Weddings are stupid.
I was talking to a woman recently about her upcoming nuptials and, as is the case every single time I talk to a woman about this, I almost fell over when she told me what it was going to cost. Her photographer alone was more expensive than my entire wedding, which totalled out at just over $10,000 (we had about 120 people and yes we fed them and gave them booze).
As we know, I’m the exception rather than the rule.
According to a new report from The Knot, the price of the average wedding in the U.S. is now higher than $32,000 (U.S.). And Canada is apparently comparable, as a 2014 report from Wedding Bells found that Canadian weddings ran an expected cost of $31,685. (To put that into perspective, for that kind of money you can buy a really nice car, a trip around the world, or a university education.)
But wait. If you think that’s nuts, don’t get married in Manahattan, where the Knot report says the average wedding costs $82,299.
Come on. That’s too much money to spend on one day that you’re not even going to remember because you’re going to be drunk on champagne by 3 pm*. Unless you’re rich, in which case, carry on, I guess. But I don’t think most people spending this much can afford it because they’re always complaining about their wedding costs, and also about the fact that the planning is turning them into huge stressballs** and making them fight with their mother in law.
This is just silly. Because hey: You don’t have to do it. You don’t have to do any of it.
You can just chill. It’s a freakin party, and despite the fact the the report says some of the rising cost can be chalked up to “personalization,” all weddings are kind of the same anyway. You rent a venue, you wear a dress and a suit, you make some promises that 50% of you are going to break, you feed some people, you get them drunk, maybe you dance, and you go home. Or you go on a trip. Whatever. You’re planning a party. Get over it.
Here are three ways we didn’t spend a lot of money on our wedding:
1. I didn’t spend eleventy billion dollars on a dress. I find those shows like Say Yes to the Dress so weird because all those wedding dresses look exactly alike to me and they’re all hideous. Everyone is going to say you look beautiful no matter what, so there is no reason to spend enough money to feed a family for an entire year on something you’re going to wear once and if you are doing that y’all need to reexamine your priorities. My dress was vintage and cost less than $1000.
2. We skipped the favours. Nobody wants a shot glass with “David and Elizabeth” engraved on it. NOBODY. 70% of favours are left at the table and if it does get taken home, that crap just winds up in a drawer somewhere and later in a landfill. Ditto for chocolates or sugared almonds. Nobody needs more food after they’ve already skipped the sweet table.
3. We didn’t go overboard on dessert or a huge cake. By the time sweets come around, many people are too drunk to bother with them and some have even already left.
Check out this Reddit thread for more ways to save on your wedding, like skipping the aisle runner (I didn’t even know that was a thing) and balloons (or that). You could also elope and give the $32,000 to charity if you really have it to throw away.
Also, remember that, according to one report, you might be better off spending less than $20,000 on your wedding, since spending more is correlated with a crappy marriage.
“Randal Olson, a data analyst and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania Institute for Biomedical Informatics, found that once a wedding passes the $20,000 mark, marriages are 3.5 times more likely to end in divorce.
“Another study by Emory University economics professors also found that the more couples spend on their wedding, the shorter their marriage will be.”
I am not shocked by this. I’ll let you figure out why.
* 11 a.m.