Some thoughts of a newly married man who’d like to dispel some illusions about the frugal wedding. Tim Parker from Elementary Finance weighs in on what it takes to get hitched.
Some weeks ago, I got married. While we planned our wedding, my then fiancee did the bulk of the work while I played the good spouse-to-be and did exactly what I was told to do. I suspect it’s like how things usually turn out at most weddings. Now I don’t want to be yet another guy to write the next not-so-great article about how to control your wedding costs. Instead, I’m hoping to tackle the subject of planning a wedding by discussing the stuff I learned from the process.
How To Plan A Wedding Without Getting Stressed
While going through the planning process, here were a few ideas we had that quickly became impractical.
“We’re keeping it simple”.
I think this may rank as the number one most impractical “goal” (or statement) my fiancee and I made. If you want to keep it simple and would like to save money on your wedding, hop in the car and go to the courthouse on an unannounced day and get married there. Or go to Las Vegas. If you decide to have a wedding, you’ll want to get a wedding cake; you’ll also want to have pictures along with a reception, decorations, dresses, tuxes, music, a pastor, and a place to do all of this in. It will not be that simple and will cost a certain amount of money. If you want things truly simple and basic, then don’t have a wedding. It’s a fact that the people who provide these services are far from cheap.
Tip: Set expectations.
“We’re having a small wedding”.
So you want to keep wedding costs down and your guest list short. Perhaps you’re hoping to get away from the traditional practice of inviting all your close friends and extended family whom you haven’t seen in a while. I think this is a great idea. So great, that we tried this. The problem is that if you invite your mother (but of course!), how do you not invite her sister? If you invite her sister, how do you not invite her kids (your cousins)? Before you know it, “immediate family” adds up to 50 people. How much does it cost to feed 50 people? At $20 a head for food alone, your expenses quickly add up to $1,000.
But wait, if there are people you know who’ve got the creative talents to pull off some aspects of your wedding, then why not use some leverage? Here’s one example of what one couple has done for their wedding invitation (warning: may contain an offensive element). And here’s someone else who’s come up with truly unique creative ideas. You’re in luck when someone with talent can lend you a hand. In this case, inviting such people to become part of your wedding can be a good thing!
Tip: Barter services if you can.
“Let’s have a wedding our guests will never forget”.
Do you wish for a wedding that people will remember and talk about for years to come? Many couples work to give their guests a wedding they won’t soon forget… the goal therefore becomes “how to impress the wedding guests”.
But let’s not forget that this event is mainly about the couple taking center stage and hopefully having people help and support them. As the couple, you should be enjoying your special day, rather than stressing about it. Have you seen the show on television called “Bridezilla”? It’s dedicated to featuring many stressed out brides who aren’t enjoying their weddings all that much. But why does it have to be that way? Unfortunately, very often, it is.
Tip: Put the couple first.
“We’ll do it ourselves.”
On your wedding day, you’ll be busy being the stars of your event, so you won’t have time to put the food out, cut the cake, arrange the flowers, and still be able to enjoy what’s going on. So my advice? If you don’t have enough money to get the right people to take care of the details on your day, then work on a budget, prioritize your requirements, try your best to cut back, dial back your expectations and make adjustments. You don’t have to incorporate everything you want in your wedding. This should be your day and you should allow it to be about you (even if it means foregoing the fancy venue and doves)!
Tip: You don’t have to do everything. See if you can recruit others to pitch in.
“We’re flying away for our honeymoon”.
You don’t have to follow “tradition”. I invite you to disagree with me on this. For us, we ruminated upon the $2,000 or more it would take to go on a storybook honeymoon. Then we looked at the shape that our furniture was in and thought about which option seemed like a better idea for our $2,000. It was an easy decision — we didn’t want to take on any extra debt. So we took a rain check on the honeymoon, a compromise if you will. We’d like to enjoy our honeymoon without any money worries, so why not wait 6 months and save our money in order to afford it?
Tip: Make the right financial choices. Beware of the dangers of debt; don’t fall into the debt trap as you plan your wedding.
For some levity, here’s a cool and clever video wedding invitation!
A Cool Wedding Invitation!
Say NO To Debt!
You may think that I’m anti-wedding. I’m far from that. In fact, I believe my bride and I made our wedding even more joyous by making sure that we didn’t have to worry about credit card bills piling up in the mailbox after it was all over. We’re starting our new life together debt free. If the experts are right and marriage is a challenge during the first couple of years, then don’t let debt make it even tougher.
Copyright © 2009 The Digerati Life. All Rights Reserved.