BYH to those wanting outdoor dining uptown. I'm with you as long as we pass a law keeping mosquitoes and other insects...

Avoiding the high cost and high stress of weddings

1 of 2

Mark C. Weitzel


By Mark C. Weitzel

Sunday, March 25, 2018

The national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That's a jump by $2,688 from the 2015 average of $32,641.

I don’t know about you, but as the father of three daughters I find that statistic deeply troubling. That is a lot of money to spend for just one day, or more realistically about eight hours.

That comes out to just over $4,400 an hour. That same amount of money would make for a 20 percent down payment on a $176,000 home for the young couple.

I think the reason for this absurdity can be found in the financial axiom that when we make emotional decisions, we tend to make bad financial decisions. And few things can be more emotional than a wedding.

Couple this with an industry that has gotten more and more creative at separating you from your money by creating things you “need” that “everyone does” and it is no wonder the price has skyrocketed.

“Save the date” announcements are a new and added expense that doesn’t need to occur, as is the “groom’s cake.”

First, anyone who is going to be invited knows the date. They don’t need a special reminder in magnet form that sticks to the fridge. Second, why does the groom need his own cake? Is the cake that cost hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of dollars not good enough for both of them?

Everything for that special day is an upsell that are just pennies apiece. But when you start adding pennies up, pretty soon you are talking real dollars. The next thing you know, you are stressing and fighting about each expense from the floral arrangements to the wedding dress to the DJ.

So, I would like to offer a simple solution to all of the financial/emotional angst that leads up to the big day. I have employed this technique to all three of my daughter’s weddings as well as have several of my friends. By using this technique, every step of the process was not only enjoyable but there was never a single fight about what anything pertaining to the wedding cost.

You see, I discovered a long time ago that my girls were pretty frugal with their own money but that they had no problem spending unlimited amounts of mine and my wife’s money.

So, when the time came and they each came to us and said they were ready to get married, my wife and I sat down and decide how much we were comfortable spending on this wedding. We then sat our daughter and future son-in-law down and handed them a check.

We told them if they wanted to spend more than this it was on them and by the way, they were not allowed to take on debt to do it. But spend less than that and they could keep the difference.

From that moment forward my wife and I didn’t care what anything cost. Our money was spent. Exactly how was up to my daughter now. My daughters were no longer spending our money they were spending their money. Three weddings and not a single argument about what anything cost.

There was a down side I didn’t anticipate, as at one point I had to pull my most frugal daughter aside and inform her that she really needed to have more than one kind of dipping sauce with the McNuggets.

Mark C. Weitzel teaches in the Finance Department in the College of Business at East Carolina University.


Humans of Greenville


Local photographer Joe Pellegrino explores Greenville to create a photographic census of its people.


May 06, 2018

On December 22, 2017 President Trump signed into law arguably the most significant reforms to our tax code in the past 30 years.

While the majority of the law focused on stimulating economic growth through changes to the corporate tax code, there are tax cuts in the law for you and me as well.…

Jim_Nelson (3) (1).jpg

April 29, 2018

One of the more timely economic statistics is unemployment insurance (UI) claims.

The UI claimants are a subset of the total number of unemployed. They help us understand the magnitude of layoffs and help measure the difficulty experienced by job-seeking workers.

The data for North Carolina, which…


April 26, 2018

A former Telegram publisher was among those honored by The United Way Tar River Region on Wednesday during its 11th annual Community Champions’ Luncheon.

The banquet, held in the Dunn Center on the campus of N.C. Wesleyan College, was attended by many organizations and people across the Twin…


April 22, 2018

For many of us, the word “budget” evokes overwhelming dread and a vision of giving up all of our favorite splurge items. A budget that makes you account for every single dollar you spend can seem suffocating. However, budgeting is essential for paying bills on time now, and for planning…

Anne Fisher (1 of 1)_pp.jpg

April 15, 2018

The American dream is to own your own home. Renting is often viewed only as a necessary step to that end, and the quicker you can achieve that dream the better.

The knock against renting seems to stem mostly from the premise that you are throwing your money away when you rent. When you rent, you do…

Len_Rhodes (002).jpg

April 08, 2018

While at a family get-together the other day, I walked up in the middle of a conversation between two cousins. It seems that the wife of one of the cousins had “just tapped” the bumper on the front passenger side of his pickup truck while backing out the drive way two days before.



April 01, 2018

Everybody from advice columnists to counseling experts offer advice on how not to argue about money.

A quick search of the Web turns up thousands of articles, videos, and other information on how to keep harmony in a relationship when talking about money. With all the advice, counsel, guidance, and…


March 25, 2018

The national average cost of a wedding day in 2016 shot up to $35,329, according to a survey by The Knot. That's a jump by $2,688 from the 2015 average of $32,641.

I don’t know about you, but as the father of three daughters I find that statistic deeply troubling. That is a lot of money…


March 18, 2018

With the tax cuts passed by Congress in December 2017, the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center estimates that 65 percent of households will see higher take-home paychecks and 6 percent will see lower paychecks.

As excited as you might be to see larger take-home paychecks, it is critical to check and…


March 11, 2018

Many years ago, if you wanted to buy a home and needed to borrow money for the purchase, you would go to your bank or savings and loan association and speak to the local loan officer.

The loan officer there already knew you, as well as your parents, grandparents and where you worked. After a few…

Danny Harrington.jpg
15 stories in Business. Viewing 1 through 10.
«First Page   «Previous Page        
Page 1 of 2
        Next Page»   Last Page»