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bride and groom figures next to a dollar sign
The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is over $30,000
posted in: Financial Wellness
by Steve Fast

Survey says: A big wedding isn't worth it

Many engaged couples have big plans for their wedding day. But the bigger the plans, the larger the bill.

The results of the latest COUNTRY Financial Security Index survey might provide some insight for those deciding whether or not to order the extra tier for their wedding cake.

When asked about how they evaluate large expenditures, Americans gave their opinions on the value of a home, educational spending, wedding costs and other major purchases.

Over half of the respondents (56 percent) said that big ticket wedding costs weren’t worth the money.

In fact, more Americans were happy with their purchase of high end electronics, like a big screen TV, than what they paid for their wedding reception.

An increasing price tag

In recent years, the national average cost of a wedding has tipped $30,000. Not all matrimonial celebrations come with the same price tag, but, nonetheless, the trend seems to be upward.

“The view on what to spend on a wedding can vary widely by culture, income, economic conditions and
other factors,” said Troy Frerichs, director of wealth management at COUNTRY Financial. “While $30,000 may seem like an exorbitant amount for some, for others, perhaps they have saved for many years for this event and are prepared to pay for it. It largely depends on the couple’s wants and what they can afford.”

Those who said the wedding price tag was not worth the expense were happier other traditional investments.

What's worth it?

The survey revealed Americans found a lot of value in property and education. The general consensus among those polled was their best high-dollar expense was the purchase of a home (84 percent said it was “worth the cost”).

A majority viewed a four-year college degree (73 percent) or securing a post-graduate degree (68 percent) as the worth the money, while home technology (47 percent), and luxury vacations (40
percent) joined wedding expenses near the bottom.

The very bottom of the “worth it” expenditures, though, came in with an only 14 percent favorable response.

If couples decide to pull back on wedding expenses, they probably won’t find happiness with one large purchase. The investment that fared worst in the survey: a boat.

Is it worth the price tag? infographic

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