I saw this column in today's paper from financial advisor Dave Ramsey:
In your opinion, what is the limit you can responsibly spend for a wedding if the people involved have debt?
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
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
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.
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.