Weddings are expensive. Depending on where you live in the US, getting married will cost you between $10,000 – $30,000. That’s not including the dress. That is quite a lot of money to spend on a one day party for yourself. How expensive your wedding is depends on a lot of variables – venue, food, drinks, invitations, the amount of people coming, DJ, rings, limo, flowers, and of course how totally out of control the Bride to Be and her mother are. None of these things are exactly necessary. The wedding “business” is booming because young, American women insist on spending all of their money (or more likely their parents money) on a party they insist will be “the best day of their life”.
Just look at Pinterest and you’ll see board after board of Wedding Porn. Some it from women who are not yet engaged. There are a ton of TV shows dedicated to weddings and wedding planning – “Say Yes to the Dress”, “Four Weddings”, and my personal favorite “Bridezilla”. That’s right, a show about woman allowed to act like a bitch all because she’s getting married. The groom is usually cowering in a bar someplace wondering what the next three decades are going to be like. Somewhere along the way weddings stopped being about the couple and started being about The Bride, and her special day.
The social pressure to
get married have an “amazing wedding” is part of it. Aside from Pintrest, film, and TV – you have Facebook. Last week I saw at least a dozen Instagram pictures of weddings and receptions all in fantastic locations. One set of photos had the most unhappy looking couple I have ever seen. The bride couldn’t hold a smile if it was stapled to her face. The groom just looked blissfully unaware of how completely unhappy his bride was. But it was in a beautiful setting. I guess that’s all that matters.
Young women today are focused on The Wedding and not The Marriage. Marriage isn’t one big party. Marriage is a commitment – financially and legally. Does it make any sense to spend 10,000 dollars on a one day party and a week long holiday in Hawaii only to take out a loan for a place to live? No. No it doesn’t. Women in Prague rent wedding dresses. Whenever I told Czech women how much American women spend on their wedding it only confirmed their belief that all Americans are crazy and rich. When I told them most of that money is put on credit cards they just laughed. “Who would be that stupid?” Who indeed.
Marriage is a legal and financial commitment. Marriage takes compromise, respect, a sense of humor, the ability to accept that you are not always right, and honesty. No matter how many people come to see you get drunk in a $2,000 gown, after the glitter fades it will be just you and your new spouse. I sure hope you don’t start your new lives together in debt because you wanted to have a special day. My advice? Save that money for travel or a home. Spend that money on something for your future together. Spend that money on something both of you really want or need. Because let’s face it – the wedding day is just for the Bride. And that’s ain’t fair.