The average United States wedding costs approximately $31,213. In large urban areas such NYC, San Francisco, or Chicago, that figure is closer to 40 or 50K. And that hefty number does not include a honeymoon, so if Bora Bora is high on your list, know that you’ll need about 10K more outside of all the standard wedding items: invitations, dress, venue, catering, photographer—the list goes on.
It’s a daunting number to be sure and a reason why many budget-conscious folks choose to elope and put any extra money they have into a down payment on a house or for future family members, rather than for a big party.
In any event, couples choosing to have a wedding—be it a large affair for 200 or an intimate gathering for 45—are often faced with high costs and mounting invoices. Some may go into debt, forgo vacations for years to come, or start a side gig for extra cash. The financial stress of having a wedding with all the fixins’ is real.
And then there are those employees who work for Boxed, a bulk shopping startup based in New York City. Like Costco, Boxed sells products at wholesale prices—albeit online. Boxed’s CEO and co-founder, Chieh Huang, who spoke with Inc., about the jaw-dropping perk, confirmed that he’ll reimburse any full-time employee up to $20,000 for his or her wedding!
Huang admits that Boxed doesn’t offer a lot of other perks: It doesn’t hold regular happy hours, there are no free lunches, and the 20K is not akin to annual bonus money since it’s allotted for a very specific purpose. But if those newlyweds decide to start a family, well, they’ll have unlimited maternity and paternity leave. The salary range of Boxed staff members may be modest, but if you’re at this point in your life, perks like these might make up for it.
Perks like this are also a great reminder that there’s a lot more to accepting a job than your salary. For example, CommonBond pays off its own employees’ college loans (and luckily for you, they’re hiring right now). Other companies let you bring your dog to the office, while other organizations pay you to go on vacation. These are all very different, yet they all send the same message: These companies care about you as a person, not just as an employee between the hours of nine to five.
Huang explains his reason for implementing this unique wedding perk is because of how deeply he cares about company culture and his employees themselves. “…if I can help an employee in a bad situation, it benefits the culture and benefits the entire company.”
He’s probably not wrong, though you’ve got to wonder how long the shelf life of this perk is. Inevitably, as a company retains employees, more and more may get engaged. And with 20K to get this perk started, it’s a wonder how Boxed will be able to keep it up. At some point, will they give it up and revert to Bagel Fridays or Whiskey Wednesdays if the number of staff weddings grows to a significant number? Only time will tell.
Hypothetical future aside, we’re sure the current employees aren’t complaining—not the ones tying to knot soon and certainly not the ones who are having their kids’ college education paid for. Oh right, did I mention they cover that, too?