You Spent How Much? Financial Planning 101
As I was driving home from work today, a report on Radio NPR caught my attention. The reporter stated that the new trend in weddings is to have many big "Pre-Wedding" events prior to the big day. There are bachelorette/bachelor parties, bridal showers, dress shopping brunch, special photo opportunities and such, but all on steroids. The budgets for some of these events can be in the thousands if not tens of thousands, and that doesn’t even take into consideration the wedding.
What is driving up the cost of these previously done on the cheap events? Destination bachelorette parties is Vegas, or Mexico, themed bridal showers like a Great Gatsby affair, renting yachts to have your pre-wedding photos taken, bachelor party swag bags with Jack Daniels and high end cigars in them. Then there is the destination themed t-shirts, wine glasses, beer cozies, and so on.
Why do I bring this up? My thoughts were they that are insane to spend their not yet earned money this way. Fifty percent of the marriages in the United States end in divorce; FIFTY percent! The average marriage lasts only 8.2 years. Even if you are one of the lucky ones whose marriage lasts for twenty-five to thirty years, let me tell you, I belong to several groups full of women who were discarded by their spouses after all that time.
Please believe me, I am not against getting married, but come on. Most of the people spending this kind of money on the wedding and the pre-wedding events are in their twenties and thirties and probably can’t afford these types of events, much less your friends having to fork out that kind of dough to go with you. It’s all for show on their FaceBook pages, their Pinterest Page, their Instagram, and in the end, when the marriage does not last, you have lots of painful expensive memories, and a bunch of “look at us” photos that are worthless.
My personal belief is have a simple wedding, with simple “pre-wedding” events – you are no less married, and you have saved a ton of cash. Then as a woman, take the money you would have spent on all of the fancy destination events with their fancy swag items and save it so you can be independent on your own, since fifty percent of you will be. How much nicer it will feel to know that if your marriage doesn’t work, you have your own back and won’t have to work two jobs and live in a crummy apartment just because the man of your dreams turned into the man of your nightmares.
I truly wish everyone could have a happy ever after walking into a sunset marriage – I wish I had; but let’s face it – most of us don’t. But by saving my money for my future, and not spending a fortune on the wedding and wedding events; (my last marriage only cost about $500 – we married at the court house – and it was my most romantic wedding of the three I had); when it ended, I owned my own home, had a good job with my own health insurance, and earned a good salary, so his leaving only broke my heart, not my financial future.
Just one old gals opinion – Mazel Tov and may we all find the love the love of our lives in our own hearts.