Blog: Wedding Help?...Really?

1/2/2020

As a financial provider or advisor you probably think that the last thing you need to get involved with is wedding planning for your clients. I mean, really, isn’t that a rather personal family event? And what do you know about destination weddings vs. stay at home vs. other?You have no idea how much all of this “stuff” costs…flowers, bands, DJs, gifts? But for many families, paying for a wedding today has become a major financial event. And because of the financial ramifications, they need to speak to a trusted advisor regarding how to most effectively liquidate funds to pay for this special event.

According to TheKnot.com, the average wedding cost in 2017 was $33,391. ValuePenguin provides additional information and breaks down the average wedding cost by state. Because my eldest is currently planning a wedding, I thought I would look at the average cost in my current residence (Florida) and compare it to my previous residence (Illinois). After all, she would logically choose one of those places, wouldn’t she? I found that the average wedding cost in Southern Florida (which was second after Manhattan) is $51,073. In Manhattan the average wedding cost is $88,176. In Chicago, the average cost is $49,151. I got married in Iowa about 30 years ago for around $9,000...today the average cost in Iowa has only increased to $13,637.

In research recently conducted by Spectrem, we found that 52% of investors expect some assistance from their financial advisor when planning financially for a large family event such as a wedding. That may seem surprising to many, but as you can see above, the financial implications for raising the appropriate amount of funds to be available for a relatively short-term period does have ramifications on an investor’s overall portfolio. 

 

As you can see, those investors who currently have dependent children are more likely to expect assistance from their advisor than those who no longer have dependent children and therefore are most likely past this financial event in their lives. 

In the same research Spectrem found that 70% of investors expect assistance from their financial advisor in developing a financial plan. Most advisors will not find that expectation surprising. A strong financial plan will, however, include prior discussion and planning for large financial events, such as weddings, long before that event even becomes an actuality.

As for my daughter’s wedding location? She recently informed me that she plans to get married at an estate an hour outside of London. While she has yet to present me with her budget…I think we are maybe even more than Manhattan???!!!! To my daughter’s defense, her fiancé is from London. There are also rumors that his family may contribute. Thank goodness it’s 2020 and the bride’s parents are not the only ones paying for the wedding! 

Don’t be surprised if your clients ask you to assist them in planning financially for a large event such as a wedding. Most of your advice will be about which assets to liquidate and any timing related to that liquidation. If they should, however, ask for advice about a location…recommend Des Moines, it’s lovely and cost effective.