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How much money to save for marriage?

Contributor

How much money to save for marriage?

I don't need to buy a house or anything but I wanted to know how much money is an average wedding, engagement/wedding rings, etc? Both families is traditional Chinese and I'm the first American born on my side, any suggestions would be great! Thanks

Message 1 of 15
14 REPLIES
Established Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

The following is just my advice, so don't anyone get annoyed...

 

I would only spend two weeks worth of money on a wedding ring.  I would only spend 1 month or 2 of income on a wedding (even if the bride's parents are paying) - unless you have a trust fund.  From a purely financial standpoint, it is a poor investment, since over half of marriages end in divorce, and for families with above-average income, 2/3 of marriages end in divorce.

 

I would advise that every five years, you upgrade the wedding ring by trading in on a bigger one, or just getting a nice bauble to celebrate the milestone.  In my opinion it is more honorable to celebrate a successful marriage over time, than to blow lots of money up-front with little guarantee of success.

 

Good luck with your future plans.

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Message 2 of 15
New Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

Depending on what you can afford 3-6 months salary for the ring and for the wedding you would have to base it off it being a local or destination wedding. If you're having two weddings: cultural and American and a lot of attendees you can easily be looking at $30-50k


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Message 3 of 15
Frequent Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

I just googled "average wedding cost" and got a list for each state as well as major areas in each state. Bad news if your wedding is in Manhattan because it has the highest average cost at over $88,000.

That said, if you're going for a Chinese wedding banquet for the reception, the cost drops considerably -- and your outlay will likely be covered by the cash gifts you will be getting. I've been to a Chinese wedding banquet and I loved it - the food was awesome!

I would suggest not spending too much money in the wedding because, without even going into whether the marriage will last, a wedding usually means blowing a lot of money when you are least ready to do so (i.e. young and not financially established).
Message 4 of 15
Regular Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

No one can tell you what's right for you because no one will know all the details of your situation, but I would just suggest to be conservative and realize that the wedding day comes and goes quickly but debt does not. I spent around 10% of my gross annual salary on the ring and paid cash, and we did our wedding absurdly cheap but extremely memorable. We live in Colorado, and I scouted an incredibly scenic spot in the mountains for the ceremony. You literally needed a fairly well built 4x4 to access the location, so we caravaned my family up there in a bunch of Jeeps and had only immediate family for the ceremony which my buddy officiated and my bro in law was the photographer. It cost nothing for the spot obviously, so our only cost was the fuel and about $50 in flowers I bought from Costco. Later that day, we rented a large section of a trendy restuarant and had a reception for about 90 friends and family, and we spent less than $3k total on food and booze (only did small plates/apps and everyone loved it). For our wedding gifts, we requested people make a donation into our honeymoon account in lieu of presents since we already own our home and have everything we need.

 

All in all, we didn't spend much and had an amazing time. Many people said they wished they would have done it how we did and spent less money. We have friends who combined earn less than $60k a year and they spent $30+k on their wedding which they had to take on debt for. We make 2.5x that and spent $3k on our wedding and used cash, and trust me we had every bit as much, if not more, fun than they had on their wedding. I think it was more enjoyable knowing we were being responsible and wouldn't have a debt hangover or guilt that we spent too much. If you start off your marriage with fiscal responsibility at the forefront of your mind, it will be much easier to be disciplined in the future than if you do it the other way around. 

 

EDIT - forgot to add if you have a set budget of the total costs for the ring, ceremony, reception, etc., I would suggest allocating more to the engagement ring and less to the events. She will look at her finger every day theoretically for the rest of her life, but the wedding is only a couple of hours of your life. My wife is not flashy at all, but after she saw the ring I got her (which was far nicer and larger than she was expecting) she was over the moon about it and still is 1.5 years later. She still cleans it and admires it constantly to the point it even surprises her how much she likes it, so if you need to allocate funds I would lean more towards a nice ring than anything. 

Message 5 of 15
New Member

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

You are right. even i did the same and It worked for me. Here in this blog http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sandy-malone/5-detailed-tips-for-manag_b_5077618.html It says about how you should manage your budget. Hope Its useful.

 

Message 6 of 15
Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?


MTSN wrote:

No one can tell you what's right for you because no one will know all the details of your situation, but I would just suggest to be conservative and realize that the wedding day comes and goes quickly but debt does not. I spent around 10% of my gross annual salary on the ring and paid cash, and we did our wedding absurdly cheap but extremely memorable. We live in Colorado, and I scouted an incredibly scenic spot in the mountains for the ceremony. You literally needed a fairly well built 4x4 to access the location, so we caravaned my family up there in a bunch of Jeeps and had only immediate family for the ceremony which my buddy officiated and my bro in law was the photographer. It cost nothing for the spot obviously, so our only cost was the fuel and about $50 in flowers I bought from Costco. Later that day, we rented a large section of a trendy restuarant and had a reception for about 90 friends and family, and we spent less than $3k total on food and booze (only did small plates/apps and everyone loved it). For our wedding gifts, we requested people make a donation into our honeymoon account in lieu of presents since we already own our home and have everything we need.

 

All in all, we didn't spend much and had an amazing time. Many people said they wished they would have done it how we did and spent less money. We have friends who combined earn less than $60k a year and they spent $30+k on their wedding which they had to take on debt for. We make 2.5x that and spent $3k on our wedding and used cash, and trust me we had every bit as much, if not more, fun than they had on their wedding. I think it was more enjoyable knowing we were being responsible and wouldn't have a debt hangover or guilt that we spent too much. If you start off your marriage with fiscal responsibility at the forefront of your mind, it will be much easier to be disciplined in the future than if you do it the other way around. 

 

EDIT - forgot to add if you have a set budget of the total costs for the ring, ceremony, reception, etc., I would suggest allocating more to the engagement ring and less to the events. She will look at her finger every day theoretically for the rest of her life, but the wedding is only a couple of hours of your life. My wife is not flashy at all, but after she saw the ring I got her (which was far nicer and larger than she was expecting) she was over the moon about it and still is 1.5 years later. She still cleans it and admires it constantly to the point it even surprises her how much she likes it, so if you need to allocate funds I would lean more towards a nice ring than anything. 


Thanks for sharing your experience! We might just try to invest more on the ring & honeymoon & just do a little dinner gathering with close friends and family

Message 7 of 15
Valued Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

Can't offer much advice on this. Wedding cost for some cultures is shocking. See below link.

 

http://fortune.com/2014/08/08/indian-weddings/

 

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Message 8 of 15
New Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?

Not sure how chinese weddings are compared to vietnamese, but we spent ~30k for everything including honeymoon trip. As with typical asian tradition though, wedding gifts are normally in cash and it'll cover the costs more or less. 

 

A couple of tips, don't go crazy on the invitations, most people will just look at it for when and where it is and then toss it. Same goes with the cake. People will be too full after the dinner banquet(if you're having a traditional chinese reception) to even take a bite of it.

 

Depending on when you're having the wedding, try to get 1 thing accomplished each weekend, like getting the venue booked, picking out the invitations, wedding dress, etc. As my DW and I had over a year before our wedding, we were able to get everything set with a couple of months to spare.


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Message 9 of 15
Contributor

Re: How much money to save for marriage?


xvassagox wrote:

Not sure how chinese weddings are compared to vietnamese, but we spent ~30k for everything including honeymoon trip. As with typical asian tradition though, wedding gifts are normally in cash and it'll cover the costs more or less. 

 

A couple of tips, don't go crazy on the invitations, most people will just look at it for when and where it is and then toss it. Same goes with the cake. People will be too full after the dinner banquet(if you're having a traditional chinese reception) to even take a bite of it.

 

Depending on when you're having the wedding, try to get 1 thing accomplished each weekend, like getting the venue booked, picking out the invitations, wedding dress, etc. As my DW and I had over a year before our wedding, we were able to get everything set with a couple of months to spare.


I actually haven't given cake much thought, honestly all the chinese weddings I've attended, I've yet to recieve a piece of cake even though I see large cakes being cut lol. Invitations, thought about printing them in Asia when we go visit and maybe do wedding photos there and hopefully find some dresses Smiley Happy thank you for your tips!

Message 10 of 15