The average wedding price tag

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Counseling, Love, The Wedding Service, Venues | 0 comments

The average wedding price tag

Dear Engaged Couple-

I read a disturbing article a couple of weeks ago. According to new information available by The Knot, the average wedding last year had a price tag of $31,000. That’s not disturbing information all by itself, of course. Couples (or their parents) may as well spend their money on what’s important to them. What IS disturbing, in information also provided by The Knot, is the fact that couples who spend more than $20,000 on a wedding are nearly FOUR times as likely to get divorced, than people who kept to a wedding budget of $10,000 or less.

This couple married in their backyard

This couple married in their backyard

So, what’s going on? My first thought, and maybe yours too, is that people who have money to spend on expensive weddings, also have money to pay divorce lawyers. Couples of more limited means, may soldier on in an unhappy relationship. Then again, maybe couples of more limited means, work harder to make their marriages work, knowing that they can’t afford to split.

Forgive me if this offends, but I have come up with at least one other possible reason that a couple who chooses to have a small, less expensive wedding may stay married.  Small, less expensive weddings are by nature more intimate.

This elopement took place on a pubic beach!   Forget renting a vineyard or farm!

This elopement took place on a pubic beach! Forget renting a vineyard or farm!

Family members and wedding guests may help prepare the food and decorate the tables for the reception. Uncle Keith serves as wedding  photographer, and Cousin Jane, mans the ipod for the ceremony music. It’s like the barn raising of yesteryear. In other words, by the time the tent is taken down and the dishes washed and put away, the couple’s family members and friends feel invested in that marriage.

As I have often said in weddings at which I officiate, friends and family members are crucial to a marriage’s success. In fact, as part of the service, I often ask a couple’s friends and family members : “Do you here today, promise to stand beside [bride] and [groom], never between them, to offer them your love, but not your judgment, and to honor the vows they are about to make?” And then those friends and family members are prompted to respond “Yes” or “We do.”

Newborn Baby in Mother HandCouples don’t marry in a vacuum, even though when they are so “in love” they may for a brief while forget that there is a world out there beyond their love relationship. What husband or wife doesn’t need supportive family members and friends to listen and offer occasional advice?  Or a loan maybe when there’s an unforeseen expense. And, when that couple becomes parents? They WILL eventually want a reprieve from the wee one(s) so that they can reconnect. Mom and dad, sister or brother, or dear friends can perform a great service by offering to babysit for a week or weekend.

Weddings are an opportunity for close relations to make silent or vocal commitments to the couple. “Yes, I will support you in your marriage.” I am not sure this is likely to happen at a large, festive social gathering with a 100+ guest list.

I’m just sayin…. What do you think?

Happy wedding planning!



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