It's O.K. to Discuss A Couple's Net-Worth at the Wedding

It's O.K. to Discuss A Couple's Net-Worth at the Wedding

NEW YORK (MainStreet)—Cash is cash and love is love, and never the twain shall meet. That seems to be the motto when it comes to most wedding rhetoric, doesn't it? Personal finance rarely comes up during the remarks during the ceremony, the speeches at the reception or the toasts at the after-party.

There might be vague wishes for prosperity, there might be whispers among attendees about the couple's wealth and the whole shebang might be ostentatiously expensive, but official American wedding discourse tends toward mushiness. Like so many public events, it's seen as gauche to bring up income.

Also see: Not Your Parents' Wedding Registry

It's time to break that taboo. Wedding season is upon us, and when we talk about the lucky couples, let's stop being afraid to talk about dollars and cents.

For a case study, take the recent nuptials of a good friend of mine from college. He's an incredibly smart and hard-working gent, and the start-up he's run non-stop since college has become insanely profitable. His wife just finished medical school, and, with any luck, she'll eventually use her skills to rake in some dollars, herself. Money isn't an obsession for them, but they value financial stability and discipline.

My fellow twentysomething guests and I knew all of these facts quite well when we arrived for the wedding. Nevertheless, many of us were shocked at what we heard at the reception.

When their fathers (both Taiwanese immigrants) spoke to the crowd, they were astoundingly frank about money. The father of the bride spoke unironically of how marrying my friend was a "good investment," due to his healthy-and-growing income. The father of the groom spoke lovingly of how proud he was that his son could now afford expensive Yankees tickets (a luxury he, as a father, wasn't able to provide his son two decades ago). Both dads proudly touted the couple's recent acquisition of a great apartment.