Spending upwards of $28,000 on a wedding is now considered average in America, but Rabbi Shmuley says you could be richer and just as happy if you had a less-expensive but equally joyous celebration. "I don't believe in eloping because your family and friends should be there to celebrate with you and send you off to you new life together," he says. "But, be humble. Have a nice, modest, decent-sized wedding. Make the wedding special not by ostentatious displays, but with joyous dancing—a memorable celebration."
With the money you don't spend on your wedding, Rabbi Shmuley says you can get ahead in other areas of life. "[Use the money for a] down payment on house, pay off school debts, start a business," he says. As long as you celebrate with friends and can inspire others with the power of your love for each other, Rabbi Shmuley says your wedding day will be a wonderful memory that won't leave behind bills that could haunt you for a few decades.
"An expensive wedding does not a good marriage make. Eloping denies your family and friends from celebrating your joyous occasion with you. Best scenario: Have a modest wedding where the occasion is memorable through joyous dancing and put the rest of your money into a down payment on a house."