Why are weddings so expensive — and how does the wedding industry sucker us into thinking they have to be? This week on Skeptical Sunday, comedian Michael Regilio joins Jordan to propose the facts on what you’re really getting with a wedding and explore alternatives that won’t test the durability of a new marriage with massive debt from day one.
On This Week’s Skeptical Sunday:
- The pressure to have an extravagant wedding can sometimes lead to couples investing more in the one-day festivities than in the hard work that goes into the lifelong commitment of a successful marriage.
- Weddings are becoming increasingly expensive, and the wedding industry is constantly churning out new ways to overcharge its clientele.
- “Age-old” wedding traditions like diamond rings aren’t rooted in history, but in clever marketing schemes that exploit couples’ desires for a perfect wedding.
- Evidence suggests that the more money a couple spends on a wedding, the less likely they are to stay together.
- Weddings don’t have to break the bank — eloping or planning a backyard ceremony are affordable and creative alternatives to traditional weddings.
- Connect with Jordan on Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. If you have something you’d like us to tackle here on Skeptical Sunday, drop Jordan a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know!
- Connect with Michael at his website, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube, and make sure to check out the Michael Regilio Plagues Well With Others podcast here or wherever you enjoy listening to fine podcasts!
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Resources from This Episode:
- Wedding Services in the US: Market Size | IBISWorld
- Median vs. Average Wedding Cost | Silk Stem Collective
- The Average Wedding Cost in 2022, According to Data | The Knot
- How Social Media Has Transformed the Idea and Costs of the Ideal Wedding | Forbes
- Marriage, a History: From Obedience to Intimacy, or How Love Conquered Marriage by Stephanie Coontz | Amazon
- Diamond Infused Skin Care: Five Astounding Benefits of This Precious Stone in Your Beauty Regimen | Netmeds
- How an Ad Campaign Invented the Diamond Engagement Ring | The Atlantic
- You’ll Never Guess the History Behind Your Engagement Ring by Nona Photography | Medium
- How Americans Learned to Love Diamonds | The New York Times
- Classic Atlantic Article on the Diamond Scam | Jonathan Birge
- The Marriage Industrial Complex | Salon
- Why Do Men Get Down on One Knee to Propose? | Cosmopolitan
- Discover the History and Traditions of Diamond Engagement Rings | American Gem Society
- The History of Wedding Rings and How They Changed Over Time | Wedding Wire
- The Origin of Wedding Rings: Ancient Tradition or Marketing Invention? | GIA 4Cs
- A Brief History of Throwing the Bridal Bouquet | Wedding Bee
- 21 Historical Roles and Responsibilities of the Wedding Party | Mental Floss
- The History of Bridesmaids | Wedding Wire
- Wedding Cake: A Slice of History | Gastronomica
- Get More Wedding for Your Money | Consumer Reports
- 20 Percent of All Weddings are Called Off — Here’s Why | Best Life
- How Much Should You Spend on an Engagement Ring in 2022? | American Express
- The Average Cost of an Engagement in the US | Wedmatch
- US Wedding Industry Statistics: 2022/2023 | Truly Experiences
- The Average Cost of Alcohol for a Wedding, Based on Data | The Knot
- Get Married or Get a Mortgage? Cities Where a Wedding Costs More than a Down Payment | The Hill
- This Is the Average Wedding Photographer Cost, Based on Data | The Knot
- The Average Cost of Wedding Flowers for All Your Floral Needs | The Knot
- Planning a Wedding Without Flowers | A Practical Wedding
- What Is the Environmental Impact of the Cut-Flower Industry? | Tree-Nation
- Cost of a Mother of the Groom Dress | CostHelper
- Average Price for Wedding Hair and Makeup: 2023 Cost Guide | Wedding Forward
- The Average Wedding Venue Cost: What You Need to Know | The Knot
- Wedding DJ Cost and Live Band Cost: What You Need to Know | The Knot
- Here’s How Much a Wedding Planner Actually Costs | The Knot
- What is a Day-of Wedding Coordinator? | Wedding Spot Blog
- How We Started to Save the Date | Digby & Rose
- How Much Do Wedding Invitations Cost? | Brides
- The Invitations | Seinfeld
- How Much Does an Average Bachelor Party Cost? | The Groom Club
- How Much Should a Bachelorette Party Cost? | The Bach
- Booking Transportation for Your Wedding? Here’s How Much It Costs | The Knot
- Here’s How Much It Actually Costs to Attend a Wedding | Wedding Wire
- Most Couples Plan to Start Married Life with This Costly Ball and Chain | CNBC
- How Much Does the Average Honeymoon Cost? | The Knot
- Pros and Cons: Partaking in the “Trash the Dress” Trend | Inside Weddings
- Expensive Weddings Result in Shorter Marriages | Big Think
- Price Fixing and Collusion in the Wedding Industry | Think Splendid
- Wealthy Couple Break-Up Risk | Erlich Law Office
- Divorce Rate: It’s Not as High as You Think | The New York Times
- Wedding Cost Could Determine How Long Marriage Lasts | The Knot
832: The Wedding Industry | Skeptical Sunday
[00:00:00] Jordan Harbinger: This episode is sponsored in part by Hyundai. The Hyundai Tucson comes with America's best warranty, including 10 years or a hundred thousand miles. The Tucson with America's best warranty. It's your journey. Test drive the Tucson at your nearest Hyundai dealer, or learn more at hyundaiusa.com. Call 562-314-4603 for complete details.
[00:00:22] Welcome to the show. I'm Jordan Harbinger, and this is Skeptical Sunday, a special edition of The Jordan Harbinger Show, where a rotating guest co-host and I break down a topic you may have never thought about, open things up, and debunk common misconceptions. Topics such as why the Olympics are kind of a sham, why expiration dates on food are nonsense, why tipping makes no sense, recycling, banned foods, toothpaste, chemtrails, and a whole lot more. Normally, on The Jordan Harbinger Show, we decode the stories, secrets, and skills of the world's most fascinating people and turn their wisdom into practical advice that you can use to impact your own life and those around you. We have long-form interviews and conversations with a variety of amazing folks from spies to CEOs, athletes, authors, thinkers, performers.
[00:01:03] If you're new to the show or you're looking for a way to tell your friends about the show — and of course, I appreciate it when you do that — I suggest our episode starter packs is a place to begin. These are collections of our favorite episodes organized by topic. That will help new listeners get a taste of everything we do here on this show. Topics like persuasion, influence, disinformation, cyber warfare, technology, futurism, crime and cults, and more. Just visit jordanharbinger.com/start, or take a look in your Spotify app to get started.
[00:01:31] All right, today on this edition of Skeptical Sunday, the wedding industry. Man, I got married. It wasn't something Jen and I really wanted to — well, we wanted to get married. We didn't want to have a wedding, and I think that's really what we're debunking here. We're not debunking getting married. That's a thing we do with it what you will. It's the wedding industry. When we're young, we attend a family wedding. It's a blast. The dancing, the food, the staying up late, the bottomless Shirley Temples or you know, stealing alcohol from adults. Not that I did that, but I know a lot of people who did, and that's why it turned out fine. As a young adult, the first few weddings attended are also pretty fun. You see old friends, you dance, and of course, bottomless adult beverages. But after a wedding or two has drained the old bank account, an invitation to a friend's wedding can make us think, "What the hell did I ever do to you?"
[00:02:15] This week on Skeptical Sunday, comedian Michael Regilio is here to propose the facts on what you're getting with a wedding. Michael, welcome to the show.
[00:02:23] Michael Regilio: Thanks for having me, Jordan. Full disclosure, I am a married man and like everyone, my journey to marriage is unique. But when I say I fell in love with my wife, I mean, I really fell. A few months into dating, I fell off the pull-up bar in her apartment and snapped a rib.
[00:02:39] Jordan Harbinger: Ooh, snapped ribs are no joke. I do wonder, did the bar fall or did you just lose your grip on the bar? Because one of those is significantly more embarrassing than the other.
[00:02:48] Michael Regilio: It's the less embarrassing. Although ending up with a broken rib on your new girlfriend's floor is plenty embarrassing alone. But yeah, no, the bar broke on me—
[00:02:57] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:02:57] Michael Regilio: —and I went down. Actually, in the emergency room, they were like, "Oh yeah, we see a lot of that. These home pull bars are a nightmare."
[00:03:04] Jordan Harbinger: I can imagine that being a big problem. I installed my own when I was a kid and it had these really long wood screws and there were three on each side, and you screwed the sucker in and it wasn't going anywhere. But now, they just sort of squeeze outward with these crappy rubber ends like you would see on the end of an older person's cane. And it's like any momentum and this thing's going to shake loose or any kind of weather is going to just take these and make it completely unsafe.
[00:03:29] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. And in my case, it is more embarrassing in that I was trying to hang upside down because I thought it would be good for my back.
[00:03:37] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah.
[00:03:37] Michael Regilio: I was like, oh, we're going to go for a long hike. I'm going to hang upside down. That'll stretch my back out, instead, I broke my back.
[00:03:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. Irony indeed.
[00:03:44] Michael Regilio: My girlfriend became my caretaker. She lovingly nursed me back to health. Somewhere between her feeding me and bathing me—
[00:03:50] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:03:50] Michael Regilio: —I realized I had gone from head over heels falling off a bullet bar to head over heels in love, aww.
[00:03:56] Jordan Harbinger: That's a great meet cute. Just sort of a grievous bodily injury trip to the hospital. 15 sponge baths later, here we are.
[00:04:03] Michael Regilio: Yeah, exactly. Hey, I'm your problem now.
[00:04:05] Jordan Harbinger: Yep.
[00:04:06] Michael Regilio: And during the global blur of time, we called the quarantine, I asked her to marry me. We waited until the vaccines were available and things opened back up and we set a date.
[00:04:14] Jordan Harbinger: I think that's a good call, waiting for things to return to so-called normal. We've all seen pictures of those COVID weddings where the vendors don't know what to do. The venue doesn't know what to do. The guests don't know what to do. It's a whole thing.
[00:04:26] Michael Regilio: Yeah, I know. It's like, "You may now remove the bride's mask. Give her a rapid test, and if she comes back negative, kiss her through a plate glass partition."
[00:04:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, it's more like visiting somebody in prison than getting hitched, except you can probably touch more in most prisons. I'm glad you didn't have to go through that.
[00:04:41] Michael Regilio: Oh, well, we went through plenty. Even though we waited for things to open back up, there was still pressure to enact COVID protocols. None of which sounded fun. Venue wanted to have people present their vax cards. They wanted a vaxxed tent and an unvaxxed tent. Somehow in 2021, the venue thought it was okay to literally use the word segregated in reference to our wedding.
[00:05:02] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:05:02] Michael Regilio: People started using our wedding as ground zero for the coming ideological war of the 21st century.
[00:05:08] Jordan Harbinger: A vaccine mandated a wedding combined with literal segregation tents that can cause a little bit of strife justified or otherwise.
[00:05:16] Michael Regilio: Oh man, it was such a bummer. We were crazy enough to just think of it as our wedding. I mean, you thought the vaccine caused some screaming matches at school board meetings. You should have seen what it did to our families. It devastated us. It wasn't our love that people wanted to celebrate. They wanted to get into screaming matches with each other. Stuff like, "You're taking my freedom away," while sending links to claims about microchipped vaccines. It was the whole thing.
[00:05:42] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. I don't miss the days of there's microchips in the vaccine. Don't forget, they also kill you. They make you infertile, which doesn't really matter because you're supposed to be dead anyway. But again, I don't miss those days. In fact, some might argue we're kind of still there, but I think people have grown tired. We're arguing about other things now, trends something, something.
[00:05:58] Michael Regilio: Yeah, exactly. Thank God we're not arguing vaccines anymore. Although I know a number of friends that if you get them on the subject, they are happy to revisit it.
[00:06:07] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:06:07] Michael Regilio: So it became clear that our big day was going to be the most miserable day of our lives. We had booked a gorgeous venue, hired the required vendors, but two weeks after the save, the dates went out six months before the big day. We just didn't want to do it anymore, and we canceled the party, not the commitment.
[00:06:27] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What do you do? Do you un-save the dates? Do you send like a crappy followup on the back of the leftover holiday cards? Like, "Hey, forget that. Scratch that date. You're free now."
[00:06:37] Michael Regilio: For one, do not give the wedding industry any ideas. They will take advantage of anything. Unsaved the dates will definitely be a thing one day, but no, when we booked the vendors, they made us feel so lucky for securing everything. They all bragged how in demand they were since the quarantine lifted. So before the photographer had taken anything other than our deposit, as well as the DJ, caterer, florist, videographer, hairstylist, makeup artist, wedding coordinator, and wedding day, good weather shaman or whatever else we got suckered into, we called them. We explained these unprecedented circumstances. The wedding date was six months out and they all said, "What a drag. So sorry to hear it, but we're keeping your money."
[00:07:21] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Okay. I mean, I understand the concept of a deposit, but six months out it seems like, "Well, you're still free that day, and if you're so in demand, maybe you can book someone else because you kind of implied that you could."
[00:07:33] Michael Regilio: Yeah. In fact, as I contemplated that the wedding I wasn't having was costing me thousands of dollars. I checked the calendars of all my former vendors and I realized they'd all rebooked the date within a week.
[00:07:45] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:07:45] Michael Regilio: We had cost them nothing while they had cost my fiance and I a big chunk of our savings.
[00:07:52] Jordan Harbinger: So hooray for the celebration of love. It seems like they turned your deposit into a profit center, which is kind of not the point of a deposit initially.
[00:07:59] Michael Regilio: Of course. I mean, that's when I started thinking that this entire industry might just be one huge scam.
[00:08:06] Jordan Harbinger: And huge it is. According to what looks to me like IBISWorld statistics as of 2022, the wedding industry in the United States has a revenue of over 70 billion, which is pretty good for something people, I was going to say do once, but mostly try to do once.
[00:08:23] Michael Regilio: Try to do once. We'll see. But believe it or not, there were almost two million weddings in the United States in 2021 or over 5,000 weddings a day.
[00:08:32] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God.
[00:08:33] Michael Regilio: That's 2021. As of 2022, the average wedding in America costs $30,000. But even this figure is misleading because the average cost factors in the huge weddings of the very wealthy, the mean cost is closer to 20,000.
[00:08:49] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. Still a lot of money objectively.
[00:08:51] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. And the higher number that they put out there is actually psychological. This helps with the wedding industrial complex by skewing the cost higher and making couples think they need to spend close to $30,000, or they're somehow shorting themselves and their guests, that money goes to the venue, the caterer, the photographer, et cetera. And then many couples return to their studio apartments in debt after their big day.
[00:09:14] Jordan Harbinger: That doesn't surprise me. It's a big payday for the vendors. But you're right. Normally when you do a calculation like this, you say, "Well, the average income—" and you go, "Well, let me stop you right there. I want the median income," because that's a more reliable, accurate figure for, let's say income. But when you're looking at an industry like this, they want to inflate that as high as they can because then you go, "Oh man, the average wedding is $50,000 in California, and I'm making that figure up." But then it's like, if you're only spending 40, what you do is you tell yourself, "Well, I should probably spend at least $10,000 more. And are we average or are we above average? Well, I'd like to think of myself as above average. What if we spend $15,000 more? And we go and dump that into, I don't know, a photo booth and a juggling clown or whatever the hell or a live orchestra in all the other accouchements of a wedding that you frankly don't need and won't remember. But anyway, I'm probably getting ahead of myself.
[00:10:08] Michael Regilio: It's true. I mean, why would anybody take somebody's word for it? Like when you go to buy an engagement ring and you walk in and they tell you, "Well, you should be spending—" like this salesman is telling you what you should be sending. That should be a red flag right away.
[00:10:21] Jordan Harbinger: Right.
[00:10:21] Michael Regilio: And no other industry do people buy that. You know, when you walk into a car dealership, the guy's not like, "You should want to spend $100,000 on this car."
[00:10:29] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. Like, you know, most people spend half their annual salary on a car. Well, I'm not a moron. Thank you. sir. But if you do go buy a ring, well, you know what they say? It's three-month salary. Hmm. Who says that the diamond company, De Beers, namely, came up with that crap in like the '30s.
[00:10:45] Michael Regilio: Yeah, that's right.
[00:10:46] Jordan Harbinger: So yes, this is what we want you to spend because it's a ridiculous amount of money.
[00:10:50] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. And the couples, they spend this money not only because they want to have a traditional wedding, but they feel pressure from family, society, and of course, the wedding industry and now social media, which just has changed the entire game.
[00:11:02] Jordan Harbinger: I mean, if your wedding doesn't have TikTok videos, did it even happen?
[00:11:06] Michael Regilio: In a recent Forbes article, it states brides and grooms can keep browser tabs open to Instagram and Pinterest, full pages of wedding ideas. Wedding planners are accessible through messaging apps. All of this makes it so much easier to add just one more little element to the wedding to make it perfect. And every element added to display a perfect tradition, the more money your wedding costs.
[00:11:29] Jordan Harbinger: I was actually envisioning brides and grooms during the wedding, having the browser tabs open, but it makes more sense that they leave them open during the planning phase, and I'm pretty sure we did that even though Jen was miserable throughout the entire planning phase of our wedding. And I was like, I don't want to do this. And neither did she, unfortunately. But how far back do wedding traditions go? I know we talked about the diamond thing for a second, that's a different show. But do wedding traditions have similar nonsense where it's like this is a marketing thing and everybody thinks it's some kind of religious tradition?
[00:11:58] Michael Regilio: Of course. I mean, the answer is surprising slash not surprising. Like a lot of Western traditions, Ancient Rome laid down foundations for how we celebrate marriages. But the meaning has evolved significantly. Our modern traditions mostly go back less than a hundred years, and they were created by businesses trying to make more money.
[00:12:17] Jordan Harbinger: That is also not a surprise, although I would imagine in Ancient Rome, they slaughtered more things during the ceremony, people, animals, et cetera.
[00:12:26] Michael Regilio: During the ceremony, yes, I'm sure we slaughtered just as many before the ceremony, for the ceremony that—
[00:12:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yes.
[00:12:31] Michael Regilio: —we just don't consider them ritualistic sacrifices.
[00:12:34] Jordan Harbinger: Right. Like we have sacrificed a goat and 50 captured slaves from another nation-state tribe. That's, yeah. Yes. Uh, so you should have a successful marriage. We don't want to think of weddings as a capitalistic tool. Whenever I say that, people are like, "You're a communist." I just mean, well, a capitalistic tool, but it is a multi-billion-dollar industry.
[00:12:52] Michael Regilio: Right, and we're made to believe a wedding requires many traditions, the rings, the parties, the photos, the food, the cake, the clothes, the shower, the list goes on or not. Before you drop the cost of these frivolities, it's calming to take a step back and see what we have all fallen for.
[00:13:06] Jordan Harbinger: I have to commend you on your use of the word frivolities because I don't know if I could have said that myself. Frivolities is mostly how that looks to me. All right, so we've fallen for each other, but we're also falling for the ploys of all of the vendors. There has to be a time when weddings were more like the couple walked into a church with a couple witnesses, and that was it, right?
[00:13:28] Michael Regilio: Of course, weddings used to be really simple. Just a modest acknowledgment of a union. The royal weddings with their garish parties influenced the proles and weddings became an occasion of emulating that wealth even for the lower class.
[00:13:42] Jordan Harbinger: Proles means what? Proletariat. Now, we're really sounding like a couple of commies over here.
[00:13:46] Michael Regilio: Or just some erudite pedantic a-h*les.
[00:13:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. That's kind of the sweet spot for this show, erudite pedantic a-h*les. So the real tradition here is spending way too much money for a one-day party. That's the real kind of core of the tradition when we get down to it.
[00:14:02] Michael Regilio: Pretty much. I mean, the whole concept of marriage is so twisted from the original goal of what a wedding was supposed to do for you, your family and your community.
[00:14:09] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah. When you get down to brass tacks, it's all kind of just one fancy way to bleed you of your money. Should we talk about love and marriage for a second before the scam of the party? Do we even go down that road?
[00:14:20] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. A lovely historian, Stephanie Coontz, talks a lot about the business of marriage in her book Marriage, a History.
[00:14:27] Jordan Harbinger: Creative title, by the way.
[00:14:29] Michael Regilio: You got to just say what it is, man.
[00:14:31] Jordan Harbinger: She really went all out. Although I have no room to talk as a guy running The Jordan Harbinger Show, so maybe I should shut my face.
[00:14:39] Michael Regilio: Well, she often talks about the point of a wedding historically was essentially to make a desirable stranger, a part of the family. According to her, a wedding was done for economic and political deals to increase a family's labor force or for military expansion. The thought of love having anything to do with it was irrational and foolish.
[00:14:58] Jordan Harbinger: I can kind of get down with that though, right? The older I get, the more I go, you know, arrange marriages? Not a terrible idea most of the time. I wouldn't have necessarily wanted my parents to pick, but I think some of my parents' friends might have done a decent job of picking. My mom would have. My dad, I would hope not. But I get it, I mean, military expansion sounds like a great reason to get hitched these days. Does it not?
[00:15:20] Michael Regilio: Oh, absolutely. And getting rich with a hitch is sounds like a great reason.
[00:15:24] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:15:24] Michael Regilio: I think both my wife and I have said to each other on occasion like, "I wish you were rich when I married you."
[00:15:30] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, no, I get it.
[00:15:31] Michael Regilio: Makes life easier.
[00:15:32] Jordan Harbinger: No matter what though. You're still going to have to deal with in-laws, rich or not, epaulets or not.
[00:15:36] Michael Regilio: That's right, I mean, but they wanted to deal with in-laws, really. A wedding was a way to get in-laws.
[00:15:43] Jordan Harbinger: Ah.
[00:15:43] Michael Regilio: People were literally less interested in the spouse than the in-laws. People wanted to get into a family who could offer you things and better your place in society. Nowadays, marriage happens despite the in-laws. I mean, listen, for thousands of years, marriage was just way too important to leave up to something as irrational as love.
[00:16:03] Jordan Harbinger: I kind of get it. I guess some cultures still act on the idea that it is a business transaction. When you hear about like Indian weddings, you can't marry across castes, and still, if you're wealthy, wealthy, like your family doesn't know how much money they have, because you own so much stuff that it's not even managed by anybody in your immediate family. You still kind of have to be careful. Like a lot of hyphenated names, they don't just go, "You know what? She seems nice." It's like, "Oh no, we are not giving her a billion dollars plus in property, whatever it is." You want somebody who's equally as well outfitted so that they're not after you for the money, even though they kind of are. I don't know.
[00:16:40] Michael Regilio: I would agree. I mean, I've always said that you notice that like really famous people tend to hang onto the friends they had before they were famous because they're the only people they know like them for them. I mean, that makes sense to me and I would imagine marriage is something similar where it's like, I need to know you love me for me, and if you're already a billionaire, clearly you're not marrying me for the money, you know?
[00:17:01] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:17:01] Michael Regilio: And we in the Western world, especially in the US, are taught this is somehow crazy, but not that long ago, it was a shared ideal among cultures that love had no business in marriage.
[00:17:11] Jordan Harbinger: While the concept of love aside, let's focus on the fact that we do buy into conventional weddings. I've been told my wedding day was fun. The pictures look joyful, but it went by in a blur and no, I wasn't three sheets to the wind. I was just doing way too much stuff. It was like, get there. First look, photo is this. Make sure you go over there and do that. Oh, you want to talk to your guests? Not so fast, Jordan. Go on the golf course and freeze your ass off for 45 minutes or an hour and 45 minutes taking a bunch of photos that frankly should have been done at another time. Go back to the wedding. Everyone says, where were you? Doesn't matter. Too late. Got to eat. No time for that. Go to every table for two seconds. I mean, that was the wedding. Yeah, that was the whole thing. It was like we did the whole thing for the Gram, even though we didn't really do it for the Gram. That's what it felt like.
[00:17:54] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. I mean, the first step for any couple looking to get married is, of course, the engagement ring. The tradition of the wedding ring has roots dating all the way back to Romans. But the modern concept of the diamond engagement ring comes from—
[00:18:07] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:18:07] Michael Regilio: You guessed it. The diamond industry, De Beers to be exact, who we already mentioned.
[00:18:12] Jordan Harbinger: Yes. De Beers has a lot of controversy surrounding their minds and the fact that they artificially keep a diamond prices high. And actually, that's a whole Skeptical Sunday that I'm going to make a note of right now.
[00:18:24] Michael Regilio: Yeah, I mean, we could do an entire episode on De Beers and diamonds and the entire gem industry, but what's most notable about the gem industry is their success in what you just said, convincing the world that diamonds are valuable because they're rare.
[00:18:37] Jordan Harbinger: Which they're definitely not, right?
[00:18:39] Michael Regilio: Just about every married woman is walking around with one on her finger, and there are plenty of earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and even multiple skincare products infused with diamonds. I mean, diamonds are not exactly a Superman number one comic here, but De Beers has been successful in a marketing campaign from 1938. They gave us the tradition of the diamond engagement ring.
[00:19:01] Jordan Harbinger: I didn't know that the diamond engagement ring was less than a hundred years old. I thought the salary thing and some of the other stuff was new-ish, you know, century old. I didn't realize the whole thing was not that old.
[00:19:13] Michael Regilio: It's not quite the whole thing. It's the tradition of everyone having to have a diamond engagement ring. That's a pretty new concept. So it was 1938, and as the depression ravaged the average American family, Harry Oppenheimer, the son of the founder of De Beers, hired an ad agency, N. W, Ayer to help his business sell more diamonds. The slogan, "A Diamond Is Forever," is born. The goal was to convince men that diamonds were synonymous with romance, and the size and quality of the diamond was directly related to the measure of his love as well as a symbol of his professional success.
[00:19:45] Jordan Harbinger: I think I saw that episode of Mad Men, and if not, it should exist.
[00:19:49] Michael Regilio: And from that women in that show to all Beyonce's single ladies, women are convinced it's paramount that a young woman's worth hinges on a diamond and only a diamond as an acceptable engagement ring. To do this, they did what advertisers still do. They hired celebrities in their cohorts in the media to advertise for them. Young starlets would show off their fancy diamond engagement rings while the press who were also on the payroll would rave about them in the gossip columns.
[00:20:15] Jordan Harbinger: Ah, okay. So cue Marilyn Monroe singing Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend, and it's basically influencer marketing 101.
[00:20:23] Michael Regilio: I mean, every line of that song is an advertisement for a diamond retailer, but before her even, it was shoved down women's throats. No ice, no dice.
[00:20:33] Jordan Harbinger: That's a deep cut. Diamond pun is coming, you all.
[00:20:36] Michael Regilio: And MIT paper shows the diamond industry laid out the plan like this. We spread the word of diamonds worn by stars of screen and stage, by wives and daughters of political leaders, by any woman who can make the grocer's wife and the mechanic sweetheart say, "I wish I had what she has." It all plays off the psychology of the lower class wanting what the wealthy have.
[00:21:01] Jordan Harbinger: You know what's more affordable than a wedding DJ? Mostly everything, but especially the products and services that support this show. We'll be right back.
[00:21:11] This episode is sponsored in part by Hyundai. The Hyundai Tucson comes with America's best warranty. It's like a mental vacation from worry that no other brand offers. Whether that's up in the mountains to hit the slopes on a ski trip, cruising down the coast to the beach, or hitting the trail way out in wherever you go to get away from it all, add in three years of Hyundai complimentary maintenance and five years of roadside assistance, the Tucson makes that mental vacation even more worry-free. Just don't forget your sunscreen and maybe a little bit of bug spray and some snacks. And don't forget, well, it's your trip, so take a mental vacation or better yet, a vacation, vacation in the Tucson, and leave those worries behind. The Tucson with America's best warranty, it's your journey. Test drive the Tucson at your nearest Hyundai dealer, or learn more at hyundaiusa.com. Call 562-314-4603 for complete details.
[00:21:57] Thank you for listening and supporting the show. Your support of our advertisers keeps us going. All of the deals, discount codes and ways to support the show are at jordanharbinger.com/deals. You can also search for any sponsor using the search box on the website as well. Please consider supporting those who support us.
[00:22:14] Now, back to Skeptical Sunday.
[00:22:18] Every couple I know falls for the hype thinking they're part of a very old tradition, myself included. And we originally didn't even want anything and we don't wear them. And families were like, "What do you mean? You have to get a ring though, but you're still going to get an engagement ring, right? Even if you don't get a wedding band. You could skip the band. Nah, just get, you know, you should get both. You only get married once." And I was just like, how did we go from, "We don't want a wedding and we don't want rings," to, "We're planning a wedding and this ring is not the right shape, size, whatever, cut." It was so ridiculous. It was the epitome of pure pressure that I thought I was over given that at the time I was like 30-freaking-five.
[00:22:54] Michael Regilio: I mean, we kind of are taking part in an old tradition, just not the one that you think you're taking part in.
[00:22:59] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, true.
[00:23:00] Michael Regilio: The old tradition of buying an engagement ring is a tradition of emulating the rich. That's the tradition. According to a salon.com article in 1939, 16 percent of brides were married in clothes they already own, a third married without an engagement ring, and a third didn't go on a honeymoon. Yet, the ring, the dress, the vacation, are all things that we now think of as essential, right? I mean, on top of all that, the Association of Bridal Consultants says that 43 professionals are needed for the servicing of one average American wedding. So the idea that the weddings that we have today are traditional is just plain wrong.
[00:23:39] Jordan Harbinger: Basically, we're all just tools of the diamond industry or the WIC, the wedding industrial complex.
[00:23:45] Michael Regilio: That's right. They saw a good thing and ran with it, and a lot of people won't like this, but the history of the engagement ring is not very woke, ladies and gents.
[00:23:54] Jordan Harbinger: I figured that it was probably not right. It probably has something to do with property and all that. I think many may know that intellectually, but when it comes down to it, I mean, how much did you spend on an engagement ring?
[00:24:05] Michael Regilio: Zero.
[00:24:06] Jordan Harbinger: What? You got away with that? That's great. Again, it wasn't Jen. It was like the in-laws and the friends and da, da, da. We didn't give a crap. But you, you resisted, you broke the system.
[00:24:16] Michael Regilio: That's right. This is even before I knew any of this stuff. But I mean, my wife rules, I just gave her a silver bracelet with a sweet engraving. I still got down on a knee like a good chivalrous knight taught us to do. But it was the sentiment, the commitment we both wanted. And you know what? Since that day I clasped the modest bracelet on her wrist, she's never taken it off, and I feel like that was the moment that we got married. That was the union, the symbol of, yeah, the rest of our lives, for better or for worse.
[00:24:41] Jordan Harbinger: It's good she hasn't taken it off because she might find that her skin is green underneath. I won't mention my wife's ring, which is sitting in a box next to my ring worn for maybe almost a week. If you add up all of the days that it's been worn, I bet you it's not even that much.
[00:24:57] Michael Regilio: Wow. Really? That's amazing.
[00:24:59] Jordan Harbinger: Looks new though, because it is.
[00:25:00] Michael Regilio: It probably will forever.
[00:25:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:25:02] Michael Regilio: I mean, look, I know I'm lucky that my wife hates diamonds. Look, she and I both wear wedding bands and we both love the symbol, but they did not cost us a fortune and neither of us give a sh*t if others criticized how little we spent on the purchase—
[00:25:15] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:25:15] Michael Regilio: —which is a thing. The Gem Society states that anthropologists believed this ring tradition originated from a Roman custom in which wives wore rings attached to small keys indicating their husband's ownership.
[00:25:27] Jordan Harbinger: I knew it.
[00:25:28] Michael Regilio: Of course. I mean, wedding rings date back to ancient times because women were being purchased and the expensive rings ensured the woman would have something of value if widowed or left or whatever. Getting back to De Beers advertising, diamonds are forever in the late '30s, rings were given to the father of the bride—
[00:25:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:25:47] Michael Regilio: —as a symbol of purchase. It wasn't into World War II that both partners even wore rings. Men wore rings as a reminder of their lovers while overseas. Eventually, everybody got into it.
[00:25:59] Jordan Harbinger: So country's warring made it so men wore rings. That's interesting. It's like the metal equivalent of having a picture hung up in a locker somewhere. Are there any wedding traditions that are actually ancient, or were they all just manufactured in the 20th century?
[00:26:13] Michael Regilio: There's a few, of course. The bridal bouquet is an ancient kind of fun tradition. It's all about evil spirit. Throughout history, societies believed in the idea of evil spirits and they were taught flowers and herbs warded them off. So brides carried these bouquets as spirit shields. Naturally, the guests thought that made the bride super lucky. So they wanted a piece. It led to brides throwing their bouquets to the guests to avoid them hounding her over this bouquet on her wedding day.
[00:26:41] Jordan Harbinger: Oh, I see. So instead of being like, "Yo, let me get some of that magic," it's like, "I'm going to throw it up in the air, and if you're lucky enough to catch it, good for you. It's not my problem anymore."
[00:26:48] Michael Regilio: Yeah.
[00:26:49] Jordan Harbinger: Nice. Brides were like the original Ghostbusters. This is such a dumb theory now that I know the real truth. But I always thought that the flowers were there to mask the BO that people had because they bathed annually if you were lucky. And I just thought like, man, everybody must smell so bad. Maybe I just won't stink on this one day because I'm holding flowers.
[00:27:08] Michael Regilio: You know, that's got to have something to do with it too.
[00:27:10] Jordan Harbinger: I think it might.
[00:27:10] Michael Regilio: I didn't come across that in my research, but that sounds so spot on.
[00:27:13] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:27:13] Michael Regilio: People did use to stink. In fact, a lot of people still stink.
[00:27:16] Jordan Harbinger: There's a tradition for you. Sticking to high heaven and not bathing, still being held onto religiously by some folks.
[00:27:23] Michael Regilio: Oh, I can't remember which celebrity it was, but someone was on a talk show just very recently saying how he never bathes. It's good for the skin to never bathe, not good for your friendships or your relationships, but apparently, it's a new thing, not bathing. It's an old thing slash new thing.
[00:27:38] Jordan Harbinger: Who knew?
[00:27:39] Michael Regilio: Yeah.
[00:27:39] Jordan Harbinger: Here's looking at you, Brad Pitt. I mean, a lot of them look like they never bathe.
[00:27:43] Michael Regilio: Yeah.
[00:27:43] Jordan Harbinger: That might be part of it. Shia LaBeouf looks like he could use a bath anyway.
[00:27:47] Michael Regilio: So the bridal party is a mix of both ancient and modern traditions. It has roots in Ancient Rome where 10 witnesses were required to make a marriage legally binding. Those 10 witnesses were also served as protection for the wedding couple.
[00:27:59] Jordan Harbinger: Protected from, what? Is this also an evil spirit kind of thing?
[00:28:02] Michael Regilio: No, attack.
[00:28:04] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. What?
[00:28:05] Michael Regilio: This is so interesting, this is also where the bridesmaids' dresses come in originally tasked bridesmaids with not only attending to, but also protecting the bride from the most threatening evil bandits.
[00:28:18] Jordan Harbinger: What? Really?
[00:28:19] Michael Regilio: This is true. Yeah. Historians write that in Ancient Rome, bandits would descend upon the wedding. So bridesmaids wore similar outfits to the bride to confuse them.
[00:28:28] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. So the whole, "We need matching corsets, Brenda," turned out to be a very practical self-defense tactic from Ancient Rome. That's so ridiculous. So the modern-day bridezilla tantrums we see nowadays, the original purpose was we need to confuse the bandits that are going to descend upon the wedding party to, what, raid us for women and treasure. That's so weird. And it also really underlines the idea that women were really just possessions to be had and/or stolen.
[00:28:57] Michael Regilio: Yeah. In Ancient Rome, when someone said, "You stole my girlfriend," it had a whole different meaning, man.
[00:29:02] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:02] Michael Regilio: Now, it's involved into bridesmaids wearing the same colors and styles, but the bride must stick out in her white gown.
[00:29:09] Jordan Harbinger: Which is kind of a joke itself, right? Wearing white to prove you're a virgin. I've never been to a wedding and thought like, "Wow, she's going to lose her virginity tonight." In fact, if I did go to a wedding and someone told me that bride was a virgin, well, I'd have a few questions. Namely, why someone at the wedding was talking about the bride's virginity, which is wholly inappropriate in the first place.
[00:29:28] Michael Regilio: The virgin in white trope is completely made up by the wedding industry.
[00:29:32] Jordan Harbinger: Really? That's not a religious thing. I would have thought of all things at the wedding. That part was religious.
[00:29:37] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Well, look as even as recently as the 1850s, most people couldn't afford white cloth for anything because white cloth was so expensive. Plus, it was impossible to clean, and the idea of wearing a dress once is f*cking insane—
[00:29:51] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:29:51] Michael Regilio: —especially for the cost. Hell, I can't even keep my whites white now, well, when I live in the year 2023.
[00:29:57] Jordan Harbinger: That is a personal issue that you might want to look at. Again, bathing may help you there, but you may have a deeper problem that's not something I want to discuss on the show. There are also a lot of commercials and chemicals on the matter, by the way.
[00:30:10] Michael Regilio: Right. Totally. And average people back then just couldn't afford white cloth. Their dresses were sensible browns and grays because that was affordable fabric that hid dirt even on a wedding dress. Ironically, in the 1800s when women wore brown, they were far more likely to be virgins than the rich women in white.
[00:30:28] Jordan Harbinger: Huh, but weddings are all about the white in so many ways.
[00:30:31] Michael Regilio: And it's all bullsh*t about displaying wealth, the white wedding cake.
[00:30:35] Jordan Harbinger: No. Our cake was pretty dope and it tasted really good, which I did not see coming because usually when things look good to eat, they're terrible. Definitely had that for breakfast, pretty much every day for a week after the wedding.
[00:30:47] Michael Regilio: Well, did you let the caterer know how many cuts you made to the cake and send them their fee? Because that's a thing too.
[00:30:53] Jordan Harbinger: What?
[00:30:53] Michael Regilio: You pay per cut. I mean, you pay for everything. You pay for looking at your caterer for too long. I mean, but back in the old days, white sugar was so rare and so expensive that only rich people could afford it, and they bragged about their wealth by showing off a white cake. It was kind of a f*ck you to the poor.
[00:31:10] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. What else for an aristocrat to do, to entertain themselves essentially than making other people feel inferior in their presence? Why do we buy into all this literally and figuratively? Is it just imitate the rich, try to compete with them even though we can't afford it? It's ridiculous.
[00:31:25] Michael Regilio: I mean, in truth, it's just really great marketing by the wedding industry, which brings together a bundle of vendors to capitalize off one damn party. The industry says a big wedding is to gather people together and spend quality time with family and friends. Bullsh*t. Any couple will tell you the day goes by in a blur. You barely speak to anyone.
[00:31:44] Jordan Harbinger: So it's all about keeping up with the Joneses. Gosh, I can definitely attest to the entire thing going by in a big whoosh. Like I said, and remembering five minutes of it.
[00:31:52] Michael Regilio: It used to be about keeping up with the Joneses, but now it's all about keeping up with the Kardashians. And I got news for you, Jordan. No one can keep up with the Kardashians and the luxurious, extravagant parties they have for everything. And that's another thing sold to us recently, all the pre-party, engagement party, bridal shower, bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner. My wife recently went to a bridal brunch that cost her a bunch of money eight months before her friend's wedding.
[00:32:20] Jordan Harbinger: Who's benefiting really? Who's profiting off the Hallmarky wedding Hoopla? It's got to be the vendors. Who else?
[00:32:26] Michael Regilio: Well, it's a collusion of vendors and a lot of what these vendors conspire about is or should be illegal.
[00:32:33] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:32:33] Michael Regilio: Most of what we do on our wedding day has a wedding tax.
[00:32:36] Jordan Harbinger: What do you mean? I don't, I don't know what that means.
[00:32:38] Michael Regilio: I mean, if you threw the same exact party but told the venue, the vendors, it was for birthday or retirement or something, very often it'd be cheaper.
[00:32:46] Jordan Harbinger: Really? But everyone just accepts the fact that a wedding is going to cost a ton of money, so they mark everything up, whatever percent, and you're just like, well shrug. It's a wedding.
[00:32:54] Michael Regilio: Exactly. It starts with the engagement. Engagement party could just be the wedding, but we were made to believe that we have to have this party first.
[00:33:02] Jordan Harbinger: It's probably best that it's not, though. I read on bestlife.com, which may be a dubious source, but whatever. 20 percent of all engagements are called off before the wedding, which is a lot, I mean, one-fifth of engagements called off before the wedding. That's a real testament to how bad decision making is nowadays.
[00:33:20] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Well, it's probably also a testament to the pressure that the person being proposed to is under in that moment.
[00:33:26] Jordan Harbinger: True.
[00:33:26] Michael Regilio: I wonder how many people just say yes for the moment and then we'll deal with this later. I'm not sure, but—
[00:33:31] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, there's got to be some of that. Like, it was too hard to say no because there were so many people there. And now I have to, "Eh, screw it. Let's let everybody celebrate us for another month and then I'll be like, eh, I'm out."
[00:33:41] Michael Regilio: I know. It's kind of crazy, like destination engagement parties where all your friends pop out of nowhere. I was actually at one of those not too long ago and nobody was sure she was going to say yes.
[00:33:51] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:33:51] Michael Regilio: We were all kind of surprised. We had to hide in the back and then we came out and we had no idea if we were coming out to tears of joy or tears of grief.
[00:33:59] Jordan Harbinger: That would've been incredibly awkward. Like, now's not the right time. And then it's like, isn't that your brother and my cousin? And oh my God, they all saw me reject you.
[00:34:09] Michael Regilio: It would be funnier if like she rejects. And then we all tried to sneak away, like, get out of the wide bar without getting noticed.
[00:34:17] Jordan Harbinger: Oh my God. Well, this place really emptied out.
[00:34:19] Michael Regilio: What a coincidence! They were, "Oh my God, what are you guys doing here? Anyway, I got to go."
[00:34:23] Jordan Harbinger: "I should go because I just ruined your life. Bye." Yeah. Oh, God.
[00:34:27] Michael Regilio: I mean, it's crazy, these engagements. And the average price of an engagement ring, which is $5,500 as of 2022.
[00:34:36] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:34:36] Michael Regilio: And the price spent on the engagement party, which came into about $970 in 2022. We're talking huge money here, man.
[00:34:45] Jordan Harbinger: Assuming the wedding even happens at this point, let's break it down. Who are the vendors? How much money are they making? We don't need an exhaustive list, but there's certain vendors you always have, right? Flowers, food, whatever.
[00:34:55] Michael Regilio: Of course. And I mean, social media has exacerbated the whole wedding day experience. Couples will be convinced to spend extra so they get that perfect Insta photo.
[00:35:04] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:35:04] Michael Regilio: Or the first look of colors matching or the lighting being perfect. But what's the first thing you check off when you RSVP a wedding?
[00:35:13] Jordan Harbinger: My food.
[00:35:14] Michael Regilio: That's right. And each meal chosen is money in the caterers' park pocket. The per-person average for a wedding guest in 2022 was $75 just for the dinner. Alcohol is a separate tab, and depending on the alcoholic trends amongst your friends and families, that tab can run you an average of $2,400. Plus there are the food costs of hors d'oeuvre, dessert. The cake is a separate cost. As I said, there's a cake-cutting fee.
[00:35:42] Jordan Harbinger: Wow.
[00:35:43] Michael Regilio: Then, there's the late-night snack, the rehearsal dinner, the day after brunch. Your wedding is not over on your wedding day anymore. And it's the caterers, they're raking in the prophet at each wedding they serve. The cost goes up if you're getting married in a city like LA or New York, as opposed to like Iowa City.
[00:36:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oof. I understand the day after brunch, they got to make sure that the bride's not a virgin anymore.
[00:36:05] Michael Regilio: Oh, man.
[00:36:06] Jordan Harbinger: I'm joking. But also it's like such a weird thing that this has gotten extended and extended. There's seemingly no rationale for it, just trying to milk more money out of the couple. And then, of course, we all have to post the photos of that meal and judge it and let everyone know if it was lit or not.
[00:36:21] Michael Regilio: Yeah. And those photos are at an enormous cost. The professional ones we convince ourselves we must pay for, even though every guest has a camera on them.
[00:36:31] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:36:31] Michael Regilio: And a lot of couples insist on no photography or video because they pay so much for the photographer and a videographer. And you could save thousands and thousands of dollars if you did the opposite. All right. This is just me talking here, but have everyone take a sh*tload of pictures. Send the best ones to the couple and boom, free wedding photographs. I mean, come on.
[00:36:50] Jordan Harbinger: How much better quality is the photographer compared to my expensive phone? I feel like maybe there's some that are worth it, but you probably don't need the person to be there with six assistants for the entire time. Although I do treasure those photos, but damn, they were so expensive. There's a book sitting on my mantle and the kids were playing on it and Jen's like, "Can you move that?" And I'm like, "Ah, I don't know. They're building a Lego thing on it." She's like, "That was $450." And I'm like, "Get your crap off the book," that I've never cracked open once. Again, it's a nice book, but holy smokes, man, insane.
[00:37:20] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Photography went from, you had to have disposal cameras on the tables, to now, you have to have a photo booth. Average cost of a wedding photographer is $3,000. Don't forget the additional cost for your videographer, which is $1,900. And don't forget the photo booth, which for some reason the DJ brings, not the photographer. It's set up to nickel and dime you every which way, and that photo booth is an additional average of $200 an hour.
[00:37:47] Jordan Harbinger: Mmm.
[00:37:47] Michael Regilio: Weddings are five to six hours.
[00:37:49] Jordan Harbinger: I know I've heard about people having fun weddings sort of before all these add-ons even existed. How do they do that? It sounds impossible.
[00:37:57] Michael Regilio: I guess people back then just enjoyed each other's company or something.
[00:38:00] Jordan Harbinger: Can't be that. Well, if we're paying a photographer this crazy amount, what else are they taking photos of? I know that there's lots of photos of stuff that are not people.
[00:38:09] Michael Regilio: Right. Well, there's the flowers. By the way, the average cost of wedding flowers as of 2022 is $2,400 for one day.
[00:38:17] Jordan Harbinger: Can you have a wedding day without flowers in the bouquet, I suppose, or just look, even the bouquet could be cheap. You could bring it. What about the rest?
[00:38:24] Michael Regilio: I mean, despite what the wedding industry says, it's completely not necessary to have flowers at your wedding to make it a wedding. Not to mention how terrible using flowers is for the environment. According to Tree Nation, there is—
[00:38:37] Jordan Harbinger: Which doesn't sound like a sort of biased thing at all, Tree Nation.
[00:38:41] Michael Regilio: Their agenda might be right there in the name, but I mean, there's got to be something to it. There is a significant environmental impact associated with the intensive farming of fresh flowers. That makes sense to me.
[00:38:51] Jordan Harbinger: It does. I mean, if you're putting fertilizer on them and watering them and using artificial lights, fine. If you're growing them outside, I don't see the big deal. But then again, I don't know if they're actually grown outside or if they're all grown with artificial crap and greenhouses in a city somewhere. I really have no idea. Maybe a wedding can get away with no flowers, but the photographer is there to take tons of photos of the dress. That was a whole thing. It might not be white, but you know, doesn't a bride need a dress? Those are expensive too.
[00:39:17] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Well, dressmakers and designers are the next to profit off the big day. We mentioned the concept of a white dress being expensive, and that holds true today, white or not. The average cost of a wedding dress is $2,400, and you wear it once. The average cost of wedding outfit for a groom is a thousand dollars and don't overlook the cost of the wedding party's attire. There are an average of five bridesmaids and five groomsmen in a wedding party, and all have to spend an average of $200.
[00:39:45] Jordan Harbinger: Geez.
[00:39:45] Michael Regilio: Plus there's the flower girls, ring bearers, mother of the bride, grooms, guests, et cetera. And it's not just for the wedding anymore. Brides by dresses for the rehearsal dinner the day after brunch. And you've heard about the trend of a reception dress that's different from the wedding dress.
[00:40:00] Jordan Harbinger: I wonder who came up with that. But I will be honest, we had to do that because Jen and I practiced a dance and we were like, "Let's do it once in your wedding dress." And she was like, "This is actually impossible." So we ran to the mall to some store and bought a dress that she could dance in because otherwise, it was going to be just me carrying her around the dance floor while trying not to trip on lace.
[00:40:22] Michael Regilio: How was that in relation to the wedding? Was that the day before or day of or—?
[00:40:26] Jordan Harbinger: So that was kind of a scary moment for us, and I put scary in quotes because it was buying a dress, but we'd practiced for months doing this dance and Jen's like, "Don't screw it up." And I'm a terrible dancer. And it took me months to even be able to do like these basic, basic moves. And then I got pretty good at it. But couple days before our dance instructor was like, "Hey, you should really bring in the dress and practice." And we did and it was a disaster. And then he's like, "All right, just come back tomorrow, we'll do another one, it'll be fine." We did another one and it was like, I can't even walk in this thing with the shoes and the dress. It's not even going to happen with the dancing. But it wasn't like, "Oh, traditionally I need a reception dress." It was like, "I can't move in this crappy ass wedding dress," that's probably in my closet somewhere.
[00:41:03] Michael Regilio: But most people nowadays, with or without the dancing, there's a reception dress and obviously—
[00:41:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:41:09] Michael Regilio: —that was come up with, I'm guessing not the bride who has to spend on it, but the dressmaker. I mean, in addition, hair and makeup for the bride is an entirely different expense. Survey showed that the average cost of hair and makeup for weddings is about $300. But now women do trial runs weeks before their wedding and they shell out $200 on the trial run. I mean, that makes no sense to me. Look—
[00:41:30] Jordan Harbinger: No.
[00:41:31] Michael Regilio: —we're guys, we don't wear a lot of makeup, but a trial run of your makeup.
[00:41:34] Jordan Harbinger: I'm surprised there's not a trial run party or is there?
[00:41:38] Michael Regilio: Jordan, seriously stop giving the wedding industry ideas.
[00:41:42] Jordan Harbinger: Diamonds might be forever. But if you want this show to continue for even a reasonable amount of time, you should support one of the fine products and services that make this show possible. We'll be right back.
[00:41:53] This episode is sponsored in part by Hyundai. The Hyundai Tucson comes with America's best warranty. It's like a mental vacation from worry that no other brand offers. Whether that's up in the mountains to hit the slopes on a ski trip, cruising down the coast to the beach, or hitting the trail way out in wherever you go to get away from it all, add in three years of Hyundai complimentary maintenance and five years of roadside assistance, the Tucson makes that mental vacation even more worry-free. Just don't forget your sunscreen and maybe a little bit of bug spray and some snacks. And don't forget, well, it's your trip. So take a mental vacation, or better yet, a vacation, vacation in the Tucson and leave those worries behind. The Tucson with America's best warranty, it's your journey. Test drive the Tucson at your nearest Hyundai dealer, or learn more at hyundaiusa.com. Call 562-314-4603 for complete details.
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[00:43:00] Now, for the rest of Skeptical Sunday.
[00:43:04] All of this to look good for a few hours. Granted, it's photos, you're probably going to look at them or show them to people, but damn, that's expensive. That adds up so fast.
[00:43:12] Michael Regilio: I mean, those few hours have a base cost that is exorbitant. Venues jack up the price for a wedding. An average venue costs $11,200, and that doesn't include anything except the space. They provide couples with a list of their approved vendors making it difficult to use a vendor that might give the couple a better deal. Everything has to be approved.
[00:43:34] Jordan Harbinger: That's kind of like a cartel pricing thing. And it makes sense because my friend got married recently and she, the bride, was consultant at McKenzie and a PhD, very brilliant and very talented person. And she's like, "Oh, what set pieces do we have? Or what candles?" I can't remember what it was. And they're like, "Here are your three options." And she's like, "These are hideous. I'm bringing my own." And they're like, "Oh, you can't. It's a fire hazard." And she's like, "No, it isn't. The candles are all electronic. I just want a different colored thing that goes around it." And they're like, "No, it's a fire hazard." And she was like, "I'm not doing anything with you because you know this is bullsh*t." And they were like, "Uh, okay, fine. It's not a fire hazard and you can do your own thing." But it was a whole thing. They charged her a fee to bring in the thing that she paid for, that she wanted because the ones that came with their vendors were ugly. It was total nonsense.
[00:44:22] Michael Regilio: You're right though. It's a cartel thing. I mean, they're all connected. For my wedding, I got the photographer through the DJ, the caterer, everything. They were all connected and they all had to be approved by the venue.
[00:44:33] Jordan Harbinger: Look, I get the guy bringing in speakers and wires needs to be insured. Okay, that makes sense. But when you're talking about, "Oh, you know, this chair cover is kind of gross and doesn't match. Can I just buy chair covers?" And they're like, no, you have to rent ugly ones at a cost that's higher than buying the ones that you want. It's like, that's just extortion. And then there's the pressure to provide entertainment and have fun after you spend all the money, speaking of DJs.
[00:44:59] Michael Regilio: I know the pressure to have fun is ridiculous. And then let's speak of the entertainment. There's the cocktail hour entertainment and the wedding DJ and the band. According to The Knot, the cost is on average, $1,200. I was at a wedding once and the $2,000 DJ just used Spotify, but he didn't pay for the premium subscription. So I'm sitting there and a commercial comes on.
[00:45:22] Jordan Harbinger: No. Oh no. That is awesomely terrible. Commercials at a wedding. Wait a minute. I think I'm seeing a new trend here. Wedding product placement, but I'm also, I just want to sort of relive for a moment. Everyone's like, oh, I love this song — celebration time, come — by the way, do you know that you can get fresh ingredients shipped to your home with Blue Apron? It's just like you're all standing there on the dance floor waiting for some guy like me to do a voiceover for a mattress and/or Blue Apron or something like that. And then it gets back to the next track. That's a little bit too ghetto for me.
[00:45:56] Michael Regilio: Well, I saw the drunk brother-in-law up at the DJ booth giving the guy an earful, so it did not go unnoticed. I mean, for 2000 bucks, get the premium service, dude.
[00:46:06] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, that's shameful. But let's talk about wedding product placement. I know that's a thing cause I know the Kardashians, unfortunately, and don't laugh why I know that. But I know they had a whole thing where they probably profited on their wedding because people paid to have their stuff there and it was a whole thing. It was a whole production, literally.
[00:46:23] Michael Regilio: Oh, absolutely. And you don't need to explain why you know about the Kardashians. I have a wife too. I know all about the Kardashians. We keep up. This is a new tradition. It's the unveiling of the sponsors. If it helps with the cost, then hell, I'm for it. Because as it is, couples have to organize all these costs and fees with the help of a wedding planner, which is different from the wedding day coordinator. According to The Real Wedding study, the average cost of a wedding planner is $1,900. Generally speaking, coordinators charge anywhere from $500 to $2,500.
[00:46:58] Jordan Harbinger: I don't even know the difference, nor do I really care. But all of those costs are really adding up. Gosh, unbelievable.
[00:47:04] Michael Regilio: Well, every person in your family and all your friends become a monetary number and cost to you. That's the result. So a day that is all about love and community turns into the couple asking themselves. Is this person worth this dollar amount to me?
[00:47:20] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:47:20] Michael Regilio: These are the considerations couples have to make before they send out the invitations.
[00:47:24] Jordan Harbinger: "Sorry, buddy. I $300 like you, but this is a $600 per guest wedding, eh?" I actually do remember making that calculation a lot when making our guest list, and it was kind of sad. My mother-in-law, for example, had all these people she wanted to invite whatever find, and my wife had people she wanted to/had to invite. And my parents, of course, had a couple of people that they wanted to invite. And when it got to me, I was like, "Uh, well, there's not a whole lot of room left." I told a lot of my close friends, I'd love to have you, but here's the thing. It's going to be expensive for you. It's going to be expensive for me. Let's just not do it. And they're like, "Hey man, no offense taken because we're all dudes and it's all fine."
[00:48:02] Michael Regilio: Yeah.
[00:48:02] Jordan Harbinger: But we saved 13 grand from me just not inviting my college roommate who didn't care, but also kind of crappy that none of those people were there. But the facialist for my mother-in-law showed up and caused us a G. It was like, really, dude?
[00:48:17] Michael Regilio: Wow. Now, we have to send out notices that an invitation will be coming. Do you remember save the dates from when you were young?
[00:48:25] Jordan Harbinger: Not really, but I know we sent them out for our wedding.
[00:48:28] Michael Regilio: Save the dates started in the mid-2000. An invitation before the invitation. What a scam.
[00:48:34] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah.
[00:48:34] Michael Regilio: Save the dates. Average about a hundred for a hundred cards. If you want an address printed on the envelope, there's an extra fee. Return address that'll also cost you people get suckered into magnets or other unique ways to save the date. Plus the actual invitation costs an average of $500. And don't forget the cost of the thank you cards.
[00:48:53] Jordan Harbinger: So here's what's funny, the save-the-date thing. I've seen the magnets and I thought this is a terrible idea because you essentially have a refrigerator magnet with an expiration date, right? Because one, you get an invitation a few months after and it's like, "Well, I really don't need to save the date, but I'll keep it until the wedding." And then, the wedding happens and...my mom has saved the date magnets from people that have been married for like six years. Or even better, we have saved the date magnets from people who never actually got married at all, and they're still on the fridge. And I'm like, "Oh, how are Joni and Mitchell doing?" And she's like, "Oh yeah. So what happened was—" and it's always sort of scandalous, but meanwhile there's a refrigerator magnet to commemorate the time that Mitchell got a little bit too drunk at a strip club and started being handsy and Genie or whatever, decided to call the whole thing off. And that was probably only the tip of the iceberg. But everybody who's got that magnet and hasn't thrown it away, which is every person over, you know, 70 years old, who got it is like, "Oh, yeah, those two with the creepy handsy strip club guy."
[00:49:52] Michael Regilio: Yeah.
[00:49:52] Jordan Harbinger: It's sort of sadly hilarious.
[00:49:55] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Well, I could top that because I have a save the date for a couple that got married and is now divorced, so—
[00:50:00] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah, that's kind of even better. At least the other couple called it off beforehand. Do people send invites to bachelor parties? I never really bothered to do that, but I also kind of wish that I did.
[00:50:08] Michael Regilio: No, don't do it. Stop giving the industry ideas. Bachelor's and bachelorette parties cost friends and families, big bucks. You don't want to add on to that. The average guy will drop over $700 on a local party and a whopping $1,500 on a destination party.
[00:50:26] Jordan Harbinger: And I'm guessing the bachelorette party costs more. I don't know. How much can a bottle of Stoli and a couple of thousand rounds of machine gun really cost? I guess now some of the super Vegas ones can get pricey, but bachelorette parties, the ones my wife goes to, I'm like, "So you're going where? For what? And then, you're going to see Cirque du Soleil and you've got to buy special clothes for the whole thing." Yeah, it's a whole to do. It's like the wedding.
[00:50:48] Michael Regilio: It's absolutely ridiculous. My wife has a dress code for a bachelorette party. She's going to in Vegas, a f*cking dress code. She has to buy an outfit to match the theme of each day because this is not—
[00:50:59] Jordan Harbinger: Oh no.
[00:50:59] Michael Regilio: —a single day bachelorette party. No, I look at her dreading the cost in time. She's just so annoyed. This is one of her oldest friends.
[00:51:06] Jordan Harbinger: Oh man.
[00:51:07] Michael Regilio: Bachelorette parties tend to be multiple days affairs and can cost upwards of $200 a day. Many people surveyed state that each person attending a bachelorette party spent about a thousand bucks each.
[00:51:18] Jordan Harbinger: Oof. So instead of save the dates, friends should get notices to save their money. Send me an empty wallet. That's all you need to do.
[00:51:26] Michael Regilio: And there are still more wedding day costs. Don't forget, everyone has to get from the hotel to the ceremony and then to the reception. So transportation budget is baked into the industry's cake. According to a study, couples who hosted weddings with 50 or fewer guests spent $630 on transportation while those with over a hundred guests spent over at $1,100.
[00:51:48] Jordan Harbinger: God, everyone should just order a freaking Uber. You could even get the black nice one.
[00:51:52] Michael Regilio: Yeah. And all the guests need a place to stay because after you drink the overpriced bar drinks that the couple is fronting. You can't go home. You might miss the day after brunch.
[00:52:01] Jordan Harbinger: Right. And if it's not an open bar, your guests hate you.
[00:52:05] Michael Regilio: I mean totally. And the further a guest travels to a wedding, the more they spend, according to The Wedding Wire study, guests that fly in for a wedding spend about $1,300 on travel accommodations and food while guests who drive spend around $500. And Jordan, the cost of the wedding gift these guests buy is not included in that cost.
[00:52:24] Jordan Harbinger: Why aren't there industry regulations? Not that you can regulate away exorbitant costs. In fact, it's usually the other way around, of course. Is there anything sort of being done here about this?
[00:52:35] Michael Regilio: There is kind of, but these venues and their mandatory vendors get away with it because people get so caught up in the spectacle. The venue we went with that kept our several thousand dollars deposit is definitely guilty of something like this.
[00:52:48] Jordan Harbinger: Yeah, I think a lot of people are like, oh, regulation, you're a socialist. What I'm saying is I want it to be more capitalist in that people are allowed to compete, which goes back to the vendor thing and my friend not being allowed to bring in her own centerpieces because it's a fire hazard, even though it totally wasn't, that is anti-competitive. It's funny. The solution to this capitalist debacle is more capitalism in a way.
[00:53:09] Michael Regilio: Absolutely. Competition.
[00:53:11] Jordan Harbinger: How do couples pay for this? It seems to me there would be a savings if couples bought everything on their registry and skipped the party, just buy yourself all the gifts you think you want. Skip the party and you got lasting memories and a juicer. Great.
[00:53:24] Michael Regilio: Look about a third of couples getting married in the next year. Plan to borrow up to $10,000 to cover wedding bills.
[00:53:30] Jordan Harbinger: Oof.
[00:53:31] Michael Regilio: Yeah, and according to a survey from Student Loan Hero, another 16 percent are taking on $10,000 to $20,000 in debt while 11 percent are expecting to borrow $50,000 or more.
[00:53:45] Jordan Harbinger: Wow. That is a mortgage in some parts of the country, not California. $10,000 here, 10,000 there. I mean, you're talking about real money.
[00:53:53] Michael Regilio: Yeah, and we haven't talked about the honeymoon expectations and the expenses. In 2022, the average cost of a honeymoon was $5,100, not including the loss of taking off work that includes getting scammed for the honeymoon suite.
[00:54:08] Jordan Harbinger: Yes, of course.
[00:54:09] Michael Regilio: Think about that. The wedding costs $30,000 one day, but taking a week off work and traveling somewhere exotic costs five grand. Why don't couples cut out wedding day costs and take a better vacation? Did you take a honeymoon?
[00:54:23] Jordan Harbinger: I did not take a honeymoon. I think Jen is still waiting for one. Maybe once the kids are out of the house in a couple of decades, we'll go on a nice vacation. But you're right. The money I spent on the wedding would've paid for all of our vacation, I'm going to be honest, it would probably pay for the rest of my vacations for most of the rest of my life, really.
[00:54:41] Michael Regilio: Exactly. For us, it turned out that our wedding was our honeymoon, I guess. We went to Vegas because after COVID the appointment to get the wedding license was months in advance in LA. Vegas just makes it so easy. So we stayed off the strip. We caught a show, went to a fancy dinner at The Venetian. The couple that was at the table next to us, paid for us because there's still nice people in the world.
[00:55:04] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm.
[00:55:04] Michael Regilio: Vegas, it's not us, but it was like a hundred dollars for the license, a hundred dollars for the chapel. We were stressed when we realized we needed cash to tip the officiant, whose name I can't even remember. But that picture a stranger took with my iPhone of us in our wedding attire, kissing in front of the bouquet of flowers—
[00:55:24] Jordan Harbinger: Plastic flowers, possibly, but who cares? No one has to know.
[00:55:27] Michael Regilio: But it was wonderful. It was amazing. It's a great picture. I mean, it really captures our love. It turned out to be such an adventure going to Vegas and doing this thing that so wasn't us that I definitely wish that we had just done that to begin with. My wife hates social media to a fault, so I made a little post and that was that. It was all about us. The hurtful thing is how people didn't validate our elopement. Our parents were offended. Friends don't understand. Studies show the more money you spend on a wedding, the less likely you are to stay together.
[00:55:58] Jordan Harbinger: That's really interesting and I'd love to dig into that at some point. But I assume when you said you consummated the marriage and then immediately sent a group text, you don't mean like immediately when you consummated the marriage, you sent a group text with a photo. That's a bit much, Michael.
[00:56:15] Michael Regilio: No, no, no. We would never do that. Are you kidding? Send those pictures out for free. Not going to happen.
[00:56:20] Jordan Harbinger: Right. You can make an only-fans that pays for the wedding that you should have had.
[00:56:24] Michael Regilio: Oh my God, that's got to be a thing if it's not already a thing. Oh my God.
[00:56:28] Jordan Harbinger: Jen and I also wanted to elope and made the mistake of telling parents about it, and my parents were like, "Yeah, great idea." And so she's like, "Great, your parents are down for it. I'm going to go tell my parents." And her parents were like, "You are not doing that." Now, that I say that, we told a bunch of people, I think we probably needed to look up the meaning of the word elope, but we blew it.
[00:56:46] Michael Regilio: Yeah. Well, even after the honeymoon is over, the costs don't stop. The wedding industry is constantly making up new ideas to make money off this already saturated industry. The save the dates, the photo booths, and the latest I read about this. Have you heard about this one? Trash the dress photo session.
[00:57:03] Jordan Harbinger: That sounds extremely wasteful. What is a trash-the-dress photo session?
[00:57:08] Michael Regilio: Get this. Pictures taken some set days after the wedding when the bride essentially ruins her dress. Wedding photographers come back, they claim it's a great way to have one final creative photo shoot while wearing your gown. But if you follow the money, all roads lead to this new tradition being thought up by the photographers.
[00:57:29] Jordan Harbinger: Mm-hmm.
[00:57:29] Michael Regilio: So the vendors make money, money, money. The caterer wants a rehearsal dinner the day after brunch, and then all these people, these vendors forget about you. They could care less if you stayed together for even a week.
[00:57:41] Jordan Harbinger: That's a good point. And you know what, this is very clever because even if it's unintended now, you can't resell your used dress for somebody else who wants to buy a used dress and save money because it's ruined. So you pay the photographer, but now the product is actually destroyed again. They have to go buy a new one because there's fewer used dresses on the market because people are wasting it by spending it. I don't know. What do you throw paint on each other or something with this?
[00:58:04] Michael Regilio: Some of it is paint, which is not beautiful looking to have a woman in a wedding dress and all her friends spraying paint all over her. The majority of them tend to be on the beach, lying in the surf, the dress and beats me why. But I looked it up. A lot of ladies lying in the ocean with their wedding dresses on.
[00:58:23] Jordan Harbinger: Oh yeah. I'm looking it up right now. And you're right, it's a lot of like engagement shoot where you're covered in paint, but you're at the beach getting sprayed and you're dragging the groom in his suit through the sand and vice versa and rolling around. Oh, there's one where a guy is riding a motorcycle through a dirty puddle and spraying the bride. That looks kind of fun actually. But anyway, don't do these people, it's disgusting and nobody has a first-anniversary party because you can't afford one or kids or anything like that.
[00:58:49] Michael Regilio: I say forget about the wedding party. If you make it to one year of marriage, then we have a party to celebrate. There's so much capitalistic advertising to blame, aside from De Beers, bridal magazines, and wedding expos. They bring all kinds of things together for acting rich for a day, from silverware, centerpieces, flowers, music, food, drinks, and on and on. They all systematically overcharge couples, and like I said, researchers found the more couples spend on a wedding, the more likely they are to get a divorce. That's crazy.
[00:59:19] Jordan Harbinger: It is crazy, and I still find that so interesting. Is it that rich people get divorced more or is there more to the story?
[00:59:26] Michael Regilio: Okay. Well, some studies suggest just that. The more money, the more stress in a marriage and the more wealthy the couple, the easier the divorce goes. But there needs to be stronger research to confirm that. Another, aside from the wedding stuff, the divorce rate is actually going down.
[00:59:43] Jordan Harbinger: Good.
[00:59:43] Michael Regilio: There was a spike in the '70s after Ronald Reagan instituted no-fault divorce in California. The fact is, the notion that half of marriages end in divorce is false, it's closer to 41 percent.
[00:59:54] Jordan Harbinger: Okay. That's still crazy high, but you know, score one for love. I guess slightly more than a third, but the spending and debt statistics for couples are really terrible because everybody wants to manufacture a perfect day. They are sacrificing the quality of the rest of their life for a long time.
[01:00:09] Michael Regilio: Yeah, they do. And I think it has to do with the notion of community buy-in. The more people at the wedding, the more spent on the wedding, the more pressure to stay together. Sadly, that mentality is backwards. Couples who insist on the social performance of a wedding day to convince people that they're a good couple, seem to be investing in that one party instead of investing in the hard work that really goes into a successful marriage. Again, couples that spend less, stay together longer.
[01:00:38] Jordan Harbinger: Eloping sounds better and better as we add all this up. I don't even want to know what my wedding cost. I only have a rough ballpark figure, but what can people do so they don't spend a year of their life planning a wedding and then 10 freaking years paying off the wedding?
[01:00:51] Michael Regilio: That's just it. Put a down payment on a house and throw your wedding in your house.
[01:00:56] Jordan Harbinger: Hmm. I like it.
[01:00:57] Michael Regilio: I mean, there's so many fun and creative, affordable alternatives. There's eloping planning, a nice dinner party, finding a backyard, on and on. We recently stumbled upon a sunset ceremony at Keys View in Joshua Tree. That was the efficient, the couple, and a few friends. But a ton of strangers watched respectfully, and we cheered them on after they said I do. The point is, do you, both of you really talk about all the possibilities with your partner before you get sucked into the business of a wedding? And if you want a huge, expensive wedding, terrific. Just know what you're getting into and that you don't have to do anything except sign the papers.
[01:01:36] Jordan Harbinger: Well, I'm pretty sure we just ruined weddings. You're welcome, everyone.
[01:01:39] By the way, this was a suggestion from a show fan if memory serves. Many of our Skeptical Sunday topics are suggestions from you. So if you have an idea, email@example.com, give me your thoughts, your ideas. We'd love to tackle that stuff that you guys want to know more about. A link to the show notes for the episode can be firstname.lastname@example.org. Transcripts are in the show notes. I'm at @JordanHarbinger on both Twitter and Instagram, or connect with me on LinkedIn. You can find Michael Regilio at @MichaelRegilio on all social media platforms, or at least Instagram, and good luck spelling Regilio, but we'll link it in the show notes.
[01:02:12] This show is created in association with PodcastOne. My team is Jen Harbinger, Jase Sanderson, Robert Fogarty, Ian Baird, Millie Ocampo, Gabriel Mizrahi, and for this one, Michael Regilio. Our advice and opinions are our own. And I'm a lawyer, but I'm not your lawyer. Do your own research before implementing anything you hear on the show. Remember, we've rise by lifting others. Share the show with those you love. And if you found the episode useful, please share it with somebody else who needs to hear it. In the meantime, do your best to apply what you hear on the show, so you can live what you listen, and we'll see you next time.
[01:02:45] You're about to hear a preview of The Jordan Harbinger Show with actress and former Scientologist, Leah Remini.
[01:02:51] Leah Remini: There's a special department in the Scientology organization. Their sole job is to go after those speaking out against Scientology. That's all they do day in, day out. One of the directives says by L. Ron Hubbard says, "Find out what the person is seeking to protect and go after it." And I'm quoting now, "If at all possible, utterly destroy." When you want to talk about, oh, it's like any other religion. You need to get your head out of your f*cking ass and really understand what the difference is between having faith and having an organization that has a price list and has an organization dedicated solely for the utter destruction of people who leave. Scientology's goal is to make 80 percent of the planet Scientologists. Without Scientology, there's no hope for man. And that is the extremist attitude of every Scientologist on the planet.
[01:03:49] Jordan Harbinger: The leader's wife has been missing for like years now.
[01:03:52] Leah Remini: Sure. Yep.
[01:03:52] Jordan Harbinger: What do you think happened to her? Where is she?
[01:03:54] Leah Remini: I don't know that Shelly's alive. I don't know where Shelly is. This is David Miscavige, the leader of Scientology, chairman of the board. This is Tom Cruise's best friend. Jordan, if you had a best friend that you knew had a wife that was with him all the time, wouldn't you say, "Bro, I haven't seen your wife. Look, I need to see her." I'm starting to worry that she's in a freaking freezer somewhere. No one's done that. I have been the only person that has ever inquired about Shelly Miscavige.
[01:04:21] Jordan Harbinger: To learn more about the dangers of the cult of Scientology, from Leah Remini herself, check out episode 4 85 on The Jordan Harbinger Show.
[01:04:31] This episode is sponsored in part by Hyundai. The Hyundai Tucson comes with America's best warranty, including 10 years or a hundred thousand miles. The Tucson with America's best warranty. It's your journey. Test drive the Tucson at your nearest Hyundai dealer, or learn more at hyundaiusa.com. Call 562-314-4603 for complete details.
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