On one hand, some brides fake leukemia to get donations for their dream weddings while other brides will resort to feeding tubes to lose weight. On the other hand: There are brides who—brace yourself—are planning low-key weddings, like Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan's backyard "I do's."

What gives? One caterer outside San Francisco tells the NY Times, "I think people are waking up to the insanity that is the wedding market." What, wearing an engagement ring the weight of a newborn kitten and having a marriage just for a reality TV career is crazy? Actually, yes: The Times points out (sorry, Obama) the "relentlessly downbeat economy" and the "average wedding now [cost of] more than $27,000"—which is "significantly higher in regions like the Bay Area and New York City. But homespun celebrations come with substantially lower price tags."

Also, then people are marrying at "record high" ages—26.5 for women, 28.5 for men—(some have previous marriages) while they have, you know, lives that don't revolve around weddings. Rosa Brooks, a professor at Georgetown Law Center, said, "We are busy and we have jobs," and planned a backyard wedding in two weeks, "For us, it was like a dinner party, but with a ring and someone to marry you."

One couple, Tatyana and Michael Lapson got married at the Bohemian Hall and Beer Garden in Astoria last year: She bought "love" banners from Etsy for the trees, "For her bouquet, she went to the flower district in Manhattan and put it together herself, tying it with a piece of lace. Total wedding cost: less than $2,500. And why was the venue chosen?" Tatyana Lapson explained, "That’s a place we like to go to. One night we were having dinner there and we just thought, ‘Let’s hold our wedding here.’" Awww.