Listen, I’m gonna get right to the point here: unless you’re rocking millionaire status there is absolutely no excuse to spend more than $10,000 on a fucking party.
The average American couple will spend $30,000 on their special day. That’s average. Meaning that, of course, there are couples out there vastly overstepping their budgets for an event that usually doesn’t last more than a weekend. To celebrate a relationship they already have.
$30,000 is most people’s rent for a year. $30,000 is a brand new car each paid outright, in cash. $30,000 could sustain a couple for at least 3 months unplanned unemployment. People want to spend that, in one night, for a party. For some photos of you in formal wear.
Money problems are cited as one of the top reasons why couple eventually divorce. Unless you are fantastically, notably, wealthy $30,000 could save a couple enough day to day stress that it could actually help prevent them from splitting up.
Nobody is saying that you shouldn’t have a special day commemorating your commitment to each other. Many people spend their childhoods dreaming of (or in the case of many LGBT people: their adulthoods fighting for) f the day when they can stand in front of their family and friends and commit to that one special person forever. Then spend the night celebrating the special love that has grown between them. I’m certainly not saying that isn’t a completely valid aspiration, but does it need to entail such useless levels of luxury simply based on tradition and societal pressure? Wouldn’t a day with your family at city hall of a chapel followed by a nice night out to dinner or a great party at a local establishment suffice? I’d venture to say that breaking through the traditions of uniform formal wear, a posse of photographers, and venues with quadruple digit price ranges would make for a more intimate and memorable experience — but that’s a matter of taste.
A budget of $10,000 slices the cost of that single day to a third of what it is, on average. If you can’t throw a party on a $10,000 budget then I don’t think you know how to throw a party. I shudder to think what you do each year for Christmas.
Go on a nice vacation and elope with your significant other. Have a party when you get back, even a lavish one, and send the remaining $20,000 to a charity benefiting disaster relief or homeless children or something. Donate $25,000 of if towards the fight for civil rights. Spend the $30,000 on paying down your student debt. Come on.
Or cut a stack of checks for $30,000. Your call.