How Much Wedding Will $20,000 Buy?

Photo: flickr/skylerbug

When Heather Colburn and Greg Neil began planning their wedding, they had two goals: spend no more than $20,000, and invite 270 of their closest friends and relatives.They accomplished both on May 26 with careful and creative planning. “We chose what was important to us and cut back on areas that were not,” says Colburn, who saved on her dress, flowers and other expenses.

Despite a still weak economy, American couples are spending more on weddings. The average nuptials cost $27,021 in 2011, up from $26,984 in 2010, according to a survey by wedding planning website TheKnot.com. But weddings occur at every price point, and almost every couple (recently wed Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg might be the exception) tries to make the most of limited dollars.

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