of the Motley Fool:

In my years as a financial advisor, I counseled many young couples regarding their financial matters. In that time, I never heard a newlywed couple say they wish they’d spent more money on their wedding. In fact, a year or two after the wedding day euphoria dissipates and couples start thinking about the rest of their lives together, most couples wished they’d spent far less cash on their big day. Let’s face it: A wedding day is just one in the long calendar of our lives.

A survey of 18,000 U.S. brides married last year found that their average wedding cost $27,000. And according to Carley Roney, co-founder of The Knot, “In 2011, 20% of U.S. couples spent more than $30,000, and 11% spent more than $40,000 on their weddings.” And that isn’t even including the honeymoon that, according to Bankrate.com, costs roughly $5,000 on average.

With financial problems cited as one of the biggest causes of divorce, draining our piggybanks on our wedding day holds massive potential for starting marriage on the wrong foot. Instead of plunking down a whopping $32,000 on average (wedding plus honeymoon), let’s see what financial options we open up by spending far less.

Let’s assume you and your spouse-to-be spend half the average amount on your big day and save the other half. Regardless of your financial goals, $16,000 is a great head start. Consider how this hypothetical savings can make an enormous dent in the six most common financial goals I heard from young couples.

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Articles by Eve Tushnet

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