How To

Is There a Better Way to Spend Your Wedding Budget?

Wedding budgets are apparently on the rise, topping out at an average of $27,021 according to the annual Real Weddings survey by TheKnot.com. And while there’s a multi-billion-dollar industry eager to tell you how to spend every last bit of it, there could be another avenue to wedded bliss.

What if some of the funds earmarked for the big day were, instead, used to ease the transition, reduce the stresses and clean up the messy realities of married life?

The dress

According to TheKnot.com, brides shelled out an average of $1,121 on a dress. But what else can that money buy? How about a year-long laundry service for two: they’ll pick up and wash clothes for a time-starved couple each week, and then deliver them in nicely folded bundles.

The reception

The $12,116 the average couple spends on a reception can pay big dividends for working parents with a baby and a toddler in tow. A family of four can use those funds to hire a personal chef to shop for groceries and prepare and pre-package a year’s worth of work-night meals.

The ring

Rather than drop an average $5,130 for an engagement ring, what about a cubic zirconia model to free up babysitting costs for 100 date nights when your relationship might need a boost?

The flowers

Consider how the heady scent of $1,894 in flowers (what an average couple spends) might be more potent in recurring doses. Like biweekly $35 bouquets doled out over two years; or a $50-a-week lawn mowing service that frees you from the chore for three summers.

The band

$3,122 is a lot to shell out for a night of dusty standards. Hiring a DJ instead ($929), you can shift the rest to 100 couples yoga sessions and avoid the all-too-common post-wedding weight gain.

Our assessment? Your wedding budget is really just an accumulation of choices. Before you spring for the stuff you think will matter (personalized hand sanitizer, anyone?), give some thought to how a “reallocation” might smooth the rough edges of married life in ways that might actually lead to happily ever after.

Pauline Hammerbeck is a digital content strategist for Allstate Insurance Company.