In 2019, the average USA wedding cost was $33,900, according to CNBC. That’s a lot of money for what might be just a single day experience, and balancing your budget with the importance of the experience you provide is of concern to many couples, with events ranging from do-it-yourself crafty backyard ceremonies, through to lavish venues full of flowers and top-notch entertainment.
So does it really matter how much you spend, and should you go all out if you want to?
The Wedding Essentials
There are some costs you can’t escape if you’re planning a wedding – the officiant and a set of wedding rings, for example, are a must for any ceremony. However, most couples will want the wedding dress of their dreams, a photographer or videographer, and a specific special venue… and then there is the catering, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding cake, the flowers, and the reception to consider too, plus anything individual that has a special meaning for both partners.
Whilst it’s possible to cut costs by making your own centerpieces, baking your own cake, getting friends to take photos or bring food, and buying a budget dress, it might feel like cutting back on these things will cut back on the experience and memories too.
NPR reports that spending money on experiences leaves people happier than the times they spend money on stuff. Material objects have their benefits, of course, and if you have a gift list for your wedding, the likelihood is that you’ll get a lot of them from the family and friends who wish to celebrate with you.
So think about whether staring at a toaster will make you as happy as the memories of your wedding day, in the years to come – and if it won’t, maybe it’s worth splashing out on an experience you and your guests will enjoy on the day itself, and for years to come in your memories.
Saving for Success
If spending more to experience more is the way you want to go, then there’s no reason why you shouldn’t save to get there, and this can set your marriage on strong foundations financially.
While some people prefer to put aside money towards a downpayment for a home or another practical expense, others will find saving for an all-out amazing day just as rewarding, and with careful budget planning it should be possible to achieve everything you want for the minimum amount possible. As an added bonus, you’ll be less stressed, and have an even more memorable day if you plan effectively and stick to your schedule and budget goals.
Whatever you want from your wedding, and however big or small you’d like it to be, with careful planning, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go all out if you want to. Consider your priorities, and spend on the things that’ll make you happy – money isn’t everything, but it certainly helps.