If anyone is suffering from "bridal remorse," it's probably reality TV star Kim Kardashian, whose extravagant wedding in August to NBA player Kris Humphries cost an estimated $10-million (U.S.).
Despite their combined net worth, Ms. Kardashian confessed in a radio interview to some pre-wedding jitters, including worries about "going over budget."
Although very few people have $10-million to blow on their wedding, getting hitched is certainly getting more expensive. The average cost of a wedding reached $23,330 (Canadian) in 2011, up from $20,129 in 2010, while the average price tag for a wedding gown rose to $1,798 from $1,093, according to Weddingbells' Annual Reader survey.
Over the past two years, as the economy hit the skids, future brides and grooms have been looking for ways to keep their costs under control. During that time, Internet-based auction house eBay has noticed a steady rise in the number of wedding dresses listed for sale. Right now, there are more than 78,000 items in the wedding dresses category listed on eBay.ca. The trend, which also extends to other paraphernalia associated with the big day, prompted eBay to commission its first wedding remorse survey.
The Leger Marketing poll conducted in the midst of wedding season and released this month, when wedding planning is in full swing, found that married Canadians aged 18 to 34 were most likely to suffer from remorse.
In that age group, 23 per cent said they had overspent on their weddings, while 35 per cent wished they'd spent less and 13 per cent said they planned to sell wedding items to recover some of their costs. However, the guilt associated with wedding spending seemed universal, regardless of age.
Overall, 29 per cent of Canadians, married or not, said they knew someone who went overboard and wished they had cut costs.
"If you're feeling bad about how much you spent on your wedding, you're not alone," said Kimberly Moffit, a Toronto-based psychotherapist, who moonlights as eBay Canada's wedding counsellor.
In pre-marital counselling, she often meets with couples who fall victim to celebrity-style excess as they feel the pressure to keep up with the Joneses. And now, as couples may be planning their nuptials for next year, Ms. Moffit offers some financial tips:
- make a budget and stick to it
- push back against high expectations
- look for used items and deals online
- realize that saving for a home down payment or the future is more tangible than the big day
Ms. Moffit, herself a newlywed, recently sold the glass jars she used at her reception candy bar to another bride-to-be and pocketed $100, about half the amount she shelled out in-store.
"I didn't want them sitting around my living room," she said, laughing.
As for Ms. Kardashian, the plug was pulled on her marriage 72 days after the big day. While she and Mr. Humphries can fall back on their personal fortunes despite the wedding expense hit, other couples might not be so fortunate - even if their marriages last.