Recently, a close friend of mine’s step-daughter eloped which did not make her parents happy. Her mother and father felt it was disrespectful to not have them as a part of the ceremony. This surprised me–I’d be thrilled if my children eloped because, to me, the modern American wedding is, well, insane.

According to the wedding planning site The Knot, the average cost of a wedding in the US is around $30,000. My kids’ friends are starting to get hitched and several of those weddings have cost well over $100,000. Given that I have four kids and I believe in wedding parity–I am giving each kid the same amount to go towards their wedding and if they never marry, I’ll give them that amount when they turn 35 or so–elopement works for me.

It’s not just the cost although that seems preposterous to me. It’s the cost benefit analysis. Of all the things young people could spend 30K or more on, a one day celebration doesn’t seem like the best bet. How about paying off student loans or going to grad school or buying a home?

But maybe I’m just a wedding Dabney Downer. What do you think? If you were getting married today, would you want a big celebration? Or would you take the money and run?

Dabney Grinnan
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Impenitent social media enthusiast. Relational trend spotter. Enjoys both carpe diem and the fish of the day.