Instead of dropping beaucoup money on fancy tablecloths, overpriced flowers, and tuxedo rentals, you could just invest all of that cash, watch its worth increase over time, and have way more regular money to spend on things that last longer than one day.
Today in Things You Probably Already Knew But Never Really Thought About, Quartz points out that couples who choose to invest money they would have spent on their wedding can end up doubling their investment in five years. Obviously this is sort of a “duh” observation, but seeing the number laid out—using a wedding calculator from Slate—is pretty effective.
Online wedding site The Knot reports that the average wedding in the US costs a whopping $31,213 in 2014, not including the honeymoon. According to the Slate calculator, eloping with an equivalent investment instead would have practically doubled that sum in five years, to $63,911.
If $31,000 sounds excessive, here’s a look at what this would mean for the regulars:
According to Oremus, the median cost of weddings—a better indicator for those of us not living in a Manhattan penthouse—is actually closer to $15,000. But even that chunk of change, five years later, still sees high dividends, doubling to $30,714.
I know, I know, a wedding isn’t just about drinking champagne in a $5,000 gown, it’s also about sharing the love you and your fiancé have for each other with all your friends and family. The memories from that day will stay with you forever and are priceless.
The suggestion doesn’t seem to be that your wedding shouldn’t be celebrated at all, but perhaps it doesn’t need to be celebrated so lavishly when you could use that money to make your actual life and future with your spouse better and more comfortable. I would also hope that marrying the person you love would be memorable and special enough as is, without throwing down for filet mignon for 200 people.
If you are a millennial, another great reason to invest your money instead of spending it on a wedding is because, as millennials, WE BE POOR.
To put that number in a little perspective, the average American graduate from the class of 2014 leaves with some $33,000 in student loans, according to The Wall Street Journal. While there is certainly an argument to be made that marriage can be financially beneficial for some couples, it’s not surprising that many young people are holding off on tying the knot.
Of course, many millennials who do get married are probably not bearing the full brunt of the cost themselves because, again, we poor.
I am not engaged and don’t see myself becoming so in the near future, but to be completely honest, if I do get married and decide to have a wedding, my parents would most likely end up paying for it. Knowing this, I’ve explained to them that ideally I’d like to elope or do something very small and asked if they could just give me the money they would have spent on a big wedding. My parents laughed at me and thanked me in advance for saving them money. So, maybe I should just have a big blowout if there’s no option to invest.
Really, who knows. Maybe cancel your wedding all together, invest the money and take a lavish vacation in five years. Or, just scale things back, invest the money and then use the return to throw an even better party down the line. Or do whatever the hell you want. It’s your money—assuming you have any left after the big day.
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Image via Startraks Photo.