By Tracy Chesney

In the quest for the perfect day, certain brides-to-be, or in some cases, grooms-to-be, may get carried away when planning their wedding.

Some girls have been planning for their wedding day their whole lives. They know where their wedding will be, what they’re going to wear, what their wedding colors will be. Everything is planned down to the tee. One thing seems to be missing, however, and that’s the groom. These girls are planning their wedding even though they don’t have a fiancée, much less a boyfriend.

At Texas Christian University, there’s apparently a four-year-waiting list for a popular chapel that college girls would love to get married in. So some girls go ahead and put their names on the list even though they don’t have a boyfriend, all in the hopes that they’ll have a fiancee by then.

Then there’s the type of women who get so carried away with their wedding planning, that as time goes by, something strange begins to happen. Things start to get out of control. Nothing is going right. Things are getting stressful. The woman’s personality seems to be changing.

That’s where the term “bridezillea” comes to mind. A perfectionist bride who leaves aggravated family, friends and bridal vendors in her wake as she obsesses with her perfect day — all in quest for the perfect wedding. Or sometimes, there might be the groomzilleas, the groom-to-be who obsesses with the wedding planning instead of the bride.

Then there’s the parents who want their little girls to have everything, so they might be the ones to go overboard when planning a wedding. Hmm, that makes you think of “The Father of the Bride,” where the father was forced into spending an outrageous amount of money on his little girl’s wedding just to make her happy.

According to Bride’s Magazine, the average cost of a wedding today can easily exceed $19,000. The most expensive wedding in the world goes to Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal who put on a six-day extravaganza in June 2004 for his daughter Vanisha Mittal and her fiancée Amit Hatia. The wedding was held at Vaux le Vicomete, a 17th century French chateau, and it the estimated cost was a mere $60 million.

The most expensive wedding dress in the world was created by Renee Strausse. The $12 million gown was littered with diamonds and made it’s debut in February 2006 at the Ritz-Carlton in Marina Del Ray, Calif. Donald Trump’s wife apparently on spent a mere $200,000 on her wedding dress.

And the world’s longest wedding dress goes to Une Semaine Chrono in France in 2006. The dress measured 3,949.8 feet, which beat the world record of 2,700 feet.

Or how about the most expensive cake in the world. A diamond-studded wedding cake, which was not edible, was unveiled in October 2006 in Beverly Hills. The cost of the cake was listed as priceless in value.

Which brings us to the largest wedding cake in the world, which was showcased in New England in 2004. Weighing 15,032 pounds, the cake had seven tiers measuring 17 feet high. Made from 10,000 pounds of pound cake batter and 4,810 pounds of icing, the cake could feed 59,000 people.

That’s just icing on the cake, though. The most expensive pet wedding in the world goes to the rare diamond-eyed cats, Phet and Ploy, who were married in 1996 in matching pink outfits. The pets’ owners paid more than $420,000 for the feline wedding. Wonder what the catimony would be if they ever got divorced?

It doesn’t seem, however, that weddings need to get that out of control. Target recently released an assortment of wedding gowns, and according to their web-site, gowns can be purchased anywhere from $9.99 to $159.99.

Now, it’s Wal-mart’s turn to come out with their own line of wedding dresses, and they next thing you know, you could be buying them at your local dollar store.

Maybe if you want to avoid all the hoop-de-la associated with wedding planning, you could keep putting off the wedding such as the case of Octavio Guillen and Adriana Martinez. The couple got engaged at the age of 15 in Mexico in 1902, and they got married 67 years later at the age of 82. Maybe he finally ran out of excuses to get married.

It seems the cheapest way to go to make that final commitment is to go to the Justice of the Peace. Either that or try getting married in Jamaica where you can apparently have weddings wearing your birthday suit. Just think of all the money you’d save in the bridal attire.

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