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The Price of Love
 
There IS a price tag that can be put on love: exactly $28,850, according to Conde Nast Bridal Group. That is the average cost of getting hitched. New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts have the most expensive weddings ... more than $35,000 on average. No matter what the economy is like, couples are still going to get married. They just may look to a wedding planner to help them plan smarter.
 
Facts Every Planner Should Know
 
According to The Knot (www.theknotinc.com), you can expect to see brides using online social networking sites to replace some of the old, traditional ways of doing things (for example, online RSVPs and guest interaction before the big day). A smart consultant can take advantage of online technology to make the wedding plans less expensive and more creative. Keep in mind that 40 percent of all engagements occur between the winter holidays and Valentine"s Day, so you can expect to get an onslaught of calls for help soon thereafter. The average engagement lasts 17 months.
 
Where"s the Money Coming From?
 
Contrary to popular opinion, the bride"s parents no longer pay for the wedding; three out of four weddings are paid for by the couples. Brides say, "Why should my parents pay for this? I"ve held a good job for years. It"s not like I"m 19 and need the help.- To a lot of self-sufficient couples, the old rules no longer make any sense. 
 
Fresh Thinking
 
The Knot thinks planners will have to get more and more creative. Guests will appreciate your "out-of-the-box- entertainment options at receptions. For those who hate dancing, there can be alternatives like a Guitar Hero zone or whatever the latest gaming craze is.
 
Destination weddings have become a big hit for those who do not want a traditional hometown church ceremony. Las Vegas is the number one out-of-town spot to get hitched, with Hawaii a close second. Wedding planners can find a niche to cater to this market. There is more and more room for planners who can put together a non-traditional wedding, for couples bored with the standard church/dinner/dancing reception.  
 
Better yet, show couples how you could save them money, and you will stay in business for a long time to come.

By Chris Navarro
Get Wedding Planner Jobs, Contributing Editor

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