Weddings are a happy event, a celebration of love, an exchanging of vows and a couple's major milestone. They can also be very, very expensive.
To find out just how much couples are spending on their big day, TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com surveyed more than 17,500 U.S. brides who got married in 2012 and released the results in their annual Real Weddings Study.
What they found is that the average wedding budget (excluding honeymoon) comes out to $28,427. But, depending on where you're planning to say "I do," that average can go much higher (like Manhattan, where $76,678 is spent on average) or lower (like Alaska, the least expensive place to get married, per the study, with an average budget of $15,504).
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"In 2011, budgets increased for the first time since the economic downturn, and this past year, in 2012, we saw that wedding budgets are continuing to rise even more and to an all-time high since 2008," said Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot. "Couples are increasingly less concerned with the economy and are comfortable investing more than ever in the once-in-a-lifetime experience of planning their wedding and making it a fabulous experience for their guests."
Keep clicking to see what average wedding costs (like the venue, dress and engagement ring) come out to nationwide, per the study's findings, and then compare those to the average costs in each of the top 10 most expensive areas of the country to tie the knot.