Royal or not, weddings can be pricey

April 27, 2011 at 7:58 AM ET

Reuters /

Will and Kate’s royal wedding is coming just as many less famous brides-to-be gear up for the summer wedding season. And while most couples don’t have to budget for things like a Royal Air Force flyover, a carriage procession and a guest list that includes the subsection “members of foreign royal families,” the relative cost of getting hitched remains high.

It was nearly $27,000 on average last year, according to a recent survey from wedding website company The Knot.

The survey of around 19,000 brides who got married last year and were registered on one of The Knot’s websites found that the biggest costs were the engagement ring ($5,392) and the reception venue ($12,124). The photographer and videographer, wedding gown, rehearsal dinner and reception band also ranked high in the list of expenses.

Only about one-third of brides said the economy had impacted their wedding budget.

Still, some brides have found ways to cut the budget in recent years. The Knot reports that the average number of guests at weddings fell to an average of 141 in 2010, from 149 in 2009.

In addition, some couples have gone discount, looking to stores like Sam’s Club and Target for things like wedding flowers, invitations and rings. No-frills discounter Costco is even selling wedding dresses along with the other wedding items it already offers.

The Wall Street Journal notes that the royal bride and groom may have inadvertently given the rest of us some tips for saving money on the big day.

Among them: Use a hand-me-down ring (shown above), get married on a Friday instead of a Saturday and let the groom’s family shoulder some of the costs.

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