Fascinating wedding facts

It happens like some sort of divine intervention. You’re single, depressed and desperate for a relationship, but just as you hit rock bottom, when you’ve given up all hope, the right person makes a grand entrance into your life.

If you think you’ve met the perfect mate, someone who has mastered the art of charming spontaneity, romance, weekend getaways—and can cook and likes doing dishes—then maybe you’re ready to take the next big step: marriage.

But before you take the plunge, consider these fun facts; they won’t change your mind, but they may help put the experience in a lighter perspective.

National Numbers

  • More than 2.2 million marriages were conducted in the United States in 2005. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention and The National Center for Health Statistics)

  • The average age for brides is 27, and 29 is the average for grooms. (The Knot Wedding Network’s Real Wedding Survey 2007)

Vegas Numbers

  • There were 107,175 weddings performed in Las Vegas in 2007. (Clark County Recorder)

  • But only 106,789 marriage licenses were issued. (Clark Country Marriage License Bureau) That leaves a difference of 385 more marriages than licenses, which might be vow renewals, polygamists or lazy drunk couples.

  • Las Vegas brides have the shortest engagements at 9.1 months. (The Knot Wedding Network’s Real Wedding Survey 2007)

The Ring

  • The average engagement ring cost: $4,225. (The Knot Wedding Budget Study)

The Dress

  • The average cost of a wedding gown: $1,317 (New York City brides spend the most at $2,206). (The Knot Wedding Network’s Real Wedding Survey 2007)

  • Wedding dresses featured in the window of Monique Lhuillier, located on Melrose Place in West Hollywood, can range from $4,000 to $12,000. Celebrities like Eva Longoria, Ashley Simpson and Eli Manning’s wife Abby McGrew have all worn Monique’s Lhuillier dresses, according to a store clerk.

The Budget

  • The average cost of a wedding, including the honeymoon, is $32,660. (The Knot Wedding Network’s Real Wedding Survey 2007)

The Gifts

  • Luckily, wedding expenditures aren’t limited to the bride and groom – more than 90 percent of couples have at least one gift registry, and most have two or three different registries. The most popular gifts are tabletop and kitchen products. (The Knot Inc. Market Research for Weddings 2005-2008)

The Guests

  • The average guest list is 153 (Wisconsin brides have the largest weddings, averaging 189 invitees). (The Knot Wedding Network’s Real Wedding Survey 2007)

Jay Firestone is an unmarried 23-year-old male and in the past three years he has been in three wedding parties, two of which for his sisters, and he will be in yet another this fall.

Your Letters

Strasser and Smith

Teresa Strasser, my heart cries for you, girlfriend. I know you are a 20-something writing a singles column, but how much pain are you going to take? You don’t need this tszuris — meeting guys on your own who come over late at night to feign headaches and maneuver onto your bed (“When Booty Calls,” June 22). Feh! Believe me, I know. I was single and secular once.

Please get thyself to a frum rabbi and head toward an Orthodox lifestyle. Your new religious friends will want to introduce you to marriage-minded young men who don’t expect liberties before the first date.

One of these days you will enter the land of 30 and beyond. Wouldn’t it be nice to author a column on happy, fulfilling marital life?

Leslie Fuhrer Friedman, Venice

Awoke feeling energetic. Multigrain cereal with organic banana slices. Read Jewish Journal; J.D. Smith finally wrote a column that didn’t make me want to hunt him down and wring his evil little neck. Workday uneventful. Late lunch with salad. Lovely evening with boyfriend. Midnight snack of peach sorbet. And so to bed.

Susan Wolfson, Burbank

Mosk Seat

Regarding Marlene Marks’ discussion concerning the “Jewish seat” on the California Supreme Court formerly occupied by the late Justice Stanley Mosk (“The Mosk Seat,” June 29), it is worth noting that in 1852 two out of the three judges on that court were Jewish. Justice Mosk himself described this brief coincidence in a 1976 article, “A Majority of the California Supreme Court.” One of these justices, Solomon Heydenfeldt, had a major impact on California law in the 19th century, writing a precedent-setting water law opinion in 1855 and, after his return to legal practice, litigating successfully against a Sunday blue law on behalf of a Jewish merchant in Sacramento.

When I present my living-history impersonation of Justice Heydenfeldt to fourth-grade classes at Valley Beth Shalom Day School, I emphasize that his Jewish identity gave him a perspective that favored legal innovation and religious freedom. I agree with Marks, however, that it is not necessary to have a “Jewish seat” in order to promote these values.

Prof. Peter L. Reich, Whittier Law School

WWII Memorial

Thank you, Si Frumkin (“An Insult to Our Soldiers,” July 6). Perhaps your firsthand story will inspire the needed outcry against the shameful letting of the contract to build our World War II memorial to a wholly owned subsidiary of a German construction giant. Using slave labor, this company profited handsomely from working for the very enemy our servicemen were fighting.

I have been trying since mid-June, to little avail, to inspire a huge protest against this unbelievable insult to the memories of all who fought, died, were injured or lost years of their lives in that grim period of history. No response from my senators and none from veterans or Holocaust organizations.

In these ensuing weeks of frustration, one further and terribly disturbing thought has occurred to me. Philipp Holzmann AG has now been ordered to pay reparations to those few former slave laborers still living. Some of the profit made from constructing our memorial will defray this expense. American tax dollars wash Nazi hands. The ultimate irony.

Eleanor Jackson, Palm Springs

Orthodox Life

The Orthodox Jews I know ordinarily avoid reading The Jewish Journal or cringe when reading it. The July 6 issue has got to be the most Orthodox-friendly issue in the modern history of The Jewish Journal and leaves us flabbergasted. So many positive articles about Orthodox Jews and even ads for women’s hats and kosher facilities for the retired.

We hope, for the sake of Jewish unity, that the July 6 edition will be a new beginning.

Yehoshua ben Gershon, Los Angeles