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Cost of Weddings Declining; Couples Are Still Going Over Budget

Altrendo images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While $27,000 can buy a nice car or be used as a down payment on a house, newlyweds in the U.S. would sooner spend it on their special day.

Since you only get married once -- well, that’s the general intention, at least -- no one can really blame couples for spending a small fortune on their wedding and reception.

Brides magazine in its annual survey says that the average cost of a wedding is now $26,989, which is down more than a grand from the 2008 peak of $28,082. However, David Jones, president of the Association of Independent Consumer Credit Counseling Agencies, thinks that couples could be a lot more frugal if they weren’t brainwashed by friends, family and fantasies of celebrity weddings.

The Brides survey, conducted in May with over 1,270 responses, found that while nine in ten couples set a budget, 30 percent go over it anyway, including 40 percent of those who plan destination weddings.

To help pay for the wedding and reception, seven in ten couples dip into their savings account, while 30 percent will use credit cards.  Most are confident of settling all their debts within six months after walking down the aisle.

While it’s always nice to have parents foot the bill for the affair, 62 percent of couples say they’ll either pay for part or all of the reception.  That includes 36 percent who claim they’ll take care of the entire cost.

As for what the wedding will do to their personal finances, 54 percent of couples say that the price tag, no matter how high, won’t derail their future plans to buy a car or a house or even start a family.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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