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Here Comes the Bridal Business

Here comes the bride! And another! And another! And another! June is peak season for getting hitched — and for the lucrative nuptial industry, from gowns to flowers to catering. Here's a look at the facts and figures of weddings.

Here Comes the Bridal Business

Infographic: Wedding Season Popup-Icon

2,190,363 couples were wedded in the U.S. in 2008.

The world's longest-married living couple, Zelmyra & Herbert Fisher of North Carolina, were, at press time, preparing to celebrate their 85th anniversary.

$707,051,028 worth of wedding cake and fondant frosting (more than 16 tons) was consumed last year in the U.S.

The average American wedding costs $28,704.

In frugal Mississippi the average drops to $18,562.

In spendthrift New Jersey that jumps to $36,113.

Behemoth David's Bridal claims roughly 30% of the wedding-gown market, with dresses that start at $99.

Steel tycon Lakshmi Mittal spent an estimated $60 million on a five-day French wedding for his daughter, Vanisha, which included a 1,000 person engagement party at Versailles.

The discount chain Filene's Basement has held its Running of the Brides event at dozens of stores each year since 1947.

At one store, shoppers cleared the racks of 3,000 marked-down dresses in a record 37 seconds.

In 1960, an American bride was typically 20 years old and a groom was 23. Today, they're 27 and 29, respectively.

Six countries currently allow same-sex marriage: Belgium, Canada, Holland, Norway, South Africa, and Spain.

December is the most popular month to pop the question, accounting for one in five engagements.

A version of this article appeared in the June 2009 issue of Fast Company magazine.