What do you suppose was the cost of the average American wedding in 2007? How does $28,732 grab you? According to the Wedding Report, a research firm that compiles these statistics, a drop is actually forecast for 2008. This does, after all, seem to be a recession so Americans are tightening our notoriously extended belts. It appears that we will actually spend $28 less this year! How will we survive?

$28,732. What could most young couples do with that much money? It's the down payment on a house. It's an invested cushion for financial security. Are average Americans really spending that much money for gowns and food and flowers? When did we become convinced that we're all aristocracy?

There have been some smart changes taking place in wedding planning recently. Some couples are opting for Friday or Sunday weddings instead of prime time and prime cost Saturday nights. Friends invited to be bridesmaids (an expense that adds up for a popular single working young woman) have actually been heard to say, "I'm so sorry but I can't manage it (without opening another credit card account)."

Like so many other things, you have a lot of choices. This is especially so if you decide right from the beginning not to try to keep up with anyone else - just to do it your own way and make it beautiful. There is so much to choose from in our still extravagantly wealthy country. As of this Sunday, eBay listed 103,602 items under, "wedding" and 16,522 under "wedding and party supplies" alone. Do the research.

Start with your public library, particularly if you have inter-library loan.


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