It’s that time of year again when wedding bells are starting to ring.
Memorial Day weekend is considered the somewhat unofficial kickoff to wedding season in the U.S. That’s because nearly 75 percent of weddings occur from now until October, according to The Knot, a wedding resource guide.
A beautiful summer wedding is hard to beat, but sometimes the amount of “I dos” happening in a short amount of time can feel overwhelming. While browsing my Instagram feed this weekend, I noticed at least 10 of the people I follow were at or in weddings, and those were just the ones that were persistently posting about it. These celebrations spanned the country, from Los Angeles, to New York, to Boston, to Aspen, and even to Lawrence, Kansas. It seemed like just about every city and town in the country had wedding bells ringing nonstop from Friday to Monday, and at this rate, I’m not sure they’re stopping any time soon.
My boyfriend and I haven’t had the privilege of bearing witness to any nuptials yet this year. However, we’ve got five on the docket for early fall and already three on the calendar for 2020. One of the celebrations this year is in southern France, which is both a blessing and a curse; a blessing because, well, it’s southern France and a curse because it’s not an easy financial lift to get there.
Without a doubt this is a busy time of year for weddings. But now that I’m in my late twenties, I’m also finding that this is just a busy few years for weddings in general. A good majority of my friends and family members are pairing up and commemorating their love for one another in white dresses and black suits. General statistics would show that my social group is at the right age for this. On average, women are getting married at 27.4 years and men at 29.5 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s the highest average age ever in recorded history, as more of us Millennials seem to be opting for careers over home life. So since I’m 28 going on 29, it makes sense that most of my weekends would be consumed by matrimony right now.
I don’t mean to complain. After all, I certainly don’t want to miss even one of these celebrations, and I hope to have one someday soon myself. However, it is strange to me just how easily we all fall into these wedding traditions. We want a big wedding, complete with a matching wedding party, an intimate ceremony and a big dance floor. Although more casual weddings are trending right now, a couple spends, on average, $34,000 for their big day, according to The Knot. That’s a lot of money, and it doesn’t even include honeymoon expenses. And that’s just the money the man and woman of the hour have to pay. It doesn’t include what each guest shells out to be there. From outfits to hotel rooms to wedding gifts, attending a party of this size and importance is not easy. It’s no surprise that the wedding industry was worth $72 billion in 2016.
In the Colorado mountains, we’re no stranger to weddings. From Telluride to Aspen, there are tons of picture-perfect venues where brides and grooms want to be for the “best day of their lives.” There’s even a magazine entirely dedicated to getting married in the Rocky Mountains, “Rocky Mountain Bride.” These weddings are great for the local economies, just not necessarily the personal economies of the attendees.
In these columns, I like to try and come up with a solution for whatever woes I write about. However, I don’t exactly have an answer for this one, a solution that is going to make wedding season more affordable or less hectic. Regardless of what we say or do, the wedding train is coming through and we can either hop on and join the party or send our regrets and stay off the ride. At this point, I’m going to get on the train and hope for the best … and maybe open a savings account just for these celebrations.
Barbara Platts loves a good wedding. She just wonders if one can have too much of a good thing. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.