Which Would You Rather Have?

June 15, 2007

A $30,000 wedding or $30,000 to help get you started in life?

Interesting question.

That’s the question a father asked his daughter in an article by Jonathan Yardley that I just finished reading. The daughter chose the wedding! I expect that most women (and probably a few men) would choose the wedding, which I think is kind of sad based on the fact that 50% of marriages end up in divorce. I realize you can’t put a price on love but $30,000 seems like a lot. I think it has become apparant that to many people, the wedding is more important than the marriage.

I thought this quote taken from One Perfect Day by Rebecca Mead was interesting:

“If a bride has been told, repeatedly, that it costs nearly $28,000 to have a wedding, then she starts to think that spending nearly $28,000 on a wedding is just one of those things a person has to do, like writing a rent check every month or paying health insurance premiums. (Or she prides herself on being a budget bride and spending a mere $15,000 on the event.) She is less likely to reflect upon the fact that $28,000 would have more than covered a 10 percent down payment on the median purchase price of a house in 2005 and would cover the average cost to a family of a health insurance policy, at 2005 rates, for a decade. The bride who has been persuaded that $28,000 is a reasonable amount of money to spend on her wedding day is less likely to measure that total against the nation’s median household income — $42,389 in 2004 — and reflect upon whether it is, in fact, reasonable for her or for anyone to spend the equivalent of seven and a half months of the average American’s salary on one day’s celebration.”

I remember when my wife and I got married nearly 14 years ago. We had a beautiful wedding and I’m pretty sure it didn’t cost anything near $30,000 even after adjusting for inflation. A lot has changed in fourteen years. Weddings are now big, big business and a lot of brides and parents feel like they “have” to spend a lot on a wedding in order for it to be legitimate. Of course this is coming from a guy’s point of view. I’m curious to hear what you women think about this.

54 responses to Which Would You Rather Have?

  1. My wedding cost over 30K, but it was my parents choice… they wanted to invite the 300 people, not me… I think I only knew about 30 people at the actually reception, but I will admit the presents were nice.

  2. I have always told myself not to have an expensive wedding, sure it isn’t easy getting those cash in hand unless somebody’s gonna pay it for you 😉 So I’d rather have a $30k to start our life than spend it on a one day affair.

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