Ask Jonette: How Much Should We Spend On Our Wedding?

On October 12, 2010

Today’s question is “In this economy, how much should we spend on a wedding?”

It’s important that couples, especially brides, not let the excitement and newness of being engaged cloud their judgment, particularly when it comes to the reality of their finances!  The economy does not dictate how much you should spend on your wedding…your bank statements do!

There are 3 ways to determine how much money you have to spend on your wedding:

1.       Savings

2.       Parents/Other family members

3.       Pay as you go

Believe it or not, there are a lot of people who have prepared for their wedding day long before even walking out the door for a first date with the person to whom they eventually became engaged.  Trust me, I know them!  Others, due to good fortune or religious doctrine, are blessed to have a wedding paid for by their parents and/or other family members.  Then there are the pay as you go couples.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with this option, but the key is to make sure you’re being realistic!

You know whether or not you’re a good saver.  If you truly are a steadfast saver, follow this equation:

.15 x each pay check = A

A x the # times you’ll get paid before the wedding = B

Your mate should follow the same equation (D).  That number (D) will be your budget!  If you’re not great at saving money or if the extra money simply is not there to dedicate 15%, take it down to 5-10%.

Keep in mind that the average cost of a wedding is $30,000.  I actually think that $35,000 is more reasonable!  If you won’t be able to save that much or don’t desire to spend that much on a wedding, then make sure your expectations of what type of celebration you’ll host are adjusted!  If you’ll be able to save $19,000 (which was the average cost of a wedding just 9 years ago), then your dreams of having a wedding with 200 guests for dinner at The Ritz-Carlton should change to an intimate luncheon or dinner for 50 guests at The Ritz-Carlton.

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