June is traditionally the busiest month of the year in the U.S. for weddings, although the autumn months are giving it a run for its money.
If you're preparing for marriage, there's no avoiding the soaring expense involved in tying the knot: According to research group IBISWorld, the U.S. wedding service industry brings in $52 billion annually. And, in another sign of economic recovery, that industry has been booming in recent years. In March, a survey by wedding-planning website TheKnot.com found that wedding budgets had reached all-time highs: The average wedding now comes in at $29,858. And those numbers don't count honeymoon expenses.
"Wedding budgets have been increasing steadily since the economic downturn of 2008, and in 2013 couples spent a record high average of nearly $30,000," Carley Roney, cofounder of TheKnot, said in a press statement.
"Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests," she added, "plus they're doing so in a modern way, by planning from their smartphones, publicizing details on social media and more."
Weddings have become such productions, with huge investments needed in time, money and logistics, that you can even buy insurance to protect your nuptials. TheKnot reports a basic wedding insurance policy -- covering losses like clothing, photos, videos, presents, wedding rings and venue deposits -- costs between $155 and $550, depending on the amount of coverage desired. General liability insurance, covering up to $1 million in accidents, goes for around $185.
And it appears those wedding policies can come in handy. According to an annual analysis of wedding-related insurance claims by Travelers (TRV), 36 percent of claims filed in 2013 involved issues with wedding vendors and venues.
The most common complaints, according to the study, involved "videographers and limo providers not showing up, caterers going out of business and event facilities closing."
Nearly one-fifth of wedding-related insurance claims dealt with property, artwork and/or landscape damage at the wedding venue, while weather-related issues made up 23 percent of those losses filed. Sickness and injury to one member of the wedding couple or their parents accounted for 16 percent of claims.
While wedding insurance can be pretty comprehensive regarding coverage, there's one thing it doesn't cover, according to TheKnot -- cold feet. Don't try submitting a claim for a last-minute change-of-heart by your would-be spouse.