I'm not married, and I can't justify spending 10's of thousands of dollars on a wedding. I'd rather spend the money elsewhere such as paying off debt, investing, starting a child education fund, or even giving it to a much needed charity instead.
You don't have to go nuts when planning a wedding, and you don't have to spend $10,000, $20,000, $30,000......to do it. I think expensive weddings are silly and self indulgent.
When my brother got married, he and his wife married on a Thursday in a candlight ceremony at a church. Close friends and close family only. The ceremony guests were about 50 people. They each had one friend stand up with them as witnesses.
They had a party at the house on the Friday evening. Everyone brought a dish of food and something to drink and it was probably the best wedding I had ever attended.
They used the money they saved towards a honeymoon on Jekyl Island in Georgia. Her parents were paying for the honeymoon, but the money they saved allowed them to do extra things that weren't part of the honeymoon package, such as go down to Florida to Disney World. They had a great time and while they divorced 15 years later they still both agree that they did their wedding the "right" way.
Back in the mid 1980's I went to work with Tan Jan International. I was working in the back entering invoices for items being shipped. A girl working in the "Returns Cage" where items are returned because of faults had a daughter that was getting married. I had never met her daughter. In fact I only talked to the woman about 3 times because I had only been at the job 4 or 5 days.
One day she presented me with an invitiation to a wedding shower for her daughter. I thought that was totally bizzar seeing I hardly knew her and didn't know her daughter at all. I told her that I wouldn't feel comfortable going, but I did with her daughter well. The woman was quite put off by that.
Apparently she was inviting everyone and anyone that she could, even just mear aquaintances. She didn't have a problem with that because she said she herself had been invited to weddings and showers where she didn't know the bride or groom but went anyway so that when her turn came those people would reciprocate.
It seems it was all about the money and the gifts.
I found out later when it was all done, that this woman's daughter had TWO "Hall Showers." Meaning the showers were so huge that they could only be held inside a rented hall. One shower that was out of town had almost 600 people attend. The other that was in the city had more than 800 people attend. Some people went to both!!
Gifts consisted of standard fair such as dishes, serving wear, tupperware all the way to large appliances such as fridges, stoves, dishwasher and furniture such as whole bedroom and living room suites. They even got $15,000 in cash which they planned on using to buy a mobile home to live in a trailor park.
The wedding was equally spectacular. 1500 guests. They had presentation, so the raked in the bucks there too.
How long did the wedding last? Eight months! Actually 7 months. They split and then filed for separation a month later.
I bet none of the gifts were ever returned.