Whether it’s Disney movies, pressure from your parents, or a case of keeping up with the Joneses, society has managed to create some majorly unrealistic expectations when it comes to weddings. Reports estimate that the average wedding in the U.S. costs between $25,000 and $30,000. Most of us couldn’t handle this type of expense without taking on some debt, and here’s why that isn’t an ideal situation.
A major commitment
Sure, you’re about to make a lifelong commitment to your partner, but don’t forget about the commitment you’re making to your bank if you’ve dipped into a loan or charged too much on your credit card.
You’ll likely be paying off your wedding for months, if not years, down the road. While you’re chipping away at your wedding debt, you’ll be missing out on other opportunities, like getting into the real estate market, furthering your education, or taking a well-deserved trip. Suddenly, that extra hors d’oeuvre option might not seem so worth it.
Starting off on the wrong foot
It’s no secret that financial stressors can put tension on an otherwise happy relationship. As a married couple, you’ve most likely already got plenty on your monetary plate: student loans, unexpected car breakdowns, the roof that will need to be replaced in a few years, etc.
So why add another burden to your situation by tacking on a few extra tens of thousands of dollars of debt? Unlike student loans, your wedding won’t increase your earning potential. Unlike fixing a broken car, you don’t need your wedding to get you to your job. And unlike a roof over your head, your wedding won’t keep you protected from the elements. You get the picture.
Dealing with interest
Going over your budget by a little here and there might not seem like a big deal; after all, what’s an extra $500 when it comes to the most important dress you’ll ever wear in your life?
As it happens, that $500 might cost you more than you think. Until you’ve paid it off, you’ll be racking up interest on the outstanding balance, and the interest charges might not be as inconsequential as you think, especially if you’re relying on your credit card to fund the purchase. It may only seem like $500 now, but it’ll cost you way more in the long run.
You may not even want it
If you’ve always dreamed of driving a vintage car to your wedding—and you’ve saved for this very expense—then by all means, go for it!
But all too often, wedding expenses are incurred because “that’s just what you do.” You hate flowers, but people expect them. Custom-made signs are completely unnecessary, but they’re everywhere on Pinterest. You couldn’t care less about having a bridal party, but you’re afraid you might hurt your sister-in-law’s feelings if you don’t have one.
When you’re getting caught up in unnecessary expenses, put your credit card away and take a moment to step back. What is getting married really about? Celebrating your love in the company of your favorite people or fancy embossed place cards?
Just one day
You’ve been told it will be the single most important day of your life, but at the end of the day, it’s just that: one day. In fact, most brides and grooms will tell you that the day feels like a total blur, so chances are good you won’t even remember what your flower girl’s petals looked like or what color ribbon was used with your favors.
“But I have to take care of the guests!,” you might be thinking. Of course, being a gracious host is important when hosting a wedding—good food, a comfortable environment, and enjoyable company will matter greatly to your guests. But think back to the last few weddings you went to; do you remember what the invites looked like, or did they end up in your recycle bin moments after you opened them? Can you recall the different wedding cake flavors that were offered? Probably not.
If neither you nor your guests will notice these minor details, maybe it’s time to consider whether they’re worth going into debt for.
Disclaimer: Hey! Welcome to our disclaimer. Here’s what you need to know to safely consume this blog post: Any outbound links in this post will take you away from Simple.com, to external sites in the wilds of the internet; neither Simple nor The Bancorp Bank, our partner bank, endorses any linked-to websites; and we didn’t pay/barter with/bribe anyone to appear in this post. And as much as we wish we could control the cost of things, any prices in this article are just estimates. Actual prices are up to retailers, manufacturers, and other people who’ve been granted magical powers over digits and dollar signs.