I do or no clue

A woman in Canada recently called off her wedding just days before it was to happen because she and her husband couldn’t afford it. Their dream wedding amounted to about $45,000 in U.S. dollars. You would think they would have figured out months before the wedding that they couldn’t swing it. But they weren’t planning on paying for this wedding by themselves. They were counting on their guests to help—by contributing $1,500 each. I can’t make this stuff up. Even if I tried, I can’t compete with real life. Not surprisingly, nearly everyone declined!

This story first emerged on Facebook when the bride posted a long, expletive-filled post accusing her friends and family of ruining her marriage and life. She claimed she and her fiancé had already sacrificed so much. She didn’t feel she was asking too much.

It’s kind of sad to think that someone actually thought it was okay to ask this of their guests. While I’m sure this couple lost money on deposits, I’m glad they didn’t get married. Clearly, they need time, and possibly therapy, to understand the reality of life and marriage and why their guests said no.

While the cost of the wedding was above the average, it’s not that outrageous. The Knot website reports the average cost of a wedding in America in 2016 was a little over $35,000.  Asking guests for money isn’t that crazy either, as cash registries are replacing the traditional registry comprised of household items. It’s the amount that was the shocker. Couples like cash gifts to create future memories with or use towards their home.

That being said, many people question the logic of spending that amount of money on a wedding in which you won’t come out ahead. Why not have a smaller, more intimate affair and spend the money you saved from a bigger wedding towards a home or an extravagant honeymoon? I guess there are people who still want it to be about the event. The editor in chief of the Knot, Kristen Maxwell Cooper agrees and says, “They want to create a one-of-a-kind experience. Something that stands out as an amazing event on social – that’s where they want to put their money.”

I’m wondering how much social media is driving our decisions as well as draining our bank accounts. Are these couples more interested in how many likes they’ll get on Facebook instead of whether they like each other? This doesn’t just apply to the couples tying the knot. I’ve seen plenty of parents get caught up in the dream wedding event and go into serious debt to make it come true for their children.

My concern in all of this is that we still put more emphasis on the wedding than we do the marriage. At the premarital event Winning At Home puts on annually for engaged and newly married couples, we stress that the wedding is one day, while the marriage is a lifetime. I’m not advising you what to do, but I’m asking you to weigh the time, effort and money you are putting toward your relationship versus your wedding. People hesitate to spend money on premarital counseling, which could be instrumental in achieving higher marital success, but don’t blink any eye at spending thousands of dollars on a dress they wear one day.

I just want to encourage you to be wise. Make sure that you do what is best for you, not just what’s best for getting likes on Facebook.