the year.

The Most and Least Expensive Places to Get Married

You can’t put a price on love, but every couple has a different budget when it comes to their wedding celebration. No matter how big or small the ceremony, some locations are more expensive than others.

We did some research to uncover which cities have the most and least expensive weddings in the U.S., on average.

The Most Expensive Cities to Get MarriedThe Least Expensive Cities to Get Married 
RankCityAverage CostRankCityAverage Cost
1Oahu$54,1231Asheville$23,285
2New York City$46,7562Sedona$24,043
3Long Island$46,7563Tampa$26,977

Asheville is the least expensive location to get married. With hundreds of venues situated against the backdrop of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville is a beautiful spot to get hitched. And with an average cost that is half the price of the most expensive location, it’s a great option for those on a tighter budget.

While a combination of sun, sea, and tropical landscapes makes Hawaii a very popular wedding destination, this picturesque backdrop comes at a price. Our research found that the island of Oahu in Hawaii is the most expensive spot for a wedding in the U.S., costing couples an average of $54,123 to celebrate their love.

New York and Long Island follow in joint second place for the most expensive location, costing couples an average of $46,756 for a wedding ceremony.

The Biggest Wedding Trends in the US This Summer

blue sapphire engagement ring with raw gemstones in the background

1. Non-traditional Styles

Breaking the mold is proving to be a big hit this year, as couples step outside the norm of a traditional wedding and find more ways to reflect their unique personalities.

When it comes to the all-important engagement and wedding ring, diamonds are still the most popular choice, but there’s a new trend on the scene: the colorful gemstone. From amethyst to morganite, our deep dive into jewelry trends this year revealed that colorful gemstones are skyrocketing in popularity.

In particular, searches for “emerald cut wedding band” have surged by 24%, demonstrating a desire for this gorgeous diamond shape to adorn wedding bands. This is closely followed by a 23% increase in searches for “sapphire and diamond wedding band,” showing an interest in a gemstone hybrid style. And with 182,916 Instagram posts tagged with “sapphireengagementring,” it’s clear this precious stone is a new favorite this year.

When it comes to bridal attire, we’re seeing more brides opting for bold colors instead of traditional white, as well as 3D floral designs, bridal separates, and statement pieces that add a personal touch.

In particular, drop-waist wedding dresses are making a comeback, as the term has experienced an 83% Google search volume increase in the U.S. this year. This unique style, known for its flattering fit and enhanced silhouette, was popular in the 1920s but resurfaced as a key trend at the 2024 New York Bridal Fashion Week.

Though a wedding day is typically known for being just that — a day — many couples are opting for a “weekend wedding,” where the celebrations stretch over two, three, or even four days! Google searches for the phrase have increased by 85% this year, perhaps due to multi-day celebrations offering couples more time, more memories, and deeper connections with family and friends.

two pendant necklaces, on featuring an engraved letter B and the other a pink sapphire heart

2. Personalization

Another trend gaining momentum is personalized bridal jewelry. Google searches for this term have surged by 25%, while videos featuring the hashtag “#customweddingring” on TikTok have reached an astounding eight million views.

Personalized jewelry can include birthstone embellishments, custom-designed pieces, and initials, offering brides a creative way to express their individuality and bring a personal element to their wedding attire.

Similarly, interest in “men’s custom wedding rings” has experienced a 23% rise, indicating a growing interest for men and women alike. 

And it’s not just jewelry couples are personalizing. Brides- and grooms-to-be are looking for new ways to personalize their wedding celebrations. Bespoke ceremonies officiated by “marriage celebrants” are a new trend, with a Google search increase of 22%. A celebrant differs from a civil wedding ceremony officiant as they have no restriction in terms of the style or format of the wedding, allowing for complete personalization of the event, including specific details about the couple and guest involvement.

Due to a viral TikTok trend, Google searches for “live wedding illustrators” have skyrocketed by 200%, with couples seeking an artist who will capture their wedding by drawing or painting the ceremony as it happens.

image of loose gemstones being picked by tweezers. A blue sapphire gemstone surrounded by many other colors and shapes of gemstones

3. Sustainability

An increasing number of couples are considering environmental factors when planning their weddings, from sustainable jewelry to eco-conscious decor.

Google searches for the phrase “eco-friendly wedding ideas” have surged by 133%, and “sustainable wedding decor” has experienced a staggering 425% increase.

Delving deeper into jewelry, there’s a growing interest in heirloom wedding bands, with a 21% rise in searches, reflecting a desire for timeless pieces that can be passed down through generations. Heirloom jewelry is a more sustainable option as the pieces are repurposed, requiring less energy and resources over time.

At Shane Co., we have skilled jewelers in every store dedicated to helping you create the perfect personalized piece. You’ll have the opportunity to ask detailed questions about the origins of our gemstones, ensuring you make informed decisions. Our in-house experts are committed to understanding your unique style, crafting a quality heirloom that truly represents you and providing lifetime care for your jewelry.

Methodology 

To find out which cities in the U.S. are the top wedding capitals, we gathered a seed list of 50 U.S. cities and analyzed the following metrics:

  • The percentage of award-winning venues 
  • The percentage of award-winning photographers 
  • The percentage of award-winning florists
  • The percentage of award-winning caterers
  • The percentage of award-winning beauty salons
  • The average cost of a wedding 
  • The average hours of sunshine each year 
  • The number of Instagram posts for the hashtag “#[city]wedding”

Fair Use Statement

If you would like to use this data, you are welcome to share any of the information or graphics above for non-commercial purposes. We just ask that you include a link to this page or shaneco.com in your article when referencing the material.

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