Kim Kardashian and Kanye West spent $2.8 million on their wedding.

My friend and his wife spent $75,000 on their wedding.

A lot of people have been planning their dream wedding since the first time they saw Cinderella. Coachmen and horses and flowing gowns and pumpkin shaped carriages and smiling faces and crippling debt.

Crippling debt?

Wait, what?

When we get married, we start a new chapter of life. We combine our future and finances with another sentient human. Why, then, do we insist on starting this new chapter behind the eight ball? While this is meant to be one of the best moments of our life, I think that we should also remember that the marriage certificate means a lot more than the lobster tails enjoyed by 50 of our distant relatives.

I am no wedding planner, but I have a few ideas on how you can start your new life without selling plasma to pay for the Godiva chocolate fountain:

1) The dress. According to Theknot.com, the average cost of a wedding dress in 2018 was $1,631. $1,631 for a dress that you will wear (if everything goes well) ONE TIME. Sure, 20 years later, your daughter might wear it, but, come on, she probably won’t. A cheaper dress and some minor alterations are seriously in your best interest (check out this cute one on Amazon.com for 25 bucks). Who cares if it falls apart an hour after the reception? You can keep that scrap of fabric in the freezer with the top of your cake.

2) Open bars. I know, I know. No one wants to hear Aunt Madge – speaking to no one in particular – that yours is a nice wedding, but not as nice as Cousin Marc’s. You want your guests to have a good time and you want to be considered generous. However, there is a difference between generosity and eating Ramen for the next 2 years. Weddings.costhelper.com says that the average cost for an open bar is around $2,800. But wait! That’s not including the $220-$300 (as listed on Thumbtack.com) for the actual bartender. Obviously, give your guests some free drinks, but cut the timeframe. Have an open bar for the cocktail hour before the reception and then leave Aunt Madge to her own devices.

3) Photo booths. Everyone just loves the photo booths with the props, the old school Coney Island exposures and the smiling attendant. Weddingwire.com says that, generally, you can expect to pay about $551 for 3 hours. And that’s on the low side of the spectrum. Or you could just hire the kid who mows your lawn for $200 (plus food and tips) to snap candid Polaroids of your guests. Sure, they won’t be the best quality, but neither will the $1,000 booth pictures of your co-worker in a Viking helmet.

If you are about to embark on a new chapter of your life, you should know that Bourke Accounting is here. The best thing about this is that you can now share a tax preparer with your intended. Our Bourke Accounting associates can guide you through a life of shared expenses and income. It doesn’t matter if your newly minted spouse insisted on both the chili cheese fry and gelato station, our Bourke Accounting experts can make your financial goals a certain reality.

Come see us any time. Our number is 502-451-8773 and don’t forget to visit our website at www.bourkeaccounting.com. See you soon!

Written by Sue H.