Bridezillas, listen up. Your days may be numbered. With the economy tanking and job security becoming an oxymoron, your lavish wedding plans may need a dose of reality. That doesn’t mean that you can’t have a beautiful and romantic day of nuptials. It does mean that you will need to grab a calculator and come up with a serious budget. Then you have to stick to that budget.

wedAccording to The Wedding Report, the cost of the average wedding for 2009 is up more than 11 percent from last year. That translates into a bash that will cost more than $30,000. Another number that you might want to take note of is that more than half of all weddings actually cost more than double the budgeted amount.

Jean Picard of Ventura is a wedding consultant and state coordinator for the Association of Bridal Consultants. Picard said that more thought is now going into the planning stage. “Everyone, now more than ever, is paying attention to prioritizing their wants,” Picard said. “It is especially important when you are working with a budget. This way, they can avoid overspending.”

Picard said the first thing brides need to do is to stop trying to create the princess wedding. “Forget about what you’ve seen on TV, forget about what the latest celebrity wedding had, and really get comfortable with the idea of having a wedding that you can actually afford,” Picard said. “That way you go into marriage not saddled with debt.”

Bride-to-be Candace Young of Camarillo is getting married this July and has recently had to make a large adjustment in order to pay for her wedding. “Originally, we wanted 75 guests but it will probably end up being 150 people,” Young said. “Although my mom is covering the venue, we are covering everything else, and we’re no longer going on a honeymoon this year, so the economy has affected us greatly.”

Young said her budget was dependent on her fiancé’s income. But his hours have been cut back and Young changed jobs. “It helps not to have a mortgage yet, or I don’t think we would be able to pay for our wedding,” Young said.

“With the changing times, to be more modern, I guess you are not going to be as frivolous. You don’t need lobster and fireworks to have a beautiful wedding.”

So where does that leave those aspiring to be future wedding planners? Kristina Victoria of Moorpark is going to graduate from college this spring with a degree in communications and an emphasis in public relations. Victoria intends to be an event planner, but the economic downturn has changed what she will be doing for the next few years. “I know people who would have once hired an event planner are not going to hire one for their weddings now,” Victoria said.

“They don’t have the discretionary money anymore. I wasn’t going to go directly into a master’s program straight after graduation. Now I’m just going to stay in school because of the high unemployment.”