Weddings Are Fun?

Bad behavior common at weddings, survey finds

Weddings are fun

Along with the vows of undying love, the American wedding experience can bring a range of bad behavior, including fights, vomiting, illicit sex and heavy drinking by the brides and grooms, a new survey from reveals.

We surveyed 1,227 Americans who have reported that they have had weddings. Their answers show that for many, their joyful event had parts that were no fun at all.

Our survey of wedding bad behavior found:

  • Those getting married averaged 2.2 drinks before saying their vows. Men needed nearly twice as much alcohol, screwing up their courage with 2.9 pre-vow drinks. Brides, more demure, tossed down 1.6.
  • Sometimes punches as well as flowers were thrown: 9 percent reported a physical altercation took place at their ceremony.
  • An average of three wedding guests threw up.
  • Almost 10 percent said they wanted to sleep with someone other than their betrothed at their wedding, and 6 percent acted on that urge.
  • Weddings are a pain in the wallet, especially for the young. Those aged 18-24 spent the most, averaging $22,400 on their weddings.

Drinks before a wedding

Pre-vow drinking common

A lot of spouses get soused before saying “I do.” We asked, “How many drinks did you have before saying your vows?” On average, our survey respondents had 2.2 pre-vow drinks.

At the state level, brides and grooms from New Hampshire reported the heaviest drinking, saying they poured down an average of 10.4 drinks before vows. South Dakota is slightly behind New Hampshire, but still well into hope-they-had-a-limo territory. South Dakotans getting hitched average 10.3 drinks.

The top 10 states with the heaviest-drinking bride and grooms were:

1. New Hampshire (10.4 drinks)
2. South Dakota (10.3)
3. Louisiana (6.3)
4. Indiana (5.6)
5. Kansas (5.3)
6. Nebraska (4)
7. Michigan (3.9)
8. Texas (3.8)
9. Utah (3.6)
10. New York (3.3)

The data on New Hampshire corresponds with other studies. A report released in April 2018 by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism said New Hampshirites lead the nation in alcohol consumption, averaging 4.76 gallons of ethanol – pure alcohol – annually. New Hampshire also leads the nation in beer consumption, An analysis of Beer Institute data also shows that Granite State adults lead the country in beer consumption, throwing back an average of 43 gallons apiece.

The least drinky brides and grooms were in Delaware, North Dakota, Alaska and Wyoming, where respondents said they had not tippled at all.

The 10 states whose brides and grooms reporting they drank the least were:

1 (tie) Delaware, North Dakota, Alaska Wyoming (0 drinks).
5. Maine (0.2)
6. West Virginia (0.3)
7. Oregon (0.42)
8. Oklahoma (0.44)
9. Ohio (0.45)
10. Vermont (0.5)

Flirting at a wedding

Inappropriate sexual urges: Guests want to play, too

The guests were also in on the urge for an indiscretion. About 1 in 9 brides and grooms said they were hit on at their own weddings by someone they were not about to marry. Another 3 percent said the romantic advances happened to their soon-to-be spouse.

Fights at a wedding

Bring it on: Physical altercations at weddings

Some relationships can be bruising emotionally. But some weddings can be physically bruising. At about 1 in 11 weddings — 9 percent — a physical altercation breaks out, according to our survey respondents. The states where people reported the most physical altercations at weddings were:

  • Nebraska (33 percent).
  • Kentucky (32 percent).
  • Kansas (25 percent).
  • Texas (17 percent).

At the other end of the scale, residents of17 states reported seeing no physical altercations at all. They were: Arkansas, Delaware, Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Average spent on weddings

Weddings spendy, especially for the young

Nationally, brides and grooms said their weddings cost an average of $15,269. But there were large variations with age. The younger you are, the more you spend on a wedding.

Those 24 and under spent the most by far on their weddings: $22,400 on average. After that, more gray means less green. Every age cohort spends less and less on its weddings. By age 35, the average has dropped nearly $10,000, to $12,745. Senior citizens report they spend the least on their weddings, at $7,946.

Vomit at Weddings

Vomit at weddings

All the festivities of a wedding have an unfortunate side-effect for some participants. They vomit. Our respondents reported an average of three upchuck episodes per wedding.

The amount of vomiting varies a lot by state, according to our data.

The top states for a wedding with vomit are:

  • South Dakota (average 11.7 people who vomit at the wedding).
  • Tennessee (8.5).
  • Utah (7.3)
  • Idaho (7.1).
  • Alabama (6.7).

Residents of Iowa, Louisiana, Maine, Montana, Nevada, North Dakota, South Carolina, Vermont and Wyoming said they all experienced vomit-free weddings.

infidelity during the wedding

Inappropriate sexual urges: Brides and grooms version

Some brides and grooms reported they had the urge for one last fling at their wedding, with nearly 10 percent saying they wanted to sleep with someone other than their betrothed, and 6 percent acting on that urge.

As with drinking, men reported more bad wedding-day behavior. Among men, 21 percent said they had that urge, and 12 percent acted on it. Women said they were truer, with 10 percent wanting to sleep with someone else, and 6 percent doing so.

Our study shows that while there can be bad behavior at weddings, big majorities avoid starting off on the wrong foot. For them, and even for those who indulged too much on their big day, there lies ahead a future full of other milestones, such as moving in together, starting a family, buying a home … and taking care of it with good lawn care.


We surveyed 1,227 people who reported had a wedding. These people chose to participate in the survey openly. The only qualifier was that the people surveyed had to have had a wedding.

Want to use our study?

Please feel free! All that we ask is that you include a link back to this page so readers can learn more about the study.

Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray

Daniel Ray is's former editor in chief. He is an award-winning writer and editor who previously was editor in chief of the personal finance websites and, but with 30 years of gardening experience, he's well qualified to help consumers grow a different kind of green.