"Every girl's dream?" Really? Because a big, beautiful wedding has never been my dream. In fact, the idea of a wedding has never been something even mildly interesting to me. And when I came across a statistic the other day, I found myself wondering why weddings even exist.
The average cost of a wedding is $27,800. Twenty seven thousand and eight hundred dollars.
Now, this number wouldn't be so appalling if you imagined an upper-middle-class couple with little debt and proper savings. But in reality, when you compare that $27,800 with the average yearly income of a young newlywed (many of whom are still paying off school debts or even working their way through grad school), and take into account our current economic climate, it's a shocker that people are still bothering with these things.
Since weddings are one-day ceremonies, and don't affect a married couple's day-to-day quality of life, one would think they would be the first thing to go in a debt-burdened country like ours. Doesn't it go without saying that a wedding is not going to make you happy? And that if a big, beautiful wedding is really your main dream in life - a dream you're willing to sink deeper into debt for - don't you think you may have some reassessing to do?
Now, don't get me wrong. Weddings aren't all that bad. They get you nice pictures. There are lots of nice things to eat. Both the bride and groom look nicer than usual. Weddings are, in summary, nice. But I firmly believe that we need to shift the category of extravagant nuptials from necessity to luxury. If they're going to cost a whopping $27,800, they need to be reserved for those who can pay for them.
I have attended all of one wedding in my lifetime that I can actually remember. And what I remember most about this wedding was not its romance or bliss. No, I remember the price tag, as the couple themselves described it: over $100,000. And before you start to say, "Ah, they've gotta be rich, if they can pay for it, let them go for it," reconsider. They were not rich. The bride didn't have a job. The groom was - get this - in grad school. And this is the fortune they dropped on a five-hour show-off marathon of celebrity photographers and exotic soup dishes.
In the movie Valentine's Day, Ashton Kutcher's character notes that "love is the only shocking act left on the planet." Correction, Ash - love is not alone. Weddings are the most shocking acts left on the planet, and for me, the least understandable.
Now, enough of my ranting. The question to ask yourself is, "Is this how I want to begin my marriage - steeped in unpaid bills and financial stress?" If the doomed-marriage deal is what you're going for, congratulations for you. But I know for a fact that many girls have bigger dreams than that big, beautiful wedding. And I say, kudos to them. Now if only we could all adopt a little sense.