Spend Wisely: Don’t Go Into The Red For A White Wedding


Imagine what you could do with an extra $22,000. Maybe buy a car, go on a luxurious vacation, pay for one semester of college, or spend about $3.20 per gallon of gas…6,875 times.

If none of the above options spark your interest, possibly a dozen brand new, 13-inch MacBook Pros, 365 video games for Xbox 360, 122 pairs of True Religion jeans or an average American wedding just might do the trick.

In 2008, upwards of two million couples living in the United States decided to get married, according to CDC online. Those who celebrated their vows with a ceremony of some kind spent a median of $21,814 on the festivities.

While dropping 22K on what is actually classified as a “party,” may seem a bit over-the-top, consider that this number has declined almost 10 percent since the previous year of 2007, when it was inching close to $27,500 in the land of the free and home of the brave.

If this statistic doesn’t make you anxious about the future (or current) possibility of finding true love, then you’re either rolling in the dough or you happen to be the child of Carl XVI and Sylvia Gustaf, Sweden’s royal couple.

In the latter circumstance, on June 19, the Gustaf’s daughter, Princess Victoria, was allotted approximately $2.6 million for her televised extravaganza, complete with hundreds of famous guests and a post-wedding gala held at the very place where Nobel Prizes are handed out—the Stockholm Concert Hall. After the lavish soiree, the happy couple Victoria and Daniel Westling, hopped on a private plane to the French Polynesian Islands for some much-needed relaxation and sight-seeing.

Not all who have ostentatious ceremonies and receptions are of royal blood though. Hollywood has gotten the memo on that one, too—and the list of high-profile nuptials is extensive.

Songbird Christina Aguilera and music executive Jordan Bratman exchanged I-do’s for a cool $2 million against the background of Napa Valley, California in 2005. In 1991, Elizabeth Taylor and Larry Fortensky celebrated the special day with an additional fee of $2.1 million in chocolates, cakes, party favors, invites and famous chefs’ ultimate creations.

The month of March, 2007 marked the eight-day matrimonial that model-turned-actress Elizabeth Hurley and business mogul Arun Nayar tied the knot in both Gloucestershire, England and Jodhpur, India for no less than $2.6 million roundtrip.

Perhaps the most notable fete of them all was compiled of performers and guests Michael Jackson, Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Mia Farrow, Diana Ross and Tony Bennett, who helped celebrate the union of Liza Minnelli and David Gest in New York City for over $3.5 million. Piled atop a 12-teired cake were the words “Liza and David 4 Ever,” but the two split about one year later (so much for that happily-ever-after).

We all know, or hopefully believe, that money cannot buy us love, no matter how many millions or even billions of crinkly dollars bills may tempt our imaginations.

So, on the off chance that you’re classified as neither high-rolling CEO nor heir to the throne of a small foreign country/celebrity, you may want to consider the reality of the very likely situation that you and your fiancé will be strapped for cash.

Okay, maybe not completely broke—but rather conservative and levelheaded when making wedding plans. Don’t foolishly think that mom and dad will pick up the tabs for the unnecessary flower centerpieces or the $4,500 Swarovski-encrusted cake just because you’re fabulous.

Let’s keep it real here and understand that we are now living in the year 2010, AKA “the depression after the recession,” and things are moving towards more conservative means. Think of the numerous ways that you can save money and stay within your set budget of under $22,000.

Besides, who ever said that you couldn’t use saved money for non-essentials? Like a couple trusty Mac laptops and some cute jeans!