According to the 2011 American Wedding Study, conducted by Brides magazine, the average wedding cost is down more than 5% from $28,082 in 2009, but up $8,000 from 2002.
The statistics are based of the responses of almost 3,000 women, 18 and older, who read Brides magazine or visited their Web site. The women were also married or engaged within the year. So while the survey wasn't exactly scientific, the figures are still eye-popping.
The recent recession has forced many brides and grooms to take a look at their finances and scale back their wedding celebrations. Couples are also finding ways to break tradition and cut costs, such as sending evites and having a cocktail hour or hors d’oeuvres instead of a sit-down dinner.
Even the cost of bling is down: the average cost of an engagement ring is down 27%, to $4,647. The average wedding dress cost $1,289, up 20 percent from 2009. On the opposite end of the spectrum, the average bridesmaids dress cost $134.
I'm sorry, but I just can't get over the sticker shock. Guys, the average wedding costs more than my tuition and room & board for a semester.