Newlyweds are still saying "I do" to big wedding spending despite the bad economy.
The newly betrothed spent an average of $25,500 to $27,000 on their big day last year, not much less than the $28,000 they shelled out in 2007, according to a new report.
Spending on gowns, venues, food and, yes, liquor, all have held fairly closely to pre-Great Recession levels, according to the analysis by ConvergEx Group in New York. (The report cites several sources for its data, including theweddingreport.com.)
"Love, apparently, conquers all – even tough economic times," according to the report.
That's not to say that couples aren't cutting back on some items. They're earmarking less for rehearsal dinners, forgoing bands (opting for lower-cost DJs instead) and winnowing the number of guests.
And the high cost of the average ceremony may be masking some emerging trends in weddings.
The report points out that the number of U.S. marriages continues to drop, to 2.06 million last year from 2.21 million in 2007. That's due partly to sociological factors but also may reflect couples postponing the big day for financial reasons.
Also, parents, relatives and friends are chipping in more toward wedding costs, with 51% of couples acknowledging assistance from mom and dad (or their in-laws), according to theweddingreport.com.
"While the dress, the cake and the bar always may be lavish, don't expect a nice party favor at the end," according to ConvergEx. "In fact, you might not expect to get an invite at all."