Some BYU students opt for saving wedding money instead of having a big reception


Realizing the cost of a wedding often hits newly engaged couples like a handful of rice in the face.

Parents are frequently a pivotal financial factor in what a couple can and can’t afford for their nuptial bliss. When given the option between a nice wedding with all the bells and whistles or a hefty check, some take the money and run.

“I’ve actually known some people to take the money,” said Adam Arnett, a senior majoring in English. “They hosted a small dinner with close friends at a nice restaurant and made out like bandits.”

Many married couples will tell you the worst part about getting married is planning on a student budget. The amount of time and stress that goes into each unseen detail of cost-cutting perfection is often too much for couples.

“Marriage isn’t at all about getting married as much as it is about being married,” said Daniel Johanson, an elementary education senior from Gainsville, Fla. “Investing your time, money, and effort into getting married only to exhaust yourself of those resources is idiotic.”

Views on planning a formal wedding — or in the case of typical BYU culture, receptions — has evolved over the decades.

“I still think it’s fun and important to celebrate with those you love,” said Elise Powell a senior from Grand Junction, Colo., majoring in exercise science. “But a simple small reception can accomplish that.”

Planning a wedding is full of endless decisions from flowers to food and colors to venue. Couples looking for a way to work out these wedding differences and other major decisions often talk with their married friends or find books written for the recently engaged like “300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage”.

“I’m a very practical person and so I still plan on doing the wedding and reception. I still want to introduce the man I love the to the people I love,” said Melisa Monroe, a sophomore from Burley, Idaho, “I see why people take the money, but we spend our whole lives being practical.”

According to a “Brides” magazine survey of 1,000 engaged women, more then half said they would take the money.

Lara Nelson, a sophomore from Gig Harbor, Wash., plans on having a small wedding.

“I hate hearing about guys who go into debt for an engagement ring or parents who take out a double mortgage on their homes to cover the cost of a one-day party,” said Nelson. “Marriage is about family.”

The  Huffington Post recently released a column saying that no Disney princess worries about her mortgage or 401(k) in her happily-ever-after.

Aaron Woodall a senior from Boise, Idaho, majoring in sociology has been married now for a few years, but the fairytale ending has not been tainted by bills.

“The only things I remember are the things that didn’t cost any money, the most beautiful girl in the world and how I felt marrying her,” said Woodall. “I feel like people to often get too caught up in the frills and forget what the festivities are for. I’d take the money every time.”

Single students, although not in the heat of wedding planning, still plan their weddings with ideas from Pinterest and friends’ receptions.

David Wilkinson, a senior from Valley Center, Calif., realized his pre-engagement opinion is jaded because of the finance classes he has taken.

“I would take the money as a down payment, then buy a moderate house,” said Wilkinson. “However, when the day comes that I am madly in love in love with a girl, what I am willing to do for her will probably be very different than what I am willing to do right now.”

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