I totally understand the appeal of having a wedding. It’s a day that revolves around you and your love for your new husband and the life you’re about to embark on together. You get to eat, drink and socialize, all while looking your absolute best. Plus, people bring you gifts! I can see why some people want that. But for me, the stress of planning and the fact that I have no interest in being the center of attention for a whole day outweigh the good stuff — not to mention, I can think of plenty of things I’d rather spend all that money on. Here are just a few of those things:
A European vacation. There’s a big world out there to see, so I’d much rather plan an elaborate newlywed trip across Europe than have a big wedding. We’ll drink wine under the Eiffel Tower in Paris, explore the Parthenon in Athens, eat our weight in pasta in Rome and lounge on the beach in Barcelona. That sounds like a much better use of our money than a four-course meal everyone we know will forget about tomorrow, clothes we’ll never wear again and a cake no one will eat.
A down payment on a house. We’re planning on spending our lives together, so that probably means we’re living together and would eventually like to buy a place instead of throwing our money away on rent. Saving a decent house down payment takes time, and it’s going to take a hell of a lot longer if we’re paying off that 20K wedding debt for the next five years.
A custom built library. I’ve always wanted my own library with floor to ceiling bookshelves and one of those rolling ladders like the one in Beauty and the Beast. With all the money I save by not having a wedding, I can have my library, and probably a bunch of money leftover to stock it with all the classics that are still on my to-read list.
A whole new wardrobe. No more basics from Old Navy and H&M for me. With the wedding money, I can buy $150 jeans without breaking into a cold sweat. I can get that leather jacket I’ve been eyeing. And guaranteed, everything I buy will be worn plenty, unlike that $4000 wedding gown that would have hung in the back of my closet for years before I finally got around to donating it.
A new car. The cost of a typical wedding is more than enough to get a brand new, fully loaded vehicle. I don’t need anything fancy, just something with power locks and satellite radio that’s decent on gas. Road trips, no more public transit and not having to strategically choose what to buy at the grocery store based on how much I can realistically carry home sounds more a lot more practical than a wedding ever could.
Paying off my student loan in full. Paying off a hefty student loan in installments makes me feel like I’m not making any progress and I’ll most likely be paying it off for the rest of my life. But if I could just throw a lump sum at it and never have to think about it again, I would. If I can afford an elaborate wedding, I can afford to pay off my debt, so shouldn’t I be doing that first?
A robust savings account. I’ve always liked the feeling of saving money. Seeing that number increase steadily and knowing I have a cushion in case of emergency is worth the hassle of creating a budget. Not to mention, saving towards something I really want gives me a sense of accomplishment. Personally, a wedding isn’t something I really want, so I’m not going to start skimping in other areas in order to save for one.
Hair cuts and color for the next 20 years. My hair is something I tend to splurge on. I like going to the friendly boutique salons where they give you a scalp massage while they wash your hair. I may pay too much for a basic hair cut, but it’s just one of those things I’m willing to go all out on. Paying off a huge wedding debt would really cut into my hair budget, and I’m just not okay with that.
A live-in chef. Why pay for one catered meal for 200 people when I can have hundreds of catered meals for one in the comfort of my own home? Think of the money I’d save on going out to eat!
A donation to a worthy charity. There are lots of people and causes out there that need my thousands of dollars more than I need a fancy wedding. At least that way I would be helping someone instead of going into debt just so I can be the center of attention for a day.
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