The following is a guest post from Marissa at Thirty Six Months as part of the Yakezie blog swap. Marissa writes about personal finance and entrepreneurship with a touch of style. You can find my post there.
I’m 28 years old and have been to my share of weddings, both as a guest, and as part of the wedding party and still can’t wrap my head around the outrageous costs associated with them.
To me, weddings are a day of celebration with family and friends. That, however is not the outcome of the day. Personally I would get married on a beach and use the rest of the money for a down payment, or use it to pay down my loans. Those of us who watch wedding shows on TV are surprised to see people spend anywhere between $10,000-$50,000 on a wedding. Sometimes I wonder if people understand how much it sucks to be in debt, and spending all that money on one day is ridiculous. I know that I am in the minority when I say this.
Weddings, particularly large weddings have become something of a status symbol. They allow for the family to essentially show off, at least in some cultures it does. The largest wedding that I attended was over 1000 people. 1000 people I don’t know that many people, let alone like them all, but it seems like some people need to. The smallest had 110.
I admire people who are savvy with their wedding costs and comprehend the fact that building a future does not require a fancy, over the top, $2000 cake. There are so many ways to reduce the cost of your wedding and allow your wedding party to put in some work and not money.
- Have a friend DJ the event. I have seen this multiple times. Friends are happy to have the ability to entertain the crowd and they don’t have to spend $100s of dollars on gifts.
- Ask your wedding party to help make wedding favours. As a brides maid, I much rather feel like part of the wedding assembly than feel guilty and spend money on a gift.
- Destination wedding. Ok, this is purely selfish as your guest have to pay their own way, but it’s really cheap and you get to be married on a beach. A beach!
- Have your wedding on a weekday. This kills 2 birds- reduces the number who can attend and halls are cheaper on a weekday.
There are tons of other ways to save money, and not put yourself in a hole when planning the happiest day of your life. I don’t necessarily blame the brides and grooms for the ballooning costs of weddings. There is an entire industry designed to cater to brides and help them fulfill their princess fantasies. I mean most young girls dream of their wedding from an early age, and seeing the possibility of the vision is a lot for most to handle. Parents are also sympathetic to the rising costs as they mostly want to see their kids happy. While not as apparent in North American cultures, weddings symbolize a joining of 2 families thus the need of a exorbitant show of wealth.
Having spent thousands of dollars on friends’ weddings, I long for the day when something decides to get married at City Hall with me as their witness. There is no bigger honor than that.
I would have to agree with Marissa. I am getting married in a few months and we are not breaking the bank for a few hours in a day. Check out more of what I think about weddings right here