Lavish Weddings Breaking the Bank

Lavish Weddings Breaking the Bank

On the heels of the Kim Kardashian divorce, many wondered what could have caused the breakup of a couple that seemed enamored with each other at their $10 million wedding, a mere 72 days prior to the divorce announcement.

Weeks after filing for the divorce, Kardashian said that she got too “caught up” in the planning of the wedding, and by the time she realized that she had made a mistake, it was too late and she did not want to let her fans down. Her statement led me to question the meaning behind the American obsession with lavish weddings and extravagance. What first appeared to be part of the celebrity culture, the desire to have over-the-top weddings has become a part of mainstream lifestyles.

Ordinary people have always been influenced by Hollywood and the trends set forth by their favorite celebrities, and the habit of imitation is finding its way into the weddings of many people. With televisions shows such as “Platinum Weddings,” “Brides of Beverly Hills,” and “Rich Bride, Poor Bride,” ordinary people strive to have extraordinary weddings that they often cannot afford.

Long gone are the days of people planning weddings with the main intention of celebrating the eternal bond they are about to form with the love of their lives. These days, weddings have become a chance for brides and grooms to bury themselves in debt for the sake of putting on a show for their guests. Weddings are now all about which designer made the dress, how extravagant the cake is, and how expensive the venue looks.

What we, as a society, fail to realize is that celebrities are in the financial position to have weddings of a certain magnitude because they have the financial resources, or in Kim Kardashian’s case, they are willing to sell themselves and the right to their privacy for $18 million in order to profit from their wedding and completely cover their expenses.

However, ordinary brides striving to have what celebrity brides have is outrageous and naïve. Those who work in the wedding industry are there to make a profit, so just because bridal salons now carry replicas of Kim Kardashian’s three Vera Wang wedding dresses or Kate Middleton’s Sara Burton gown, does not mean that the bride should plan a wedding beyond her budget in an effort to feel like a celebrity or a princess on her wedding day.

If there is any lesson that people should take from celebrity weddings, it should be that the expense of your wedding does not solidify the length of your marriage. If anything, it is only more humiliating to have to explain to your hundreds of guests that the wedding you are still paying off two years later resulted in a failed marriage.

Take for instance, the numerous failed celebrity marriages. In 1993, Mariah Carey wed Tommy Motola in a fashion similar to that of a royal wedding. In front of 300 guests, Carey walked down the aisle after 50 flower girls, in a dress with a 27 foot train, and a tiara reminiscent of Princess Diana’s. Despite their lavish $500,000 wedding, the couple’s rocky marriage ended five years later.

Over time, the wedding industry has become a multi-billion dollar business at the expense of people who are gullible enough to flush away tens of thousands of dollars on a few hours of their lives, only to end up struggling with themselves to pay the bills later. On the other hand, if the financial means are there, there is nothing wrong with spending the money and planning a beautiful day to remember, but it does not make sense for couples to start their lives off saddled with debt, especially when credit cards are involved, only to regret the money they spent that they knew they did not have and can never get back.

According to, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is between $21,000 and $24,000, but those numbers can reach $40,000 to $50,000 in metropolitan areas such as New York and Long Island.

Ironically, finance is among the top ten reasons for divorce in the United States. Often times, after the honeymoon period, the couple realizes the mistake the made and take their frustrations out on each other.

Living beyond one’s means is not a new concept to society, but it is reaching extreme magnitudes with couples striving to have weddings they cannot afford.

What they fail to realize is that no matter the cost of their wedding, in today’s society there is no guarantee that there will be a happily ever after, so there is no need to enter into a marriage burdened with debt. Marriage is complicated enough without adding unnecessary financial strain.