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A Wedding is the Biggest Party of Your Life
Here’s the thing. Too many people focus on a wedding and not enough people focus on a marriage. I get it. Weddings are like birthday parties only bigger! More impressive! And, you get to be the center of attention much more than at a birthday. Everyone has a birthday every year, but, in an ideal world, each couple has just one wedding. And, the bride feels like going out of her way to make her party great.
Keeping up with the Kardashians
The average cost of a wedding is somewhere around $28,000. To put that in perspective, my 2005 Toyota Corolla is worth about $7,000. So, the average wedding costs four Corollas. And no, you cannot drive home a wedding. In fact, the things you get after you’ve had your big party are limited to kitchen toys, a marriage license, and 489 tea lights.
In a wedding, as in all things, you compare yourself against your peers. Whether you are the first in your age group to marry, or you’re like me, and have been to more than 20 weddings, it’s darn near impossible not to compare. Just look at the social cues: a picture of the ring is the universal sign for “I’m engaged!” because women want to see how your ring compares to theirs. They’re happy for you, sure, but they also want to know if you “did better” than they did.
More shockingly, the four-Corolla price tag for this mystical “average” wedding does not include the ring or the honeymoon. The dress is the first surprise. I haven’t purchased a formal gown since my senior prom, so inflation might have happened a bit, but if I could buy a prom dress for under $200 why on earth is a $2000 wedding dress considered a bargain?
All ranting aside (I don’t want this to become the ravings of an over 30, never been married bitter bridesmaid), it’s a bad idea to go into debt for your wedding. The success rate of marriage is so low, partly because two people spend x amount of time developing an intimate relationship and at least x amount of time planning a party. The wedding is the party, the marriage is forever. The more time you spend setting expectations and discussing what married life means to you, the less your color scheme matters.
Focus on a marriage and not a wedding. Your friends and family love you, and will have fun celebrating the beginning of the rest of your lives together. Don’t get caught up in the details. Have a blast. Love your spouse. Don’t marry someone until you’re absolutely, 100% sure you want to be old with them.
What tips do you have to save money for weddings?
Share your experiences by commenting below!
***Photo courtesy of http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3223/2760437873_13e50463fa.jpg