One’s wedding is one of those pivotal and key moments in a persons life. For many women, a wedding is dreamed of from childhood. For many men, no expense should be spared while pledging his life to the woman that he loves. With celebrities gracing the covers of glossy magazines, touting weddings that cost millions of dollars, it makes many of us “up” our expectations of what the “right” type of wedding should be like. Spending on weddings can get downright outrageous. The perfect example would be celebrity Kim Kardashian, who recently spent a reported $10 million on her nuptials. Most of us do not have these types of big ticket wedding dreams, but many do spend far more than really necessary.
A Budget Busting Wedding is a Bad Way to Start a Union
The point of getting married is not to have a gala-style wedding. While most people do not see it as such, we often find ourselves mired up in expensive details that truthfully, most people do not really even notice (the chair covers, each intricate flower, the list goes on…). The wedding is the symbolic and legal joining of a couple for a lifetime together. It is ill advised that a couple start their married life together in debt because of the cost of their wedding.
Many couples spend thousands of dollars on their wedding and reception. Lots of small little details add up to big costs fast: the bigger the wedding, the more it is likely to cost. While tradition states that the parents of the bride and groom cover the costs of certain aspects of the wedding, this does not always happen anymore – many families simply cannot afford those kinds of costs. This means that many couples shoulder all, or at least part, of the cost of covering the wedding. A nest egg can easily be dipped into or depleted for a wedding.
A simple, small and low-key wedding is just as special as a huge event punctuated with rooms full of fresh (expensive) flowers and monogrammed everything. These savings can then be put towards your future as a couple. There are many ways to save money on a wedding without sacrificing any of the uniqueness or specialness of the occasion. Local parks often allow you to hold weddings free or at a reduced cost. Flower gardens are beautiful places that come with all the floral arrangements, naturally. Receptions held at family homes our outdoor venues can be personalized to you and your spouse-to-be’s exact wishes.
The Value of Saving on a Wedding and Planning a Future
As noted above, many spend so much on their wedding that what could have been a decent nest egg is spent for a single, albeit very special, day. Imagine, however, investing those savings and looking at the results a decade later. Your investment is likely to provide more than enough for you and yours to celebrate a special anniversary, and likely much, much more.
Yes, weddings are very special. And as long as there are celebrities with excessive amounts of money, they will make us feel like unless our wedding is dripping with excess, it isn’t good enough. But it is smart to buck this convention convention and do things your own way. Create a special, personal ceremony that reflects you and your spouse, not trends or other people’s expectations. Use your savings to invest in your future as a married couple. That savings could easily grow, through prudent investment, into the down payment on a home, or the start of a college fund for your future children. Of course the wedding is important, but it is what comes after that is truly special.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him here.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.