(AP) -- An Associate History Professor at Ohio University has written a new book examining the high cost of weddings.
Katherine Jellison says the average cost of a wedding today is $30,000, and lavish engagement parties are increasingly popular. The book is called "It's Our Day: America's Love Affair With The White Wedding."
Jellison says it wasn't until after World War II that Americans had enough disposable income to marry in such a formal fashion.
And even now as American consumers are pinching their pockets and struggling amid rising food costs, gas prices and a worrisome economy, the $50 billion wedding industry continues to boom.
She says Americans see big weddings as a sign of social status.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)