“Fewer than one-in-five U.S. adults say being married is essential for a man or a woman to live a fulfilling life, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in summer 2019″ (Barroso, 2020).

In spite of that statistic people still get married, and some spend a significant amount of money doing so. Let’s take a look at some datasets that show just how much the big day can cost as well as whether or not people believe that spending more on their wedding outfit leads to finding what they believe to be their “perfect” attire.


Similar to buying a home, where a couple holds their ceremony and reception has a huge effect on the cost of their nuptials. The data listed in the table below was taken from a survey of more than 14,000 brides and grooms who tied the knot in 2018.

New York, NY—February 14, 2019Today, The Knot releases findings from The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study, the most comprehensive study of Americans married in 2018. The 12th annual wedding industry report, the most trusted and comprehensive of its kind, surveyed more than 14,000 US brides and grooms married in 2018 between the ages of 18 and 65+ to uncover how couples are planning, personalizing, spending and celebrating weddings in America.

This data serves as the basis of information we could present and filter by:

  • region
  • state
  • amount

Displaying this data on a United States map would provide an excellent overview for the viewer. Adding the 10 Most Affordable Places To Get Married could provide added interest for comparative purposes.

(Couples Spend on Average $33,931—The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study, 2019)


Many couples are on a budget, so categorizing costs is important. One of the brides we interviewed for the Choosing Your Reflection podcast recommended choosing your top three categories and downsizing the budget of the remaining categories to allow yourself to splurge in the top three (she named outfit and photographs for two of her top three).

This data was pulled from Wedding Wire’s 2020 Wedding Report, based on responses from over 25,000 U.S. couples married in 2019. This could be filtered by:

  • total cost
  • category
  • sub-category

A tree map, pie chart, or bar chart would work well to display this data visually.

(2020 Wedding Report, n.d.)


Does spending more money make it easier to find the perfect wedding outfit? This is a sample from a dataset consisting of 164 responses gathered in my Wedding Outfit Survey.

(Foster, n.d.)

Comparisons could be made based on:

  • age group
  • relationship status
  • type of ceremony (religious or secular)

The original dataset was drawn from a survey that consisted of twenty-five questions. I narrowed it down to those responses that might influence the respondent’s answer to money’s influence (or lack of) on finding the “perfect” outfit. This process is called operationalization.

Operationalization in the context of visualization is the process of identifying tasks to be performed over the dataset that are a reasonable approximation of the high-level question of interest” (Fisher & Meyer, 2018).


“Fake news” is a phrase we hear all too often recently. Although it is often misused and in itself has become misleading, it’s important to ensure that the datasets used to create visualizations are trustworthy.

In Emma Charlton’s blog post from the World Economic Forum, her visualization adeptly shows how Finland is leading the European nations by using education to encourage media literacy in schools.

“Studies show a positive relationship between the level of education and resilience to fake news, the OSI report said, with more knowledge and better critical-thinking skills guarding against fabricated information” (Charlton, n.d.).

Whether or not you trust a visualization is up to you. Make it your habit to check the creator’s source; it should be listed on the chart. If you can’t find it you might want to think twice about the chart’s reliability.

And don’t forget to check and see if the source cited is reputable. In this way you can guard against believing any “fake news” that may have been used to create a “fake visual.”

until nxt time …


2020 Wedding Report. (n.d.). WeddingWire.

Barroso, A. (2020, February 14). More than half of Americans say marriage is important but not essential to leading a fulfilling life. Pew Research Center.

Charlton, E. (n.d.). Fake news: What it is, and how to spot it. World Economic Forum.

Charlton, E. (n.d.). How Finland is fighting fake news in the classroom. World Economic Forum.

Couples Spend on Average $33,931—The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study. (2019, February 14). The Knot Worldwide.

Fisher, D., & Meyer, M. (2018). Making Data Visual. O’Reilly Media.

Foster. (n.d.). Wedding Outfit Survey—Google Forms. Retrieved July 26, 2020, from

Fuller, B., & Jacobson. (n.d.). The 10 Most Affordable Places to Get Married in the US. Theknot.Com.

Kilroy. (2018, November 14). 100+ of the Best Free Data Sources For Your Next Project. Column Five.

Header photo by Bùi Huy from Pexels

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