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The skyrocketing cost of U.S. weddings: By the numbers
Here comes the bride, there goes your savings. For the first time since 2008, wedding inflation is back in vogue
 
Wedding costs are up, especially in Manhattan where the average nuptials set families back $65,824.
Wedding costs are up, especially in Manhattan where the average nuptials set families back $65,824.
Johannes Kroemer/Corbis

Here's another sign that the economy is slowly shaking off its sluggishness: In 2011, American brides and grooms shelled out more to get married than they have since the Great Recession struck in 2008, according to a new survey. "It probably has to do with attitudes toward economic recovery," says Carley Roney at The Knot, which helped conduct the research. When you factor in fees for wedding venues, a planner, a band or DJ, a photographer, flowers, cake, musicians, transportation, the engagement ring, the dress, and the rehearsal dinner, the average wedding cost more than $27,000 last year. How? Here are some key numbers:

$27,021
Average cost of a wedding in the U.S. last year

140
Average number of guests

$196
Cost per guest

$65,824
Average cost of a wedding in Manhattan 

$40,356
Average cost of a wedding in New York's outer boroughs

$14,203
Average cost of a wedding in West Virginia 

$23,330
Average cost of a wedding in Canada

$1,121
Average cost of the wedding gown 

$2,403
Average cost of a Manhattan bride's dress

$745
Average cost of wedding gowns in North and South Dakota 

$12,116
Average cost of wedding venue or reception hall

$5,130
Average cost of the engagement ring

48
Percent of Hawaii weddings described as "casual" — the highest in the U.S. 

37
Percent of Long Island weddings deemed black-tie — the highest in the U.S.

29
Percent of brides who said the economy factored into their wedding plans. 

34
Percent of brides who said the economy affected their plans in 2009. 

75
Percent of couples who paid for at least part of their own wedding 

16
Percent of brides who started planning their wedding before they got engaged 

18,000
Brides who participated in the survey, by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com 

29
Average age of the brides 

4-5
Average number of bridesmaids

Sources: ABC News, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, Reuters

 

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