Getting Married Without a Penny to Your Name Isn't Romantic At All


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

marriage, weddings, love


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tis.u... tis.unnatural

There's also the fact that, at least for my fiance and I, we get a lot more back on our taxes filing as two single individuals. We're doing alright financially, but now that I'm pregnant with our second and we just bought a house, that extra money will come in very handy. We'll get married eventually, this has just been a good reason for us to wait a bit longer.

nonmember avatar Emme

Not every couple cares to have a big wedding; they could just as easily get married at city hall then have a small get-together at a relative's house or their own. And, from a financial point of view, marriage is actually beneficial since, in most cases, you get more back in income tax. Furthermore, if you lived separately before marriage, living together will be cheaper.

Lynette Lynette

my husband and I got married at 20 & 21.  Not much money to our names at that point.  We waited a few yrs to start having kids.  13yrs later we own a home and are expecting our 4th child and I am a SAHM.  And no we are not on any kind of assistance programs.

so no I don't think you have to have to have your finances in a row to get married.

fraoch fraoch

I got married by a JOP at the Murrah Building and had our celebration dinner at Harrisions's Steak House, have been married for 16 years (17 come Feb 14th) and never, not one time, regretted how we got married.

I'd rather have married the man I love, not wait for when we have the money b/c  if you're that materialistic as to have to have this huge wedding, it won't work out anyway. It's not about the wedding, it's about giving yourself over to the one you love. You don't need a dress and all the trappings for that.

cocob... cocobeannns

I'm not materialistic at all. I would rather have a great marriage, than a big expensive wedding. We've been engaged for over a year, but we just haven't gotten married yet because I would really love to have our family and friends see us get married than just go to the courthouse. And we haven't had the money to do that yet. I don't want anything over the top. Something simple and fun is ideal for the both of us. But, with bills, and everything else, we've just had to wait. I would marry him tomorrow if I could. 

Ms.Pu... Ms.PuNkrOckStar


Mrs.G... Mrs.Giles

i recently got married and we are 22 & 21 and we did a simple city hall marriage with a nice meal after at cocos which was enough for us since we were on a tight budget

mom2m... mom2monsterboys

To me the blogger sounds very materialistic...and that's ok for her and others who feel the same way. More people are more like froach in mind, myself being one of them. I had a simple and very sweet intimate wedding at 19. We will be celebrating our 9 yr wedding anniversary soon and our original "beginning" anniversary of 11 yrs not long after. My sil spent a fortune on her wedding, had all finances in order, had a very healthy savings account and a mere 2yrs later is filing for a divorce. Money does not allways equal a successful marriage.

douxm... douxmusique

I got married at 19. we had no money. No help. Just us. It was perfect. We have had UPS and downs but never about money. Ten years later.... Happier than ever. Own a home, have three kids and a dog, the typical dream. When its not about money, never has been, never will be... That is the wisest.

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