We have experienced a change in this country. Forever, Valentine’s Day was the be-all, end-all “get engaged” day on the romance calendar, and it wasn’t even close. However, statistics compiled since 2000 tell us February 14 has been passed up by Christmas Day, and New Year’s Eve is gaining ground on Valentine’s Day. This means, in about a month tens of thousands of couples will make the biggest decision of their lives. Assuming the answer is “yes,” enjoy your day, and your bauble from Kay Jewelers, kids because more questions are about to arrive. “When,” comes first, followed quickly by “How much?”
The Dollars and Cents of it All:
How much money is to be spent on this day in the lives of two great people? Gildshire admits to being a big old softy when it comes to love, romance, and weddings, but we’re also about making sure that your financials are in place. That’s why we’re here today. We want to ask a couple of questions about this day that unites you two forever.
1) How much do you plan to spend on your wedding?
2) Would the day be as special at a lower price?
Why would we ask such questions? Are we raining on your parade after declaring it beautiful? Have Gildshire Magazines been reinvented as Debbie Downer? Perish the thought! But, the median price for weddings in these United States has reached $33,000, and it can climb much higher. Forty, fifty, sixty thousand dollars and up! Every couple deserves a lovely wedding. We believe that to our core. Still, we ponder a number that big. $33,000! Good grief!
You can get a reasonably nice brand new car for that amount of money, but other things can get done, as well. You can start fresh out from under the debt you built while single. Perhaps, you could put a 20% down payment on your $165,000 home. Or, let it accrue interest for your ten-year anniversary vacation to Tahiti. That’s where you will finally take those fire-dancing lessons you always wanted.
Of course, some people want to throw weddings that dazzle the neighbors. Is that you? Give us a first instinct answer.
The Four Key Questions:
1) Is there anything you would love to do with that money other than spending it on a wedding? In other words, will an expenditure of this size stall a goal such as buying a home? Will you still be able to afford children when and if you want them? The two of you should list things $33,000 can accomplish other than paying for the wedding. If anything pops on this list, consider passing on a traditional and elaborate celebration. Have a more intimate, and cheaper, option.
2) Has a big wedding always been your dream? There isn’t a shred of judgment in this question. I know two little girls, aged six and four. The six-year-old cares not at all about the frou-frou of books about weddings and bridal guides. The four-year-old looks at such a magazine whenever Mom’s in the checkout line at the store. Our guess is one of these girls will have a fancy wedding, while the other one will not. If your dream is of splashy weddings, don’t discard the idea just because someone thinks it is needlessly extravagant. At the end of the day, it is YOUR day. If you never noticed a bridal guide at the store, a less-traditional (much cheaper) option may be perfect.
3) Does the big guest list feel like a party or a migraine? The average cost of your traditional wedding is $267, per guest, when wedding decorations and food and drink are factored in. Some couples love that sort of thing, while others are feeling stress tension right now, just from reading this information. Listen to your emotions and be true to yourself. Do the two of you want those people eating your food, and knocking down your liquor? Or are your relationships with them more tenuous than that?
4) Who’s paying for this thing anyway? If someone other than you is shouldering the majority of the load, well, that’s good. But remember that those who pay the bills get a good, strong, say in how the money gets spent. However, if you and your fiancee’ are paying, be aware. Going into a great deal of debt for your wedding is foolish! You have bills that haven’t gone away and a household to get started.
The Bottom Line When it Comes to Weddings:
Now, that we’ve given you some things to ponder, accept Gildshire’s congratulations. She gets prettier all the time. He makes Thor look pedestrian and average. Just know that, should you decide on a wedding that costs under thirty-three grand, all that is still true.