Should you spend a lot on your wedding?


Fact Box

  • The Guinness Book of World Records lists the most expensive wedding in the world as Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia’s six-day Palace of Versailles wedding in 2004 that totaled $55 million. 
  • According to The Knot 2019 Real Weddings Study, the most expensive part of a wedding is the ceremony/reception venue cost, which typically accounts for one-third of a couple’s wedding budget.
  • A recent Behind the Wedding Budget study showed that 72% of all couples receive financial help paying for their wedding. 
  • Research from Emory University revealed that if a couple spends more than $20,000 on their wedding day, they are 3.5 times more likely to divorce.

Louis (Yes)

There is a reason why 67% of married women in America still wear the perfume they wore on their wedding day. Weddings are typically regarded as the most important day of one's life--as it bonds two people together--and each detail from them is to be savored. Despite a common understanding of the importance of one's wedding day, debates constantly arise over whether or not one should spend a lot of money on it. However, due to the singularity of the event and the level of importance it has on life, the celebration is priceless

The wedding day is a staple in most religions and countries and also serves to unify and reunite people. By inviting more people to a wedding, one indirectly shows a deeper appreciation for their loved ones--even if it is more costly. Studies show that a higher wedding attendance actually correlates to a lower divorce rate. Other benefits of inviting more people to a wedding would be the simple fact that larger weddings typically yield larger--or at least more--gifts. 

Additionally, as a 2017 The Knot survey reveals, couples are moving away from 'black-tie' events and seeing the value in spending money on 'incorporating cultural and religious traditions, such as a Chinese tea ceremony or traditional hora Jewish dance,' which personalize their experiences. 

Despite being only a day, a wedding lasts a lifetime. The memories created are cultivated and cherished forever. And those with the financial means necessary to afford a large wedding have no reason not to do so. 

Haley (No)

A wedding is, at its core, a celebration of family and love, and that often gets lost in the self-induced pressure to have it be 'perfect.' Instead of spending thousands of dollars on a lavish ceremony, it is better to downsize and focus on what is really important.

Expectations and traditions often force couples into paying vast amounts of money for things like venues, food, and decorations, but they often regret their exorbitant spending afterward. There shouldn't be stress and pressure about a day of celebration, and bickering over the details of wedding planning can even cause couples to cancel their engagement altogether. According to a survey conducted by WP Diamonds, around 20% of all engaged couples call it off before the ceremony.

There are also practical, less romantic reasons to spend less on your big day. A wedding marks the beginning of a new life together with another person, and you don't want to start that new life saddled with debts. By cutting back on your wedding, you will also have more to spend on a honeymoon or a down payment for a house.

Millennials are already marrying later in life because of their college loans and other debts; many simply don't have the funds necessary to throw a large, expensive wedding like the generations before them. 

As long as you and your partner get to share your special day with the people that you love, nothing else matters. Instead of getting caught up in materialistic details, couples planning their weddings should focus on celebrating their love in a way that makes them feel comfortable.

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