The I-do blues
Throwing a wedding should be about finding true love, not losing your shirt.
By Jessica Seid, CNNMoney staff writer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - With wedding costs escalating, couple are finding it increasingly difficult to keep a tight grip on their wallet without losing their minds.

Over the last fifteen years, the average cost of a wedding has jumped 73 percent to $26,327, according to a study done by the Condé Nast Bridal Group.

Weddings cost an average of nearly $27,000, and many couple are opting to spend much, much more.
Weddings cost an average of nearly $27,000, and many couple are opting to spend much, much more.

With more brides and grooms paying for their wedding themselves, going over budget is as common in the wedding industry as cake. Couples, on average, spend 45 percent more than they had planned on their big day, the survey said.

Ah, if only your pockets were as deep as your love.

But before you and your betrothed become another statistic, you can follow these tips from the WeddingChannel.com to help make your wedding day great, no matter what the size of your budget.

Cut your guest list. The easiest way to control your budget is by limiting the number of people invited. Keep in mind that single guests who aren't in a serious relationships can be invited solo and you don't have to invite anyone who you haven't spent time with in the last five years.

Have your wedding "off-season." Nearly 70 percent of all weddings take place between May and October. You may be able to score better deals on everything from flowers to limousines if you schedule your wedding in one of the "off season" months. But avoid major holidays when hotels, caterers and bands may be busy with other parties.

Think mimosas. A brunch could cost substantially less than dinner fare. Also, there will probably be far less alcohol poured at lunchtime and less drinking means less money (and not necessarily less fun).

Consider (gasp) "off the rack." Bridal gowns aren't the only white dresses in the world. As with everything else, once you tack the word "wedding" on, prices will escalate. You may be able to find a perfect wedding dress in the women's evening wear section of a department store. Also, consider scoring a dress on eBay; you will still have to have it cleaned and altered but you could literally save thousands.

Irises are for Spring. To save on cost, select flowers that are in season and available locally.

Keep it in the family. Don't be afraid to let your family and friends help. They may be able to offer their own skills to help you save money or they may have some suggestions on how find a great deal.

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But on the flipside, married individuals have almost double the net worth of those that are divorced or single, click here for more.

For more tips on cutting the bridal budget, click hereTop of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.