It’s wedding season! The magical time where couples join together for life. Or at least a couple months. However, we’ve seemed to accept how expensive weddings are, all in the name of tradition. But where did the culture of overspending come from? Weddings cost on average $35,329 in America, putting most couples into debt, just in the name of so-called tradition.
One of the most prominent symbols in a wedding is the bride’s white dress. “It’s tradition” cry the brides flocking to stores! And I agree white wedding dresses are stunning. However, the traditions started out of one woman’s fashion choice. Queen Victoria married Albert of Saxe-Coburg on Feb. 10 in 1940. She put aside the tradition of the time of wearing a colorful dress and being decked out in jewels. Victoria opted for a white lace dress and a headdress of flowers for her wedding day. This style stuck, and brides started opting for white, making it the color of choice.
However, on the Frontier of America, women had to be a little more practical. America’s heroine Laura Ingalls did not have time for a wedding party or a special dress, so she wore her best black cashmere gown. After the wedding, she and her now husband Almanzo Wilder went home, finished up their chores ate a good dinner and went to sleep. Many brides in the farmlands and the wild west of America had no money for the decadent white gowns. Women could not afford a white dress to be worn once. This just shows that the tradition of buying an expensive, white gown came from just one person and is not really rooted in much.
With every wedding come more “traditions” like the bridal tea party or the sand ceremony. But those are just more ideations of love that cost couples more. A study broke down the $35,329 payout that excludes the honeymoon. The most expensive parts of a wedding are the venue, the engagement ring, reception band, photographer, and flowers. Surprisingly, the least expensive parts of the wedding are the actual ceremony. Isn’t the ceremony supposed to be the point?
How to save
Often, couples partake in wedding traditions and expensive venues because they think they have to do so. Soon-to-be newlyweds feel an obligation to friends and family to impress, as well as give them the wedding they expect. This should not be important. Weddings should be what the couple wants. They should be a reflection of the union between two people. And there are ways to save. Some tips are as simple as getting married after wedding season, so after October and before May. Or look into getting crafty and making your own invites. Bargain hunt for centerpieces. It takes a little more work and might mean a slightly smaller wedding, but your budget will thank you.
Weddings are a beautiful thing. A celebration of love and a union of families is nothing to be cynical about. However, the trap of overspending on so-called traditions is easy to fall into. Couples and families can breathe a little more with a low-key wedding that suits them. Leftover money from the budget can be used as a down payment on a future home or even future retirement funds. Weddings do not have to break your budget. Smart, money-saving moves and the realization of what’s important can help keep costs down.
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