It’s no secret that weddings can costs big bucks, but are you prepared for the actual number?

By the time you add up the flowers, the dress, the food at the reception, and that open bar, and maybe booking a cool place like the Woldert-Spence Manor Bed and Breakfast or other quaint and romantic spot, the tally can reach the price of a small SUV.

Brides Magazine says the average wedding costs more than $26,000 now, which is down a bit from the $28,000 peak in 2008. The bride’s family is supposed to pay right? Anyone else with three daughters freaking out a little bit?

The Brides survey found that nine in 10 couples set a budget.

The survey also found about a third of those couple say “budget be darned” and go over it as the wedding planning hits its stride and the couple decide wants and dreams for the wedding become needs.

To help pay for the wedding and reception, seven in ten couples dip into their savings account, and 30 percent decide a credit card is a good option.

As for parents paying for the wedding, a third of couples in the survey said they’ll foot the bill themselves – and if not the whole shebang, the reception at least. I’m going to start prepping my daughters for that now, how about you? Save that tooth fairy money gals!

Most people feel free to spend like crazy since a wedding only comes around once in a lifetime. Or at least you hope.