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The 10 Percent Solution to Expensive Weddings

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by Walter Brasch

There are a number of great mysteries in life.

Where does the Abominable Snowman live?

Where was the Garden of Eden?
Do any of the Kardashian cabal have any discernible skills?

Kim Kardashian is engaged. Again. This time it's to rapper Kanye West. They plan to spend $5 million for a Mediterranean honeymoon. There's no guess of how much the wedding will cost. But, it's bound to cost far more than the $10 million for Kardashian's previous wedding and 73 day marriage to basketball player Kris Humphries.

That wedding included $2 million just for flowers and $20,000 for a cake.

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It also included $50,000 for a facelift for matriarch Kris Jenner because--well--when you look like Kris Jenner you should have a facelift for a wedding.

Now, if we were absolutely honest, most of us would say we wouldn't mind living like a Kardashian, surrounded by money and gifts of all kinds. Being famous for having been on TV reality shows appeals to the lowest part of our cerebral cortex.

Many of us try to get close. Here's one way.

The average wedding now costs almost $29,000, according to the website The Knot, which tracks those kinds of amazing statistics.

Here are some of the costs that make up that average wedding.

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First, there's the engagement ring. Figure an average cost of $5,431, according to The Knot. Once the ring is secured, it's time to send invitations. Cost is a mere $453.

Because weddings are like live theatrical performances, there's a rehearsal dinner--that one averages $1,135. The cost of hotel rooms and amenities is not figured into the overall wedding costs.

Wedding gowns, worn once and stored in mothballs, average $1,211, according to The Knot. Some gowns for the financially-avaricious can top $20,000. The groom's tuxedo, which is rented and returned, is only about $230.

Because weddings are often more about vanity than love, there is an average cost of $2,379 for the photographer and commercially-produced prints. But you can't just have still photos. You need video. Add another $1,619 for a videographer.

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Walter Brasch is an award-winning journalist and professor of journalism emeritus. His current books are Before the First Snow: Stories from the Revolution , America's Unpatriotic Acts: The Federal Government's Violation of (more...)

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