They focused on what really matters.
Having a big, expensive wedding seems like the worst way for a young couple to start their lives together. For those who get mommy and daddy to foot the bill, no problem. But in the U.S., 28% of couples reported going into debt when paying for their weddings and the average celebration costs $29,200.
“It’s one of those life events that’s really tied to emotion, to your values, what’s important to you,” researcher Elyssa Kirkham told CNBC. ”[People are] willing to take on debt and do that trade-off if it means they can get closer to achieving their dream.”
Kiara Brokenbrough and her new husband Joe have received a lot of attention recently because they bucked the trend and had a beautiful wedding for just $500. The wonderful thing about the celebration is that its focus was on the couple and those who love them.
"You have a wedding, with witnesses there to witness you, vowing to your spouse, vowing to God that you guys are going to stay together for life," Kiara told “Good Morning America." ”And then you celebrate with food, drinks and dance. And that's exactly what we did."
After trying on a few $1,500 dresses at a traditional wedding shop, Kiara decided to save some money by purchasing a dress for $47 at Shein, an affordable online fashion store. She revealed her money-saving decision in a TikTok video that went viral.
Reply to @maalikaelise dress included! $47 on @SHEIN 🤩🤩 #weddingtiktok #weddingdress #cheapwedding #blackbride
The dress impressed a TikTok user named Kristen. “I be tryna tell yall cost of things don’t matter. It’s how you put it together and wear it. AND BABYYYYY YOU PUT IT TOGETHER AND WORE IT,” she commented on the video.
The couple also cut costs by having the runner and flowers donated by her family. As for the venue, they chose a free location overlooking the ocean on the California coast. "Our goal was to just be as minimal as possible," Kiara told “Good Morning America." "And to spend the least amount of money as possible."
The Brokenbroughs saved money on the reception by having guests pay for their food and drinks. "The people we have there, they understood the assignment, they understood the things that we were trying to do, and they really supported us," said Kiara.
The Brokenbroughs’ decision to have an affordable wedding to start their relationship on a good financial footing was an incredibly savvy move and according to research, it could bode well for the couple’s future.
The most recent study on how wedding spending correlates with a couple's longevity was done in 2014 and found that "marriage duration is inversely associated with spending on the engagement ring and wedding ceremony."
If the research still holds up, the Brokenbroughs’ attitudes toward finances could be a predictor of a long and happy marriage.
“It could be that the type of couples who have (an affordable wedding) are the type that are a perfect match for each other,” one of the study’s authors, Hugo M. Mialon told CNN. “Or it could be that having an inexpensive wedding relieves young couples of financial burdens that may strain their marriage,” he added.
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