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Budget Weddings

How much for a wedding? Expert advice

CMGragainCMGragain member
10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
edited October 2016 in Budget Weddings
I saw this column in today's paper from financial advisor Dave Ramsey:

Dear Dave,

In your opinion, what is the limit you can responsibly spend for a wedding if the people involved have debt?

Paul

Dear Paul,

The cost of the average wedding in America rose to $32,641 last year. But when it comes to what you can reasonably afford, I think it becomes relative to exactly how much debt you have and what kind of income we’re talking about.

If you have $5,000 in debt but you make $150,000 a year, stop worrying, pay off your debt and save up for a great wedding. If you make $28,000 a year but you have $30,000 in debt, then you need to have a really minimal wedding. Anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 would be reasonable in that kind of situation — and even then it’s going to be tight.

The more debt you have in relation to your income, the smaller your wedding expenses should be. A $32,000 wedding would be ridiculous for someone with a $28,000 income. But $28,000 is a below-average income, so you shouldn’t reasonably expect an average wedding in terms of cost. It really all boils down to ratios.

Just remember, Paul, the amount of money spent on the ceremony, reception and all that stuff isn’t what’s important. It’s the love that two people have for each other that makes the ceremony special and the marriage one that will last a lifetime.



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SP29MesmrEwe

Re: How much for a wedding? Expert advice

  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    And "America" is such a huge scale to grade this on.  It should be by not only state - but areas in each state. 

    MesmrEwe
  • lnixon8 said:
    I hate seeing that 32k fact. I want to know what the median cost of a wedding is- not something offset by Kim Kardashian.
    I don't know if that figure is that far off honestly. We've had a lot of weddings in my family this year and most have come in around that (some above, some below) but pretty close to that. For an evening, weekend wedding in much of the country I don't know if that number is uncommon. 
  • lnixon8 said:
    I hate seeing that 32k fact. I want to know what the median cost of a wedding is- not something offset by Kim Kardashian.
    I don't know if that figure is that far off honestly. We've had a lot of weddings in my family this year and most have come in around that (some above, some below) but pretty close to that. For an evening, weekend wedding in much of the country I don't know if that number is uncommon. 
    I think it can be very off. I got married on a Saturday night in downtown Chicago two years ago and my wedding was half that. 
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  • If you make $28,000 a year but you have $30,000 in debt, then you need to have a really minimal wedding. Anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 would be reasonable in that kind of situation — and even then it’s going to be tight.

    The more debt you have in relation to your income, the smaller your wedding expenses should be. A $32,000 wedding would be ridiculous for someone with a $28,000 income. But $28,000 is a below-average income, so you shouldn’t reasonably expect an average wedding in terms of cost. It really all boils down to ratios.
    Honestly, the bold part, and especially the italicized part is the crux of the biscuit.  More people need to be told that just because the average is X amount DOESN'T MEAN YOU GET TO HAVE THAT!  If you aren't at or above the average of everything else, particularly income, but also your debt ratio and expendable income, then you just don't get that.  It sucks, but having it isn't a right that everyone gets to have.  I think far too many people forget that.  They assume they have the right to have at least the average or that the average and what is advertised on sites like this is the minimum required and what they must have instead of being a luxury item.  And life just don't work like that - there's nothing more special about weddings that makes life and this luxury item in particular work any other way.  If you need a car and you want a Lexus, but you make $28,000 a year and have student loans...you're getting a used Hyundai with 80,000 miles on it.
    CMGragaincharlotte989875SP29klj1122
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