WEDDINGS: THE JOYS AND EXPENSES

#weddings #WeddingCosts #LifeExpenses
The average U.S. wedding cost $35,329 in 2016.
So says The Knot’s Real Weddings Study, and quoted by NerdWallet columnist Brianna McGurran.
In a column published April 2, 2017, in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, a 25-year-old questioner asked McGurran how she was going to plan a wedding, and pay off her student loans by age 30.
She advised her to sit with her fiance and get their financial house in order. Determine how much they can save per month toward the wedding, and don’t go into debt to cover those costs. Then, McGurran advises the couple to talk to their parents or other family members to see what they intend to contribute.
Couples themselves covered 42 percent of wedding costs in 2016, McGurran quotes The Knot’s study.
She also advised the future bride to budget for the must-haves, and don’t include what doesn’t matter to the couple, such as flowers. She also recommended saving money by having friends provide services and homemade wedding gifts in lieu of actual gifts.
A bride in California got the cost of her 150-person wedding down to $23,000 in 2013, McGurran writes.
Meanwhile, Danielle Braff writes in the Chicago Tribune that there are hidden wedding costs that a couple may not learn about until the wedding day. Those include tips, overtime (for a reception extended past the paid-for time), fancy liquor not covered in typical bar charges, postage (McGurran recommends getting RSVPs on line to save there), taxes (not mentioned in the costs) and dress alteration.
Braff’s article was published in the April 3, 2017, edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
So, we’ve learned that getting married can be expensive. There’s nothing wrong with wanting a nice wedding. After all, the gifts a couple can collect may offset some of the costs, providing they are gifts the couple wants.
But once a couple has decided on marriage, the two should discuss not just wedding costs, but life costs. They should give priority not necessarily to a wedding, but how they are going to live. That includes, yes, saving for retirement. No matter how young a couple is, the two should not assume that they will both have the jobs they have until they retire. Job security no longer exists.
They should be thinking about what they might do if they found themselves out of work in their middle age – well before they wanted to retire. What will they do? Will anyone hire them for decent pay?
Fortunately, there are many ways out there to earn an income that have nothing to do with a traditional W-2 job. To hear about one of the best, message me.
If a couple decides to pursue a non-job income before their wedding, perhaps they’ll have enough to cover the costs of a nice wedding AND make a dent in any educational or other debt. They may even get a head start on retirement savings.
Certainly, any couple needs to be economical in planning a wedding. They should have what they want, and eliminate what they don’t. A great time, and beautiful memories, can be had by all – without going overboard, or wasting money on things that aren’t necessary.
So, here’s a toast: To a happy and prosperous life, and an elegant but not over-frilled wedding.
Peter

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