Adulthood · Thought Throw Up

I’ve Been Thinking About Weddings (And Money)

I’ve been thinking a lot about weddings.

I want to talk about the novelty and foreboding nature of weddings from the point of view of someone who has no experience with them like me. I want to give my own take on what I suspect many people my age will be experiencing now and within the next ten or so years when all our friends and maybe even we are getting married.

One of my best friends is getting engaged sometime in the next month and she’s asked that I help her out in planning her wedding despite the fact that I have no experience whatsoever with wedding planning. I have my reservations against taking an active part in the planning because of that, but she’s one of my best friends and I freaking love weddings.

At first, I didn’t take my best friend seriously about it all, though. I knew she and her boyfriend were planning on marrying, but I was certain she wouldn’t dream about going through with it until after we finished college. We’re nineteen-years-old. It seemed like such a bad idea to me that she marry him so young, but she explained to me that a Mormon girl like herself who will not go on her mission is expected to marry at a relatively young age. She also explained that they don’t plan on having children until after she’s graduated, which is even more alleviating. And the boy she’s marrying is older than us and he’s already completed his mission so he should be settling down as well. It makes sense. I don’t necessarily agree with it, but I understand.

Then she texted me a while back to ask how good at planning weddings I am. He’s spoken to her parents about it. They’ve spoken about it thoroughly. Their church is waiting for their engagement announcement. It’s really happening. Consequently, I’ve found myself spending my days on Pinterest looking at wedding details and buying bridal magazines for ideas and tips. I’ve even made a checklist of things that my best friend has to look at in order to get the wedding of her dreams.

So I’ve been thinking a lot about weddings.

I love them, I really do. I have an unhealthy obsession with “Say Yes to the Dress” (that obsession actually extends to the entirely of the TLC network) and anything wedding related. But the one thing that is really just flooring me about the whole thing is money. I guess after losing a scholarship and being unemployed, the importance of money has increased exponentially in my mind.

I was watching a SYTTD special episode on “The Big Day” for this Indian medical student from New York. On invitations alone, I think they spent about $5,000 and her dress cost $12,500, off the rack, but they later customized it to make it a light, pastel pink in order to stay within tradition. I can’t even begin to imagine what the rest of the wedding cost. I understand that this is an extreme example, but simply Googling “How much does the average wedding in America cost?” comes up with this result:

Average American Wedding

That’s practically $30K and that’s ridiculous.

I like the statement underneath, though, that states, “But it turns out that the sky-high number may not be the best to determine what a typical couple actually pays to get hitched.” There are tons of tips and bloggers who write about ways you can save money on your wedding and how to stay within a budget (my favorite way to find those bloggers is by searching “Tips to save money on wedding” on Pinterest), but, in the end, it’s still very costly.

And we’re nineteen-years-old.

We aren’t out there in the work field with corporate jobs or on television shows racking up more than $60K a year to live like actual adults. I don’t even have a drivers’ license! We live with our parents. We have scholarships to pay for our education. We put up with angry customers at our retail and fast food jobs to pick up the slack on bills at home and to pay for gas money on our used cars.

God forbid we find our soulmates and fall in love because a wedding is the start of an adventure that we may never be able to afford. I don’t like being bitter about something I absolutely love, but the entire franchise built around weddings is enough to deter us from our dreams when we can barely pay rent and get food on the table.

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