Recession Squeezing Romance From Weddings

Jeff Scrivner and Keeva Moye, who are keeping to a $5,000 budget for their wedding.
From the gowns and the tuxes to the cake, a couple's wedding is often a fantasy fulfilled - but not this wedding season.

For couples like Keeva Moye and Jeff Scrivner, the recession is squeezing out the romance, reports CBS News correspondent Thalia Assuras.

"Here we are all blissfully happy, wanting to get married, and going, um, I don't have as much as I thought I did," said Moye.

Tight savings and a short period of unemployment have forced them to stick to a $5,000 budget, honeymoon included. So, no band. Fewer guests.

"We wanted between 100 and 150, but we've cut back to 75," Moye said.

Add to that plenty of bargain hunting.

"It retailed for a $1,000 and I got it online for $299 if you can believe that," Moye said.

Moye and Scrivner are not alone.

"Are brides cutting back?" Assuras asked.

"They're definitely cutting back," said Sharon Lewis, a wedding planner. "They're cutting back in so many different ways on so many different services."

Lewis says attendance at her shows has shrunk, and research shows a quarter of brides-to-be plan to slash their budgets in half. From a peak of just under $29,000 in 2007, the average wedding tab is just $19,000 this year, a more than 30 percent drop.

"We've cut our price points from the year prior by about 30 percent," said high-end designer Vera Wang.

Wang says her brides usually come to her right after getting a ring - but not anymore. They are shopping around instead, and many are spending less.

"One would think that maybe bridal would be the last to suffer but it really has suffered I think for the whole industry," Wang said.

Still Moye is looking past the wedding planning woes and finding blessings in a smaller bash.

"What's more important is saving that money to make sure our marriage lasts," Moye said.

A sure sign that love can be recession proof.