Wedding are such delightful occasions, full of love and happiness. But sadly, more often than not, they leave couples stretched financially. The average wedding costs nearly $27,000, and this bill is not always covered by the parents. In fact, the bride and groom pay for nearly 60% of the wedding expenses, on average.
So, how can you get through this happy season of life with your finances intact? Well, there are many articles on the web that will give you practical ways to save on your wedding, but I think the most important thing is to get some perspective.
Here are three ideas that will help you to keep your wedding in proper perspective.
1. The wedding is but one day of your whole married life.
It’s a big day, yes, but it’s still only one day. So, don’t give it more weight than it deserves. It’s not more important than the rest of your life, so you don’t want to spend all of your money on it!
I’ve heard many a marriage counselor say that too many couples spend oodles of time and energy preparing for the wedding and very little preparing for actually being married. It’s silly when you think of it like that, but when we’re in the thick of wedding planning, it’s hard to see things for what they are.
In her book, All the Money in the World, popular author Laura Vanderkam points out that we unthinkingly spend thousands of dollars on our weddings, but that we balk at spending money on things that offer much more relational value, such as post-marriage date nights. Vanderkam speculates on the positive things that might happen if couples spend less money on a wedding and instead spent that money on weekly date nights. How much better off might our marriages be if we spent that wedding money differently?
2. The point of your wedding is to get the two of you married.
It’s not so you can throw the most impressive gathering everyone in your circle of friends has attended. It’s not so you can pamper your guests and offer them the finest meal they’ve ever experienced. Of course you want your wedding to be lovely, but when you start to think that’s the most important thing, you’re headed for financial trouble.
3. A healthy financial life will make your marriage more likely to last.
Did you know that money problems are the number one cause of divorce, topping even things like infidelity? This should be enough to make you take the financial aspect of your wedding very seriously. A new marriage will have a tough time weathering the stress of a heavy debt-load. And what’s the point of going into debt for a fabulous wedding if the resulting marriage is going to have a tough time dealing with that financial stress?
It makes a lot more sense to focus on what will give you a solid marriage rather than what will give you a fancy wedding.
Now that you’ve got some new ways to think about your wedding, you’ll be well-equipped to evaluate your wedding plans with a more discerning eye. Happy planning!
Kristen is a mom, wife, the face behind The Frugal Girl and a contributor to the CareOne Debt Relief Services blog.