Here comes the debt: How media is changing the way we wed

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  • Utah Native Farmington, UT
    May 5, 2014 11:07 a.m.

    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 wedding extravaganza.

  • Milburn Kaysville, UT
    May 3, 2014 1:56 p.m.

    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 egos.

  • cj2018 KUTZTOWN, PA
    April 30, 2014 11:42 a.m.

    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.

  • Nan BW ELder, CO
    April 30, 2014 8:35 a.m.

    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.

  • Poqui Murray, UT
    April 27, 2014 9:57 p.m.

    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...

  • nicholdraper West Jordan, UT
    April 26, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    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!

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    April 26, 2014 6:41 a.m.

    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.

  • Funny/witty screen name Orem, UT
    April 25, 2014 6:10 p.m.

    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 years.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    April 25, 2014 12:47 p.m.

    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.

  • Clarissa Layton, UT
    April 25, 2014 12:15 p.m.

    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.

  • PacificCreek Puyallup, WA
    April 25, 2014 11:13 a.m.

    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!

  • Tekakaromatagi Dammam, Saudi Arabia
    April 25, 2014 9:43 a.m.

    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."

  • Red San Antonia, TX
    April 25, 2014 8:40 a.m.

    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 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!!!

  • Wilf 55 SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    April 25, 2014 8:28 a.m.

    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 American context.

  • Liberal Ted Salt Lake City, UT
    April 25, 2014 7:40 a.m.

    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.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    April 25, 2014 6:18 a.m.

    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 day's event.


  • cjb Bountiful, UT
    April 25, 2014 1:34 a.m.

    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?