What would you do with an extra $54,000?

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According to The Knot, that's the average cost of a wedding in North and Central Jersey. The survey tallied the 2014 spending habits of thousands of brides and grooms across the country.

Many New Jersey residents were floored by that number, imagining how that money can be better spent.

"That's enough to put away for my kids for college, a down payment on a house, pay my mortgage for a couple months," said Manii Smith of Lakewood.

Using the statewide average fair market rent of $1,309 per month, the $54,000 price tag could legitimately fund nearly three and a half years of housing expenses. It would also be enough to cover four years at certain colleges and universities in New Jersey, or two midsize sedans.

Bradley Beach resident Dennis Spinosa said the cost of a wedding has been "out of hand" since he first got married in 1972. For his latest wedding a couple years ago, he and his bride went from town hall to a local restaurant.

"We can go out for the rest of our lives and never reach that amount," Spinosa said of today's hefty total.

The cost of saying "I do," according to the survey, drops to $39,191 when getting married in South Jersey. Manhattan ranked as the most expensive place for a wedding with a price tag of $76,328.