Something Old, Something New, Something Rented . . .

A sign of the times:

According to industry research firm IBISWorld, spending on rented bridal gowns is expected to grow 7.5 percent to $43 million--up from $40 million in 2008. With brides renting dresses, sales of new wedding gowns are expected to decrease 2.8 percent this year, reaching just $973 million. While the decline is not as steep as the 4.2 percent drop experienced in 2008, the industry has seen declines since 2001. Brides who do purchase a dress will more likely buy their garments in high-end department stores, formal clothing stores, or online-like to a bridal store.

IBISWorld also expects wedding planners to take a hit, with the amount spent on such services dropping 4.2 percent to $785 million compared with 2008, and the average overall cost of a wedding falling 8 percent in '09 to $20,000. The average cost was $30,000 just two short years ago.

"The recession is expected to exacerbate the already declining marriage rate, as couples put off the 'big day' until the time is right financially," explained IBISWorld senior analyst Toon van Beeck. "Spending will undoubtedly be impacted by such postponements, and these cost cutting measures will start from the purchase of an engagement ring, all the way to the end of the honeymoon."

That just leaves more in the kitty for the divorce.


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