Wedding or bust

wedding-4
RYAN  By Guest Blogger Ryan Lewenza

I recently attended the wedding of a close work colleague at the historic Casa Loma castle in Toronto. Following the wedding ceremony we made our way to the outside terrace overlooking the city. As I marveled at the beauty of the Toronto skyline below, and the libations started to take effect, I wondered to myself, “what the heck is this costing the newlyweds and the family”? Well it wasn’t cheap, and it stoked my curiosity over the costs of a typical wedding and whether it’s really all worth it.

Switching gears from our normal topics on the economy and financial markets, this week’s blog focuses on the escalating costs of weddings, and whether there could be a better use for this money. At the end of the day it’s just a one-day party that often results in a maxed-out credit card and a nasty hangover. Maybe there’s another option.

Our research around this topic started with a simple Google search for the average cost of a Canadian wedding. Our query came up with a few surveys from the Bank of Montreal and Weddingbells magazine which estimate that the average cost of a Canadian wedding ranges from $20,000 to $32,500. Having gone through this exercise myself, and hearing other anecdotal wedding stories, I’m assuming the $32,500 figure is a more accurate estimate. So, given I’m a financial geek, I ran a few numbers to see what the long-term opportunity cost was of having an “average” wedding.

In my analysis I ran two scenarios. The first is that an “unconventional” couple decides to forgo the big fancy wedding and elope, saving the entire $32,500. This parsimonious couple instead invests the money in a TSFA and in a balanced portfolio earning 6% over the long-run. Assuming they are 30 and remain invested until retirement at 65; the couple would see their $32,500 grow to $250,000. And because it’s in a TSFA it grows tax free and when they pull it out it’s not recorded as income like an RSP or RIF. Great!

More realistically, I ran a second scenario where a “thrifty” couple had their wedding but at half the cost of the average, spending a more reasonable $16,250. This thrifty couple then contributed the difference of $16,250 into their TSFA, and invested in the balanced portfolio earning 6% over the same 35 year period. At retirement this couple would have $125,000, a nice chunk of change to start one’s retirement with some good vacations, dinners out or maybe catch a Blue Jays playoff game (let’s go Blue Jays!).

Amount at Retirement from Wedding Savings

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Source: Weddingbells, Turner Investments

Now this analysis only speaks to the long-term opportunity costs of holding an expensive wedding and doesn’t account for wedding gifts from family and friends. Despite this, the reality is that most couples will be covering the bulk of the wedding expenses, and in fact, many couples will go into debt to pay for their wedding. According to the BMO survey, on average, couples will use their credit card for 13% of the overall wedding costs, which based on the average wedding cost of $32,500, equates to $4,300 going on the credit card.

What does this work out to?

If you just pay the minimum on the balance with a credit card rate of 18%, it will take this newlywed couple 11 years to pay off the $4,300 while racking up $2,500 in interest, resulting in a total cost of $6,800. If the couple is more aggressive and pay $250 per month, then the $4,300 credit card balance would be paid off in just under 2 years but still result in over $700 in interest expenses.

While we recognize this is an incredibly important moment for any couple, we wonder if all the costs (real and opportunity) and potential for a large credit card bill is really worth it. And not to be too cynical here, but there’s a decent chance that it may not all be sunshine and roses. According to one study, there are roughly 70,000 divorces per year in Canada, with 33% of first marriages ending in divorce. And according to Statistics Canada, currently 2.5 million Canadians are currently recorded as legally divorced, which represents 7.2% of all Canadians.

There’s a good business idea. Combine the services of a wedding planner with a divorce attorney a few years later.

Canadian Divorce Statistics

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Source: Statistics Canada, Turner Investments

We hope we haven’t ruined anyone’s Saturday with these grim statistics on wedding costs and divorce rates. But we believe that some Canadian couples may be going too far to try to put on that perfect night. Instead, we suggest that couples consider cutting some superfluous expenses from their wedding budget. A few ideas on that front is cutting out the fat like fancy wedding cakes that few people actually eat, or unnecessary wedding favours like scented candles that nobody’s ever going to use. Pass on the stretch limo, custom designed wedding dress, and videographer. Just focus on what’s important – great food, good music, and free flowing drinks.

Ryan Lewenza, CFA,CMT is a Partner and Portfolio Manager with Turner Investments, and a Senior Vice President, Private Client Group, of Raymond James Ltd.

187 comments ↓

#1 Doug t on 10.08.16 at 2:11 pm

11 people at our wedding – 24th anniversary coming up – very happy and very lucky

#2 A belieber on 10.08.16 at 2:14 pm

Oh man….I’m dipping before the freedom first rants start

#3 bertvl on 10.08.16 at 2:14 pm

Ha, spending that kind of money for a wedding is absolutely crazy!

One rule of thumb is that the divorce costs four times the wedding. In my case this is almost exactly true: my wedding cost a total of $400… and the divorce lawyer a few years later cost $1600. :)

#4 lala on 10.08.16 at 2:17 pm

Canaduhh, where people get married but keep saperate bank accounts.

#5 For those about to flop... on 10.08.16 at 2:20 pm

I always wanted Freedom First to do a guest post…

M42BC

#6 Lost in Space on 10.08.16 at 2:27 pm

Some 32 years ago my wife and I spent a grand total of $1000 even with inflation (afterall this is an investment blog) it barely covers the cost of a low end dress. For years it bothered me but overtime I got over it because ya know something it what happens after that really matters!

#7 rjrt81 on 10.08.16 at 2:29 pm

Got married in the Hotel Georgia in front of 11 people(our immediate family). Used a starting out photographer that wanted to work on his portfolio. Had a 4 course gourmet dinner. Danced, drank and had a great night. Reception the next day at a pub with all our friends. Honeymooned in Whistler for 6 days. Payed for most of it ourselves and invested the 30k our parents had given to us for a bigger wedding if we wanted it. We came in at around 9k for everything. Which again we paid for about 80% of. Its totally possible to had an amazing wedding without spending a huge amount.

#8 Big Banks are a monopoly on 10.08.16 at 2:31 pm

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/canadas-big-six-banks-overshadow-a-whole-bunch-of-minnows-142903475.html

#9 Jimbo on 10.08.16 at 2:35 pm

My wedding cost me $24,000 in 2003. Wedding gifts were $38000 cash.

Made money off of each christening too. Invested for the kids of course.

This is the norm in my culture.

#10 CGYGuy on 10.08.16 at 2:40 pm

Like most things, it comes down to living/spending within your means. Have many millions of dollars laying around? Then have a big extravagant shindig. Buy the big mansion and the luxury cars. But most of us need to budget and actually be realistic when making that budget.

But as with food, peoples eyes are often bigger than their portfolios, and they get caught up trying to beat the Jones’ and all that.

#11 SoggyShorts on 10.08.16 at 2:42 pm

I always liked the destination wedding idea.
Go to mexico for a week 5 star all inclusive resort, wedding package including flights for a couple grand each.
Assuming your guests do a 2 week vacation each year, it shouldn’t be a hardship on them. You can even have your registry at your travel agent instead of crate and barrel…

#12 A better idea on 10.08.16 at 2:44 pm

I believe your numbers are skewed in terms of big city costs. When planning our own wedding 15 years ago, we found Toronto costs for our small 50-60 guest wedding amounted to around $12,000 ($120/plate average, plus photos/church/flowers/limo/etc.). On the east coast, where we ultimately got hitched, we got the whole shebang for $28/plate (nice meal in a premium hotel ballroom, including wine though not open bar), and with all the other expenses the whole thing cost under $5000. The only big expense outside of that was the honeymoon. We could’ve fathom paying Toronto prices, and it sounds like it’s gotten even worse. There are lots of ways to save costs but it seems like when it comes to weddings, people throw caution to the wind and pay ridiculous amounts for crap like invitations and pew bows that can be gotten for next to nothing with some marginal extra effort. These are the same people that scoff at paying $0.99 for an app on their phone, yet they spend crazy sums for a 1 day party.

#13 pathcontrolmonk on 10.08.16 at 2:45 pm

Word. Living up to your anagram “New Analyzer.

#14 Money Coach on 10.08.16 at 2:49 pm

In today’s dollars (2.5% inflation) the investment is only $108,342. Still not shabby – but not $250K

Sorry – couldn’t help myself :-)

#15 Fish on 10.08.16 at 2:49 pm

We had a GP no wedding , and a couple of hotel guest as fill in,
Bought a home, now its gone and so is heAfter over 20 + year I’m officially single, and planning to stay that way, everything is invested, I’m currently rent, with no lease, On with the show

#16 David W2 on 10.08.16 at 2:50 pm

My wife and I got hitched 5 yrs ago at cost of about $17k. Almost broke even at the end but not quite. Looking back we thought a nice BBQ with close family qnd friendss would have been the better route. When we have kids that will be our advice (and to read this blog)!

#17 Singh on 10.08.16 at 3:04 pm

If you knew how much lndian Punjabi people spend on weddings. They would probably have a million $ nest egg.
Hope my 3 Daughters go by this advise when there older. I would be so proud to put my money in and investment cycle like this for them. It would give me mire satisfaction and peace of mind.
Good artical mate

#18 Parsonage on 10.08.16 at 3:06 pm

Amen!!!!!!!!
An have a blessed Thanksgiving.

#19 Christopher Mewhort, EA on 10.08.16 at 3:13 pm

Forsooth. Wife and I have been together since 1973. We were married in 1993 in K-W. Total cash cost was $175, paid to a parole officer who moon-lighted after work performing marriages. Our friends threw a great party for us that evening. We have no regrets.

Christopher Mewhort, EA

#20 Lee bow on 10.08.16 at 3:15 pm

There was an ad on 407, just west of Pearson – weddings starting from $75 per person.

#21 Harbour on 10.08.16 at 3:16 pm

And according to Statistics Canada, currently 2.5 million Canadians are currently recorded as legally divorced, which represents 7.2% of all Canadians.
……………………………………………………………………….

The stats are a lot higher then that… I’m divorced 30 years ago. I’ve been saying single on everything for 20 years.

#22 Sheane Wallace on 10.08.16 at 3:19 pm

Weddings are major physiological play here as is housing.

Perfect wedding, dress, pictures, granite counter-top .

Think about it this way: without weddings and then the following divorce expenses how would one squeeze the sheeple out of their money?

Answer: Carbon tax and increased CPP! Bingo.

#23 Alberta Ed on 10.08.16 at 3:21 pm

Whatever happened to good old-fashioned eloping?

#24 Fish on 10.08.16 at 3:22 pm

Oh yes let’s not forget about children,
But don’t have any of them neither, I am planning
On getting a lovely flowering rose plant.

#25 Michael H on 10.08.16 at 3:31 pm

My wife and I eloped back in 2009 in Positano, Italy. Best life decision ever. No wedding planning stress and a wonderful experience. After the wedding, we traveled across Italy for a month for our honeymoon. We saved in advance for the wedding and had no debts after. We now have two daughters and are fortunately doing well here in Calgary.

#26 Market Man on 10.08.16 at 3:32 pm

What if you only took your family on vacation every
8 years? How much would that get you?

If you think that way then you will never enjoy life.

#27 BS on 10.08.16 at 3:34 pm

The first is that an “unconventional” couple decides to forgo the big fancy wedding and elope, saving the entire $32,500. This parsimonious couple instead invests the money in a TSFA and in a balanced portfolio earning 6% over the long-run.

What do you mean saving? I bet the vast majority of weddings are paid for mostly on credit cards or other debt.

#28 JSS on 10.08.16 at 3:37 pm

East Indian weddings are the most expensive. I am unsure how parents can pay for weddings that easily cost over $100K.

#29 Fish on 10.08.16 at 3:44 pm

It would be less expensive, if you had no children, maybe just a lab

#30 Penny Henny on 10.08.16 at 3:46 pm

It’s not just the wedding. It’s also the stag in vegas, the stagette in the dominican. Plenty of stupidity to go around.

#31 Keith in Calgary on 10.08.16 at 3:47 pm

Got married in 2001.

Total cost R$10,000 (about $5K USD) paid for by her parents, as is the custom.

Had the event at one of the choicest locations in Rio de Janeiro, usually frequented by movie/TV stars and the usual collection of uber rich misfits, had a 5 star fully catered outdoor courtyard reception, tuxedo’d waiters walking around with free flowing champagne, live music, best photographer in the city, she rented her wedding dress (no one buys them down there) and for rings the custom is that the bride and groom get simple 18K wedding bands (no engagement rings or diamonds).

Would have cost “me” $30,000 CAD back home at least. Bought a condo 2 years later for R$100,000 (roughly $50K CAD at the time)……4 blocks from Copacabana beach.

IMHO the worst thing a man can do is a marry the stereotypical materialistic North American woman.

#32 Keith in Calgary on 10.08.16 at 3:49 pm

Forgot to add that one of my colleague’s at work is currently planning his wedding for August of next year. He figures it’ll cost him $60,000 CAD……

#33 It's a long road on 10.08.16 at 3:50 pm

This assumes that the TFSA will last or stay unchanged for over 3 decades. What hasn’t changed in that time frame?

The divorce statistics also makes it clear that few will reach to the finish line together.

#34 bdwy sktrn on 10.08.16 at 3:54 pm

new listing
2250 GRANT STREET, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L2Z7

$2,749,900
MLS® Number: R2114628
———————————–
looks like more panicked sellers dropping their pants!

the fact that new houses here went for under 2m just 16 months ago is irrelevant.

just think how much cheaper it will be in 20 years!!!

#35 bdwy sktrn on 10.08.16 at 3:59 pm

we had a rather big fancy expensive one in the late 90’s.

high end hotel, limos, no expense spared…. to please her parents. Their party, their bill.

my costs were a few tux rentals and snowboard lift tickets for the morning of the big day.

#36 Context on 10.08.16 at 4:03 pm

My idea of a wedding is to get hitched at City Hall and have the after party dinner celebration on the cheap. I would give the groom $10,000 in cash if it was my daughter and say here is your budget for the wedding and the honeymoon.

#37 Former Fool on 10.08.16 at 4:04 pm

Interesting post and analysis. Thank you Ryan.

I have a question for you, Doug, and Garth, in regards to your estimates of future portfolio returns. Namely, do you consider the impact of disruptive technologies on stock market returns?

John Chambers, the Chairman of Cisco, discusses this topic:

http://www.marketwatch.com/story/ciscos-chambers-says-at-imf-that-40-of-businesses-will-disappear-in-a-decade-2016-10-05

Chambers raised some eyebrows, saying “more than 40% of businesses will disappear over the next decade.”

If Chambers is correct, would this not decimate index funds tracking the stock market?

It seems your estimates of portfolio returns have been based on historical returns of a balanced portfolio (and I hope you continue to be right long term as I am invested accordingly). Do you account for the potential of disruptive technologies in your returns estimates? If yes, please explain. If no, please elaborate.

As always – Thanks to the three of you for these blog posts, always educational and informative. Shocking news this week on the housing front. Glad I sold in 2014.

#38 crowdedelevatorfartz on 10.08.16 at 4:05 pm

I MC’d a wedding reception for a friend about 15 years ago that cost the groom $48k ( his new wife had zero money, no job and her family was in the same boat).
Jump forward 5 years. divorced . 2 kids.
Child and spousal support make that original 48k expenditure seem like chicken feed……
But he does have a photo album gathering dust somewhere with pics of the “blessed event”……

#39 Jules on 10.08.16 at 4:07 pm

Haha Ryan, that’s the last wedding you’ll get invited to.
Unfortunately those who forgo the big wedding often do so to save up for an overpriced house not a TFSA.

#40 crowdedelevatorfartz on 10.08.16 at 4:07 pm

@#35 bdy skytrn
“high end hotel, limos, no expense spared…. ”
********************************************

I didnt know the Cobalt Hotel had limo service……..

#41 Prairieboy43 on 10.08.16 at 4:11 pm

Married Farmers daughter in mid 90’s. Less < $4000.00. Suit, dress, DJ, dinner, hall for 120 people. Father in law, butchered a heifer, father paid Bar Tab. Best decision I have made.

#42 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:20 pm

I believe in me, myself and i

#43 WUL on 10.08.16 at 4:23 pm

Alberta Ed:

You asked about eloping. One of my sisters was married at a drive through wedding chapel in Vegas in a rented convertible Mustang. Highly recommended.

#44 Doug in London on 10.08.16 at 4:27 pm

You can get married at city hall, and I don’t know what it costs, but guess it’s nowhere near 32 grand.

#45 Metaxa on 10.08.16 at 4:27 pm

Where I come from this blog entry is known as a cost-benefit analysis.

I can’t remember what we paid for our wedding 42 years ago but I paid it all as there was no input from parents…a near 30 year old hippie man stealing a just 18 year old daughter right out from under their noses took them some time to wrap minds around.

Anyway, if you think marriage is full of unnecessary expense wait til you start burying folks…I’m of an age (72) that has buried both parents on both sides, siblings and lots of cats and dogs.

If you take the animals to the vet it is almost as expensive as a human but I digress.

From a young age I’ve always done a quickie cost/benefit (in my mind at least) on everything.
When I had restaurants my question always was “Will this sell me more coffee/dessert/whatever?”

Cars: gently used, usually off lease.
Homes: old stock, usually vacated by old folks, estate sales, etc.
Vacations: we canoe, kayak and camp by choice living in paradise and all.
Dinner out: you betcha but I go to places where a competent crew plays with the food and I can get what I would not or could not do at home.
Etc.

I have recently amended my last wishes tho, I now will be dressed in a clown outfit and my carcass dumped on Smoking Man’s front lawn.
He will notice sooner or later I’m sure.

#46 Isuckless on 10.08.16 at 4:37 pm

I always liked the destination wedding idea.
————–

I always hated this – forcing me to spend my vacation at the place I will never go. Selfish brats

#47 800RMK on 10.08.16 at 4:42 pm

Got married recently.

Excluding costs of wedding bands and wedding dress, all in cost of everything related to the wedding was $18,000 for about 175 people. Nothing to Extravagent, saved money where we could.

#48 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:48 pm

Never mind the clown outfit, image be married on Halloween. Just imagine, done, all done

#49 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:51 pm

Never mind the clown outfit, how about being married on Halloween, done, all done next

#50 Andrew Woburn on 10.08.16 at 4:55 pm

You’re a brave man, Ryan. Suggesting that wedding money could be better off invested can get your eyes scratched out.

I have been married too many times so here are my observations.

– If you need a ceremony to feel truly married, you’re in trouble before you start

– If the big wedding is all about making the bride feel like a princess for a day, fine if it works, but it usually doesn’t

– From the bride’s point of view the big wedding is like opening night on Broadway, always inches away from catastrophe. From the groom’s point of view, its like being a stage extra – stand here, wear this, say your lines. The stress can pretty much kill the joy of the occasion

I had only one marriage ceremony that I thought really worked. We got married at a quaint little church attended by maybe 50 guests who were told we didn’t want or expect presents. We left the church in a limo to the airport to go on a two week honeymoon. On our return we gave a dinner for thirty friends and family in a good hotel private dining room where we could all sit at one table and hang out in peace for the evening. No stress whatever, emotional or financial.

#51 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:57 pm

Never mind the clown outfit, got married on Halloween
Done, single now all done,

#52 No Mercy on 10.08.16 at 4:59 pm

Vegas …

$200 bucks and its done and then you can have plenty of fun.

Richard

#53 FC16 on 10.08.16 at 5:09 pm

In other news….

http://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20161006005020/en/

This has been repeated ad-nauseam by our blog host.

#54 Fenix on 10.08.16 at 5:11 pm

I can easily afford the cost of your average wedding, not a problem. A divorce on the other hand would be far more expensive.

I’d rather just invest the money and stay single.

#55 Fish on 10.08.16 at 5:14 pm

Never ever again

#56 Sheldon Cooper on 10.08.16 at 5:20 pm

Wife and I spent 5K on our wedding 5 years ago at City Hall. Close family only. Only about 20 people. No annoying cousins or aunts even. It was nice. We’re now multimillionaires, financially free and have zero regrets.

#57 Barb on 10.08.16 at 5:25 pm

So the balance lays around as cash because TFSAs are $5,500 max per person?

Thanks a pantload, T2.

#58 Bram on 10.08.16 at 5:25 pm

Eloped to Niagara, and had 1 guest only: our baby daughter.

Statistics say that wedding cost correlates with divorce rate. http://www.cnn.com/2014/10/13/living/wedding-expenses-study/

#59 Mr. Mrs on 10.08.16 at 5:26 pm

Itemized the whole thing… 84 guests, open bar. $32890 including rings, honeymoon, dress, suit, etc…2012. Paid all without debt. Had a blast. Still happily married.

#60 common sense on 10.08.16 at 5:36 pm

Good article…

My dad’s friend said to his daughters.

I have this much cash…take it for an investment or elope.

4 of 4 eloped.

#61 Victor V on 10.08.16 at 5:48 pm

So Ryan, if quants be the food of love, please do tell. Did you have a modest, frugal wedding…or did you splurge on a big diamond ring, lux hotel, veuve, filet mignon, and honeymoon in the riviera?

#62 Freedom First on 10.08.16 at 5:51 pm

Ryan & #5 flop

Thanks guys!

Yes. Perception is always key.

I live every day in semi-humility and gratitude. I have lived an unbelievable life. Would not change one second of it. It has all brought me to exactly where I am today.

Any hardships I have endured, real or imagined, have only served to make me stronger.

And, of course, Freer in every area of my life, including other people having any control over me.

007
Freedom First
PHD/Freedomonics

#63 espressobob on 10.08.16 at 5:54 pm

Some people are money conscious, others not so. City hall and a marriage license fee and a night at a ritzy hotel, the start of a smart relationship.

Your partner is either an asset or liability. Hate to be so critical but the truth can be the same.

#64 Wrk.dover on 10.08.16 at 5:58 pm

What I spent on the ring, she spent on the wedding. In ’81, with house half built and business quarters about to be started before the completion of that. Honey moon in Nassau several months early for the same price as each the ring and wedding. Life is good.

#65 For those about to flop... on 10.08.16 at 5:59 pm

My wife just showed me a photo of the Metrosexual Messiah tapping the keg for Octoberfest in Waterloo.

I hope one day to tap his keg with my elbow.

You know what they say about revenge…it is a dish best served with a cold elbow…

M42BC

#66 TurnerNation on 10.08.16 at 6:00 pm

80% of current day human behavior has been put into our heads by marketers and brainwashing post-WW2. All those experiments, everything honed under battle.

How about the Bank of Mom and Dad. The sht bung they paid $xx,xxx for is now worth $ x,xxx,xxx so what’s a few hundred grand in Helocs on kids’ weddings and down payments?

#67 Penny Henny on 10.08.16 at 6:01 pm

#48 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:48 pm
Never mind the clown outfit, image be married on Halloween. Just imagine, done, all done
..
#49 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:51 pm
Never mind the clown outfit, how about being married on Halloween, done, all done next
..
#51 Fish on 10.08.16 at 4:57 pm
Never mind the clown outfit, got married on Halloween
Done, single now all done,
??????????????????????

Fish? Have you been drinking?
Trying to forget about the big let down with Freedom First?

#68 BS on 10.08.16 at 6:05 pm

#34 bdwy sktrn on 10.08.16 at 3:54 pm
new listing
2250 GRANT STREET, Vancouver, British Columbia V5L2Z7

$2,749,900
MLS® Number: R2114628
———————————–
looks like more panicked sellers dropping their pants!

Panicked seller is exactly what it is. The builder is trying to bail. House is not even built yet he is trying to sell it.

#69 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 6:06 pm

I await Freedom First insite on this topic.

Only advice I can offer. Lie.

Find a venue that costs 85 bucks a plate and tell everyone it’s 200 a plate. Make sure you only invite people with a history of being generous at these things and toss the cheap basterds invitations in the recycle bin.

#70 For those about to flop... on 10.08.16 at 6:18 pm

Hey Freedom,that was very restrained.

I gave you an empty plate at the buffet and you said I’m not hungry.

Speaking of eating out, if I had to choose between dining with you or the Metrosexual Messiah ,I would choose you every time.

In an ideal world the Messiah would be our waiter and I would be extra demanding and leave no tip.

Then if the punk asked me where was his tip I would tell him it’s in Malaysia fighting global warming…

M42BC

#71 Context on 10.08.16 at 6:20 pm

In the USA am known as the wedding planner and a gal came to me from Boston. She didn’t want her daddy paying $30,000 who was a cop getting married to a cop. I said how about the most exclusive club in Boston 1864 bought by a group of elite women in 1924 as can bring the wedding and after party with dinner in at $14,000 no problem at all. It is the most exclusive private women’s club in USA called the College Club of Boston. I told her to join as the connections are priceless for a career in the making.

#72 Ray Skunk on 10.08.16 at 6:23 pm

I got married this year. Cost out of my pocket was <$10k, and included two weeks in the sun. A small blip in my savings schedule for the year.

#73 Butcher on 10.08.16 at 6:38 pm

In 1996 we had a small wedding and big honeymoon in Kona, Hawaii. 15 people including me and the wife.
Best decision ever, I recommend it to everyone.
A couple of years ago we went to a friend’s destination wedding at an all-inclusive in Mexico and it was great.
Now we have 4 kids and we hope they all do something similar. We might even bribe them to!

#74 Wedding cashers on 10.08.16 at 6:41 pm

Never seen so many cheap supposed 1%ers

#75 Ryan Lewenza on 10.08.16 at 6:46 pm

Former Fool “I have a question for you, Doug, and Garth, in regards to your estimates of future portfolio returns. Namely, do you consider the impact of disruptive technologies on stock market returns?”

No I don’t see “disruptive technologies” impacting long-term stock market returns. First, there have always been disruptive technologies in some form or fashion and its why capitalism is the ultimate form of Darwinism. The strong (i.e. Apple) always prevail over the weak (i.e. Blackberry). Its been happening for decades now with old technologies succumbing to new and better technologies/methods. Second, an index (i.e. S&P 500) is a group of stocks with weak/bankrupt ones being replaced with new and burgeoning companies. So any companies displaced by new technologies will be replaced by these disruptive companies. Also, this should result in higher productivity and in turn profitability. So I don’t see new “disruptive” technologies impacting stock returns. What could impact stock returns are 1) aging demographics, 2) a peak in productivity; 3) rising xenophobia and in turn reduced global trade; and 4) the large and rising debt levels globally. – Ryan L

#76 Bridezilla on 10.08.16 at 6:52 pm

Ryan – cue bone chilling, sphincter tightening Tarzan yell!

#77 Linda on 10.08.16 at 6:59 pm

Married in 1985 & still together. Total cost of wedding was no more than $500. Married in our (newly) purchased home living area by a justice of the peace, with about a dozen family & friends attending (size of the wedding party matched the size of the venue). Chef friend of ours made an utterly delicious black forest wedding cake – I’ve always thought traditional wedding cakes were nothing but fruit cake slathered with hard almond icing – pretty to look at but not very tasty! We got trays of yummy stuff from our favorite European deli plus gigantic fresh shrimp from the fish market. I wore a glorious wedding sari which cost the huge sum of $50 rather than the traditional white bridal outfit. We paid for our wedding ourselves & didn’t go into any debt over it. I simply can’t fathom why people spend so much, especially since the number one reason marriages fail is due to financial issues.

#78 Andrew Woburn on 10.08.16 at 6:59 pm

#45 Metaxa on 10.08.16 at 4:27 pm

Anyway, if you think marriage is full of unnecessary expense wait til you start burying folks…I’m of an age (72) that has buried both parents on both sides, siblings and lots of cats and dogs.
=======================

Here’s the Kiwi answer to that problem.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/22/the-coffin-club-elderly-new-zealanders-building-their-own-caskets

#79 WUL on 10.08.16 at 6:59 pm

Under the American constitution, can a presidential election be conceded a month in advance of voting day?

#80 Snowboid on 10.08.16 at 7:05 pm

Our wedding cost about $20, including the tip to the JP. My folks provided the lakeshore home for the reception and paid for the food and booze.

It was almost forty-five years ago – but we did honeymoon at the original Wickaninnish Inn and I have no regrets for that cost.

#81 Threadbare Teddybear on 10.08.16 at 7:05 pm

We were married in the nice old oak trimmed courthouse of a small Alberta city by the JP/ Sheriff. I think that paperwork cost under 20 bucks. Six in attendance repaired to the cocktail bar down the street for clubhouse sandwiches and restorative cocktails.
Thence out to the tiny 5 room house we had rented to enjoy a bit of a come and go house party with maybe twenty friends and family. If the whole deal cost 110 dollars I’d be surprised. That was in 1976 and we are still happily married today. Some friends who went the whole hog country club display were later divorced and not much later at that. Some did three rounds in the splashy wedding / divorce court merry go round. Save your money kids and take the good fiscal advice dished out daily on this blog.

#82 Ponnaps on 10.08.16 at 7:06 pm

That’s why arranged marriages work though it sounds incredulous to western societies….

a marriage between families and not just individuals means wedding expenses are shared by the families and couples don’t have to get into debt right away .. divorce rates are also extremely low as families oblige to help out financially, emotionally and any which way..

no coincidence that countries where arranged marriages are practiced have the highest population growth and the youngest of demographics..

#83 Brappp on 10.08.16 at 7:09 pm

Marriage – Worst financial decision I ever made. Wedding was $25k I was told you will get it back in gifts – nope not even half. The divorce was the same amount and losing half your net worth was 8x the cost. Think stocks are risky – getting married with our Canadian laws ensures the person with the most finances gets crushed. Hence the billion dollar family law industry. If I had listened to freedom first I could have actually retired after 30years of service.

#84 observer on 10.08.16 at 7:10 pm

Chinese weddings are crazy my friend spent 60,000 on his.

But they hope to get some back in gifts. (but they didn’t) They were in the hole for 32,000. Then came the honeymoon. It took them several years to recover from that cost before they got their balance sheet sorted out and start building equity on their lives

#85 Mean Gene on 10.08.16 at 7:18 pm

Save the money for significant anniversaries.

#86 Self Directed on 10.08.16 at 7:20 pm

#9 Jimbo on 10.08.16 at 2:35 pm

My wedding cost me $24,000 in 2003. Wedding gifts were $38000 cash.

Made money off of each christening too. Invested for the kids of course.

This is the norm in my culture.
—————————————
No, I can guarantee you did not make money on your wedding or your christenings. Reason is, you must also attend (and pay for) their events in return.. Reciprocation! Unless you haven’t been reciprocating? (i.e. cheap?).

#87 conan on 10.08.16 at 7:22 pm

What about that useless TP that places of employment insist on buying. If you got the distributors phone number and bought that instead of real TP, then invested in your TFSA…. you do the math…wow!!!

#88 AJ on 10.08.16 at 7:28 pm

?”
Married in jeans and flip flops in 2007. Renewed our vows in 2012 for $7k. Both were amazing. And no…I’m not related to SM

#89 Grey Dog on 10.08.16 at 7:28 pm

Renting out the Casa Loma!!! 35k$ a drop in the bucket for that place. That wouldn’t even include the caterers, bringing all tables, linens, etc (Went to an evening of music with Kerry Stratton conducting one evening this summer…the view and skyline watching day turn into evening ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!!).

Last week we celebrated our 40th anniversary combined Hubby’s retirement with 70 of our closest family, neighbours, and friends….actually room wasn’t big enough we would have loved to have invited more, the week before event when all seemed to be imploding, I thought to myself “should have gone to NY and enjoyed some theatre”, now though a week later, I’m really glad we shared our joy with these important people in our lives. Being a celebration at this stage of life done within our means, not needing to showboat…clothes were not new, photographer is a friend…memories forever…

Enough about me…
At this time of Thanksgiving, please donate cash to your local food bank. They can buy in bulk much more with the cash you donate versus the grocery bag you leave them.

#90 Blake on 10.08.16 at 7:28 pm

LAS VEGAS!! $2500 in the Valley of Fire. Included the photographer. $400 for the limo for 5 hours. $3500 all said and done after a few things ad all the in laws had a blast!

#91 Victoria - the original on 10.08.16 at 7:31 pm

Married 24 years – 4 people at wedding – wore a nice suit instead of a wedding dress.

Decided not to have kids …

Ended up with 4 kids ….

Still married though.

#92 IO on 10.08.16 at 7:47 pm

A fiend of mine is actually getting married tomorrow. Parents pay everything but when it came to a ring he wanted to buy a $10k plus diamond.
I was like [email protected]?
Whats wrong with a smaller stone? At a 2k?

#93 Julie K. on 10.08.16 at 7:55 pm

My 1981 nupitals included 100 peeps, Prime Rib dinner, 3-pc band and open bar. We owned the venue at the time so for sure that offset some cost.

My off-white chiffon cocktail length dress, from an upscale Unionville shop which I would not usually frequent, cost $200 — on sale of course. I actually rocked that same dress again for our sons christening a year or so later.

Total cost was $2k.

35 years of marriage act under our belts. Two very loved kids raised and both now successfully flown from the family nest.

Calling that an awesome ROI for our parents initial $2k investment.

But this is not the best part.

Under the banner of there are no coincidences in life….

Our only daughter’s BF of 7 yrs just popped by. Quite a feat itself being we are a ferry ride away. Anyway, he showed up with a ring and a request for her hand in marriage next October.

We had a hunch this day was coming but nonetheless happily surprised. And proud our soon to be SIL made such a special effort today.

While he was still here I check my fav blog.

Rude act maybe on such a momentus day but, after the formalities, the convo turned to RE and all the changes announced this week.

You can only imagine the complete surprise upon seeing todays headline and scanning Ryan’s post.

One thing is always certain, this blog causes a visceral response in me for one reason or another.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

#94 Fish on 10.08.16 at 7:56 pm

#67
Just a little trouble with connection
Freedoom doesn’t come cheap
Like I said going to have a lovely flowering rose plant
Happy Thanksgiving

#95 espressobob on 10.08.16 at 7:57 pm

Fast tract cheapo bite me to everyone you know and kiss our asses.

http://www1.toronto.ca/wps/portal/contentonly?vgnextoid=7795fe581b7ff310VgnVCM10000071d60f89RCRD

#96 Sean McGrath on 10.08.16 at 8:03 pm

As I often say to the scrimpers and savers, the overly risk averse, the fanatical tree huggers, the vegans… Probably your best bet is just to shoot yourself right now.

#97 Ronaldo on 10.08.16 at 8:10 pm

#26 Market Man

”If you think that way then you will never enjoy life.”

But think about how rich you would be if you died of old age.

#98 Pete on 10.08.16 at 8:11 pm

Neither my wife nor myself drink alcohol. I don’t believe in doing so. When we arranged our wedding venue 12 summers ago at a place that caters mainly to weddings and the like, the ink was already dry on the agreement when the lady asked if we wanted to have an ‘open bar’ for a set period of time on the wedding night. We informed her that there was to be no alcohol served at all at our wedding. Bar closed. She just about burst into tears. I guess this is where she makes the bulk of her money on those soirées. TOUGH.

#99 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 8:12 pm

Breaking News
Donald Trump is a Heterosexual.

My god, the horror of anyone going backward, How dare he locker room talk in public.

The more the machine attacks the more popular he gets. It’s a fact. I have a Ph.D. in Herdonomics

He won’t lose one supporter over his.

The herd hates Washington and the MSM way more than someone with misogynistic tendencies, they have seen wall street and celebrities prosper in mega riches since 2008 while their lifestyles, job prospects going nowhere but down. H1B Visa forcing labour rates lower.

The scathing vitriol and the mobbing MSM are going after him over a few words everyone’s used highlights to people that never saw it before how connected MSM is to Machine. And how unfair and corrupt it is protecting the status quo.

When Hillary was speaking to a group at Goldman. This is what she said about the poor little people in her own party. And it’s going to be brought up in the debate.

https://twitter.com/impiousdigest/status/784542067821338625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

So while most of you pick sides based on your programming. and what makes you feel good I’m looking to make loot on this.

I’m seriously thinking of upping my LONG USDMXN bet now. MSM just gave Trump the election not realizing the old model is broken.

Dr. Smoking Man
PhD. Herdonomics.

#100 Long Branch Apprentice on 10.08.16 at 8:13 pm

The Wedding Industrial Complex is a by product of Generation Narcissist.

People’s only excuse for attention these days are their high school/university graduation, their wedding, and the births of their children. Their lives are so boring and void of any kind of actual achievement that in order to have the spot light squarely on themselves, they must one up each other on this fake ceremonies, to the point of having their wedding televised.

This bullshit is about as real as a cubic zirconia, with the put on emotion, fake congratulations, and the perfunctory (and completely uninspired) wedding gifts.

Smokey, if you think your generation is sheep, then my generation is down right laboratory rats.

By the way, we were married in our apartment, with an atheist officiant. Went to the bar after for cans of Labatt 5.0.

Everyone had a great time, including my wife and I, who later went to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for 3 weeks for our honeymoon.

People are so boring, it’s driving me to drink. (and smoke).

#101 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 8:26 pm

#97 Long Branch Apprentice on 10.08.16 at 8:13 pm

Smokey, if you think your generation is sheep, then my generation is down right laboratory rats.
…………………….

The one coming up behind yours. Amoebas.

Life Large Life free. you won’t remember a damn thing when you become worm food.

#102 mouldyinYVR on 10.08.16 at 8:35 pm

#78 Andrew W.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/sep/22/the-coffin-club-elderly-new-zealanders-building-their-own-caskets
________________
good on ya Kiwis!

#103 El Presidente Trump on 10.08.16 at 8:36 pm

Timely!!

Thanks for the advice, looking like it’ll be number 4 for me.

#104 Ghost of Nikola on 10.08.16 at 8:45 pm

#99 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 8:12 pm

Breaking News
Donald Trump is a Heterosexual.

My god, the horror of anyone going backward, How dare he locker room talk in public.

The more the machine attacks the more popular he gets. It’s a fact. I have a Ph.D. in Herdonomics

He won’t lose one supporter over his.

The herd hates Washington and the MSM way more than someone with misogynistic tendencies, they have seen wall street and celebrities prosper in mega riches since 2008 while their lifestyles, job prospects going nowhere but down. H1B Visa forcing labour rates lower.

The scathing vitriol and the mobbing MSM are going after him over a few words everyone’s used highlights to people that never saw it before how connected MSM is to Machine. And how unfair and corrupt it is protecting the status quo.

When Hillary was speaking to a group at Goldman. This is what she said about the poor little people in her own party. And it’s going to be brought up in the debate.

https://twitter.com/impiousdigest/status/784542067821338625?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

So while most of you pick sides based on your programming. and what makes you feel good I’m looking to make loot on this.

I’m seriously thinking of upping my LONG USDMXN bet now. MSM just gave Trump the election not realizing the old model is broken.

Dr. Smoking Man
PhD. Herdonomics.

Go for it Jimmy… every penny you got!

The electric universe has decreed his victory.

#105 Steve French on 10.08.16 at 8:49 pm

I’m a bit like “Freedom First” … but with a better personality…

#106 will on 10.08.16 at 8:54 pm

great post! next time how about the economics of funerals?

#107 Freedom First on 10.08.16 at 8:58 pm

#70 flop

Yes. I am a kind and loving man. Any of my past girlfriends would verify this.

My only aim is to help. However, once the talk is of rings and weddings, I can’t help. It’s too late.

#108 WalMark of Sadkatoon on 10.08.16 at 9:04 pm

Married 8 times. They were all hot

No kids

Oh yeah!

#109 maxx on 10.08.16 at 9:16 pm

What an excellent post Ryan. Relevant to how we are generally so blind with respect to the power of time and money. A single event and so much cost.
For us, it’s 31 blissful years and counting…..
Had a smallish wedding with about 60 guests as we preferred a hefty down payment for our first home.
Wedding cost: 1K from mom and dad, all spent on a great Italian restaurant with table service and open bar thrown in. It was a true mega-bargain, even back in ’85. The service was impeccable, right down to that for the wedding dessert: “Baka-di-Laska”, served perfectly to every single guest.
Wedding dress cost $5.00 from a shop going out of business, head piece $30.00 and dyed my own shoes for $2.00.
A friend played the pipes for us and another took photos. Everyone had a blast- even the minister! Wouldn’t change a single detail.
Romance, a day made in heaven and marital success have very little to do with cash. But being on the same fiscal page for decades most certainly does.

#110 Fish on 10.08.16 at 9:50 pm

After X left one year to the day I was at my mums funeral, God bless her
Devorce and death is very hard for a person
Especially when you are alone
But I am still here and I will carry on

#111 For those about to flop... on 10.08.16 at 10:16 pm

Hey Freedom,I will cut you a deal, if I ever get divorced and am dumb enough to get married again you can be the MC at the next wedding.

My brother has been married and divorced twice and I would not rule out him getting married again.

The first time he got married I sent him $500 and a card.

The second time he got married I sent him $300 and a card.

The next time I will just send him a card…

M42BC

#racket

#112 Bottoms_Up on 10.08.16 at 10:27 pm

Wedding is a day. Marriage is for life.

#113 Bottoms_Up on 10.08.16 at 10:37 pm

#99 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 8:12 pm
——————–
I believe this will hurt him. He speaks of women as objects. How can any self respecting women vote for him? How can any man that loves any female vote for him? How is he fit to be president?

#114 Fish on 10.08.16 at 11:12 pm

#108 WalMark of Sadkatoon on 10.08.16 at 9:04 pm
Married 8 times. They were all hot

No kids

Oh yeah!
Are you still married????

#115 MGTOW on 10.08.16 at 11:19 pm

So this is what it’s come to, even your wedding money should go to a financial advisor? I hope you have your certification so you can perform the ceremony! (Just kidding, it’s a good topic and worthy of discussion.)

My former father-in-law paid mostly for my first wedding but it wasn’t extravagant. However the ROI for his daughter was huge, I paid in total over $600,000 in child support and all that. After tax. So weddings do pay and they pay huge.

My second wedding my wife and I paid for ourselves, and you’d think I’d have known better, but it’s so far still holding. We kept the cost down to about $12,000 dollars by getting married at the zoo. Free flowers, giraffes in the background, almost everything taken care of, and they did a great job. Plus we were able to get married at like 4pm and then immediately open the bar.

However, the biggest lesson I have taken away from the two experiences and will drill into my son when he is older: It is not how much you spend on your wedding that matters nearly so much as who you marry. The real costs start adding up once there are lawyers involved. Take heed gentlemen, it doesn’t mater if you hire Turner investments to manage your portfolio or not, the day your wife tells you “it’s over” is the single biggest one day loss your current and future portfolio will suffer, especially if you have young children.

So I mentioned that I am married again, and although no man should do this twice there are some differences that I did get right second time around that I will offer for younger men contemplating such a comprehensive union.

1. If you already have assets you need a prenupt. No questions asked if she exhibits the slightest resistance the deal is off. You should actually have a co-habitation agreement before you let her move in. (She will be trying to move in because ladies with their own house don’t let losers who have lessor houses move in with them, they are very pragmatic about such things generally.)

2. No debt. A lady that runs up her own credit card will quickly run up yours.

3. A job. If she isn’t working or doesn’t plan to work after marriage, well, you are going to be spending a lot more money than you would just going to the gentleman’s club a couple times a week.

4. Common interests. This one is very important. If you like skiing and she doesn’t family vacations are always going to be filled with strife. Get a girl who already wants to do what you want to do. It’s ok if she wants to go to Zumba and you don’t, but if you want to go camping in a tent and she doesn’t it’s a deal breaker. If you want your kids to play hockey but she won’t come cheer them on it’s all strife ahead. Common interests bring people together, dissimilar interests push them apart.

5. She knows who’s boss. Ok, she is going to be the boss regardless, but make sure you are really comfortable with the regime.

6. Personality over intellect. No, smart women are not as sexy as smart men. Never were, never will be, although there is something to it. It’s a personality thing, nobody uses their intellect anyway except to justify or obtain what they “want”. So if she’s into Porsches and won’t let you catch an occasional football game with your friends because “she needs you home”, buy seasons tickets and dump her.

7. No previous kids. Trust me, you are not even qualified to raise your own kids. You don’t even know where to start raising someone else’s kids. If she’s already had her kids, she is not marriage material for you. The exception is widows. Some but not all widows have really just had a terribly bad turn of events. Divorced women with kids usually have not. Maybe their ex-husband was terribly abusive, but they knew that before they got married and guess what? He’s still coming around on the weekends for visitation. So now he’s your problem too.

The long and the short of it is guys (and girls because they have to deal with the reverse of all this but I can’t speak to it as well), who you marry has far more implications than how much you spend on the wedding.

If you choose to marry, marry well.

#116 Nuke on 10.08.16 at 11:27 pm

Got married before lunch when Cityhall called and said there was an opening as a couple bailedd. Wife got a friend to stand for her and I got my brother. Done in 30 minutes and both went back to work. I had more fanfare getting my drivers licence. Family found out a few weeks later. Was able to find a ring at the pawn shop that fit. I think $60. Wife had a gold ring already.

#117 Singh on 10.08.16 at 11:51 pm

#28 JSS on 10.08.16 at 3:37 pm
East Indian weddings are the most expensive. I am unsure how parents can pay for weddings that easily cost over $100K.

Mine cost $100,000.

That is average these days for Sikh Indian Weddings.
Plus owning a detached house is a must. You will be ridiculed if you go ahead with a traditional Indian wedding without a detached house.

Tarnishes the family name.

#118 jose cuervo on 10.09.16 at 12:19 am

was just at an Italian wedding today. cost me $300 for me and my girlfriend. the going rate used to be $100 a head. $100 doesn’t get you shit these days

#119 THE GREATER FOOL WEDDING & DIVORCE PLANNER EDITION on 10.09.16 at 12:32 am

Good spin-off I think, make it a yearly event.

Comes with Future Value calculations, uninspired Excel charts, vitriol and and a good dose of bitterness.

I mean, how good is that?

Some great advice here in the Comments. Something you will not find in a wedding magazine or thereafter.

And Ryan, the divorce comments…bitter?

bsant54

#120 Smoking Man on 10.09.16 at 12:35 am

113 Bottoms_Up on 10.08.16 at 10:37 pm
#99 Smoking Man on 10.08.16 at 8:12 pm
——————–
I believe this will hurt him. He speaks of women as objects. How can any self respecting women vote for him? How can any man that loves any female vote for him? How is he fit to be president?
……

There are Real woman and there are phycos. My herdomitor is telling me real woman with real minds out number the loons and will bet on economy for main street and there husbands. Before globalised hatched gender politics.

I’ve been wrong a few times.

Good luck

#121 Cloudy on 10.09.16 at 12:48 am

Good post. If you had written this 6 years ago maybe I could have reasoned with my [now] wife. I would have lobbied to have you canonized as the patron saint of Reason.

Weddings seem to be more a competition than anything. There are people spending more on photographers than what should be spent on an entire wedding.

#122 Ponzius Pilatus on 10.09.16 at 12:53 am

The cost and the length of a marriage are inversely related.

#123 Ponzius Pilatus on 10.09.16 at 12:55 am

Punjabi weddings are a billion dollar business in the Lower Mainland.

#124 THE GREATER FOOL HOME & GARDEN EDITION on 10.09.16 at 12:56 am

Just a thought Ryan for a future post.

You could talk about the merits of Renovation ETFs, why they have lower MERs, and throw in some Present Value Annuity calculations in there just ’cause you can.

Garth can chime in with the merits of Home Depot Preferreds.

Doug can add a chart showing that the Average US Worker Age correlates very well with the frequency of Sun Spots.

And do not forget to include, that crowd pleasing favorite, the ever ubiquitous Excel Pie Chart. Trust me, they’ll love that.

To really impress, try your hand at an X-Y Scatter Plot with a Trendline, add its formula and do not forget the R-Squared value for efficacy and the thrill of it all – also, do a future period projection to have them bow at your feet.

…sorry, could not resist.

-bsant54

#125 stage1dave on 10.09.16 at 1:05 am

Jesus H. Christ, the wife & I MADE almost 2G on our wedding, and it would have been somewhat more if one of my idiot BIL’s hadn’t been running a cash bar out of the trunk of his Mustang GT in the parking lot…

We were havin too good a time to notice, apparently.

In 2012, think we dropped about $2500 between hall, meal, booze, dress, rings, etc…the wife n I aren’t real big into spectacles, we did this for US; not everyone else! She found a dress she loved at Sears (discontinued, $20) picked me out a suit in a thrift shop (like I’ll be wearing it again haha) & we invited 30 friends & relatives.

(most of my family is dead, so that pared down the potential guest list considerably)

MIL picked up the meal cost, and we got a lot of dumb cash presents…like $300 worth of loonies in a tube sock…oh well, when yer buddies are musicians, artists, & gearheads these things are pretty casual.

Maybe I need to move up to a better class of loser, but we all had a good time on a budget. The thought of spending $32,500 on nuptials would send my wife into cardiac arrest…we’ve got better things to spend our money on; or invest it in.

(I’d be thinkin’ I could grab a pretty nice GN for 2/3 to 3/4 of that, and we’d still have a bitchin’ wedding)

But if I had to do it all over, I’d make sure the DJ didn’t make us wait almost an hour before he played the first Ozzy song…no way I’d let that happen again, I’d prioritize the music list. (but he did open with Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, as asked)

Anyway, good advice Mr. Lewenza…putting aside a good chunk of immediate gratification (which apparently might cost you 4 times as much a few years later) might pay off pretty well down the road.

#126 RE: THE GREATER FOOL HOME & GARDEN EDITION on 10.09.16 at 1:16 am

Forgot.

The PV Annuity equations could show that it is better to invest in garden perennials vs. annuals and that patio set and high end barbecue money could be put to better use, say a TSFA portfolio of Maple equities that includes Massey Ferguson, Whole Foods Market, Napoleon Grills and the like.

…yes, yes…I’m done.

;-)

-bsant54

#127 Chaddywack on 10.09.16 at 1:35 am

We spent $20k on our wedding and don’t regret a single thing. Some things in life are more important than money. The memories are wonderful and will last a lifetime!

#128 Vampire Studies GMST 454 on 10.09.16 at 2:07 am

Problem is there is a whole industry pumping this now.
How ’bout “Say yes to the dress”? Doesnt make much sense to me. Wedding and reception is a few hours, but
marriage is supposed to last forever.

Most recent experience was Niece’s big day. I looked around, and ballparked “a well equipped car”. Sis confirmed each side of the family put in $10k while the happy couple added the rest, and an aunt paid for the band. Crazy. It’s all very much “look at me”!

#129 DON on 10.09.16 at 3:24 am

#45 Metaxa

I like your style.

and the camping is great isn’t it, next step sea kayaks to access remote beaches.

Cheers!

#130 Dan on 10.09.16 at 3:40 am

Haha, I didn’t expect that today but totally agree. In the end, a group of close family, friends, good food and lots of drinks and you’ll have a wonderful time…. and save 20k.

#131 TheWilyKatipo on 10.09.16 at 3:44 am

Occasionally the man suggests that we get married, but I always say no. Weddings bore the tits off me, and I doubt that would change if it was my wedding. It would be worse, because centre of attention, and expected to wear high heels. Balls to that.

#132 BillyBob on 10.09.16 at 4:00 am

Marriage?

In the words of John Oliver…

“How is this still a thing?”

Gotta go with Freedom First on this one. Love and marriage are not the same thing. One is cultural blackmail and the other is, well…love.

#133 OffShoreObserver on 10.09.16 at 5:53 am

First wife turned out to be manic depressive. She bailed just in time for the Expo ’86 la-la, but she tried to sue, saying I had promised to pay for grad school for her. Stupidly, she mailed me a letter about not really wanting to sue me. I mailed copy to lawyer, pronto. My dear parents paid for a marriage in Calgary. Honeymoon in Puerta Vallarta–and I getting Mexican brothers to take me to whorehouses.

Nexr wife was Chinese, big tits, but greedy. Marriage lasted four months.

No divorce cost to both.

Shacked up with Miss Teen Thailand in 2001. Landlord across the street from my Apartment block told me a story about a friend that got sued after 10 years with a woman who became gay. He had to sell assets to buy her off.

Thai, 23 year-old GF comes back in 2001 from visiting mama in Bangkok. I tell her she has to move out.

Sell, apartment block in 2010 for almost $4MM. Don’t have to share the proceeds.

2016, meet Ms. Sri Lanka in BKK and love her for 3 nights. Currently, in Da Nang, Vietnam with 29 year old GF.

No Common law in Vietnam.

Moral of my story: don’t let the lawyers suck out your wealth!

#134 Ben Stump on 10.09.16 at 6:50 am

Forewent the entire social blah blah , went to a diamond wholesale buddy and bought a huge rock, flew to HI for a beach wedding on a Friday 13th. Had a great memory and a funny story for going on 28 years. Saved a lot of money not doling it out to strangers, forgot pretty much everyone by now anyway . At the end of the day no one matters except the two you, so spend your money on yourselves and screw everyone else.

#135 Wrk.dover on 10.09.16 at 6:54 am

So, Trump has a potty mouth. The real piece of work on that tape is the aptly named Billy Bush.
I’d rather put up with Trumps attitude than that of the women/commitment fearing Freedom First on this site.

All women want is control of their own life, when they have that from day one, your life with one improves beyond your wildest dreams of living a life alone.

Marriage is a joint account business partnership…the business purpose is setting things in place for life to be better each day than the previous day. It compounds.

#136 Dave from Kincardine on 10.09.16 at 7:39 am

Great topic.

Considering how many marriages end due to financial distress between the couples.

Why not celebrate achievements, not events. Celebrate 10 years together, 20 yrs, 30 etc. These spots seem better places to spend excess cash.

Cars, vacations, weddings, sports equipment (bikes)- costs are just getting out of hand.

#137 JauntyMcD on 10.09.16 at 7:49 am

“the libations started to take effect” – Mark L.

I guess that’s the difference between real financial analysts and the rest of us who’d be saying “as the libations started to wear off, I wondered to myself, what’s this going to cost?”

#138 busman7 on 10.09.16 at 7:51 am

Absolutely ridiculous to waste that much on a wedding!

I can arrange a destination wedding on a beach in the tropics for a tenth of that. You’ll have a unique wedding to remember + 90% of the money to invest in a TFSA, the best of both worlds, eh!

#139 maxx on 10.09.16 at 7:52 am

#74 Wedding cashers on 10.08.16 at 6:41 pm

“Never seen so many cheap supposed 1%ers”

You have no idea how “cheap” 1%ers can be. How do you think they got that way? You know, pay yourself first, and all that.

Anyways, back to the main irritant embedded in this dumb comment: The adjective “cheap” always seems to be applied by the business world and/or irretrievable fiscal failures to those who succeed in getting, well, rich.

I have 5 rules when it comes to money:
– pay yourself very well and first every single payday;
– keep savings safe and growing, no matter what;
– how you buy stuff and where you source it is as important as how you save;
– if a retailer’s ethics stink, buycott, mercilessly;
– if a judgmental loser slaps the “cheap” label on anyone, ignore it with the contempt it deserves, it will eventually, and in quiet time, come to see real.

#140 JauntyMcD on 10.09.16 at 7:56 am

Sorry I got the name wrong – I meant Ryan L(ewenza).
It is a long way from the top (article) to the bottom (comment entry) – I got lost.

#141 Almontage on 10.09.16 at 8:09 am

Are parental units no longer a factor?
We did what my wife’s parents wanted 44 years ago (they paid.)
When my daughter got married 12 years ago this weekend we supported her and her husband and we paid.
Both couples still married. Nobody crippled financially. That is why you save and invest isn’t it?

#142 Zen Headspace on 10.09.16 at 8:50 am

Money spent on a wedding = Money thrown in the trash.

End of story.

#143 maxx on 10.09.16 at 8:59 am

#135 Wrk.dover on 10.09.16 at 6:54 am

…….”Marriage is a joint account business partnership…the business purpose is setting things in place for life to be better each day than the previous day. It compounds.”

…and then some. What an excellent comment.

#144 Dee on 10.09.16 at 9:14 am

My older sister’s been married twice. First wedding, over US$50k, big cathedral in a major city, 300+ people, limos, the whole princess wedding. She didn’t enjoy a minute of it because she was so stressed from the planning and making sure everything was running smoothly and everything. And the marriage made it about a year.

Second wedding, the two of them + her kid + the best man and maid of honour (5 people total) flew down to Key West and got married on the beach. Cost a couple grand, my sister was way less stressed out, they had a much much better time at both the wedding and honeymoon, and they’re still married 5 years later.

It isn’t just good fiscal sense, but good emotional sense, too. Unless you’re so wealthy you can not even miss the money (and hire enough people to do everything so you don’t worry about it), skip the big wedding.

#145 The Nature Boy on 10.09.16 at 9:24 am

My $70k in TFSA are at 0,08% interest.
I keep reading TFSAs at 6%

Where?????????????/

#146 TurnerNation on 10.09.16 at 9:27 am

Still believe in idea of marriage but times sure have changed… I feel sorry for people of my dour culture, they spend years in undergrad uni maybe a CFA too. Wear the same boring business wear as all, put in long hours, hang out at same bland Bay St. Hangouts. Prepared to buy a 905 box and commute 2 hrs a day, locked down in post wedding debt. All to attract a quality mate eh.

Meanwhile a few blocks down King St. West you will find that your mate or potential mate is dirty dancing with the opposite…low class uneducated people often of a very different culture. Giving them all the attention and booze and…they want.

It’s just business: Win-Win-Lose.

I see this weekly being out at least 2 nights a week.

#147 NoName on 10.09.16 at 9:41 am

wedding value or lack there of, it would be interesting to do small surway and see how how blog dogs compare at that front not merried, 1st wife, 2nd wife, trophy wife. But polls are nomore. What is interesting Rayan you didnt touch on a stag & dow partys, they are real mony makers, relativly small up front cost and all cash. “forign” communities got this down to the science, and what is beauty of it parents for the most part paid it forward for ther own kids, buy attending others weddings. There is no way that bride and groom walk away from stag-dow and wedding in negative. but now days what will done them in ,is: car, house and social media…

Someone mentioned pre nap agreement, and that always remands me of of murdok in cout toom and his wife defending. no word of the lie i steel wonder is there some clause in their “nap” that she has to go down before hi does. Fortunatly for me beeing working stiff , and having nolife i dont have to vorry abut stuff like that.

But if you managed to acquire some wealth before you got merrid maybe would be good thing to give murdoc call…

#148 traderJim on 10.09.16 at 9:49 am

Never married. Retired at 45. There’s a very high correlation between those two statements.

#149 Wait There on 10.09.16 at 9:49 am

As I see it, it is obvious the media is against Trump. First, he is always not always politically correct everyone knows that. Second, these tapes were made at a time when the general thinking was different. Just dial back 7 years ago, and Obama’s own views about same sex marriage differs from what is supposedly is today. Maybe it is still the same but in public it has changed. If you dial back in time, I am sure many of the editors and writers of the MSM were homophobes 30 years ago. In their next job interview, let us dig out these ideas and eliminate their next promotion.

The USA is facing some serious issues and the media is playing this lewd and potty mouth thing to death. Look at it another way, if the Donald was not the Donald, and was always politically correct, would be where he is today. Politicians plan their futures. He planned his future to be famous and sometimes controversial and he achieved that.

Ryan, while I applaud your view of the financial side of marriage, in a way I don’t like it. If the world really lived to be totally financially rational, the economy would tank in a big way. We are frugal and comfortable, but my wife and I always comment that if the “others” lived the way we do, our portfolio would suffer. So pleeease do not start a movement for others to live financially rationally, it will “bounce back” at you.

#150 NoName on 10.09.16 at 9:50 am

That “foring” come out odd, we are all Canadians just some of us speak with an accent. I wish that just for one day i can equalize language that i think in and language that i comunicate with…

#151 traderJim on 10.09.16 at 10:18 am

#120 SM

Scott Adams (of Dilbert fame) has a really interesting take on Trump. Says Trump is using very effective persuasion techniques, and it seems to be working.

Also thinks now Hillary has moved the campaign and the debate from Hillary’s strength, policy and boring crap like that, to Trump’s strong point: mud slinging.

Someone asking why any woman would vote for Trump must never have heard of JFK or Bill Clinton. Both first class scoundrels, adored by legions of women, that make Trump’s locker room talk seem like child’s play.

I doubt a single Trump supporter (I am not one) will change their vote. They know he’s a billionaire playboy and alpha male. He’s just bragging to his buddies about his conquests, possibly using his typical hyperbole. (Remember him saying blacks are living at the worst time in their history? Trump likes to exaggerate. Everything. Including his exploits with women, no doubt.)

Hillary will still win the election, but when all of her buddy Podesta’s emails are released, anyone still thinking that she may not be a vile, corrupt, incompetent, scheming viper, willing to sell out her entire country for a few millions will have to reconsider.

Hillary’s first term will be a total disaster and she will blame it on right wing witch hunting.

2020 will be interesting, but not in a good way I’m afraid. I think the next GOP candidate may be far scarier than Trump. He/she may be smart enough to hide their true authoritarian nature.

That will be just about the time the US economy has a second major crash, perhaps. All points to a very scary confluence of events.

And maybe none of it comes to pass in 2020. But that just means 2024.

I’m glad I live on an island : )

#152 Fred on 10.09.16 at 10:49 am

Eloped in 1981 at a total cost of $25. Paid cash for starter home in Don Mills and never made a mortgage payment – ever!

#153 Cecil Henry on 10.09.16 at 11:15 am

Invest in your marriage, not your wedding.

#154 CJBob on 10.09.16 at 11:22 am

#145 The Nature Boy on 10.09.16 at 9:24 am
My $70k in TFSA are at 0,08% interest.
I keep reading TFSAs at 6%

Where?????????????/
____________________________
Sitting with a bank or the Orange guys? You have lots to learn, if you’re with the orange guy move the money to one of their balanced street wise funds TEMPORARILY and then start learning about other options and how to invest for yourself. There are much better long term options but for someone just learning and getting started it’s a good place to start.

#155 Jules on 10.09.16 at 11:28 am

#133 Offshoreobserver
I fantasize daily about a beautiful world where people just like you don’t exist.

#156 Wait There on 10.09.16 at 11:31 am

Money spent on weddings are OK, as long as it is reasonable and truly affordable and is meant for the bride and groom. Except that the guillable B&G are told they must impress.
But Why? everytime I ask my friends if they remember the weddings they attended, none are really memorable…even ones from a year ago.
What peeps are not realizing is that the media has commanded them that they should have the same as the popular stars…..This house horniness with SS and granite was really founded on “The homes of the rich and famous”. When taking on debt became easy, suddenly everybody wanted to be like the stars…standout weddings, homes etc. Peeps are now defined by all that are outward appearances. Less on what is in between the ears.

#157 Trojan House on 10.09.16 at 11:39 am

Wow! I think someone said it but there are a lot of cheap 1%ers (10%ers wanna be 1%er) commenting on how they are all better than everyone else because they didn’t spend a fortune on their weddings!

Well good for you, you know it all SOBs! Why do you even care? Apparently you are well off enough anyway so who cares how much somebody else spends/wastes on their wedding! Opinions are like a-holes – everyone has one. Why don’t you post something useful to this blog rather than spout the holier-than-thou vitriol you spout??

As far as Trump is concerned, is making lewd and sexist comments a crime? On the other hand, Hillary knowingly broke the law by employing a private email server and then deleting 30,000 or more work related emails. Is using legal tax loopholes, as Garth always writes about on this blog, a crime? On the other hand, Hillary has had her hands all over the illegal wars of aggression the US has pursued since 2001.

Anyway, my “opinion” is that they should call a reset on this entire election farce and start over from scratch.

#158 Metaxa on 10.09.16 at 11:51 am

#143 Max writes:

#135 Wrk.dover on 10.09.16 at 6:54 am

…….”Marriage is a joint account business partnership…the business purpose is setting things in place for life to be better each day than the previous day. It compounds.”

…and then some. What an excellent comment.

Agreed.

Various anniversary “presents” have included a truck load of compost, a new kayak, back yard smoke house, etc.
Her dividends recently include a from the sub floor up brand new kitchen…no granite, no stainless but high end. She wanted it but I do most of the cooking?

The only thing needed in the new kitchen was a sink large enough to hold smoker grates and to be able to clean crab.

We got that. Both happy.

However I feel she plans on dating after I go…sure spends a lot of time in the gym.

#159 TurnerNation on 10.09.16 at 11:53 am

Times have changed. Marketers have sold us the Century of the Self. Do what you want.

Here’s a pic of J. Beiber (Sr.) with some ‘friends’. Look into their eyes, they have found their god. For real. Total devotion.
We stand not a chance.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIyx09_j9hN/

#160 TurnerNation on 10.09.16 at 12:12 pm

..err I found above link via Wekerle’s IG – see him about King W.
Anyway, Boomers will remember that’s what the 60’s did with their Process church intelligence project. Getting people off religion and into charismatic
S, D and R&R cults where people will destroy themselves and family.
Out of the frying pan, into the pyre.

#161 Get back Loretta on 10.09.16 at 12:32 pm

Ms Matched

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt5692030/

#162 not 1st on 10.09.16 at 12:32 pm

Ryan, re: post #75

Do you remember a little company called RCA?

The Apple of the 50s,60s and 70s, now gonzo.

#163 Damifino on 10.09.16 at 1:22 pm

#149 Wait There

As a Trump apologist, you have no equal.

But this is not a man who merely made a slip of the tongue a decade ago. This is a full-on narcissist crybaby lacking both the insight and maturity to function effectively in the world political arena.

The fact he’s come this far speaks only to the near total distaste for the other candidate.

Trump is unfit to lead in any capacity. Period.

#164 Metaxa on 10.09.16 at 1:29 pm

@ #145 Nature Boy:

My $70k in TFSA are at 0,08% interest.
I keep reading TFSAs at 6%

Where?????????????/

Stop treating your TFSA as a savings account and start using it as an investment account. Put things with a little sparkle into it.

#165 Mark on 10.09.16 at 1:31 pm

“Married 8 times. They were all hot
No kids
Oh yeah!”

Explains a lot. Namely poor judgement. Seems to be quite a theme.

#166 Damifino on 10.09.16 at 1:32 pm

#157 Trojan House

“Apparently you are well off enough anyway so who cares how much somebody else spends/wastes on their wedding!”
———————————-

I only care if T2 decides to make it tax-deductible. Otherwise, burn whatever money you wish showing off to friends and relatives.

#167 Mark on 10.09.16 at 1:37 pm

Anyone listen to Ross Kay’s latest on Howestreet/TalkDigitalNetwork?

Its explosive. I’ll be writing something up for this evening, but in a nutshell, he’s full-on predicting a ‘depression’ due to the loss of, in his view, $1T in net worth amongst Canadians (an event which would be profoundly deflationary I might add, and would likely see Canada at ZIRP/NIRP in short order!).

Have a listen. I’ll do a more proper critique this evening.

#168 maxx on 10.09.16 at 1:54 pm

http://www.imf.org/en/News/Articles/2016/10/09/AM16-NA100916-Emerging-Markets-Well-Prepared-for-Fed-Rate-Increase

First domino? Hope so.
A true global recovery, one that is not a fake, talked-up version may be on its way. Gradually at first; but once money is tightened in all the right places and the backbone of society, middle-class savers are rewarded and start spending again, recovery will spread like wildfire. Rewarding savers will not hurt investors nor business. Effective seedlings will root and wealth will build once again. The borrowers and lousy business models will inevitably fall by the wayside, which is what happens anyway in a robust economy.

#169 meslippery on 10.09.16 at 2:15 pm

#75 Ryan Lewenza

Its been happening for decades now with old technologies succumbing to new and better technologies/methods.

Perhaps but think wood fired oven, charcoal BBQ or
Microwave oven,gas BBQ
Which one is better ?? depends if you want fast or good.

Vinyl records or digital music? again convenience or sound.

#170 Wrk.dover on 10.09.16 at 2:18 pm

Every day is my birthday, wedding anniversary, Christmas day and so on. Smoking Man’s bottle has nothing on my happiness. It is all from trust in future at home.

Tonight’s debate is frat boy vs. sorority mean girrl.
Nothing more, nothing less.

The frat boy knows what is wrong in the USA, the mean girrl just is known wrong for the USA!

#171 Context on 10.09.16 at 2:31 pm

#160 TurnerNation: There is always some action at 194 Queen Street West so when in doubt check it out.

#172 Karma on 10.09.16 at 2:50 pm

#74 Wedding cashers on 10.08.16 at 6:41 pm
“Never seen so many cheap supposed 1%ers”

Life lesson: you don’t get rich by wasting money on frivolous things…

#173 Karma on 10.09.16 at 2:54 pm

#82 Ponnaps on 10.08.16 at 7:06 pm

“no coincidence that countries where arranged marriages are practiced have the highest population growth and the youngest of demographics..”

AND the lowest education levels for girls…

#174 Westcoast Woman on 10.09.16 at 3:11 pm

#158 Metaxa writes “Various anniversary “presents” have included a truck load of compost, a new kayak, back yard smoke house, etc.” Love it!

Our wedding gift to each other in 1995 was a set of snow tires for our vehicle as we drove to Whistler from northern BC for our marriage vows in the lounge at the Keg. Our other gifts over the years have been equally practical. I said a long time ago to please not waste our money on flowers as they only die anyway, but we don’t cheap out on good food, or motorcycles!

#175 Wait There on 10.09.16 at 3:11 pm

Ryan, re: post #75

Do you remember a little company called RCA?

The Apple of the 50s,60s and 70s, now gonzo.

Do you remember a company called Sony
Then they were being replaced by Samsung
Then Samsung will be replaced by Haier
Then Haier will be replaced by some company in India etc.

Diversification is a must.

#176 Former Fool on 10.09.16 at 3:22 pm

#75 Ryan Lewenza on 10.08.16 at 6:46 pm

Ryan – Thank You for the reply! Interesting comments. Happy Thanksgiving!

#177 Karma on 10.09.16 at 3:24 pm

#145 The Nature Boy on 10.09.16 at 9:24 am
“My $70k in TFSA are at 0,08% interest.
I keep reading TFSAs at 6%

Where?????????????/”

First of all, how would you have $70k in TFSA if the contribution limit to-date is $46,500?

Secondly, start here: http://www.greaterfool.ca/2008/03/page/14/
and read until today.

#178 Boonerator on 10.09.16 at 3:27 pm

30 people at the church, KFC at MIl house, half the photos got lost.
Honeymoon on a friend’s sofa bed. Did I mention we were poor?
43 years Ago. Often there is a inverse relationship between $ and duration.

#179 Island Millenial on 10.09.16 at 4:24 pm

Great post!

Do you see the big five raising their prime rates in response to the new mortgage commandments? Or does it really only move with the BOC?

#180 Warren Quirk on 10.09.16 at 7:23 pm

Married last year. ~$1,000 out of pocket.
Parents covered the dinner and venue (living room in my family home).
We put the $31,500 we saved into the TFSA and are planning to retire before we’re 40.

#181 Greg on 10.09.16 at 7:24 pm

Geez, so many silly comment still in here, not even sure why I’m bothering to comment.

@Garth: Please install a ranking system for comments, like Reddit has. Please! I want to see the good comments.

@#145 The Nature Boy ” First of all, how would you have $70k in TFSA if the contribution limit to-date is $46,500?”
$45K is how much you can put it initially, but what it grows to is up to you and how you invest it. It could be in the millions if you got luck.

@#9 Jimbo:
————————————
“No, I can guarantee you did not make money on your wedding or your christenings. Reason is, you must also attend (and pay for) their events in return.. Reciprocation! Unless you haven’t been reciprocating? (i.e. cheap?).”
This is a bit condescending. Asian families (older friends and family) usually are very generous and attendees give money to the married couple. Usually it’s $100 per person. For older friends and family it could be hundreds-thousands, and if each seat costs $50-75 or so, then there’s your profit. I’ve heard of many situations where the happy couple come out on top, just depends on who you invite, and the custom for gift giving. In asian cultures, it’s usually CASH.

#182 3s on 10.10.16 at 12:45 am

The lowering of overall cost achieved by globalisation is achieved by transferring wealth instead of creating it using currency differentials. That is using financialisation to steal. The value of a Twitter does not fluctuate because it was created in India, or the US or Africa. In one case some poor developer wasn’t truly paid accordingly for what he created…. THAT kind of economic engineering is what will give the rest of the word their Brexits in due course and ultimately deliver war;)

#183 nonplused on 10.10.16 at 12:53 am

Spending some money on a wedding is ok, it’s a family reunion of sorts. So long as the whole family seems to reciprocate to the extent they can it’s not all bad. But let’s do keep it in perspective. My extended family only gets together now for weddings and funerals. Both are expensive, but only one is happy. It’s like having a dinner club where you take turns buying. Just don’t go bat-shit.

#184 Shhh on 10.10.16 at 10:42 am

I love how when blog dogs analyse “marriage”, they assume it’s between a man and a woman. We are so lucky to live in a country where that is not necessarily the case.

#185 Vegas Baby on 10.10.16 at 12:58 pm

Go small or go home. 1st wedding, boring and excruciatingly conventional church wedding in Ottawa, 1997, $20,000. Spent 2 years and gambled on Nortel and JDSU stock just to pay it off. Post divorce: 2nd wedding, civil (non-religious) wedding in Vegas at Graceland Chapel, 2013, $400 bucks including limo, pictures and video. Elvis walked my baby down the aisle and sang 3 songs. Dinner at the Tropicana steakhouse and the hotel comped us a good portion of it. Total fun and way more memorable than the first. Keep takin’ care of business, baby!

#186 Lp on 10.10.16 at 5:43 pm

I might have told this story before; if so, make allowances please – I’m getting old.

Some years ago, my brother and his wife attended the annual baseball game/bbq hosted by close friends. The friends were unmarried but had been together for years.

That particular year, the umpire, a close friend of the host/hostess (he also happened to be a Protestant minister) from behind home plate called the teams and “fans” to attention, broke into the marriage vows and, when done, announced “Play Ball!”

After the game everyone enjoyed the bbq buffet and then engaged in the usual socializing and dancing. Cost? Almost negligible and, yes, bride and groom are still together.

#187 Jennaru on 10.11.16 at 4:05 pm

April 2015 wedding cost $23,000. This may seem like a lot but it was a nice wedding; we didn’t cheap out. Our top priority was to put on a nice party for our loved ones. When planning it, I was shocked by the dumb extras the industry would try to push on me. My tip to brides: hold your ground and when someone tells you that you ‘must’ have something, that ‘everyone is doing this now’, even after you’ve said no thanks, walk away and find someone who has some integrity.

My hubby and I are in our mid-30s and are proper professionals. We could’ve spent much more without it hurting us but why. We kept costs down by keeping it small, 50 people, family and close friends, no plus ones (who wants to make small talk with strangers at their own wedding?). By keeping it small, we didn’t have to cheap out. Stunning manor, amazing (experienced) photographer, cocktail hour, delicious sit down plated dinner, open bar, and a DJ. We even helped pay for my hubby’s family in the UK to fly over and gave them a family member’s house to stay in. Luckily I’m not from a big city or I expect the same would’ve cost much more. It was an amazing party/family reunion/celebration. The memories and family time were definitely worth the cost. No regrets. I don’t think I could say the same if it was bigger, less personal, and more expensive.

As an aside – if you’re expecting cash gifts, as is the norm in my culture, don’t cheap out on the wedding. I’m not stuffing $100 – $200 in your envelope at a 2 hour BBQ or brunch reception to hear you brag about how much $ you made off of your wedding later. Have more respect for your guests than that.