Weddings, while always expensive if you plan on making it an event, are becoming more and more expensive each year. Well, that is if you’re talking about the last five years as the average wedding in the United States now costs $32,641 according to the media group The Knot.
Social media to blame for rising wedding costs?
Weddings are notoriously expensive but when you throw Instagram and Pinterest among others into the mix weddings are costs are getting out of control. The problem is that with social media unlike printed bridal magazine’s you simply can’t turn them off and this understanding means constant planning, inevitable changes and ultimately rising costs according to experts.
“It’s really hard for couples to turn off wedding planning,” said Kim Forrest, editor at WeddingWire. “Before there was the internet, people got inspired through magazines. It was very easy to put the magazine away, and take off your wedding-planning hat and divide your life. Now people are always on their phones. It’s really easy to have a browser open at work.”
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That same online marketplace for the wedding industry will be shutting down on Sunday and informing visitors that would otherwise be shopping to take the day off from the planning. Presumably, you’ll want to spend it with the person you’re planning on marrying but given the stress of wedding planning you might not be on speaking terms at present.
Wedding Wire is hardly being altruistic in my opinion, they know that you’ll be back. It is, however, a nice gesture as Sunday is the prime wedding shopping/planning day as most people have their Sunday’s free and it just seems a good day to force your potential partner to sit down and start making decisions, continue to make decisions, or simply finalize planning.
“Social media has definitely influenced weddings in a way that couples are seeking larger-than-life ideas,” said Kristen Maxwell Cooper at the Knot. “I think they are having greater expectations for how their day should look and feel.”
It is a special occasion
“In for a penny in for a pound” I understand. Living in Guatemala with the rainy season approaching rapidly it was necessary that I purchase a universal power supply (UPS) recently. I headed down to Office Depot and for roughly $50 I found one that would give me protection from power surges that would shut down my iMac and find the router resetting and then keep both on for about five minutes on battery power. For $75 they had a UPS that had two additional plugs and promised about an hour of power in the event of a longer loss of power. That’s a no brainer, $75 it is.
But that thinking doesn’t extend to weddings, by the same math you’re talking about the difference between $20,000 and $30,000.
Add to that things like Instagram and photos of a flower wall that Kanye West and Kim Kardashian spent well over $100,000 on and you can get a bit carried away; you don’t have their money and you need to learn limits and with social media that is becoming increasingly difficult.
“It’s taken the most extravagant and made it seem standard, because we’ve seen so much of it,” said Brides editor-in-chief Keija Minor recently.
While wedding costs are rising, the average amount of guests is actually going down. This simply means that people are truly trying to impress either for the benefits of their friends and family or simply to post on Instagram themselves and show off their picture perfect weddings.
Money matters and divorce
“Our standards for what makes a beautiful wedding is not just the wedding, but it’s the events leading up to and after the wedding,” Minor said. “It used to be a private experience for you and your friends, your aunts and uncles. All of that is documented on social media now for everyone to see,” said Minor.
And what’s ironic is that most people don’t even notice your perceived failings or expensive additions.
While sex, including infidelity, is a factor in a good number of divorces, it is financial matters that fuel the divorce lawyer industry. It is, by quite a large measure, the biggest reason that people divorce. Knowing this, wouldn’t it be nice to save a little bit for down the road rather than spending it all on a single day. The money saved on a wedding could ultimately be the difference between whether or not you have a divorce or a marriage. It’s a bit ironic sure, but it’s also something to think about when you’re planning your wedding.