11 July 2009

"I Do" -- for Less

Why on earth do couples spend untold thousands of dollars to get married? Seriously, a $10,000 dress? A $2,000 photographer? Individual gifts to wedding party members of $200 -- each? Really? Can anyone explain to me why two people think it necessary to spend more than $21,000 to get married? (That's the average cost of a wedding in America in 2008. In 2007 it was $28,000!)

When Matt and I got married last year our total cost was less than $2,000 -- which included gas to drive to California and back (at $4.65/gallon), hotel for one night, four meals, cost of the license and civil ceremony, and rings (those were $1,000). That seemed like plenty of money to me.

I always thought spending tons of money on weddings was ridiculous. I mean, what does the "happy couple" say three years later when they divorce? "Thanks for the big party; now we're done."? Why don't people just take all that money and put it in the bank as a down payment on a house instead? I'm not saying have a total bare-bones wedding, but a $1,500 cake? Is that really necessary? Instead of five toasters and eleven blenders, why not let people make deposits in your bank account? Or donate the money to a charity? Or do something more useful? I guess I am just a practical person and not given to lavish outlays of cash just to prove I can do it. That seems silly.

(When we sent out announcements about our marriage, we encouraged people to make donations to the Humane Society in lieu of gifts. I am very happy to say many of our friends did just that.)

Luckily for the world at large, it seems the economic meltdown has FINALLY made people re-examine the folly of these ways, with weddings becoming smaller and more economical. I say it's about time.

Read more about the trend here.

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