What if You Had Invested the Money You Spent on Your Wedding?

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Weddings are expensive.

According to TheKnot.com’s latest Real Weddings Study, the average cost of a wedding in the United States is now $31,000. Yikes. And all that for an event that typically lasts less than a day.

What would your financial situation look like if you had eloped and invested your wedding money instead? If you’re like most people, you could have a big pot of money today, depending of course, on the year that you got married and how much money you spent.

Slate recently launched a new interactive calculator to figure out how much money you’d have today if you had invested your wedding money instead.

I ran a few scenarios through Slate’s calculator and came up with these figures:

  • Married in 2000 at a cost of $10,000: If you had invested that money instead, you’d have about $18,539 today.
  • Married in 1989 for $7,000: If you had invested instead, you’d have about $91,985.
  • Married in 1975 for $2,000: You’d have $203,088 today if you’d invested that money instead.

You can access Slate’s calculator here to find out how much money you’d have today if you had eloped and invested your wedding money instead of having an actual (expensive) wedding.

I tried out the nifty calculator for my own wedding and the results were eye-opening, albeit depressing.

If my husband and I had invested the money we spent on our wedding into the S&P 500 in 2006, we would have about $23,933 today, according to Slate’s wedding calculator.

That money would be a great help with our kids’ college education!

Sure, our wedding was fun, we loved having our friends and family there to witness the beginning of our married life, and watching my dad have a few too many drinks and dance the Worm was an once-in-a-lifetime experience (thank God), but after all is said and done, weddings are expensive.

My husband and I have said that if we could do it again, we’d elope, go on a honeymoon, and then throw a reception party when we got back. It would have saved us (and our parents) so much money.

Check out “15 Ways To Save Big On Your Dream Wedding.”

How much money would you have today if you had invested your wedding money instead of throwing a wedding party? Would you do it differently if you had a chance? Share your comments below.

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