The face of marriage in America is certainly changing. But it may be the key to happiness.
Marriage is becoming a costly affair. A recent survey released by theknot.com, called the Real Weddings Study, found that marriage prices are hitting a record high with the average cost being $29,858, and that's not counting the honeymoon. "Wedding budgets have been increasing steadily since the economic downturn of 2008, and in 2013, couples spent a record-high average of nearly $30,000," said Carley Roney, cofounder of The Knot. "Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests – plus they're doing so in a modern way, by planning from their smartphones, publicizing details on social media and more." The study questioned 13,000 brides and grooms in the United States, whose average ages are 29 and 31, respectively. Brides are spending on averages $1,281 on a wedding dress, the study found. Most couples are getting married in June and September, too. Manhattan, N.Y., is the most expensive place to get married at $86,916 on average, and Idaho is the least expensive with an average of $16,159 spent on a wedding, the study found. Proposals and engagements were also highlighted in the study. December is the most popular month to get engaged, with engagements lasting on average for 14 months, the study said. But engagements aren't limited to the winter. They creep up in the dog days of summer. And that can be costly. Swimmingly, an online news website, recently compiled a list of how much it costs in each MLB stadium to propose. The highest is Dodger Stadium, where it's $75 for a message on the board, but $2,500 for the proposal to be shown on a video for the whole stadium to show. On the other end, the Pittsburgh Pirates' park, PNC Park, charges $38.50 for a message displayed on a board. "Of course, if you're feeling thrifty, you could always tuck a ring in your pocket, wait for a pitching change, then pop the question the old-fashioned way," it says on Swimmingly. "Here's hoping that - either way - you don't strike out." No matter the price, marriage is key to a happy life - especially at a young age. Charles Murray recently wrote for The Wall Street Journal that marrying young can lead to a great life, and it's something people should consider when building their worlds. "I'm not suggesting that you decide ahead of time that you will get married in your 20s," Murray wrote. "You've got to wait until the right person comes along. I'm just pointing out that you shouldn't exclude the possibility. If you wait until your 30s, your marriage is likely to be a merger. If you get married in your 20s, it is likely to be a startup."%3Cimg%20src%3D%22http%3A//beacon.deseretconnect.com/beacon.gif%3Fcid%3D158123%26pid%3D46%22%20/%3E