Every once in a while, usually after I’ve watched too many “Say Yes to the Dress” episodes or visited the most gorgeous wedding/reception venue ever, I start to want a lavish wedding that costs waaaaaaay more than we can afford and one that requires me to dance (however badly) at my reception which includes a super-duper high cake.
But then I read an article today from a really smart Website called LearnVest: Why I Think Weddings Are Totally Stupid.
For the record I don’t think the author, Amy Keyishian, does actually think weddings are stupid, but I do think she thinks paying too much for them is really dumb.
I’ve had two weddings. One cost about $20,000 and had 150 guests. It was really fun, and I cut a lot of corners, and was proud of how little I (my parents) spent. The second time around…the total cost was $6,000, it was just as fun, and we had the rest of our savings for the three months of unpaid leave I ended up having to take a few months later to care for our premature baby.
Most times, there are better things you can spend your money on than a single day that could, potentially, cost more than a down payment on a house.
According to CostOfWedding.com, which is produced by a market-research company collecting information for the wedding industry, the average wedding in the U.S. costs about $25,631, possibly more depending where you live (here in the Bay Area, it goes up to more than $40,000). That is a down payment on a very nice house here–or the whole house, in large swaths of the country–and an amount many claim they just can’t manage to save up.
According to the Association of Wedding Professionals, the wedding industry nets about $86 billion per year. That’s billion with a B.
Obviously, LearnVest is geared toward getting me on the right path to a healthy relationship (with money, because M and I are good), so the piece ends with a bit of practical advice.
It’s an industry. It wants your money. Don’t give in to it. This idea that you deserve a wedding is not the point; of course you deserve a wonderful day. But what you deserve even more is financial security and a debt-free future. So plan a wedding based in reality, and who you are and what kind of wife you want to be: supportive, smart and with two feet firmly in reality.
Now that is some advice I can dig.