Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Big Day Costs Big Money

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

The Big Day Costs Big Money

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Every year about this time I get questions from people wondering about the high cost of weddings. Here are some that came up during an online discussion.

Q: Can you explain why people plan on spending [the equivalent of] a down payment on a house or the cost of new car on a single big party when they still have student loans, and then want to go buy a house? I find such thinking insane. If you took the word "wedding" out of the equation you would get, "I want to invite 100-plus people for a big party at a posh location, and (usually) I want my parents to pay for it."

A: I get it. Pressure, or people have been waiting for the big day where they are the center of attention, etc. I wouldn't spend on a lavish wedding if I had debt, but I understand how it happens. For my part, I just try my best to talk good financial sense into people.

Q: My fiance and I are 25 and we are not in the financial position to pay for a wedding. Our families do not support us getting married for a myriad of reasons, one being we're 25 and "haven't lived life." What would you suggest that we do?

A: Despite the objections to their getting married, the reader also implied that there was pressure to "go into debt for a wedding to satisfy the desires of our family/friends."

If you have done all the right things to make sure you are ready for marriage, then have the wedding you can afford. People will want you to do a lot of things -- but they aren't going to help you pay for it -- out of tradition or their desire to be sure relatives or friends aren't left out of the celebration.

You can get married without the big bill. The bottom line, don't go into debt to satisfy anyone.

Q: I am getting MARRIED! I'm so excited and we are thrilled to be able to spend our lives together. We both don't come from a lot of money and we are working hard to pay things off and get our financial house in order before we wed. Recently, my father passed away and left a "few dollars" for me and my sister. Well, I'd like to have my wedding in a place that may be a bit costly and I'd like to tap into a bit of what was left for me to do it. I think if my dad were here he'd move heaven and earth to make this happen for me but after going through Prosperity Partners, I just know there are better ways to spend money than on one day of a wedding celebration. …

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