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Do you happen to have a spare $29,858 lying around? That's the new average cost of a wedding in America today -- and that price tag may cost couples in ways that go beyond mere monetary value.

Nationally, the average cost for a wedding does tend to vary greatly so your actual expenses may reflect your location. For example, folks living in Manhattan can expect their average costs (for a mid-line wedding) to hit $88,176. If you live in Mississippi, your costs will be a comparatively modest $12,769 for the same level event.

Looking back (and adjusting for inflation), the average cost for a wedding in 1990 was $15,200 in today's dollars. That means that couples are generally shelling out twice what they once did for a single event.

The experts say that it really isn't worth it. While Americans have bought into the wedding industry's advertising and have no doubt been heavily influenced by what they see on reality shows that feature gorgeous wedding venues and events, the reality is that going into a lot of debt before the marriage even starts can be a recipe for disaster.

Approximately 43% of couples go into debt for their dream weddings -- and the vast majority of the couples end up arguing their way to the altar over the bills. Out of those couples, nearly half said that they considered getting a divorce while they were still newlyweds because of the debt. By comparison, only 9% of couples who didn't go into debt for their wedding ending up considering divorce shortly after their nuptials.

Maybe it's not the wedding debt itself that ultimately drives newlyweds to split, but the fact that they are starting their new lives together without considering what's most important. By over-focusing on their "big day," they may forget that married life is not a picture-perfect event. That may leave them unprepared for the realities of marriage.

If your marriage has turned out to be less joyful than you had expected and you're thinking about divorce, find out more about your options and rights today.

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