-The average wedding in the US was just over $31,000 in 2014
-The average wedding in New York was over $76,000
-The average cost of an engagement ring is about $4,000
These costs are average, but not typical. Nor does the sample take into account the lower income sector. Even so, the typical numbers are still too high, if not exorbitant for people on a budget. As it happens, people on a budget may have the better lot.
Pick One Thing to Splurge on
It is hard to make a wedding both memorable and inexpensive. You can pick one or the other. But both is likely beyond your reach. If you want to remember your inexpensive wedding for a long time, you will need a good photographer and videographer. Oops! There goes the budget.
Rather than doing a full cheap out, pick the most important thing to you and splurge on that. For many women, the ultimate wedding fantasy is walking down the aisle in an elegant designer wedding dress. From the 50 or so shades of white to the length of the train, each bride-to-be has very a good idea of the dress she wants to wear. That is a good place to expand the budget.
Happily, Ever After Starts with a Reasonable Budget
Even if you are a billionaire, there are still some pretty good reasons why you don’t want to spend too much on your wedding. One of the best reasons is that you may be appalled at what the cost of your wedding may say about your marriage. HuffPo Weddings reports:
Economics professors from Emory University surveyed 3,000 U.S. adults who had been married at some point in their lives and found that participants who spent large sums of money on engagement rings and/or their weddings were more likely to end up divorced.
According to the findings, if a man spends more than $2,000 on an engagement ring, he is 1.3 times more likely to divorce. The woman who receives the ring also has increased chances of divorce. At least if the marriage does end in divorce, the ring could be sold and they can get money for it.
Not only should women be wary of accepting a ring that cost more than $2,000, but they should also insist that the cost of the wedding is capped at $20,000. Overshoot that mark, and the couple is 3.5 times more likely to experience financial stress.
One thing that might explain why expensive weddings make for more fragile marriages is the fact that finances are one of the leading causes of divorce. Starting your new life $20,000 to $40,000 in debt is a harsh reality to deal with moments after you have tied the knot. It is not marriage, but debt that becomes the old ball and chain.
Little Touches Make a Big Impression
Why are you spending so much on decorations and last-unite touches that you can easily make yourself for practically nothing? Table numbers, Advice cards, gift bags for guests treat bags, and bride and groom signs are not only affordable cheap to make, but can be done at the last minute.
There are some last-minute arrangements that will legitimately turn your hair grey, like the wedding singer canceling at the last minute, or the person conducting the ceremony needing to be sobered up like in some rom-com. There are certain situations where you are allowed to panic. But those small details that get left to the last minute are not among them. Not only can you do them yourself, but you can also save a lot of money in the process.
Few people have a perfect storybook wedding. It is difficult to pull off due to the additional stress of financial burden. The $30,000 poured into a wedding could have represented one or two cars that provided reliable transportation to work. It could have been the downpayment on a house. Or it could have even been used to dissolve a student loan debt.
Make sure you allocate your wedding budget so that the debt does not last you till death do you part!