Monthly Archives: August 2013

Couples Rethink Wedding Costs

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.

An Honest Letter to the Bride

I’m thrilled that you’ve found the man of your dreams. But frankly, your choosing to be married at a posh resort outside Aspen is going to present financial challenges for us, your invited guests.

Was nothing available closer to home? Ater all, most of us live in San Francisco. Yes, I know you’re sentimental about having met in Aspen, when you took a tumble on the ski slope and he helped you up, and you just knew you were meant for each other. But fifty people will be traveling to Aspen when you could have been married on the slopes at Lake Tahoe.

Sure you’re special, but you’re costing me a lot more than I intended to spend. I know you managed to get deluxe accommodations for all of us and the best meals and entertainment. The $1,200 it will cost me to be at your wedding ( not including the gift from the registry) is really a financial stretch, especially since your out-of-town wedding is the third one I’ve been invited to this year.

Of course, it’s your special day, and a wedding is (theoretically) once in a lifetime. But promise me, that if you marry again ( and statistics show that’s not impossible), you’ll  either pay my way for your wedding weekend or you’ll remarry closer to home.