I have been experiencing sticker shock lately as I look for ways to pull off a wedding sometime in the near future. I got engaged more than a month ago, and since then it has been an ongoing anxiety attack.
Just ask my co-workers, friends, family and future husband. There have been screams (mostly at the wedding institution and not directed at the above mentioned), tears and feelings of apathy.
And I feel like I have a right to be so screwy lately, because the average wedding costs $25,631, according to Cost of Wedding. Even though this is the average, the website contends that the majority of couples spend between $19,223 and $32,039 for their weddings.
You might have that in your savings account, but I sure don’t! My parents can’t afford to pay for my wedding, and neither can my fiance’s parents. But oh boy, do they have their opinions on what I MUST have, despite it seeming to cost double or triple the average prices.
And whereas a wedding and reception might have been an important moment in the lives of many 20-somethings, there is a clear difference between my generation and my parents’ generation — our earlier debt load.
According to Business Insider, today’s 20-somethings carry an average of $45,000 in debt. A wedding would cost close to half of that. I’m sorry, Mom, but if it is between a wedding and paying off half my debt (with interest, might I add), I go with the pay-off.
I put my basic wedding plans through the wedding cost estimator on Cost of Wedding (without telling specifics) and as I suspected, my wedding would cost more than $24,000. According to the site, the average York, Pa., wedding costs between $19,800 to $33,000, with an average guest list of 127 to 147 people.
The website does make a lot of assumptions, like I will be paying $1,300 for our rings (heck no) and close to $2,000 on flowers (nope.) However, this site does bring to the forefront all the little costs I didn’t think about, like $209 for wedding favors, $58 for my hair and about $800 for paper products (invitations, cards, etc.)
This site doesn’t add to my anxiety but it doesn’t lessen it, either. If anything, it solidifies one sole idea — elopement looks better every day that goes by.
How much did you spend on your wedding? Would you rather pay off your debt, or was it worth it?