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Booming Wedding Market
Author: George Meszaros

According to a recent survey entitled "American Wedding Study 2006," conducted by The Conde Nast Bridal Group, concludes that the average amount spent on weddings has increased to almost $28,000.

It is predicted that 2.3 million Americans will get married this year, and there will be more than 44,000 weddings each weekend with 380 million wedding guests attending.

With an average age of 27, brides are becoming more mature than ever. About 70 percent are paying, at least partially, for their own weddings. Unexpected costs are common as over one third of couples are spending more than planned.

"This authoritative survey shows that the wedding industry is not only vital but is in fact thriving," says Daniel Lagani, vice president and publisher of The Conde Nast Bridal Group. "Couples are entering this 'Wedding Lifecycle' from the engagement to the reception right up to the honeymoon in ever growing numbers flush with happiness and optimism," Lagani says.

Approximately 16 of all weddings are destination-weddings. Destination-weddings are still expensive, but, on average, cost a couple of thousand dollars less than traditional weddings.

Destination-weddings are expected to have an average of 63 guests while traditional weddings are estimated to have 165 guests.

The most popular time for engagements are still the winter holidays with December being the busiest month of engagement. The time frame between engagement and marriage is 14 months.

In light of significant cost increases and a considerable delay in getting married, expect "The Echo Boom," children of the Baby Boomer generation who make up 71 million men and women to emerge. "They are the next big generation to move into the 'engagement zone,' as the oldest in the group will reach the marriage age of 27 in 2006," Lagani says.

The top three growth categories in wedding spending are wedding photography, attendants’ gifts, and wedding rings.

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