Here Comes the Bride... and the Bill!
American couples will spend about $125 billion -- which is approximately the size of Ireland's GDP -- on weddings in 2005, according to the Fairchild Bridal Group. "The bridal industry is now a life stage that encompasses fashion, travel, home furnishings and more," says Daniel Lagani of Fairchild.
There's some good news in this for parents, though. In part because couples are now marrying older (between 27 and 29 years old on average), they are less dependent on Mom and Dad footing the bill. This year, only a quarter of marrying couples will rely on parents to cover the tab.