Why the title? Because that’s what a wedding is…a very expensive DAY. Yeah, yeah I know memories last for ever, but so does debt…and it grows with interest until you pay it off. You may have dreamed about an expensive wedding forever but instead start dreaming about an enjoyable retirement, being debt free, having nice stuff without being secretly broke and staying married. How’s that for a dream? Unfortunately it’s a dream that never comes true for most people. Do you want to be most people? Read on for some alternatives to an expensive wedding day. That’s right, day. Expensive and day should never be in the same sentence…you know, just like fun and taxes.
Instead of having an expensive wedding you could…
Decrease Your Chances of Divorce
Financial stress contributes to marital problems. In fact, financial issues are one of the top five contributors to divorce and the top contributor according to some surveys. That’s right, when you have an expensive wedding you’re increasing your chances of getting a divorce. Spend $30,000 on a wedding only to divorce a year or so later. Crazy, right? I’ve seen it, I’m sure you have too. You can fantasize that your perfect love is unbreakable but marriage is challenging and collection agencies do not accept ‘love’ as a form of payment. Marriage is wonderful, but it takes work. Why make it more difficult that it already is?
Pay Down Your Debt
Not only would you pay down your debt, but you could be saving tens of thousands of dollars in the long run based on how much you owe, your interest rate and whether you only make the minimum payments each month. How great would it feel living debt free? It feels awesome.
Get an Incredible Ring
Yes, an outrageously expensive ring is silly but its way less silly than an outrageously expensive wedding. At least you can sell the ring later if times were difficult. We bought an incredible ring for my wife and she continuously gets compliments. It’s a constant reminder to her and it will always be there. We bought my wife’s ring custom from a very well-respected jeweler and it appraised for nearly twice as much as we paid for it when we took out an insurance policy on it. The ring is an asset, meaning if you find yourself in dire straits you can always sell the diamonds since they appreciate…which is more than you can say for an expensive wedding. For some people an expensive wedding is an ego thing, well here’s an ego booster that lasts forever. Become wealthy later in life? Sell the ring (for possibly more) and upgrade. Why? Because you can.
To the fellas: Guys, that ring is still paying dividends years later for me…one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Every time she gets a compliment it’s like I bought her flowers or chocolate or something.
Have a Party
Let’s face it, beer and pizza is cheap…and a lot more fun than some weddings. Maybe instead of throwing a party you want to invite a few friends or family on relatively cheap cruise to combine the wedding party and honeymoon. If you pick the right cruise it’s a constant party. You can get creative, but there are plenty of ways to celebrate with friends and family without breaking the bank. Twister anyone? C’mon grandma, your hip is just fine…
Give Your Family a Head Start
Whether you decide to use the money as a down payment on a house, to decorate your new home or pursue an advanced degree and progress in your career it’ll give your family ahead start in life. New families always struggle. Whether you’re trying to break into the middle class or simply land a job, there are plenty of worthwhile things that could be paid for instead of a wedding. Make a list of ideas and rank it, you might be surprised at what you find. Whatever you and you family end up deciding, I wish you the best.