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Quick Hits: Singing the Wedding Blues

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Brief scrutiny of today's headlines

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Brides- and grooms-to-be will be singing the wedding bell blues this season because the sour economy is putting dream weddings in a princess price range.

According to msnbc.com, brunch and afternoon receptions are becoming more popular, as they save money on food and alcohol. Couples are also editing guest lists - a strategy that allows them to cut costs without compromising the quality of the meal or venue. Brides that typically budget between $1,000 and $2,000 for their wedding dresses are scouring Filene's Basement and other discount retailers for deals.

According to MarketWatch, guests are likewise looking to scale back by making their own gifts and offering to sing backup in the wedding band.

The Wedding Report, a website that follows wedding industry trends, estimates the average cost of the big day will fall slightly to $28,704 in 2008 from $28,732 in 2007. This may not sound like much, but in a sector where price has risen steadily and nearly doubled in the last 15 years, even a slight drop is telling.

Rising inflation means that lump sum, however steady it appears at first blush, buys less -a less lavish meal, for example. But newlyweds and their families are choosing not to make up the difference with additional funds. Instead, they're staying within the parameters of a weakened dollar and cutting available corners.

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Not all Bridezillas can bring themselves to make concessions - not even the cash-strapped ones. Don't want to buy a red-lined wedding dress or use supermarket flowers for centerpieces? Elope. In Las Vegas, the wedding and honeymoon are one in the same.

For more on frugal matrimony, check out Hoofy & Boo's always astute report.

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