This past Christmas my sister called me to let me know that her boyfriend of several years proposed to her. They have been dating for a long time and everyone in our family likes him, so we were all excited for them. They are planning on having their wedding next summer because my sister just graduated from college and he has one year left. The long engagement should give them plenty of time to find and book a good venue, finalize the invitation list, and make all the necessary plans that come with a wedding. There is a lot to do, but with over a year to plan, they should have plenty of time to pull it off.
Wedding planning is a lot of work, but it can be fun too – my mom and sister have already started looking at dresses, pricing venues, looking at invitations, and doing lots of other fun things. I’m sure that with this much time to plan, they will be able to have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank.
My mom is visiting us this week and naturally, the topic of weddings came up. My mom asked my wife and I how much certain parts of our wedding cost (we were married almost six years ago, so we have fairly recent experience with the topic). Truth be told, my wife and I don’t remember how much everything cost, because her parents paid a large part of it, and I don’t think we listed everything out once it was all said and done.
How Much Should a Wedding Cost?
There is no one size-fits-all wedding — they come in all shapes and sizes, with large black tie events, and small casual affairs. The Knot.com recently released a report on 2011 weddings, which listed the average wedding cost at $27,000. While I’m not sure exactly how much our wedding cost, I know it was somewhere in that ballpark, and maybe a little lower.
Weddings are such a personal event that you can’t really use one person’s wedding budget as a guide for your wedding. Each person values certain aspects of the wedding differently, making each wedding and its associated costs as unique as the couple being wed. In my opinion, the best way to go is to spend money on those things which are most important to you, and find ways to save on the areas which aren’t as important. You can also save a lot of money by involving friends and family, booking in advance, using coupons, and a being creative with scheduling, substituting more expensive options for less expensive options, etc.
My biggest piece of advice would be not to go into debt for a wedding. I understand that weddings are one of the most important days you will have, but starting a married life in debt is an added pressure newlyweds don’t need. It’s more important to have a day where you can relax and have fun, and enjoy the moment without having to worry about having the debt hanging over you for months, or years to come.
What are your thoughts – how much should a wedding cost?
Photo credit: Caucas’