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Weddings deals flourish despite battered economy.

New York newlyweds elope with massive savings online.



NEW YORK— Looking for great wedding deals and wedding ideas? As the New York marriage industry struggles to attract customers in the dismal economy,  huge savings can be found on different online wedding sites.  

          “Wedding businesses are going to have to compete more aggressively for consumers as the market tightens,” said Neil Berger, President of bridalcashback.com, a free online wedding service directory. “The wedding market is fierce and vendors are reducing prices to adapt to the new economic climate.”

            Websites like bridalcashback.com are helping to bring consumers and vendors together. “Our site is really aimed at helping consumers benefit from the changing wedding industry,” said Berger. Launched in 2010, bridalcashback.com compiled New York area wedding vendors and venues, many of which are offering hundreds or thousands of dollars in cashback reward incentives to consumers.

Among all sectors, the wedding industry has been one of the hardest hit. In 2010, there were just over 2 million weddings in the U.S., a decrease of nearly 200,000 weddings from 2005 and nearly 100,000 weddings from 2008.

As wedding businesses fight to stay afloat, many vendors are eager to sell quality services for reduced prices, passing savings along to couples. Bridalcashback.com compiles these highly discounted offers in the New York area, putting five-star weddings within reach of New York couples. 

            While average wedding costs nationwide had risen every year between 2000 and 2006, wedding expenses have since plummeted. Online wedding sites allow users to tally their costs and compete for deals. Brides and Grooms now have more variety and choice to help them save  money on their weddings. 

By the beginning of 2010, the average wedding cost nationwide had plunged to $19,500, a one-third decrease in less than three years. The drastic change has been attributed not only to couples changing their spending habits, but also to wedding vendors adjusting their prices. 

            Market research indicates that couples can save most by comparing prices of reception locations, rental and food services, which on average account for about 46 percent of total wedding expenditures. Bridalcashback.com helps consumers search wedding venues and services by category, allowing couples to save in areas that are typically the most expensive.

            Consumers can also save by using wedding directory websites to plan their weddings. According to the Association of Bridal Consultants, it is best to begin planning a wedding at least 12 to 18 months before the wedding date. Web services like bridalcashback.com allow brides and grooms to plan their weddings far in advance themselves and shop online to maximize their savings, and find the best wedding professionals. 

            Today, more consumers are using online services than ever to customize their weddings. “The advantage of planning your wedding online is that you can compare prices more efficiently,” said Berger. “Couples are finding cashback deals, and other incentives online that can’t be matched elsewhere.”