When I attend an elaborate wedding or wedding reception, I think, "Exactly
who are they trying to impress?" All I see are dollar signs for the parents
of the happy couple and a happy couple oblivious to the enormous expense their
parents must finance. Or, even worse, they aren't oblivious, but instead
feel entitled to the lavishness. When I hear of young brides-to-be turning up
their noses at a reception in a free cultural hall of their church because such
venues just aren't "WOW!" enough, I see trouble ahead for the
groom. I've been to simple receptions with no decorations in the church
cultural hall, simple refreshments, and I've felt better there about
whatever money I forked out for a gift than I do when I attend an over-the-top
It is said that narcissism is the defining characteristic of our era. And I
would say that weddings are one of the primary manifestations of narcissism in
our society. In our grandparents day, most people would put on their best
clothes to get married in the local church followed by a simple, inexpensive
celebration if they had one at all.I think if you get down to the bottom
of any of these expensive weddings, you'll find some large but insecure
Many years ago, my best friend married her best friend. They were so in love,
and they had a huge wedding to show it. I was one of eight bridesmaids. Of
course, there was a matching groomsman for each of us, plus a matron of honor
and the flower girl and ring bearer. In total, we sent out just about a
thousand invitations to the wedding and reception. No, that was not a typo.
Well, it truly was a beautiful wedding. The invitations, the
flowers and the decorations were gorgeous. The food was incredible, and there
was enough for the eight hundred or so guests that showed up, of those invited.
It was memorable, to say the least. Unfortunately, it was
especially memorable for the bride and groom. You see, she cheated on him the
night of the wedding with one of the groomsmen. The groom found out about it a
few days later and cheated on the bride two weeks later. Within a year, they
were divorced. Talk about a waste.
Our two daughters, and our two sons, all had celebrations that were well under
the prices mentioned in the article. I recall that one celebrations was less
than $1,000 total. For that one our daughter borrowed a dress from a cousin.
These were all temple marriages, and all are still married (with many challenges
involved). However, the marriage celebration that I thought was especially
considerate of relatives and friends was that of my sister. She had a surprise
event in her yard. The guests thought they were coming to a birthday until my
sister announced that she and her boyfriend of many years were getting married.
Their biggest expenditure was a cake they had made, and no one bought wedding
gifts because they didn't know such an event was happening. It was about as
low stress as anyone can get, and they have a mortgage free home and healthy
resources for the future.
I've married two children in the past 2 years and did each wedding for less
than $2,500 - they included photography, video, DJ, and really good food. And I
thought I spent a lot of money...
Why shouldn't people throw lavish weddings. For most people marriage is a
fairly tale and the wedding should reflect that fact. There are a few people to
whom a marriage is a religious ceremony where sacred vows are made. For most
marriage is a civil contract that will cost the major earner part of their
income when the contract ends. May as well spend some of that money up front to
discourage the average people from considering such a folly. Beside a free trip
and open bar paid for by someone else, who doesn't like a lavish wedding!
Fantasy Island has been in my head for ever, called a dream. Ya I make my wishes
an the star. I want to have the castle and live the fairy tail life and live
happily ever after.
The biggest and most important piece of advice that i ever recieved from ALL the
advice i recieved around my wedding time was from my father. He said, "Do
not go into debt for your wedding or your honeymoon." Thank goodness i
listened. Before you get married you get caught up in all the emotion and you
want to make it a amazing event. To do that, you dont have to spend thousands.
Pick and choose some things you want to splurge on but keep it under control.
Make it a nice day but dont make it a day you will be paying for for the next 7
My oldest daughter was married a few years ago and my wife did it all for less
than $5K. The next daughter was married last fall and the total cost was about
$2200. Nothing pretentious or lavish. Thank you to both of my kids for being
realistic and not expecting a ridicules extravaganza.
My mother made my dress, which was absolutely gorgeous. I paid $100 for my
wedding cake. I had a friend take pictures. I spent little money on wedding
invitations and we handed most of them out ourselves. My parents paid $500 for
my reception. I've been married for many happy years. Big weddings are just
plain ridiculous. My sister-in-law even rented her dress.
As a father of three daughters my eyes bulged a bit at the numbers thrown out in
this story. A wedding should be a celebration of one of the most important days
of your life. That doesn't mean it has to be expensive to be memorable.
The biggest part of the celebration is having those there with you that you
love. Instead of flying to Hawaii and incurring the huge expense of a vacation
wedding have it at home where friends and family can celebrate with you. Then
off you go on the honeymoon somewhere wonderful! I have been to weddings in
many settings from fancy to simple. After that day each couple was equally
married. An extravagant wedding doesn't increase your love for each other
but it might cause some contention down the road as you try to pay it off!! It
is always better to pay cash for things like this!
The function of a wedding is to make a public proclamation that a man and a
woman have entered into this sort of special relationship. Therefore, if the
man is seen around town with an old flame, there is a lot of social stigma
against that. He has broken a serious taboo and expectation.In a
lot of culture there is some sort of an event which gives legitimacy to the
relationship so that it is more than a legal contract (in many cultures there
was no legal contract because they only had social convention).Jetting everyone off to Hawaii doesn't fit with the narrative. What is
the point? Maybe it is now, "I am so deeply in debt that I cannot afford to
run off with my old flame. I have to be faithful because I am in debt up to my
gills on this."
Don't buy into the hype.Keep your pride in check.Stay out of debt! If someone is needing the "show" of a big wedding
to compete with the rich people then they probably aren't worth marrying in
the first place and you will be heading for a divorce.Even if
it's Daddy's money it is still a huge red flag to run. Expectations
like that are crazy.I think a simple wedding with good friends and
family is what it should be about. Start it off right...by keeping
it simple. Save the money to buy a house instead of blow on a wedding. Also,
keep the ring simple. If the girl needs a big ring to feel validated and loved
then run!Run! You can't run fast enough! Run Baby! Run!!!
Elder Oaks has given several talks about this problem of the wedding price, but
only in the African context because it makes young men in Africa postpone
marriage or cause long debts. Seems there is a great need to address this in the
If money is one of the major issues that first come up and leads many to
divorce. Why would you want to accumulate a marriage wrecker before you are
even married?Pay cash. Think small. Reserve a church building, go to
a park or other free options or less costly options. Don't pay for clothes
that you wear once. Use what you have. This is an important date, but, not the
most important. That came when you decided to date the person and then decide to
get married. That was an important time. Each decision after is the next
important decision.Why on earth this country is soo backwards in
it's thinking is beyond me. We are a country that actually believes debt is
wealth. We have been deceived for far too long.
Elope. Put that money on a downpayment for a home or an education instead. It
boggles the mind that people are willing to spend so much money for a single
Its almost beyond belief that people would pet themselves into debt for years
for a wedding.My parents had friends who 8 years after their
daughter got married were still paying off the credit card debt. What is wrong with a minimalist wedding where the couple goes to a court house
in clothes they already own and get married? And paying for the wedding licence
/ judge fee is the only expense?