Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The dream wedding? Or the marriage? Choose.

We are told the 'average' wedding these days costs $20,000 to $50,000, or even more, depending on the source.  But this is nonsense. Every day there are sensible couples who decide to do what is best for the marriage, and not try and fulfil some adolescent girl's fantasy. These are the ones who opt for a simple wedding, no trimmings, and make their vows with love and commitment in their hearts. It is the marriage that is important, not the wedding.

I made a brief check of Google: 

The great bridal train robbery

by: Lisa Power  from: The Daily Telegraph ,  May 01, 2013 12:00AM

LOVE may be priceless but the cost of getting married has reached heart-stopping heights.

Wedding spending has almost doubled over the past decade, with couples now outlaying a record $54,294 on the average Australian wedding, Bride To Be magazine's bi-annual Cost of Love study has found.

The final tally - which includes everything from rings to honeymoons - comes despite couples initially setting a budget of $25,866.

Parents are paying less for weddings, with 90 per cent of couples saving $13,598 for their special day over 15 months.

Just over $6000 is put on the credit card and another $12,583 is borrowed, the study found.

Choosing the dress was a major decision, with gowns ordered more than six months in advance, said Brides of Sydney consultant Sarah Matthysen, who yesterday helped bride-to-be Jordan Summers trial gowns for her December wedding.

This is one figure for an 'average' wedding, but, of course, there are different figures put forward by others. From a wedding planner, for instance, around $100,000.  (I don't recall where I heard that.)  But these sorts of  'averages' are not  counting  the ones who have the barbeque in the park, or even the registry office wedding with a half dozen guests and a BYO picnic afterwards.  And then they put the money they saved toward a nice holiday or reduce the mortgage on the house.  Imagine starting off a marriage with a $20,000 debt just when you are looking at finding a house, furnishing it, and maybe one day, having a child or two. You do not have to have the 'best' wedding of your friends. That desire is childish and you are venturing into a major part of being an adult.  

The wedding dress:

How much does a wedding dress cost?

They are beautiful, of course.  Especially as depicted here.

But remember these are models, and not many of us have the looks and the figures of a model.  $1,000 spent on a dress that will be only worn once in a life-time is a terrible waste of money.


Getting married is a very significant thing. Even if you have lived together for  ten years and have three children together, it is the time when you make a commitment to each other. Vows are different in different religions, and often, people make up their own vows, but the traditional Christian vows say it beautifully  -
To have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer,
and I promise my love to you forevermore. 

So why belittle the occasion by turning it into a showpiece or try to gain headlines by doing something strange or weird?  This is a wedding - the beginning of your marriage.  It is an immensely important occasion in your life.  Treat it as such. It is not for people to gawk at as a novelty.

There are numerous oddball ways to get married. In my opinion, it does not enhance the occasion, it diminishes it.  The meaning of marrying is enough; it does not require frills.  

One further thought - from the weddings that I have seen, I have come to the conclusion that there is a definite inverse relationship between the size and style of the wedding, and the length of the marriage.  In other words, the bigger and fancier the wedding, the shorter the marriage.

Make yourself a nice wedding if you choose, invite those who love you, and remember that it is not the climax of a relationship, but a beginning - when you commit to the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. It is the dawn, not high sun and not the sunset.  If you spend too much and wind up in debt because of it, however, it could very easily be the sunset.


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  1. You are so right with all of your thoughts. I remember when a wedding was a fun day with a blushing bride, an embarrassed groom and a couple of drunken uncles. It is just another sign of the horrible greed and avarice that is so rife in the world today and yes, as you so rightly say it's all about a marriage not the wedding.

  2. My husband and I got married 8 days after my fiftieth birthday. We were in a position that if we wanted to spend a besquillion on the happy event, we could have. We got married in our garden, and we had 7 guests. Two were his children. It's totally beyond me why young people spend huge amounts on a ceremony. Spend it on your lives, kids. Presumably you've already exchanged "I love you".

  3. Thanks for your comments, Diane and Greta. We're not all lucky in our marriages for various reasons, but certainly, there is no point in adding to that slightly precarious first year of adjustments by adding in extra debt.