Today we are featuring a guest post from Edward Antrobus as part of this month’s Yakezie Blog Swap – click over to his blog to check out my participating post. Edward is a blogger, home cook, and construction worker. Enjoy!
The cost of the average wedding is over $25,000. That number doesn’t even include the cost of the dress! (I’ve never understood that. Isn’t the wedding dress a wedding-related cost? Why wouldn’t you include it in the cost of the wedding?) A number of couples go into debt just to afford their ceremony. While us personal finance bloggers like to go back and forth over whether things like student loans and mortgages can be considered good debt, I think borrowing to pay for some memories of a single day is definitely bad debt.
Why is it so expensive, anyway? Apparently it costs more to rent chairs than to buy them. The word “wedding” seems to add a surcharge to everything. And of course, it’s hard to keep costs low when you are throwing a party for 100+ of your closest friends.
While I understand how wedding costs can escalate quite easily, I fail to understand why anyone would spend almost three-quarters of the median household income on a single event.
My wife and I spent under $200 on our wedding. It was probably the best financial decision we made in that first year. Especially since that $25,000 price tag was actually an entire year’s income for us at the time. It was actually pretty easy once we abandoned the idea of a storybook wedding.
I think that is the single biggest cause of expensive weddings: the fairytale image that people have of what a wedding and reception looks like. Of course, THAT is going to be expensive. And what are you buying, when you think about it? You get an hour of most of your guests being bored at the ceremony, and then an adult version of the senior prom with alcohol. Basically you spend thousands of dollars on a couple of hours just so your wedding looks like everyone else’s and could have been confused for high school dance.
Is that what you really want? We didn’t. For the ceremony itself, we only invited 5 people-our parents and siblings. Then in-lieu of a prom, we had a barbecue at the park. Because we were at the park, there was no alcohol, which always seems to cause drama. From the drunken maid-of-honor threatening to kill the groom if he ever hurts the bride, to some venues not allowing minors if alcohol is going to be served.
So the question you would have to ask yourself is what do I really want to do to celebrate this occasion? Do you want years of paying off credit cards run up with wedding expenses? Or dipping into your (or your parents’) retirement fund?
How much did you spend on your wedding? Did you do anything unique to keep the costs down?