Does Saying “I Do” Equal Debt?

LoveI’m just going to come right out and say it; the wedding industry has gotten completely and totally out of control. Since when did saying “I do” get to be so costly? As a new bride-to-be, I am appalled that the average cost of a wedding is $27,000. Back in the the late 70’s when my parents got married, wedding costs were less than $5,000. How is it that the price has spiraled so far out of control in the past 35 years? Inflation accounts for some, but I think that weddings have become more about pure business than true love.

In most instances, living in Cleveland has its perks. The cost of living is fantastically low, we don’t have to deal with crazy rush hours like major cities and the price for a pint of beer is a steal. But don’t worry, we more than make up for it with the cost of getting married.

Like most women, I have dreamed of getting married since I was a young girl. What they fail to mention when you are five is that weddings are expensive. Like really expensive. As in I could send my future child to college for a year, put a giant down payment on a house or travel around the world expensive.

So why do we sit back and give in to these ridiculous wedding costs? I feel like you so much as think the word “wedding” and vendors see dollar signs dancing above our heads. And rightfully so I suppose, because they know that eventually we will resign ourselves to the fact that we have no choice but to drain our savings or go into debt for the most important day of our lives.

But is this really the most important day of our lives? Yes, I agree it is a symbolically beautiful day. And yes it is a wonderful celebrating to share with family and friends. But wouldn’t it make more sense to take the money we would’ve spent on one day (that eventually will be nothing more than a vague memory) and put it into a house where we will spend every day of our lives? A place where we will raise our families and spend time with friends.

I’m not saying that we don’t each deserve to have a beautiful wedding. I’m just asking why it has to be so darn expensive. As I search for a unique and special venue in Cleveland, I am growing more and more frustrated by the high costs. My beautiful, affordable city has decided to turn its back on me for my special day and jump on the band wagon of exorbitant costs.

When I told one vendor that I’d like to keep our reception budget between $12,000 – $14,000 (which was already much more than I wanted to spend), I could practically hear her laughing on the other end. She kindly told me that every venue I was interested in would be price restrictive and I would need to start looking elsewhere.

So I continue my search for that perfect venue that won’t put me in the poorhouse and will still be beautiful. I fear that I too, will have to resign myself to the fact that I’ll be spending more than I want.

4 thoughts on “Does Saying “I Do” Equal Debt?

  1. As a newly married CLE gal I feel your pain! We found it impossible to find a truly unique venue for anything less than absurd prices. We ended up having our reception here and loved it. We used dark table cloths instead of white and had gorgeous lighting. It’s HUGE plus there’s a hearth room and gardens outside. You can pick your caterer and bring in your own booze too. 🙂

  2. It drives me crazy when people go in to debt because of a wedding. What a terrible foundation for a marriage!!! People are so afraid to live within their means or hurt someone’s feeling by cutting the guest list. It’s also not wise to count on the wedding gifts to get you out of debt. I have so many other ideas/tips about this…we could be here all day!

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