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Couples are spending more than ever to get hitched

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NEW YORK – Couples are spending a record amount of money on their big day.

The average cost of a wedding rose to $32,641 last year — an increase of more than $5,000 since 2010, according to a new survey from wedding planning website TheKnot.com.

With the median household income around $54,000, that means it’s not uncommon for couples to be spending more than 50% of their annual income on their wedding.

But where you live makes all the difference. Couples getting married in Manhattan are spending the most money — by far — at $82,299. While the most affordable place to get hitched was Alaska, with the average wedding costing $17,361.

While overall spending is on the rise, couples have been shortening their guest lists. Last year the average wedding had 139 guests, down from 149 in 2009, bringing the cost per guest up 22% to $237. Weddings in Nebraska and Iowa are the biggest in the U.S. with 219 and 211 guests, respectively.

And it looks like summer’s popularity to walk down the aisle might be fading: More couples are choosing to say ‘I do’ in October and September.

The most expensive part of a wedding continues to be the reception venue at $14,788.

The engagement ring was a distant second on the budget, costing an average of $5,871 up from $5,855 in 2014.

Brides are also spending more on their dress at $1,469, while the groom’s attire rang in at $269.

Of the 19 wedding items tracked by The Knot, only one cost dropped since last year: favors.

Wedding traditions might be changing in the DIY-era, but the custom of getting parental assistance to fund the big day lives on. Only 12% of couples paid for their wedding completely on their own last year.

The report was based on almost 18,000 responses from brides who were married last year.

Did you take out loans for your wedding that you are still paying off? Tell us about your situation and you could be featured in an upcoming story on CNNMoney.

By Kathryn Vasel

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