Marriage and Money

Romance has upped its price in recent years. According to a recent article on CNN, the average American wedding now costs $28,400. What?

Second to an acceptance of salvation, most Christians agree that the vow made on one’s wedding day is the most important decision of a person’s life. But does it require $28,400? We the Threefold Advocate do not think so.

It’s not that we don’t believe marriage isn’t worth $28,400. If a good marriage costs $28,400, or even if the money adds to the general wellbeing of a married couple, then by all means: spend away.

Yet statistics show that $28,400 does not cover the costs of a happy marriage in the United States. Jennifer Baker of the Forest Institute of Professional Psychology said, “50% of first marriages, 67% of second and 74% of third marriages end in divorce.”

In a country where half of its marriages break apart, $28,400 is not pulling its weight.

The figure $28,400 speaks volumes about a wedding. A couple poured months into planning and spending for that special day—huddling together over wedding invitations (costing an average of $430), meticulously picking out their wedding cake (costing an average of $560) and carefully choosing their reception bands (costing an average of $3,084).

All these efforts funneled into planning for the grand events of one 24-hour day… an important day, but a single day nonetheless.

What would happen if couples instead poured those hours into preparing for the days, weeks, months and years occurring after their wedding day? What changes would we see in divorce statistics if couples designed their marriages as meticulously as they do their weddings?

John Brown University student Jed Spurgeon said his parents’ wedding cost them a grand total of $100. Three grown children later, his parents still love each other—even with $28,300 missing from their wedding.

We’re not money haters, and we love weddings. There’s nothing wrong with investing cash into planning one of the most significant days of a person’s life. But both the money and the day will symbolize nothing but pain and regret years later if the marriage is not built to last.

Plan your wedding. Enjoy the process. Keep in mind, however, that marriage is a lifetime commitment that doesn’t end with the honeymoon.