Originally Posted by Kiwideus
You think a $20,000 wedding is excessive? Wait til you hear about my brother in law's wedding! They have spent $75,000 and they haven't finished. Their wedding is in July and the girl is a regular little bridezilla.
Let me put up a defense for highly priced weddings. Obviously I do not know your brother in law at all but I have experienced a fair share of seemingly excessive weddings and most are quite justified, to a certain extent.
1) Proportion and relativity
If a person is making quite a bit of money then based on the proportion of money spent on the wedding and one's income it may not seem excessive.
2) Financial Planning
If the person after the high expenditure on wedding still have sufficient funds to buy a new house and still be left with a good amount of money then it would not seem to be financially reckless.
3) Wedding - Business Relations
It is not all about the bride and groom! Shocking but true. For my brother's wedding, about slightly less than half of the people invited were not exactly friends but people from business, such as clients, colleagues, etc. And to make a good impression or at least not leave a bad one, a certain amount of money have to be spent.
Obviously this does not apply to your situation but in East Asia, the cost of the wedding is sometimes or often paid for by the guests. Instead of wedding gifts, money is given. And the amount of money given is depending on the lavishness of the wedding and also the "status" of the giver. So in Japan a manager may have to give if I recall correctly 20,000 Yen (or more) which is about $200. For some more prominent business people (CEO) of a large company, sometimes as much as $20,000 is given, although that does not occur too often. So it is not unheard of for a person to spend a huge amount there and then actually made money from the wedding.