I do … in debt

July 30, 2014
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According to Quartz, the taste for ridiculously expensive weddings is nothing new, but I’m finding it hard to get my head around the average spend in 2013 of an eye-watering $29,548.

I get that brides want their big day, but holy crap that’s a lot of dosh. That’s a deposit on a house, or a decent start on one.

Or a honeymoon.

Or a new car.

Quartz, says that figure represents 49 per cent of the median household income, and while weddings back in the 1930s averaged 25 per cent of household income, it’s almost worse because that was in the middle of the Great Depression, when so many were out of work and the economy was pretty much fecked. Hmm, that sounds familiar…

But I digress. Am I some sort of freak of nature? I spent a fraction of that on my wedding and even now, 18 or so years down the track, have no regrets about our cheap day: the most important thing for me was that our parents were there, and they were. We hurried along our wedding date because my mother’s health had taken a turn for the worse so our wedding went from “we’ll probably get married in the next couple of years” to “we’re getting hitched on Saturday”. That decision was made on a Sunday afternoon, back in March 1996.

I hired a dress (couldn’t find one I liked, didn’t want to pay hundreds of dollars for something I’d never wear again), bought my shoes at the Warehouse (where every bride gets a bargain …), the real estate agent did my hair for me during our open home (we were trying to sell our house at the time, and we actually bought another house that same day), and soothed the nerves of my very, very nervous matron of honour with alcohol.

All up, I think our big day cost maybe a couple of hundred bucks.

It’s not what you spend that makes it work.

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Jillian "George" Allison-Aitken

I live in the deep south of New Zealand, where smelly dairy cows are taking over from sheep in the livestock stakes. My hometown is the small but perfectly formed city of Invercargill, which is also the hometown of the original boy racer, Burt Munro. Find out more about me here.

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