The Cost of Stupidity – bragging rights over the greater good

Anyone online this weekend has likely been inundated with the news of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s wedding by now – if you haven’t, I’m sorry to be the one to break the news. According to “unnamed sources” the lavish affair was too much for just one country. The rehearsal dinner was held in Paris while the ceremony took place in Florence; guests were shuttled between sites via private jet.

The Florence skyline

The Florence skyline

Entering the planning stages of our own wedding right now, I understand how expensive a wedding can be; adding the word “wedding” to anything associated with the day automatically adds 20-40% to the price. However reading about the ridiculousness of this particular wedding has me shaking my head. Trashy gossip magazines are reporting that Kim wanted to host “the wedding of the century”, an event to rival that of Prince William and Kate’s 2011 wedding, and while the dollar amounts spent on flowers and food are still rolling in it’s evident that they will total into the tens of millions.

Which has me thinking: imagine what could be achieved in the world if this money were used for good instead of bragging rights.

  • Instead of the $100,000 Kim reportedly spent on invitations, the couple could have sent some much needed aid to those currently affected by flooding in Bosnia, Croatia, and Serbia
  • The $2.8 million Kanye reportedly shelled out to have Lana Del Rey perform three songs during the couple’s rehearsal dinner could have helped the 2.8 million children currently threatened by malaria, measles, and polio in Mali
  • The $2 million Kim spent on designer wedding gowns is enough money to match the total contributions made to the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA last year.
  • Instead of spending $3 million on security – an expense that would be unnecessary at a small, understated wedding – Kim and Kanye could have bought dinner for every one of the estimated 250,000 homeless veterans sleeping on the streets in the United States right now
  • The $650,000 spent on a rehearsal dinner at the Palace of Versailles is enough to sponsor all of the animal species currently listed at critically threatened or endangered by the World Wildlife Fund.
  • Kim’s $1 million flower budget could help support the fishermen and their families still struggling to make ends meet as a result of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill of 2010.
  • I’m unsure what a $2000 per plate dinner tastes like, however $400,000 could purchase and protect over 2,300 acres of rainforest in Bolivia, Columbia, Ecuador, and Mexico
  • The $200,000 fireworks display that wrapped up the evening’s festivities in enough to pay off the average student loan debt of six struggling graduates in the United States.

Talk about a return on your investment – and these are only the figures I could find online. I’m sure like most weddings the final tally will be much higher.

The Sava River overflowing its banks in Brcko, Bosnia (via)

The Sava River overflowing its banks in Brcko, Bosnia (via)

Sadly this kind of spending is becoming more and more common, with even non-celebrities choosing to spend everything and go into debt trying to live an unattainable lifestyle. This ridiculous, over-the-top wedding will get Kim and Kanye all the publicity they so desperately wanted while also reaffirming to millions of confused “regular” folk that this is what they too should aspire to. Screw starting a college fund for your children or saving for a down payment for your first home together, from this moment on all weddings will suck without a designer dress and $6,000 bottles of champagne on each table.

While the millions of dollars spent by Kim and Kanye could have done so much good, I’m sure the wedding was beautiful. I’m just glad that in planning my own wedding I don’t have to worry about outdoing a previous wedding to Chris Humphries, clearly one of Kim’s biggest struggles.

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