Top 5 Reasons to Spend So Much on Your Wedding


The wedding is a wonderful celebration of love and commitment between two people. In some cultures, the marriage is celebrated for a week or more as family and friends party in lavish style. In our culture, the party usually only lasts one evening, but it can still be quite expensive. But while the wedding is a fabulous party, it’s important to remember that there are three other reasons for spending all that money:

1. To honor and support those who are celebrating with you. The parents of the couple (or, in some cases, the newlyweds themselves) foot the bill for a week or more as their loved ones celebrate with them. While this is often a lovely thing to do, it can add up quickly and can be very stressful.

2. To showcase the bride. While this is not the most traditional of reasons to spend so much money on a single event, it remains very common. The more the bride is pampered, the more she appears to be worth to her guests and – in turn – to the groom. The amount spent on the dress, hair, makeup, flowers and other accoutrements can often be more than a month’s salary for many young women. This can be a lot of pressure for a bride and her family, as it often feels like they are being judged by their peers.

3. To give back to those who are supporting you. This is the smallest of the three wedding purposes, and also the most difficult to balance with the other two functions listed above. However, it is also the most important of all. The couple is showing their appreciation and gratitude for those who are supporting them through the entire process of planning, and demonstrating that they value the friendships and relationships they have built with their loved ones.

With all the RSVPs gathered, it’s time to finalize your seating chart and create place cards and table numbers. You’ll likely need to turn this over to your caterer along with the final headcount and any dietary restrictions, so it’s a good idea to do this at least a week before your wedding.

4. Send out wedding invites. This can be done anywhere between 12 and six months in advance, but it’s especially important to send out invites early if your date is during peak wedding season or in a popular vacation area.

5. Make a budget and stick to it. It’s very easy to go over budget when planning a wedding, so it’s important to put together a comprehensive spreadsheet and add in a 10% buffer for unexpected expenses. This will help you get a realistic picture of how much your wedding will cost and give you an idea of the amount you should save each month (shaving off lunches out, cancelling streaming services you don’t use, etc.).

Make a schedule of the day and make sure all your vendors know where to be at what time. It’s also a good idea to pack a big-day emergency kit that includes bobby pins, hairspray, a hairbrush and comb, a pair of traction pads for heels, a stain remover and extra tissues, and backup copies of your music choices.

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