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:
Average cost of a wedding in the U.S. last year
Average number of guests
Cost per guest
Average cost of a wedding in Manhattan
Average cost of a wedding in New York's outer boroughs
Average cost of a wedding in West Virginia
Average cost of a wedding in Canada
Average cost of the wedding gown
Average cost of a Manhattan bride's dress
Average cost of wedding gowns in North and South Dakota
Average cost of wedding venue or reception hall
Average cost of the engagement ring
Percent of Hawaii weddings described as "casual" — the highest in the U.S.
Percent of Long Island weddings deemed black-tie — the highest in the U.S.
Percent of brides who said the economy factored into their wedding plans.
Percent of brides who said the economy affected their plans in 2009.
Percent of couples who paid for at least part of their own wedding
Percent of brides who started planning their wedding before they got engaged
Brides who participated in the survey, by TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com
Average age of the brides
Average number of bridesmaids
Sources: ABC News, Globe & Mail, New York Daily News, Reuters