Dave Says: How much is too much for a wedding?

Dave Ramsey
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Posted: Oct 13, 2016 12:01 AM
Dave Says: How much is too much for a wedding?

Dear Dave,

In your opinion, what is the limit you can responsibly spend for a wedding if the people involved have debt?

Paul

Dear Paul,

The cost of the average wedding in America rose to $32,641 last year. But when it comes to what you can reasonably afford, I think it becomes relative to exactly how much debt you have and what kind of income we’re talking about.

If you have $5,000 in debt but you make $150,000 a year, stop worrying, pay off your debt, and save up for a great wedding. If you make $28,000 a year but you have $30,000 in debt, then you need to have a really minimal wedding. Anywhere from $3,000 to $5,000 would be reasonable in that kind of situation — and even then it’s going to be tight.

The more debt you have in relation to your income, the smaller your wedding expenses should be. A $32,000 wedding would be ridiculous for someone with a $28,000 income. But $28,000 is a below-average income, so you shouldn’t reasonably expect an average wedding in terms of cost. It really all boils down to ratios.

Just remember, Paul, the amount of money spent on the ceremony, reception and all that stuff isn’t what’s important. It’s the love that two people have for each other that makes the ceremony special and the marriage one that will last a lifetime!

— Dave