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Price of wedding more than a degree?

Jordan Voigt-Nordberg, Design Editor
September 14, 2012

It’s a beautiful, bright and sunny Saturday afternoon at the end of May. Church bells ring as one of the many weddings going on that day leaves the church and the newlyweds pile into their limo with the rest of the bridal party.

Despite all the love in the air, I watched the beaming bride and was secretly glad planning was over and I was done spending money to be a part of the big day. It turned out beautifully, but I ended up spending far more than I could afford.

According to CostOfWedding.com, powered by a research company that tracks spending and consumer trends of weddings, the average wedding is $25,631. For most of us, this is a lot of money. For example: the average student loan debt for a graduating college senior is $23,186; for $25,000 the newlyweds could also put a down payment on a $125,000 home.

Unaware of the true cost for everyone involved in a wedding party, I agreed, happy to support my friend as she started this chapter of her life. After more than $1,000 spent on a dress, shoes, multiple gifts and a bachelorette weekend in Kansas City, I began to regret my choice to participate.

Wanting a memorable wedding day is understandable, but why do we need to spend so much money for it? I would have helped with projects for the wedding, or had a spa day at home where we did our own nails. We could have had less expensive dresses or bachelorette party.

I understand my friend is in love and wants to marry the love of her life as soon as possible. It would be unfair of me to expect her to wait until I am more financially stable, but with that in mind, she needs to consider her wedding party as well. If she wanted to get married now instead of waiting until we can more afford it, she needed to make some sacrifices.

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