The Negative Effects of Expensive Weddings

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The average wedding in the United States costs between $15,000 and $24,000. However, with the popularity of wedding-themed reality TV and detailed coverage of extravagant celebrity weddings, many couples are feeling the pressure to spend even more money on their big day. While it can be fun to have an expensive wedding, couples should consider some potential negative effects before they set an enormous budget.


Choosing more expensive items and services for your wedding may increase your expectations, and subsequently also your stress level. If the band you paid so much to book ends up being terrible, it will likely be a bigger issue than if you had hired a cheaper DJ. The temptation with an expensive wedding is to allow things to revolve around “getting your money’s worth,” instead of enjoying the occasion.

Reactions from Others

We live in tough economic times, and many people have lost their jobs and homes, or are worried about the same. People may look down on you for having a blowout wedding when many of the guests are worried about paying ordinary bills. Expect jealousy and possibly some rude comments about the cost.

Paying it Off

Many couples feel that the wedding is an excuse to go all out. Couture bridal gowns and gourmet meals for 300 guests or more can sound dream-like, but unless you can front the cost in cash, it may not be worth it. Paying for what is essentially a big party for years afterward -- usually with steep interest -- can put the whole thing in perspective. Going into debt is almost always a bad way to start a marriage.

Misplaced Priorities

A wedding is a celebration of the love between two people, and their desire to spend their lives together. Focusing on an extravagant wedding instead of the marriage can create stress in the relationship, and can skew expectations. Each party should make the future spouse and the union itself the priority rather than obsessing over wedding details and costs.