While perusing the internet this week, I came across several advertisements for financing your wedding. Because there is nothing that says we are ready for the next chapter of our lives like starting it with a massive debt. Curious, I investigated more. Washington Times reported that the average price of an American wedding had reached a mind-boggling $35,329!
WHAT! On a party?
This amount could send that couple on good economic footing into the world. 35,000 dollars is a great downpayment on a home in most states or even a paid in full, flat-out cash price on some fixer uppers or condos.
It could allow that couple to house hack and cover all of their housing expenses!!! Why would anyone in their right mind finance a wedding?
Where are the friends and families not condoning excess and telling the perpetrators of such wastefulness what they are doing? TIME reports as of 2016 that 1 in 3 people have no retirement savings and that 72% of millennials have less than $10,000 in savings.
Where did we go wrong?
When did declaring our love for someone for our all our friends and families to nourish and protect become a pinnacle of American consumerism?
Does having the $3,000 dress instead of the $300 one say our love will last forever? Well it better, because that debt probably will stick around for a while.
But guess what, it does not, in fact quite the opposite.
On average, if you spend more money on your wedding ring and wedding, the marriage is less likely to last! The professors went on to hypothesize that it was possible that the economic stress of the debt from the wedding was what caused such outcome.
Do we need more reasons to be fiscally responsible, on this special day?
It goes on further to say:
“evidence suggests that the types of weddings associated with lower likelihood of divorce are those that are relatively inexpensive but are high in attendance.“
So if you want that marriage to last, go cheap, but don’t skimp on the people.
I didn’t know all this when I got married, but this is exactly what I had.
A big, cheap wedding.
This is what I did to get the wedding that I wanted without busting my budget, all said and done I think I ended up paying less than $2000 for 80 people:
Buy many of the things you would normally rent. And then sell them back on ebay.com, craigslist.com, or a Facebook group. Net after the sale will be a fraction of the cost to rent. It is usually pretty easy to do in bulk, but you can get more back separate. I got all sorts of things on Amazon.com: Wedding Fairy Lights, Table Runners, Table Cloth, Vases, and anything else you can think of!
Choose a cheap venue. We did a backyard wedding, and it was wonderful. Other places that are cheap are city parks, national parks, and some other public facilities.
Get a pre-owned wedding dress. Using an expensive dress for one day is wasteful. I bought something that I had tried on at a store for half-off the tag. And guess what you can sell it again afterward!! I used Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Many of the dresses offer returns.
Get a Birthday Cake! I went wedding cake shopping and was disgusted both with the level of quality and the price. Instead, I decided to go to my local bakery and ordered three all white birthday cakes. They were amazingly good and a fraction of the cost.
Rent the tables and chairs, make sure to shop around and don’t mention that it is a wedding.
Don’t skimp on the Wedding Photographer. This was the one thing I wish I hadn’t gone cheap on. Still, there are so many amazing photographers out there I would choose one that isn’t huge on the wedding circuit to get more value.
Food. This was my biggest expense. I had my favorite restaurant cater a buffet. The meal was my chosen splurge for my guests that made my wedding feel not low budget at all.
Get flowers in bulk. I ordered 450 roses in three beautiful colors from Sam’s Club.
Have family help out! Some family members will want to help share in your big day; this is an awesome way. Those flowers need to be arranged, the chairs set up and moved, maybe you have a cousin who would rather give some time than cash for a present!
How do you feel about the modern American wedding? What was your wedding like or what are you planning?
The five stages of grief, or in some texts seven stages, seems to me, to be one of the biggest lies ever fed to us in modern psychology. This one size fits all idea that we follow this path which leads us to an end goal with us being in acceptance at the end. They even go so far as to apply this model to all forms of major trauma, death, dying, divorce, loss, and rejection.
So here are the traditional stages, the Kübler-Ross Model: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance
Here is a modification into the seven stages of grief: 1. Shock and Denial 2. Pain and Guilt 3. Anger and Bargaining 4. Depression, Reflection, and Loneliness 5. The Upward Turn 6. Reconstruction and Working Through 7. Acceptance and Hope
While Kübler-Ross came out later in life and said the stages could occur in any order and sometimes people do not go through all the stages, the stages had already taken hold as a standard. Even in its improved form, I find it to be an oversimplification of grief.
So here is my model of loss and grief, I’m calling it the Balance Beam Model:
On how well you stay on your balance beam: Everyone is a gymnast, and we all have our balance beam, all of us have different skill levels of being able to stay on the beam, and in the speed of moving through wobbles or getting up from falls. Some of us are born, or work our way, to having lower and wider beams, where we can wobble more without falling or just not hurt ourselves as bad when we do fall. But the key is that we are functioning when we are on our balance beam. This balance beam represents our baseline for the intensity of emotion we can handle before we “fall off” or “stumble” and we are barely functioning or are debilitated.
Things that knock you off balance: I postulate that rather than having stages, people have their go-to methods of negative emotions, how they deal with adverse conditions. These rather than changing type just vary in intensity until they fall below your baseline, where they just are less noticeable, hidden away in your mind, allowing for logic and positive thinking to take hold. The longer the time that passes, the easier to not think about the event, but they never truly go away. Old events can rear their heads in unexpected ways in the future and will do so without regards to stages.
Click image to enlarge.
Please tell me what you think. Is your experience closer to the Kübler-Ross model? Or the Balance Beam model?