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Are Weddings Too Expensive For the Average Person?

Is the Wedding Business Keeping Marriage Alive or Killing It?

Marriage's popularity has been on a downward spiral since the '60s — fewer people are getting married and more say the institution's headed for extinction — but the $40 billion wedding industry is as flush as ever. Weddings have gone from afternoon affairs in church halls to parties into the night in any location that will have them. From the invitations to the dress to the cake, we care about weddings more than ever.

For rom-coms, reality shows, and dating sites that rate success by how many married couples they've matched, marriage is still the prize, but that prize has become costly in real life. In fact, one of the main things keeping people single is money. To the point where college graduates, for the first time ever, are outmarrying their less-educated peers. The theory? Marriage has become unattainable for the working class.

Seems like either way, the wedding industry is hurting itself: by making the affairs so decadent, it's put them out of reach.

Source: Flickr User zzilch



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zeze zeze 5 years
I think so, people see each other and all start to want the same level and style because it slowly becomes the acceptable norm. My cousin recently got engaged and for the ring, engagement party, other engagement gifts, her dress, etc...it cost him at least 15k. I can't imagine what he would have spent by the time the wedding rolls around.
bengalspice bengalspice 5 years
I don't think the wedding business is killing marriage by raising the bar on extravagance since the newer trend are brides that have diy weddings. The handcrafted wedding is so much more popular now than it was a couple of years ago. I think there is a balance between weddings of extravagance and weddings of frugality.
jazzytummy jazzytummy 5 years
I think the decline has more to do with society's acceptance of having kids out of wedlock and raising them, and also the financial devastation that can come with a divorce. From a purely financial standpoint, marriage is a poor investment....taxes are punishing, and no fault divorces in some states can lead to someone getting half of your hard earned money no matter the circumstances, if you don't get a pre-nup. Women are more financially independent and therefore the need to marry to have someone take care of you is gone. We have just as much to lose financially in a divorce without a pre-nup. Hate to sound negative about it, but I really think this and the fact that people just don't want to try to work things out are the main factors. If you are married to a guy who turns out to be a huge jerk, and you are financially independent, there is no reason to stay.
GTCB GTCB 5 years
TV will have you believe that wedding planning has not become like an arms race. When my wife and I got married we had about 100 guests, a church ceremony, and a reception nearby. It was nice, but it certainly wasn't fancy like you see on TV. Ha! Someone else can pay for that crap.
mermei mermei 5 years
Expensive weddings also have nothing to do with the article linked in the post, which is talking about socioeconomic pressures that cause people to delay marriage (not delay weddings).
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 5 years
Just because some people choose to have lavish weddings doesn't mean it's essential. My husband and I got married on the beach with only 20 guests. My dress wasn't an elaborate gown and our ceremony cost very little. We had our reception at an outdoor cafe at the beach. Our honeymoon cost far more than our wedding.
Pistil Pistil 5 years
This doesn't put marriage out of reach. It puts elaborate, expensive weddings out of reach, which is hardly a prerequisite for marriage. If there is a decline in marriage I'm sure there's more to it than thousand dollar cakes and designer dresses that cost more than my car.
chatondeneige chatondeneige 5 years
I don't think the wedding business is hurting themselves at all. Let's put it this way. If a wedding photographer can do one $3,000 job or three $1,000 jobs, and each job takes a more or less equal amount of time and effort, which do you think (s)he'll choose? Perhaps fewer people are getting married, but the wedding industry is making more money than ever.
lickety-split lickety-split 5 years
I HATE big weddings. You are just as married with a justice of the peace at city hall. Weddings are so over the top now. And my daughters love the show where 4 brides compete for "best" wedding. Really? Competition for best wedding??? :faint:
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