Clipboard researched by Kathie Bozanich and Janice L. Jones / Los Angeles Times, Graphics by Doris Shields / Los Angeles Times

Although the number of marriages being performed in the county dipped in 1989 from the 1988 level, some couple was saying their "I do's" about once every 37 minutes last year. As anyone who has waltzed down the aisle can attest, a wedding can be a costly and time-consuming endeavor. How costly? Here is an accounting of three complete ceremonies (with honeymoon)--from the simple to the grand--based on estimates from local purveyors of such: A SIMPLE WEDDING

(based on a wedding party of six and about 50 guests) Ceremony Site: private home Reception Site: private home, with party rentals from Abbey Party Rents in Santa Ana. Five eight-foot tables, 50 white Samsonite chairs, five 12-foot tablecloths, 50 napkins, dinner plates, champagne glasses, water goblets and place settings of stainless steel silverware, one 20-foot-by-20-foot canopy Cost: $411.90 Marriage license: available at the county courthouse in Santa Ana Cost: 42 Blood tests: available through most doctors' offices and medical centers Cost: 25 Invitations: 50 plain border, thermographed invitations and reply cards with regular lettering from the Flower Wedding Line by Regency, available through A la Card in Costa Mesa (not including postage) Cost: 80 Caterer: potato, macaroni and fresh fruit salads, a lasagna side dish, cold cuts including roast beef, ham and turkey, two kinds of cheeses, rolls and butter and condiments, available through Party Pantry in Buena Park (including labor) Cost: 400 Cake: two-tier white cake with butter creme filling from Malinda's Makery in Cypress Cost: 50 Florist: one bridal bouquet, single roses for the bridesmaids, three boutonnieres, two arrangements for each side of the makeshift altar, fern and floral arrangement for staircase banister and floral cake top from Conroy's in Stanton Cost: 190 Photographer: up to five hours of work, 25 5x5 and three 8x10 photos, available through Turville Photography in Orange Cost: 510 Officiant: a local judge available through the county courthouse in Santa Ana Cost: 75 Wedding gown: a Lilioryoni gown at Hacienda Brides International in Santa Ana Cost: 300 Entertainment: disc jockey from American Bandstand in Huntington Beach for three hours Cost: 275 Groom's formal wear: a basic black tuxedo from Friar Tux Shop in Orange Cost: 39 Honeymoon: three days, two nights in San Diego at the Hotel del Coronado Cost: 225 TOTAL COST: $2,622.90 A MODERATE WEDDING

(based on a wedding party of 12 and about 150 guests) Ceremony Site: a community church, Irvine United Church of Christ, with fees for use of the church, a wedding consultant, approximate fees for the officiant and the organist Cost: $410 Reception Site: a buffet dinner in the Monaco Room at the Airporter Inn Hotel in Irvine, with hors d'oeuvres, six salads, two hot entrees, potatoes or rice, California-style mixed vegetables, hot rolls and butter, coffee, tea or milk, two liters of house wine per table (tables seat 10 people each), champagne for the toast, fresh fruit punch, the wedding cake, dance floor set-up, a no-host bar and a hotel suite for the bride and groom (price includes taxes and gratuities) Cost: 4,942.50 Marriage license: available at the county courthouse in Santa Ana Cost: 42 Blood tests: available through most doctors' offices and medical centers Cost: 25 Invitations: 125 flower-bordered, thermographed invitations, reception and reply cards with script lettering from Elegant Weddings, available through the Broadway in Huntington Beach (not including postage) Cost: 175 Florist: bridal bouquet with orchids and roses, bouquets with roses for the bridesmaids, two arrangements with gladiolus and other flowers for the altar, five corsages and 10 boutonnieres with roses, 10 centerpieces with carnations and daisies, one larger centerpiece with the same flowers for the head table, flowers for the cake table, a throw-away bouquet for the bride, pew bows and aisle runner for the church, available through Azar's Co. Irvine Florist and Gardens in Irvine Cost: 1,000 Photographer: five hours of work, with an album of 60 5x5 and five 8x10 photos from Westbrook Studio in Anaheim Cost: 800 Wedding gown: a Demetrios gown from Mary Me Bridals in Anaheim with an accompanying veil and pair of shoes (includes alterations and a garment bag) Cost: 915 Entertainment: four-piece band to play for fours hours, available through Entertainment Consultants in Costa Mesa Cost: 750 Groom's formal wear: a Christian Dior Silver Silhouette tuxedo available through Gary's Tux Shop in Mission Viejo Cost: 60 Transportation: a white limousine that seats six for three hours from Gold Coast Limousine in Costa Mesa (includes complimentary champagne) Cost: 125 Honeymoon: eight days, seven nights in Maui and Kauai, Hawaii (package includes air fare, rental car, hotel rooms and inter-island air transfers), available through Mesa Verde Travel in Costa Mesa Cost: 1,762 TOTAL COST: $11,006.50


(based on a wedding party of 16 and about 300 guests) Ceremony Site: the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, rental of the gazebo Cost: $1,500 Reception Site: also at the Ritz-Carlton in Laguna Niguel, a three-course dinner with choice of 25 salads, filet mignon, choice of 50 desserts, one hour of open bar, light hors d'oeuvres during the cocktail hour, wine during dinner, 100 bottles of the house champagne and use of the room from 6 p.m. to midnight Cost: 34,800 Marriage license: available at the county courthouse in Santa Ana Cost: 42 Blood tests: available through most doctors' offices and medical centers Cost: 25 Invitations: 225 oversized pearl brocade invitations with thermographed script lettering, custom-cut envelopes also of pearl brocade, includes reception and reply cards and the return address on the envelope, available through Champagne Invitations in Costa Mesa (not including postage) Cost: 2,270 Cake: A six-tier cake from C'est Si Bon in Corona del Mar, with a chocolate mocha cake, white and dark chocolate mousse filling, and white chocolate frosting Cost: 775.50 Florist: flowers from Chris Lindsay Designs of Costa Mesa. A bridal bouquet of lilies-of-the-valley, roses, fresias and orchids, bridesmaids' bouquets of lilies and roses, boutonnieres and corsages of roses, lilies and fresias, gazebo decorated with the same flowers, with greenery around its four arches, free-standing arrangements down the aisle, 10-foot columns around the reception room with arrangements of roses, lilies-of-the-valley, orchids and imported tulips, lilacs, and peonies, tall centerpieces with the same flowers as column arrangements, with three such centerpieces strung together for the oval head table, also the same flowers around and on the cake, with swags of garlands and tulle on an arbor over the cake, and flowers sent to the rooms of the guests staying at the hotel Cost: 15,000 Photographer: a 16x20 portrait of the couple for the entrance to the reception, full coverage of the preparations, ceremony and reception with no time limit, 28 8x10 and 100 5x5 photos in an album, two parents' albums with three 8x10 and 40 5x5 photos, available through Cameo House in Newport Beach Cost: 2,140 Videographer: two video cameras for five hours, with editing, from Coast Photography in San Clemente Cost: 800 Officiant: a local judge available through the county courthouse in Santa Ana Cost: 75 Wedding gown: a Galena gown from Mon Amie Bridal in Costa Mesa, with accompanying veil, undergarments, purse, shoes, panty hose and garment bag Cost: 3,710 Entertainment: a harpist for the time leading up to the ceremony, a vocalist for the ceremony itself, accompanied by a string quartet, the string quartet would then perform during the dinner hour of the reception, a 16-piece band with two singers that play big band music would then take over for the dancing, all available through Champagne Taste in Anaheim Cost: 2,900 Groom's formal wear: a Henry Grethel black tuxedo with shawl collar from Phelps Formal Wear in Newport Beach Cost: 67.50 Transportation: white stretch limousine with cellular phone, television, stereo and compact disc player, complimentary bar, with eight hours of services, from Ritz Limousine in Fullerton Cost: 416.25 Honeymoon: a 24-day tour of 10 non-Eastern bloc European countries, with stops in France, Great Britain, Spain and West Germany among others (price includes air fare and guided tours), available through Going Places Travel in Newport Beach Cost: 10,000 TOTAL COST: $74,521.25 NUMBER OF MARRIAGES 1986: 13,905 1988: 14,711 1989: 14,446 Source: Orange County clerk's office

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