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Why spend so much on a wedding?

May 25, 2013 - Jodelle Greiner
There’s a trend these days for couples to move in together, buy a house, have kids — and THEN get married. They say they “don’t have enough money to get married” and they are “saving up” for “the wedding of our dreams.”

That never made sense to me. Most of these marriages are over before they get the wedding bills paid off. And even if the couple stays together, why have tens of thousands of dollars hanging over your head for years? That debt stress does not help a marriage.

“The average woman spends $1,211 on her wedding dress, according to a survey of 20,000 brides from the Knot. In fact, the average cost of a wedding is the highest it's been in years at $28,427,” according to

And that’s probably a conservative figure.

Finally, some people are getting smart. Yahoo! Shine reports that some mass retailers (and some recognizable designers) have put together wedding gowns and bridesmaids dresses that don’t break the piggy bank and can actually be worn again.

On, there’s a picture of four women. One is modeling a sleeveless ankle-length wedding gown with a simple V-neck. The other three are wearing knee-length red dresses, all with different bodices, necklines and waistlines.

These aren’t the dreaded “bridesmaid dresses” that can’t be seen in public again. They are solid color dresses that could be worn to a nice restaurant or another dressy occasion and no one would pick them out as a “bridesmaid dress.” The wedding dress could also be worn again in a variety of different ways.

Yahoo! Shine pointed out the retailers are pricing the wedding gowns from $99 into the $300 and higher range. Bridesmaids dresses start at $69. You can also get tiny tuxes for $40 and flowergirl dresses for $24.

The people commenting on the article had other ways to save on the wedding. One guy said his wife bought her wedding dress at a thrift store for $25 and “she made the most beautiful bride.”

Others suggested making the clothes yourself or adding embellishments for a personal touch. You don’t need a lot of expensive decorations and food that’s just going to wind up in the trash. One suggested having family and friends bring potluck. I’ve seen post-wedding parties in garages or similar buildings.

One poster really got it: “It's the people and the commitment of the couple that is important.”

If you remember that, you will have a beautiful marriage.


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