Listen weekdays from 1-3pm ET
(No audio? Try our help)
Recent shows | More media

Listen Live: Mon-Fri 1-3pm ET

Posted: 6:00 a.m. Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Does a glitzy wedding make the marriage?

´╗┐

By Clark Howard


Sean Parker, the former president of Facebook, is spending $10 million on his wedding to singer/songwriter Alexandra Lenas.

The Los Angeles Times reports he's building a fantasy world for the ceremony complete with faux Roman ruins, waterfalls, bridges, and a gated cottage. He's spending $350,000 on a temporary stone dance floor in the woods. The plants and flowers alone for the ceremony cost $1 million.

Contrast that with the call I had recently from somebody who asked me was it better to save money by doing a church wedding or a civil wedding? This couple didn't want to spend any money of note on a wedding. (By the way, either can be completely cost-effective; it's not the cost of the ceremony itself, it's everything that goes with it.)

Depending on who you believe, the average cost of a wedding today is in the upper $20,000s. But a lot of couples spend next to nothing. More and more couples are choosing to have a modest wedding to meet other goals like paying down student debt, or making a down-payment on a home.

The thing about a wedding is, what really matters is that the two people standing up there really love each other, and can stand the test of time with compatibility and compromise as necessary through the years.

The lavishness of the ceremony means nothing. In fact, I believe spending a huge sum on a wedding can often have an inverse relationship with the length of the marriage. That's just my thought.