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PHOENIX -- Brides and grooms were willing to spend a bit more on their weddings last year than they have since the height of the recession.

According to a new survey by, couples forked over an average $28,427 on weddings in 2012, the highest amount since 2008.

"Now they're spending money on up lighting, more décor, better food," said Theresa Morales, owner of Dreamers Event Planners in Phoenix.

Morales opened her business in 2008, when couples just started to cut back on their weddings. She said most of her clients were spending between $5,000-$10,000.

"There were a lot of weddings that were actually devastated because they had to go the cheaper way," said Morales.

"They had iPods instead of deejays, or their friends taking pictures instead of a photographer."

Starting last year, Morales noticed more couples were willing to splurge. Now many of her clients are spending upwards of $20,000.

Much of the extra spending came from additional entertainment, such as photo booths or caricature artists.

Last year, 27 percent of weddings included extra entertainment, more than double the percentage in 2011.

Aaron Granillo, News Editor

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