Why ‘Shark Tank’ Star Kevin O’Leary Urges Couples to Avoid a High-Ticket Wedding: ‘You Don’t Need a White Dress for $22K’

Kevin O’Leary of ABC’s hit show Shark Tank is often referred to as “Mr. Wonderful” on the show. The millionaire investor even named a portfolio of his Shark Tank investments “Something Wonderful,” which serves as a one-stop shop for special occasions and events, including weddings.

Though he’s promoting products and services for couples planning their special day headed to the altar, O’Leary actually advises against spending too much cash on nuptials. 

Kevin O'Leary of 'Shark Tank
Kevin O’Leary of ‘Shark Tank | Eric McCandless via Getty Images

‘Mr. Wonderful’ offers relationship advice

O’Leary is known for his romance with the almighty dollar. He recommends finding a partner that shares the same view of money when considering that walk down the aisle.

“The biggest problem in marriage … is if one partner is willing to spend the other’s money and has no regard for it,” the Shark Tank star said, according to CNBC. “You find marriages that start off on really good footing, but then you find out later your husband or your wife is a spend-a-holic, and they’re spending way beyond your combined means.” O’Leary explained. 

If there’s a substantial difference in how each partner prioritizes finances, O’Leary cautions there will be conflict which could even result in a split. 

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“This is a problem you’ve got to nip in the bud,” Mr. Wonderful advised. “It will lead to divorce with certainty, and often divorce with huge debts associated.”

‘Shark Tank’ star almost split from his wife

O’Leary also believes a couple considering a split should weigh all options before rushing to divorce court. Since the legal dissolution of a marriage can cause a financial nightmare, the Shark Tank star recommends a 90-day separation before filing any paperwork. This cooling-off period allows both parties the time to evaluate the pros and cons of their relationship. 

The millionaire investor found himself in this position when he and his wife Linda were contemplating divorce. Married since 1990, the couple separated in 2011 for two years. The time apart made them both realize that reconciliation was the better path.

“We were at the point of dividing the assets,” he told the Guelph Mercury Tribune in 2014.”But as we neared it, we decided not to do it. We have reunited and kept the family together. I’m glad we did that.”

Mr. Wonderful and wife kept their wedding menu simple

Though he touts several wedding and honeymoon services through his “Something Wonderful” platform, O’Leary considers bountiful bridal costs a waste of money. For his own nuptials, Mr. Wonderful and his wife kept it casual.

“I said to my wife, ‘Why go in debt?’” O’Leary told CNBC Make It. “Let’s invite our friends over, let’s buy a few cases of beer and I’ll order some pizza.” 

Using the funds they would’ve spent on a wedding to go towards O’Leary’s budding business at the time, the Shark Tank star has no regrets. 

“We saved a fortune,” he revealed. “I was able to put it in my business to start growing it. When … you’re starting out, the worst thing you can do is put yourself in debt for your wedding. I know it sounds romantic to spend a lot of money — it’s crazy to do that.”

While O’Leary’s view may seem less than wonderful and harshly unromantic, he claims he is counting the cost toward the future. The millionaire places more value on the financial stress a newlywed couple will spare themselves by foregoing a high ticket wedding.

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“Forget about spending a fortune, you don’t need a white dress for $22,000,” O’Leary said. “Save your money, invest it and later you can take everybody out for a great time on the interest you’re making off your bonds and the dividends your stocks are paying. The whole idea is to remember you’re building for your future. Don’t get into debt, save, save, save and invest. It’s a fantastic way to protect yourself down the road.”

Season 12 of Shark Tank premieres on October 16!