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Here Comes the Bride

Everyone loves a wedding. Or so it seems: On April 29, more than two billion people watched as Prince William married Kate Middleton. People might enjoy watching a wedding ceremony but what about paying for them? According to, the royal wedding cost an estimated $34 million. In comparison, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is $27,000.June is the most popular month for weddings, so this monthís Streetwise topic involves weddings and wedding budgets. Four people were asked the question, ìIf you could go back in time and take the amount budgeted for your wedding, would you spend it the same or do it differently?î Hereís what they had to say.

Phyllis Beals
If I could do it all over again, I wouldnít do a big wedding. I would love for me and my husband ñ love of my life and best friend Dana ñ to go to Vegas. I would take that money we would have saved on a smaller wedding and use it to gamble and go to shows in Vegas.

Brenda Collins
Yes, I would definitely do it the same. We just went to a justice of the peace. I think the money is better spent on starting your life together.

Jeanne Gibson
I would do it the same. I think our wedding cost about $400. Thatís pretty good for 33 years ago. I made my dress out of the same material as my sisterís prom dress so her dress would match mine, and she wouldnít have to go out and buy something. And then my husband and his best man just wore brown suits.

Melinda Smith
Colorado Springs
I think taking that money and using it for a good vacation would be better than spending it on a big wedding. A smaller wedding is more intimate. I would rather have a really expensive honeymoon than a big wedding. Most couples donít even have enough money left over for a honeymoon after a big wedding. Plus, big weddings are so stressful. Everyone may dream of that fairy-tale wedding, but itís not realistic. More young couples would be better starting off with a smaller wedding. You donít need to spend thousands of dollars.

WEDDING BUDGETSIn 2009, $28,385 was the average wedding budget in the United States (not including the honeymoon), reflecting less than a 5-percent decrease from the year before.
Category*Average cost 2009
Reception venue$12,838
Reception band$3,288
Reception DJ$892
Wedding/event planner$1,728
Wedding gown$1,134
Wedding cake$559
Ceremony musicians$451
Catering (cost per head)$63
Wedding day transportation$692
Rehearsal dinner$1,163
Engagement ring$5,847
*Respondents who hired professional vendor, purchased items, or had them professionally madeGENERAL WEDDING STATISTICS(Data typically does not change from year to year)Number of guests: 149 (nearly the same as 2008)Number of bridesmaids: fiveNumber of groomsmen: fiveLength of engagement: 13.4 monthsMost popular month to get engaged: December (16 percent)Most popular month to have a wedding: June (17 percent)Source:

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