I have been waiting for FoxNews to call me for comment, but they haven’t, so I want to state a few things for the record.
First, I think that spending millions of dollars on a wedding is—well, I was going to say “crazy,” but perhaps I should just say that it is a choice that most people simply don’t have to worry about making. It’s a lot to spend on a party. I used to think that perhaps there is an inverse relationship between the cost of the wedding and the success of the marriage. Case in point: Princess Di and Prince Chuck’s wedding cost a queen’s ransom and look how that turned out. Flip side of the same coin: my wife tells me our entire wedding in 1975—dress, reception, music, everything—cost less than many people spend these days on their invitations. And by some miracle we’re still married. But now I suspect there’s no relationship at all between the splendor of the wedding and the happiness of the marriage. My mother and father eloped, had just two guests (their best friends who acted as witnesses) and I think the reception was held at a coffee shop near the courthouse. And alas, they were divorced seven years later. Love and commitment certainly trump the cost of the wedding.
Second, while going into deep debt to pay for a wedding is probably not a good idea, if you have the dough on hand, well, putting it in a mattress does nobody any good. The WSJ says you could invest that money and earn a 600% return on investment by the time you retire. But heck, who wants to live like that? If we had to calculate the ROI for every pleasure we spend money on, we’d never have any fun.
Third, I heard that the Clintons spent somewhere in the neighborhood of $80,000 on photography and videography. Let me just guess that half of that is for videography, so let’s call it $40,000 for the photographer. Perhaps they think that’s a bargain. But I would have been happy to shoot the wedding for them for a mere $20,000. Okay, let’s say $27,500. Of course, I would expect them to pick up the tab for my travel to Rhinebeck; but I would have thrown in one free wedding album and a dozen complimentary 8″x10″ prints on archival paper. If you are planning a $3 million wedding in the next year, please keep me in mind.