Weddings by the Numbers

* There are 2 1/2 million weddings in the United States each year.

* One in four men proposes to his girlfriend during the December holidays.

* Saturday is the most popular day for a wedding ceremony.

* The most common months to get married are June and August (11% each). The least common month: January (4 1/2%). Since 1976, October weddings have increased 26%; June nuptials have dropped 4%. The reasons? Cheaper travel rates and autumn weather.


* The median age at first marriage has increased during the past three decades: In 1965, grooms were 22.8 years old, and brides were 20.6. In 1997: Grooms were 27.7 and brides 25.7.

* The number of never-married adults has more than doubled since 1970. In 1996, 45 million adults age 18 and older had never been married, compared with 21 1/2 million in 1970.

* The majority of adults in unmarried-couple households are younger than 35 and have never been married.

* Breaks with tradition: 41% of today’s couples live together before marriage and 22% write their own vows.

* Traditions that still stand: Fathers walk their daughters down the aisle 78% of the time; brides toss bouquets 87%; men jump for garters 80%; the ceremony occurs in a church 72%.

* About 40% of all weddings are a remarriage.

* 68% of second-time brides are older than 30 and have a median household income of more than $47,450. About 65% of remarriages involve children from prior marriages.

* The average cost of a formal wedding with 175 guests is $17,634. Only 19% of weddings are financed by the father of the bride; 27% of brides and grooms pay for the event themselves; 53% are paid for by both sets of parents and the couple.

* 77% of those who responded to a Bride’s Magazine survey felt that it was important that their wedding was different from others they had attended.

* The average couple receives 171 wedding gifts, each valued between $70 and $100. The majority are home related.

* The number of divorced couples has more than quadrupled, from 4.3 million in 1970 to 18.3 million in 1996. Divorced couples represent 10% of adults. About 75% of divorced people remarry, and 60% of remarriages end in divorce.

Sources: Bride Again magazine; U.S. Census; National Center for Health Statistics; Stepfamily Assn. of America; American Demographics magazine; Bride’s magazine; Modern Bride magazine; the Bedford Group.

Bridal Show

The U.S. Postal Service is dedicating a new Love stamp and matching envelopes at the Bridal Fantasy show Sunday at the Disneyland Hotel’s Exhibit Hall.

Love: Victorian Heart postage stamps come in 33-cent and 55-cent denominations.

The show, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., will feature more than 150 exhibitors, 1,000 bridal gowns and two fashion shows (noon and 2:30 p.m.).

Disneyland Hotel, 1150 W. Cerritos Ave., Anaheim. $10. (800) 544-EXPO.