(NEW YORK) -- Though June, one of the most popular months for weddings, is nearing its end, the summer wedding season is far from over. And as couples tie the knot this year, they appear to be doing more with less.
The average wedding cost dipped to $26,501 in 2011, according to Brides magazine's 2011 American Wedding Study. In 2009, the last time the survey was published, the cost of a wedding was $28,082.
This wasn't a scientific survey of all American weddings. The 2,985 respondents to the survey were women 18 and over, engaged or married within the year who responded between April 15 and April 28. Those surveyed visited Brides.com or were Brides magazine subscribers.
Brides and grooms who are nervous about the shaky economy are breaking traditions and spending less on their engagement events and wedding day.
Despite some signs of a modest economic recovery, many couples may still not feel confident about their financial situation. And many are opting to spend or give their money in other places.
Sally Kilbridge, deputy editor of Brides magazine, said most couples start to determine their wedding budget just after they get engaged.
"Since wedding budgets are set very early in the game, that decrease in the cost of weddings for 2011 actually reflects a decrease in what people were budgeting 18 months earlier, when the economic recovery hadn't taken hold," she said. "Having said that, couples are a lot more thoughtful today about how they're spending their money -- when you're not sure about your job and your future, you're much less likely to go into debt."
Take the engagement, for example. The average cost of an engagement ring is $4,647, down 27 percent from 2009, the last time the magazine conducted the survey.
Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio