Here at the Traveling Wallet I am trying to talk about the journeys we go through in life, and one of the many stops people encounter is indeed the wedding. At 27 I’m at the age where everyone seems to be getting married or having babies. Seriously its every where.
But today I’d like to focus on marriage, lets start with a story. Maybe you’ve had a conversation like this lately maybe not but what’s the first thing to talk about when there is a proposal and therefore a marriage on the horizon. Well The ring of course… what follows is an actual conversation
Coworker ” I’m going to propose to Jenny*, how much did you spend on your wife’s ring?”
“I spent about $300 on it”
Coworker “Oh I’m not that cheap.”
“It’s actually exactly what she wanted. Anyway, Will she still say yes if you gave her a ring from the candy machine?..ok ?then it shouldn’t matter?”
Doesn’t that exchange just paint the picture perfectly?
I think in this day and age we all need to sit down and ask ourselves this hard question. As a man, would she still say yes if I gave her a cereal box ring? and as a woman, Would I marry him if he gave me a vending machine ring? Really you are marrying the person not the ring. It seems to me the perfect test. I mean if the answer is no , why are you even getting married?
So I will be writing a series talking about ways to save on the wedding but we all need to remember it’s just the wedding not the marriage. Wedding vs. Marriage these are not mutually exclusive but we do have to recognize there is a difference and a rather important one at that. When you realize that and remember it, it will be easy to cut and slash all the waste.
Getting Married? Focus on what’s Important!
Save money on the wedding by focusing on the marriage.
Weddings have become big stage productions. The wedding has become a show, a moment in your life to pretend you are royalty and to show everyone how amazing, fabulous and well off you are. God dammit this is the one day in your entire life that you deserve to be pampered and waited on. That is what a wedding is about, Right?
This might pain some people to hear but a wedding isn’t about showing off, you’ve already successfully found a mate. ( Who are you trying to impress? and why?)
A wedding really is just the door into the world of marriage, and what is a door really? Just a separation of one room from another. In this case from bachelorhood to married town.
Now think about that for a little longer. How much time do you spend in a door way when walking from one room to another? A few seconds a minute maybe.. Is how fancy the door important? Not really, because in the great scheme of things you spend a negligible amount of time there. You spend your time in the rooms.
The same is true for the doorway to marriage. If you take the vow seriously you will be spending another 50-70 years with this person. That’s 24 hrs x 365 days x 50 yrs= 438,000 hrs and a wedding takes what 6 hrs? That is so small in comparison its not even .1% of the time you’ll spend together. Yet there we are, most of us spend so much money and time for the wedding but not the same amount for the Marriage.
Now that we understand that a wedding is a doorway. Isn’t it just amazing and insane how people spend more time preparing for that 6 hrs celebrating then preparing for the 50 years after that day. So my advice lets all start preparing for a marriage not just a wedding. One of the biggest things neglected during wedding prep is having the difficult conversations before the I DO.
It’s been shown that the biggest tension between couples is indeed finances. Having an ostentatious wedding that caused you to get into debt is a sure way to start your marriage on the wrong foot.
So now that we know what a wedding is really for, saving should be easy. We can clearly look at each expense and acknowledge that what we are adding is just to create a show, but won’t actually make the marriage any stronger.
The Wedding Cost
During this little series I’m going to address some of the main culprits in a wedding. I’ll talk about
- The Location (where we get married?)
- The Dress
- The Guest list
- The Food
- The Pictures
- Decorations (including flowers and all the other knickknacks)
- The Engagement Ring.
I pretty much cover my feeling about the ring in this post. The conversation up top and the video down below really illustrate how I feel about the engagement ring. But just in case I think its completely unnecessary. But if you are going to buy one it needs to be one that you can afford. As in no monthly payments. A bigger engagement ring is not going to insure you a long marriage especially if it causes you to go into debt.
So ,here is a picture of what my numbers were for my wedding.
We budgeted $5,000 and while that is still loads of money it is quite small when compared to the “Standard wedding” costing $25,000 or more.
Let’s finish this serious conversation on a light note. Think outside the box check out this college humor video.
I’ve been wanting to write wedding posts for a while because I really just don’t understand what is going on these days. Reading the following article really made think and pushed me to finish.
* name changed for privacy
Update: found this article about diamonds. Worth the read.