Remember the other day (week?) how I was saying I’d love to know the actual median income of marrying couples? Well, the statistics are in! Yay numbers! Excite!
I did a little sleuthing and calculating. Statistics NZ tells us the median marrying age in NZ is 30.1 for women and 32.2 for men. So, applying this information to the handy personal income X age table, we can estimate the median income for those ages is about $32k a year. So as a couple, they’re bringin in $64k. But wait, there’s more! We have to take tax into account. The online tax calculator reveals after tax, the couple is left with about $55k in actual money to live on. If they’re financially responsible, they could save 10% of their income for a year, leaving them with: $5500 wedding budget.
Now there are two important things to notice here.
One. This is a median, which means HALF OF ALL WEDDINGS SHOULD COST LESS THAN THIS. Even a $10k wedding, which is considered pretty low budget, is freakin double the cost of what should be the completely average, run of the mill wedding. I don’t know the size and shape of the income distribution, so I can’t tell what proportion of marrying couples actually can afford a $10k wedding. But I’m guessing it’s a pretty small number. Which brings me to…
Two. Numbers that get thrown around as being low budget are still unaffordable for almost everyone. Wedding norms and expectations are SO out of touch with our lives, it’s insane. It’s like everyone going around thinking they can’t do without a personal butler and a private jet. Weddings are categorically out of proportion.
So from now on, when some magazine features ‘budget’ weddings in the $10-20k range, we can say, “Screw you, Magazine. You don’t know shit. Lower income wedding budgets should be more like $2-5k, you snob”.
Never have I more wanted to shout We need a new paradigm!! And a revolution!
And just in case anyone needs reminding, expensive weddings are not inherently better than affordable ones. This couple had two celebrations, a $600 one a WIC compliant one. Guess which one the bride preferred?