Many couples are beginning to function in the real world, trading extravagant credit card weddings for an event they can actually afford. These savvy couples are beginning to run their numbers , rearrange priorities and ask questions that really matter.
For example, wouldn’t $30,000 pay off the graduate school loans? Do we really need 200 wedding guests? If a wedding lunch costs half of a wedding dinner, do we really need moonlight? Do we really need the DJ’s banter in between dance numbers? Perhaps most important, should our parents really be cutting into their retirement savings to pay for our wedding?
Finally, a glimmer of reason is emerging. Couples are moving up wedding dates for year-end tax breaks and substantial savings on health insurance premiums. Some are combining plans to marry with a year-end vacation. And then there’s the ultimate voice of reason – the couple that realizes that the cost of their wedding day could be the down payment on a house.
Unfortunately, with two million weddings annually in the U.S., the $160 billion wedding industry isn’t tightening its belt just yet. I’m hoping that couples who marry are mature enough to realize that a lavish wedding doesn’t have much to do with a happy marriage.