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Wedding bills

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If ever there were a sector that fit into both of these categories, it would be the cost and arrangement of a wedding....

Anyone who has ever watched “The Godfather” most probably remembers Michael’s quote of “It’s not personal; it’s strictly business.”

If ever there were a sector that fit into both of these categories, it would be the cost and arrangement of a wedding. Those getting married like to think of their wedding day as particularly personal in nature. In actuality, the wedding day and subsequent marriage will always have a combination of both.

The long-term commitment of marriage will be somewhat more personal, but the actual wedding day will carry with it more of a lion’s share of business. Presumably it will only be the purchase of a house in the entire marital relationship that will cost more than that one big day of bliss.

Those getting married do not realize that on that special day they will spend on average a minimum of close to $4,200 an hour! That’s based on a low averaging cost of $25,000 that will last an approximate six hours.

In the last several years I have yet to meet anyone who has had a wedding cost that little. It’s usually the reception hall that will cost you that much. And all those seeking the patronage of this new “live happily ever after” couple will solely smile and compliment during the entire process since for them this is business.

The records of vital statistics state that during the first two decades of the 20th century a wedding cost one third of the national average family income. By the mid-1960s it had grown to one half. And today you can expect to cough up two thirds. The operative word here is “family” income and not individual.

If we take the average couple is earning of $35,000 each that brings the wedding cost close to $50,000. Sounds about right, since in addition to the reception hall you have flowers, wedding invitations, church or synagogue, DJ or band, photographers, videographers, limousines, honeymoon, wedding dress, tuxedo and wedding favors, and I am sure I am missing additional various items.

This six-hour event is now running more than $8,000 an hour. So how’s business for couples getting married? Is the expense worth it? Only if under all this stress the couple can maintain a display of mutual respect, affection, communication and exhibit healthy doses of shared amusement.

A wedding will probably be the only occasion to experience a guilt-free binge, and if the marriage stands the test of time, it will be a most important personal and business partnership and worth every penny.

Joe Palumbo is the fund manager for The Palco Group Inc., an investment company, and can be reached at palcogroup@aol.com or 718-461-8317.

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