It has been almost a month since I said "yes" to a lifetime of love with my wonderful fiancé. A month of uncontrollable exuberance, a very high anticipation for the future, and of course, a boat load of stress that never ceases to amaze me. But the stress does not stem from the mental planning and the simple decision making. What truly makes this process unbearable is the ridiculous price tag that goes along with every little girl's dream wedding.
Currently, the average wedding cost is $26,645. But bear in mind, that is only the average, weddings in more expensive states could easily rise up to roughly $83,000, just depending on the average cost of living in your city or state. According to CNN, couples are reportedly spending more than 50 percent of their annual income on their wedding. Somebody tell me that this is not real life. Do normal humans actually have an extra 20 grand (or more) just chilling in their savings? And if by some chance that they do, is it rational to spend so much on ONE DAY?
Now I want to be crystal clear when discussing this issue, my point of this article is not to "bash" anyone for their wedding choices, or their income and/or the choices that they make with their income. Seriously, to each their own. However, for me and my family, a $20,000 wedding is not a very realistic choice. Heck, even a $10,000 wedding would be pushing it.
Sure, we could take out loans, use up all of our credit cards, destroy our credit (and lives in the process) and live in debt for eternity. But in my honest opinion, that is not a reasonable solution. Not for one day of festivities.
So for those of you who have not ventured down this journey of blissful wedding planning, let me break it down for you. (Apparently) I am supposed to willfully sign up for years of debt so that my family and friends can have one nice dinner in a glorified barn for a couple of hours? No thanks, wedding industry. You can shove it.
From the venue itself to the ridiculously priced floral arrangements and literally everything in between, it feels like I am being completely ripped off by the business owners around me (or vendors, as the wedding planning pros call them). I completely understand that people have a business to run and money to make, but why do I need to pay $10,000 to get married in a tacky barn? Like, am I paying off your mortgage, sir? Wasn't this place built in 1992? I am so confused.
And I have heard suggestion after suggestion from former brides about how to make my wedding "better", but none of them resonate with me. No, I do not want to postpone my date for two years from now (prolonging the financial agony and still nonetheless paying a fortune). And no, I do not think I should have to shorten my guest list when each and every family member or friend on my list has played a very strategic and special role in my life. IF I was going to pay a small fortune for a dream wedding, THEN I SHOULD AT LEAST BE ABLE TO INVITE A CRAP TON OF PEOPLE. I do not think that this is an irrational request. Or worst case scenario, I can go super duper cheap and get that old worn down "event center" built in 1947? Again, no freaking thanks.
So for those still searching for an answer in this very well put together rant of an article, the answer is no, I will not be having a traditional wedding. I love my family with everything in me and I value the friends and acquaintances that have grown with me and unconditionally supported me throughout my life. In a dream world, each and every one of you wonderful people would have attended my fairy-tale princess dream wedding. But this isn't that world, this is reality, and I am broke as a freaking joke.
My fiancé and I are still undecided as to when and where the wedding will be held, but we have decided at this point that it will be a destination wedding, consisting of a quaint ceremony with our immediate families. This was not our first choice, or second or even third. There were a lot of factors to consider and a couple of long, uncomfortable conversations that took place before we even considered the idea. But I absolutely refuse to give even a dime to the corrupt, greedy corporation that is the commercial wedding industry. Nope, not this "poor" girl. I refuse to fall into this disgusting trap of "paying the ultimate price" for my dream wedding. You can keep your dream wedding, and I will focus on the blessing of having my dream man, instead. At the end of the day, it is a lot more important for me to have an amazing marriage over an amazing wedding. And I don't think that I should be questioned for that.