March 20, 2013 at 5:24 PM ET
Analysts point to all sorts of signs to indicate economic rebound. If they're inclined to use the results of a recent wedding survey as an indicator, things look very good for the U.S. economy.
TheKnot.com and WeddingChannel.com just released the results of their annual survey. And with more than 17,500 2012 brides weighing in, results show that the average cost of an American wedding is now $28,427—the highest it's been since 2008 (just as the bottom was beginning to fall out in the recession).
The most expensive place to get married? That might not surprise you: It's Manhattan, with a $76,678 average spend there—excluding the honeymoon! The least expensive state is Alaska, where the average couple spends $15,504.
The survey also revealed that the bulk of those costs were going to the venue, followed in order by the photographer, planner and reception band. The average engagement ring cost more than $5,000. The average gown ran a bride more than $1,200 last year, up almost $100 from 2011. And the average wedding cake set couples back about $560.
"In 2011, budgets increased for the first time since the economic downturn, and this past year, in 2012, we saw that wedding budgets are continuing to rise even more and to an all-time high since 2008," Knot co-founder Carley Roney said in a release. "Couples are increasingly less concerned with the economy and are comfortable investing more than ever in the once-in-a-lifetime experience of planning their wedding and making it a fabulous experience for their guests."
We want to know: Does spending over $28,000 on a wedding sound about right to you — or completely crazy? Weigh in below!
A version of this story originally appeared on iVillage.