If there is one day you want to be perfect, it’s your wedding, and there are many reasons why. Maybe you want to give your partner their dream wedding. It might be that you want your parents to have that magical moment they’ve been thinking fondly about since you were in diapers. Or maybe it's about you, wanting to experience the ceremony you’ve been dreaming about since you met your soulmate.
Unfortunately, perfection can be expensive.
According to an article in The Atlantic that is garnering widespread interest, the average middle class couple plans to spend $15,000 to $35,000 on their wedding. Not only are they opening their checkbooks like never before, but they are willing to take on debt to pay for wedding expenses, often adding to student loans and mortgages.
Couples are trying to maximize their dollar by finding the best vendors and using cost cutting tricks. But some aspects are non-negotiable, such as the rings, the wedding dress, tuxedo, cake, and a photographer.
What we took away from the Atlantic article was the following:
Weddings are expensive, and folks should be careful about going into debt.
One way to do that is to talk openly about what you want out of your ceremony. That way, you don't waste resources on things that don't resonate with you.
Do either of you even like cake? Perhaps that’s an area you can cut costs. Are you both outdoorsy types? Perhaps you can hold the ceremony in a public park instead of that expensive urban-industrial venue. Give these ideas some thought, and you’ll be surprised at what strikes you as unnecessary.
Another great way to eliminate aspects of the wedding experience that just aren't "you" is to focus on the ceremony and your unique story!
There are ways to be practical while still getting the magic you want. Alternative venues, smaller guest lists, and of course - who will officiate the wedding. Professional officiants have the advantage of reliability and experience, and in the grand scheme of things, are a great investment if you decide to go that route. Other couples realize that having a friend or family member perform the ceremony can not only a cost-cutting option, but a meaningful one.
Your wedding day is the start of the most important chapter in your life. You are going to want it to be marvelous for you and your guests. Planning within your means won’t change that. That said, your saving might start with asking a friend, “Will You Marry Us?”