If everyone kept their expectations down, the average cost of a wedding would not be too high. It's time to make the occasion more about the wedding ceremony than the size of the bar.

When compiling your wedding checklist, make sure to include all of the financial details. And remember that if you spend all of your money on the wedding party, you may be starting out your new life with an empty piggy bank.

The perfect wedding - without worrying about expensesCredit: Image: kongsky / FreeDigitalPhotos.netThe perfect wedding does not always have to be the most expensive one. While some people think that wedding bills must follow the wedding bells, there is no reason to spend a fortune on a wedding.  

Recently, for example, I had the pleasure of attending a wedding.  The bride was beautiful, parents overjoyed, food plentiful, and dancing energetic.  As I left, however, I couldn’t help but realize that although I had left the party behind, the host families would be living with it for months on end as they struggled to pay off the loans necessary to finance the wedding fee. 

Would you rather spend money on the wedding or the marriage?  While parties are always fun, remember that a marriage should last longer than the big feast after the wedding ceremony.  I understand the need for a wedding to be nice, even beautiful, but there is no reason to be lavish beyond the ability to pay.

I recently overheard a conversation among some girls who were planning the details of a wedding checklist.  “Of course you need an open bar - that makes it more festive,” counseled one of the friends.  Since the well-meaning friend was trying to be helpful, I held back from interfering, but all the while I thought, “What makes it more festive is not being in debt afterwards.”  The true joy of a wedding celebration is rejoicing in the union of two separate lives into one.  If an open bar, fancy flowers, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, and specialty lighting are needed to create joy, perhaps the marriage should be reconsidered.

Recently, some religious and community leaders have begun to issue guidelines for wedding expenses.  While this is indeed commendable, perhaps it is also important to issue guidelines for guests: keep expectations low.  Does the menu choice or the fact that there are fresh flowers in the restroom really matter?  Perhaps if guests were just as happy with simpler parties, hosts wouldn’t feel pressured to enter into debt to celebrate life’s milestones.    

 Indeed, the ingredients for the perfect wedding are no more than a radiant bride and groom surrounded by supportive family and friends. 

Even if you have the funds for a lavish wedding, think twice before spending.  Would a bigger bouquet really increase the couple’s happiness?  While the marriage may be have been made in heaven, remember that the bills have to be paid here on Earth.


Disclaimer: This article is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for investment advice that takes into account each individual’s special position and needs. Past performance is no guarantee of future returns.