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Weddings have always been big business, but I was shocked to see how expensive they’ve become in the 17 years since my wife and I got married.
According to the annual Real Weddings Study, the average wedding in the United States now costs $28,427 and that doesn’t even count the honeymoon.
Wait, it gets worse.
Among the more than 17,500 surveyed brides who got married in 2012, the average amount paid for a wedding dress was $1,211. On average they also spent $204 per wedding guest and dropped $12,905 for the reception venue.
There are many ways to rein in wedding-related costs while still having a memorable event.
Here are a few suggestions:
Create a budget. Unless you’re a professional wedding planner, you’ll probably be floored by how many expenses weddings can amass, including: wedding and engagement rings, invitations, postage, marriage license, clergy and location fees, flowers, bridal gown and groom’s tuxedo, rehearsal dinner and reception, photography, catering, disc jockey or band, limousine, parking attendants, tips, gifts for wedding participants and honeymoon expenses.
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