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Reality check: Wedding costs

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Here comes the bride; there goes your money. Paying $143,000 for your daughter’s wedding seems outrageous, but that’s how much Steve Martin shells out in Father of the Bride (Approximately 572 guests at $250 per person), not including the nine round-trip tickets from Copenhagen for relatives ($10,323). Is this for real? We asked a wedding consultant on each coast — Philip Baloun of Philip Baloun Designs in New York City and James Deely of Jim Deely’s Cheese & Pasta Inc. in Santa Monica — to give us the lowdown.

Tent, decorations, lights, and flowers
New York $35,000
Los Angeles $22,600

Rentals: china, linens, furniture
New York $22,880
Los Angeles $18,304

Seafood dinner and open bar
New York $71,500
Los Angeles $50,792

Two parking attendants
New York $135
Los Angeles $240

Six-man band
New York $5,000
Los Angeles $1,800

Eight limousines
New York $2,800
Los Angeles $1,000

Invitations and postage
New York $7,150
Los Angeles $2,465

Moving van to clear the house
New York $1,500
Los Angeles $625

Two ice sculptures
New York $500
Los Angeles $550

Outdoor landscaping (tulips)
New York $100
Los Angeles $50

Three live swans
New York $975
Los Angeles $200

Wedding planner’s fee
New York $22,131
Los Angeles $14,794

Total
New York $169,671
Los Angeles $113,420

Why the difference? ”Catering is dirt cheap in California,” says Baloun. But Deely says, ”This was no $150,000 wedding. For that we’re talking watered silk and damask, we’re talking never-never land.”

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