Understandably, brides and grooms alike are attracted to the glitz and grandeur associated with a big wedding. However, when planning the perfect day becomes an almighty emotional and financial burden, with the dizzying costs and extensive planning taking the joy out of your forthcoming nuptials, it’s time to question whether we are doing it right. Love guru and matrimonial consultant Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart tells us why we should say no to the big wedding.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a big celebration and an excuse to get dressed up as much as anyone, but are we going too far with our lavish extravagant weddings?
Expectations of the ‘Big Day’ have grown considerably in recent decades. Once a modest celebration of the intimate bond shared between two people, weddings have become ‘spectacles’, for the benefit of guests and social media onlookers. For example, Harry and Meghan’s up-coming fairy-tale royal wedding will undoubtedly attract billions of viewers worldwide.
Modern couples are prepared to wait years to tie the knot and part with phenomenal sums for their special day. Weddings have come to cost a small fortune, setting the average UK couple back £27,161. For the majority, this is a staggering expenditure and has resulted in 51% of engaged couples turning to relatives for financial help.
At the end of the day, spending large amounts on a wedding doesn’t equate to a happier marriage, and in fact 42% of marriages now end in divorce. So, is it really worth getting into debt or spending your savings on a one-day-only occasion?
Money and debt are amongst the top five causes for marital stress and arguments, so instead of putting unnecessary strain on your marriage from the start, surely the wiser move is to put the money towards getting on the property ladder, forging strong foundations for married life?
Big weddings can also be extremely stressful and overwhelming, taking months or even years to plan. With the fast paced lives we lead, the mammoth task of planning a big day can become a second job, consuming free time and somewhat taking over your life.
The stress of planning a big wedding and embarking on married life owing people money can put a lot of strain on the early days of your marriage, especially if both spouses don’t share the same enthusiasm for the perfect fairy-tale extravaganza.
In trying to have a big wedding you can lose sight of the real reason you are getting married and get caught up in the momentum of the event, ending up in a frantic situation where you spend the day worrying so much that it flies past without you enjoying it. Do you really want to look back on a day filled with panic rather than a treasure trove of happy memories?
By opting for a smaller more romantic and intimate wedding, the day can centre around the true essence of your love and be a much less stressful occasion. Your love is unique so why celebrate like a commercialised event? Instead, celebrate the commitment you are making to each other with the most important people in your life.
Every marriage hits a few bumps along the way, however, I see far more marriages breakdown from couples failing to deal with incompatibility early on in their relationship. My advice is to look ahead to the future of your closest and most intimate relationship and invest valuable time and resources in your marriage so it has every chance of standing the test of time.
The key to a long and happy marriage is to build a lifetime of togetherness, and when you’re celebrating your silver, or even golden, wedding anniversary this will seem like a much better investment, rather than an extravagant party that only lasted momentarily in your lifetime together.
By Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart, a family lawyer turned relationship guru on a mission to promote successful relationships and prevent marriage breakdowns in society.
LinkedIn: Sheela Mackintosh-Stewart
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