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Would You Rather have a Down Payment On a House or a Nice Wedding?


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Before I begin, do not take me as being cynical when it comes to weddings or getting married.  I am married and I had a fairly large wedding in terms of guest size and cost.

I was in Ohio this past weekend for my best friend’s wedding.  The wedding was smaller, low-key, and quaint.  It was actually a breath of fresh air to go to a wedding where the bride was not freaking out about the wedding favors that no one remembers after the wedding.  I am sure the wedding still cost a decent chunk of change even without all of the extra frills, large number of guests, and huge reception.

Lately, weddings have made me think about the actual time and cost that go into them.  It makes me pose the question:  Would you rather have a down payment on a house or a wedding?  If your parents gave you the option of giving you $20,000 that they were going to pay for a wedding and give it to you to buy a house, would you do it?  When it was all said and done, I had a great time at my wedding and so did everyone else.  However, we could have probably had a wedding similar to my friend’s wedding and had just as great of a time.  There are so many extra costs and unnecessary expenses that go into putting on an extravagant wedding that I believe most middle-class people should weigh their options of spending the money elsewhere.  A wedding is a very important event and it should be celebrated, but it is only one day of celebration.  A couple could celebrate for years to come in a nice house, but many younger couples do not own property because they cannot attain the down payment on increasingly lower salaries.

The bigges problem with my suggestion is that many parents deem paying for a wedding different than giving money for a wedding, eventhough it is essentially the same thing.  There may or may not be a good time to bring this up with your parents, but if the situation comes about, I would jump ALL OVER IT.  Think about what you would rather have:  a nice house that you use every day and is a great investment, or one day of memories.  You can still have the memories at a fraction of the cost.

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Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.