HALF of Irish couples have cut back on their dream wedding plans due to fears over the recession.
A survey by one of Ireland's oldest wedding venues has found that 47pc of couples have now opted to cut back on planned wedding expenditure in a bid to trim their costs.
Now, less than one-in-three Irish couples are willing to borrow to pay for their big day.
The average cost of a traditional Irish wedding is €12,500 -- with only 11pc of Irish couples willing to spend more than €25,000 on their nuptials. The average cost of a wedding dress for an Irish bride is now estimated at €1,400.
The survey -- conducted across a sample of 500 brides and grooms -- underlined the fact that Irish couples starting out on a new life together are now acutely aware of costs in the current grim economic environment.
The survey found:
•47pc of couples have cut back on planned wedding spending with the main items being omitted or reduced including wedding cars, a wedding band, favours and entertainment.
•44pc of Irish couples expect to spend between €5,000 and €10,000
•30pc of couples say they are prepared to borrow to pay for their wedding.
•58pc of couples are funding most of their own wedding cost.
•25pc of couples receive some financial assistance for the wedding from their parents.
A number of things have also changed from old-style traditional weddings.
For instance, just one-in-seven weddings are now paid for by the bride's parents and four-out-of-five Irish women believe it is perfectly acceptable for the woman to initiate the wedding proposal.
The study was commissioned by the West Cork Hotel.