wedding bandsWith the country's finances in the dumper, it's no surprise to hear the news that more and more people are putting off tying the knot. The reality is that one in four say they have delayed getting married, because of the economy. The average age for a woman to get hitched is 26, up from 22 in 1980. For men, it's 28, up from 25 thirty years ago. Those ages still sound pretty young to me, but then again, I live in Greater NYC -- an area where it's even harder to keep up with the Joneses.

This may be the trend, but there are still those who think waiting as a result of financial woes is ridiculous. Who believe finances shouldn't influence the timing of tying the knot. That money and marriage don't necessarily go hand-in-hand. While it's sweet to be so idealistic, I personally prefer reality and hard facts over fantasy.

Facts like ... you know you're going to have to pay for your own wedding, so you'd like to save up enough to do something grander than City Hall followed by Applebee's. Or you have tons of credit card debt, and you don't want that bad financial juju to be attached to your honey, so you put off getting married until you can pay it down. (The latter is actually something many people say is the reason they're waiting.)

I'm not saying that there's ever going to be a perfect time, in which all your financial ducks are in a row, but there's something to be said for having a steady income, not too much overwhelming debt, some moolah in a savings account, etc. Those are all qualities you can then bring to the marriage, instead of a chaotic money mess that then gets woven into your partner's economic fortune. Not to mention that having a grip on your finances before marriage could do wonders to preempt nasty arguments, disagreements, or frustration that could stem from any possible financial distress (which we gotta realize we're much more likely to incur as a result of this economy!).

What's more, there's a definite correlation between security and taking that next step in a relationship. Whether they'll say it or not, guys deep down inside want to know they can provide for us. So it makes a lot of sense why they'd want to wait. And these days, we women also want to know we can hold our own if faced with unemployment or an endless pile of bills. Why not at least wait until you know you've got your act together for the most part?

To each their own, but I feel like marriage and money will always and forever be linked. To me, knowing you're on the same page as your partner and that you're on a responsible path seems much more romantic than being broke when saying "I do." 

Do you agree with waiting until your finances are in order before getting hitched?

 

Image via Cliff/Flickr