NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Figuring out wedding costs can be a big issue, and traditionally the parents (and sometimes grandparents) of the couple are expected to contribute. The Knot reports that parents paid for 57% of the average U.S. weddings in 2010, with the bride's parents paying for 45% and the groom's parents paying 12%.
According to The Knot Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $29,858 -- a five-year high that can get even higher with geography. If you live in New York City, that figure jumps to $86,916, or a full year's combined income for two middle-income newlyweds (or their parents).
"Wedding budgets have been increasing steadily since the economic downturn of 2008, and in 2013 couples spent a record high average of nearly $30,000," says Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot. "Couples are more focused than ever on creating a unique, personalized and once-in-a-lifetime experience for their guests -- plus they're doing so in a modern way, by planning from their smartphones, publicizing details on social media and more."
Jenny Rothstein, a financial consultant at Charles Schwab, says creative and determined moms and dads don't need to spend anywhere near $30,000 on their children's wedding day. They just need a plan that makes the wedding day a great one but doesn't burn a hole in their bank account.
"Parents put a lot of pressure on themselves to give their children the perfect wedding day, but if that requires taking out a loan or dipping into retirement savings, it's important to start considering where to cut costs," Rothstein says. "That usually requires some compromise."