Wedding $eason
Bridal spending has increased 100% over last 15 years, the average cost of a wedding now tops $27,000.

NEW YORK ( - The average amount spent on weddings has increased to $27,852, up nearly 100 percent since 1990, and the number of weddings per year has increased by 200,000 during that time, according to a new study.

Since 2002 nearly every wedding expense has increased by over 20 percent. This includes the bride's and groom's attire (up 30 percent), engagement rings (up 25 percent) and a 60 percent increase in the cost of the wedding band, according to the Condé Nast Bridal Group.

Up to 36 percent of couples end up spending more than they had planned on their big day.
Up to 36 percent of couples end up spending more than they had planned on their big day.

The average altar-bound woman is now 27 years old, her fiancé is 29, they have an estimated household income of $74,000, will be engaged for a period of 14 months, and their wedding will have 165 guests, the study said.

Despite cost increases and a significant delay in taking the plunge, 2.3 million Americans will get married in 2006. There will be 44,230 weddings every weekend and there will be 23 million bridesmaids and groomsmen and 380 million wedding guests over the course of the year.

Which means, chances are you are either going to a wedding or getting married this year.

About 16 percent of all couples are choosing to have a destination wedding -- a 400 percent increase in the last 10 years. But couples who opt for intimate destination weddings still spend an average of $25,806 with 63 guests attending.

"The wedding industry is not only vital but is in fact thriving" Daniel Lagani, vice president and publisher of The Condé Nast Bridal Group, said in a statement.

The winter holidays are still the most popular time to get engaged, with 15 percent of all proposals happening in the month of December.

Ninety-nine percent of brides said they were proposed to, 81 percent plan to take their husband's name after marriage and only 3 percent expect to sign a prenuptial agreement.

This year, only 30 percent of brides' parents will pay for the entire wedding as was once customary. Instead, 32 percent of brides and grooms will pay for their wedding themselves, and 15 percent of couples will foot the bill with the help of both sets of parents, the study said.

The Condé Nast Bridal Group, publishers of Brides, Modern Bride and Elegant Bride, surveyed 1,619 brides for the "American Wedding Study 2006."


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