(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Beach weddings in Southwest Florida really took a hit with Hurricane Ian. But they are coming back. However, when it comes to weddings in Florida, the beach isn’t the favorite anyway. Although three of the top 10 wedding destinations are in Florida, the best place to get married in the sunshine state, and really nationwide, is much further inland.

Anyone who’s ever organized a wedding knows all too well how difficult and time-consuming the process can be. It’s the reason many couples hire professional event planners to do the heavy lifting. And the cost only adds more stress, with the average couple shelling out around $28,000 for their big day.

In order to assist with the planning process, Wallet Hub compared more than 180 U.S. cities.  The goal, to find the cheapest and most convenient wedding destinations that also promise a memorable day. They examined each city across 26 key indicators of wedding-friendliness. These range from average wedding cost to venues and event spaces per capita to hotel availability.

So you want to get married in Florida. Or maybe a different state. Here’s how the rankings were done. The cities were measured in three key dimensions: 1) Costs, 2) Facilities & Services and 3) Activities & Attractions. These are measured across the 150 most populated U.S. cities. That’s why you won’t see Naples or Estero listed here. I’ll go to any wedding at Coconut Point Hyatt. And I’m a great gift giver. Send the invite to the station.

We’ll get into the full methodology later. Let’s start with another one of those fun charts.

  • Main Findings

    Source: WalletHub
  • Best Places to Get Married in the U.S.

    Overall Rank  City Total Score  Costs  Facilities & Services  Activities & Attractions 
    1 Orlando, FL 72.84 56 2 6
    2 Las Vegas, NV 68.08 106 4 1
    3 Tulsa, OK 66.58 1 85 43
    4 Tampa, FL 66.57 39 12 11
    5 Atlanta, GA 65.61 86 3 13
    6 Miami, FL 65.31 111 1 9
    7 Knoxville, TN 63.07 15 56 62
    8 El Paso, TX 62.48 11 107 46
    9 New Orleans, LA 61.62 67 32 10
    10 Boise, ID 61.35 12 86 61
    11 Oklahoma City, OK 61.15 19 81 32
    12 Tucson, AZ 60.86 42 58 19
    13 Columbia, SC 60.80 25 39 57
    14 St. Louis, MO 60.75 53 17 31
    15 Cincinnati, OH 60.47 48 25 33
    16 Chicago, IL 60.13 104 22 5
    17 Charleston, WV 60.01 14 127 72
    18 Wichita, KS 59.82 2 114 123
    19 Richmond, VA 59.51 41 26 56
    20 Charlotte, NC 59.11 43 41 42
    21 Nashville, TN 58.83 52 42 29
    22 Augusta, GA 58.82 6 126 120
    23 Albuquerque, NM 58.75 35 97 25
    24 Las Cruces, NM 58.73 7 170 97
    25 Springfield, MO 58.71 17 89 110
    26 Louisville, KY 58.48 27 71 54
    27 Shreveport, LA 58.28 5 122 142
    28 Charleston, SC 58.26 84 35 17
    29 San Antonio, TX 58.11 61 44 27
    30 Pittsburgh, PA 58.11 64 31 38
    31 Amarillo, TX 57.89 13 147 85
    32 St. Petersburg, FL 57.59 33 94 40
    33 Fort Lauderdale, FL 57.53 96 10 26
    34 Houston, TX 57.42 103 15 21
    35 Birmingham, AL 57.41 24 51 107
    36 Denver, CO 56.76 110 14 20
    37 Phoenix, AZ 56.54 97 24 23
    38 Salt Lake City, UT 56.38 100 7 35
    39 Kansas City, MO 56.35 45 66 53
    40 Rapid City, SD 56.24 18 119 84
    41 Huntington, WV 56.23 4 180 161
    42 Brownsville, TX 56.17 3 181 164
    43 Reno, NV 56.05 71 47 36
    44 Grand Rapids, MI 55.95 36 52 80
    45 Fort Smith, AR 55.86 8 174 152
    46 Chattanooga, TN 55.82 28 75 91
    47 Columbus, GA 55.74 29 138 64
    48 Fayetteville, NC 55.70 16 131 128
    49 Portland, OR 55.52 116 18 15
    50 Laredo, TX 55.43 9 179 132
    51 Los Angeles, CA 55.31 158 8 2
    52 Scottsdale, AZ 55.01 108 28 24
    53 Lubbock, TX 55.00 20 112 130
    54 Baton Rouge, LA 54.91 46 57 76
    55 Memphis, TN 54.78 30 102 94
    56 Raleigh, NC 54.76 66 55 50
    57 Fort Wayne, IN 54.30 10 137 165
    58 Jacksonville, FL 54.08 68 64 49
    59 Dallas, TX 53.90 107 23 34
    60 San Diego, CA 53.87 157 6 7
    61 Columbus, OH 53.56 76 65 45
    62 San Francisco, CA 53.54 170 5 3
    63 Fresno, CA 53.53 54 68 65
    64 Montgomery, AL 53.46 22 129 143
    65 Billings, MT 53.01 31 145 95
    66 Minneapolis, MN 53.01 88 50 41
    67 Bakersfield, CA 52.87 72 73 58
    68 Indianapolis, IN 52.40 82 63 55
    69 Mobile, AL 52.38 40 104 106
    70 Des Moines, IA 52.25 34 125 116
    71 Omaha, NE 52.24 73 92 60
    72 Tallahassee, FL 51.95 47 101 103
    73 Fort Worth, TX 51.92 90 61 44
    74 Toledo, OH 51.71 21 154 147
    75 Missoula, MT 51.70 37 118 105
    76 Sacramento, CA 51.62 137 9 22
    77 Milwaukee, WI 51.41 85 80 51
    78 Lincoln, NE 51.32 60 111 78
    79 Gulfport, MS 51.25 23 173 139
    80 Tempe, AZ 51.21 114 40 37
    81 Colorado Springs, CO 50.99 99 62 39
    82 Austin, TX 50.94 145 11 14
    83 Corpus Christi, TX 50.90 49 140 101
    84 Spokane, WA 50.88 69 95 79
    85 Port St. Lucie, FL 50.83 26 158 163
    86 Overland Park, KS 50.71 51 121 102
    87 Seattle, WA 50.53 149 16 12
    88 Detroit, MI 50.41 78 91 74
    89 Durham, NC 50.37 70 88 99
    90 Cape Coral, FL 50.11 38 172 114
    91 Glendale, AZ 49.84 58 143 75
    92 Cedar Rapids, IA 49.75 32 133 160
    93 Washington, DC 49.52 147 20 16
    94 Chandler, AZ 49.39 77 115 68
    95 Casper, WY 49.22 57 167 127
    96 Huntsville, AL 49.07 65 117 112
    97 Greensboro, NC 48.95 79 90 83
    98 Jackson, MS 48.90 50 149 141
    99 Little Rock, AR 48.71 59 113 136
    100 Virginia Beach, VA 48.48 94 74 66
    101 Bismarck, ND 48.28 44 168 170
    102 Lexington-Fayette, KY 48.24 81 116 89
    103 Gilbert, AZ 48.03 62 124 122
    104 Philadelphia, PA 47.94 138 49 18
    105 Plano, TX 47.92 93 72 81
    106 Fargo, ND 47.80 74 141 126
    107 Sioux Falls, SD 47.24 75 150 125
    108 Akron, OH 47.23 55 128 155
    109 Rochester, NY 47.02 115 54 69
    110 Cleveland, OH 46.85 119 53 67
    111 Anaheim, CA 46.79 146 27 30
    112 Vancouver, WA 46.22 102 59 117
    113 Mesa, AZ 45.94 98 108 77
    114 Modesto, CA 45.86 105 99 87
    115 Portland, ME 45.64 126 87 48
    116 Norfolk, VA 45.57 91 130 100
    117 Hialeah, FL 45.48 92 82 138
    118 Buffalo, NY 45.41 118 78 71
    119 New York, NY 45.41 175 29 4
    120 Salem, OR 45.00 80 135 145
    121 Chesapeake, VA 44.97 83 153 148
    122 Newport News, VA 44.18 63 160 137
    123 Arlington, TX 44.07 117 105 90
    124 Irving, TX 44.00 109 84 134
    125 Cheyenne, WY 43.63 87 166 172
    126 Baltimore, MD 42.64 141 60 59
    127 Honolulu, HI 42.54 180 13 8
    128 Pembroke Pines, FL 42.30 112 110 146
    129 Winston-Salem, NC 42.16 113 142 124
    130 North Las Vegas, NV 42.10 120 45 153
    131 Glendale, CA 41.93 159 19 73
    132 St. Paul, MN 41.89 124 106 113
    133 Madison, WI 41.81 129 109 70
    134 Aurora, CO 41.68 123 100 121
    135 Nampa, ID 41.48 95 175 159
    136 Long Beach, CA 41.23 163 33 52
    137 Stockton, CA 41.18 122 136 108
    138 Garden Grove, CA 40.73 132 93 82
    139 Santa Ana, CA 40.48 148 48 93
    140 Garland, TX 40.13 101 161 171
    141 West Valley City, UT 40.06 89 177 169
    142 Henderson, NV 39.62 127 169 88
    143 Riverside, CA 39.11 152 46 109
    144 San Jose, CA 38.95 173 30 47
    145 Oceanside, CA 38.95 139 77 119
    146 Anchorage, AK 38.75 135 134 96
    147 Boston, MA 38.06 177 37 28
    148 Rancho Cucamonga, CA 38.06 128 96 167
    149 Aurora, IL 38.01 130 151 133
    150 Peoria, AZ 36.98 131 159 140
    151 Ontario, CA 36.35 144 98 150
    152 Columbia, MD 36.25 150 152 86
    153 Grand Prairie, TX 35.97 121 171 162
    154 San Bernardino, CA 35.88 143 120 131
    155 Huntington Beach, CA 35.76 167 43 98
    156 Providence, RI 35.53 153 123 111
    157 Burlington, VT 35.43 136 162 158
    158 Irvine, CA 35.23 174 36 92
    159 Jersey City, NJ 35.16 164 67 118
    160 Wilmington, DE 35.15 172 38 104
    161 Nashua, NH 34.91 133 163 166
    162 Fontana, CA 34.79 142 132 168
    163 Oakland, CA 34.52 179 34 63
    164 Lewiston, ME 34.24 134 182 173
    165 Tacoma, WA 34.15 165 69 129
    166 Juneau, AK 34.14 140 176 174
    167 Santa Clarita, CA 34.05 155 83 157
    168 Dover, DE 33.97 125 144 180
    169 Chula Vista, CA 33.89 161 79 149
    170 Manchester, NH 33.61 151 157 135
    171 Santa Rosa, CA 33.02 171 70 115
    172 Fremont, CA 31.09 168 76 151
    173 Newark, NJ 30.79 169 103 144
    174 Moreno Valley, CA 30.69 154 139 175
    175 Worcester, MA 29.79 160 155 176
    176 New Haven, CT 29.78 166 164 156
    177 Warwick, RI 29.32 156 146 179
    178 Yonkers, NY 29.18 176 21 182
    179 South Burlington, VT 27.13 162 156 181
    180 Oxnard, CA 25.64 178 148 154
    181 Bridgeport, CT 18.61 181 165 177
    182 Pearl City, HI 8.83 182 178 178
  • Note: With the exception of “Total Score,” all of the columns in the table above depict the relative rank of that city, where a rank of 1 represents the best conditions for that metric category.

  • Avg. Wedding Cost

    Lowest
    • 1. Fort Smith, AR
    • 2. Charleston, WV
    • 3. Brownsville, TX
    • 4. Huntington, WV
    • 5. Lubbock, TX
    Avg. Wedding Cost
    Highest
    • T-178. San Francisco, CA
    • T-178. Oakland, CA
    • T-178. Fremont, CA
    • T-181. Honolulu, HI
    • T-181. Pearl City, HI
  • Wedding Chapels & Churches per Capita

    Most
    • T-1. Wilmington, DE
    • T-1. Columbia, SC
    • 3. Charleston, WV
    • 4. Knoxville, TN
    • 5. Salt Lake City, UT
    Wedding Chapels & Churches per Capita
    Fewest
    • 178. Henderson, NV
    • 179. Pembroke Pines, FL
    • 180. Pearl City, HI
    • 181. South Burlington, VT
    • 182. West Valley City, UT
  • Event Planners per Capita

    Most
    • T-1. Washington, DC
    • T-1. Denver, CO
    • T-1. Aurora, CO
    • T-1. Salt Lake City, UT
    • T-1. West Valley City, UT
    Event Planners per Capita
    Fewest
    • 171. Anchorage, AK
    • 172. Stockton, CA
    • 173. Huntington, WV
    • 174. Baton Rouge, LA
    • 175. Fayetteville, NC
  • Bridal Shops per Capita

    Most
    • T-1. Los Angeles, CA
    • T-1. Miami, FL
    • T-1. New York, NY
    • 4. Chicago, IL
    • 5. Houston, TX
    Bridal Shops per Capita
    Fewest
    • 177. Pearl City, HI
    • 178. Nampa, ID
    • 179. Las Cruces, NM
    • 180. Bridgeport, CT
    • 181. Grand Prairie, TX
  • Flower Shops per Capita

    Most
    • T-1. Orlando, FL
    • T-1. Honolulu, HI
    • 3. St. Louis, MO
    • 4. Miami, FL
    • 5. Pittsburgh, PA
    Flower Shops per Capita
    Fewest
    • 178. South Burlington, VT
    • 179. Grand Prairie, TX
    • 180. Peoria, AZ
    • 181. Pearl City, HI
    • 182. West Valley City, UT
  • Attractions

    Most
    • T-1. New York, NY
    • T-1. Los Angeles, CA
    • T-1. Las Vegas, NV
    • T-1. Chicago, IL
    • 5. San Francisco, CA
    Attractions
    Fewest
    • T-178. Fontana, CA
    • T-178. Garden Grove, CA
    • T-178. Pearl City, HI
    • 181. West Valley City, UT
    • 182. Moreno Valley, CA
  • Weather

    Best
    • 1. Glendale, CA
    • 2. Riverside, CA
    • 3. Bakersfield, CA
    • 4. Scottsdale, AZ
    • 5. Henderson, NV
    Weather
    Worst
    • T-178. Providence, RI
    • T-178. Warwick, RI
    • 180. Rochester, NY
    • 181. Buffalo, NY
    • 182. Juneau, AK
  • Methodology

    In order to identify the best and worst cities in which to tie the knot, WalletHub compared 182 cities — including the 150 most populated U.S. cities, plus at least two of the most populated cities in each state — across three key dimensions: 1) Costs, 2) Facilities & Services and 3) Activities & Attractions.

    We examined those dimensions using 26 relevant metrics, which are listed below with their corresponding weights. Each metric was graded on a 100-point scale, with a score of 100 representing the most favorable conditions for weddings. For metrics marked with an asterisk (*), we used the square root of the population to calculate the population size in order to avoid overcompensating for minor differences across cities.

    We then determined each city’s weighted average across all metrics to calculate its overall score and used the resulting scores to rank-order our sample.

  • Costs – Total Points: 60

    • Average Wedding Cost: Triple Weight (~30.00 Points)
    • Price of a Three-Star Hotel Room: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
    • Restaurant-Meal Costs: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
      Note: “Restaurant Meal” refers to a three-course meal for two.
    • Prevalence of Affordable Wedding Logistics: Full Weight (~10.00 Points)
      Note: This metric measures the prevalence of affordable restaurants and wedding venues with ratings of at least 4.5 stars.
  • Facilities & Services – Total Points: 20

    • Wedding Chapels & Churches per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Venues & Event Spaces per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Party-Equipment Rentals per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Photo Booth Rentals per Capita*: Half Weight (~0.61 Points)
    • Event Planners per Capita: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Videographers & Photographers per Capita: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Musicians & DJs per Capita: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Makeup Artists & Hair Salons per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Bridal Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Flower & Gift Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Limousine Rentals per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Hotels per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Restaurants & Bars per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Catering Companies per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Bartenders per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Floral Designers per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
    • Cake Shops per Capita*: Full Weight (~1.21 Points)
  • Activities & Attractions – Total Points: 20

    • Number of Attractions: Double Weight (~6.67 Points)
    • Popularity as a Travel Destination: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
    • Foodie-Friendliness: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Best & Worst Foodie Cities” ranking.
    • Weather: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Cities with the Best & Worst Weather” ranking.
    • Amusement & Entertainment: Full Weight (~3.33 Points)
      Note: This metric is based on WalletHub’s “Most Fun Cities in America” ranking.
  • Sources: Data used to create this ranking were collected from the U.S. Census Bureau, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Wedding Report, Kayak.com, Numbeo, TripAdvisor, Travbuddy.com, Yelp and WalletHub research.

Sign me up for the ESPN Southwest Florida email newsletter!

You love listening to ESPN Southwest Florida, now make sure you’re getting all the extra perks. Sign up today to be an ESPN Southwest Florida Insider!

*
*
By clicking "Subscribe" I agree to the website's terms of Service and Privacy Policy. I understand I can unsubscribe at any time.