Re: Wedding debt..[ Edited ]
06-13-2012 12:54 AM - edited 06-13-2012 12:56 AM
Well, let's see. First time around (back in 1980), I was married from my mother's home. She picked up the tab (blush), so I don't know how much it was, but it included the minister from our church, the organist, the photographer, and the wedding organizer who did the food, which was nibbley things set out on tables. There were maybe 60? guests. Not that much, really.
Fast forward to now-that-I-know-what-I'm-doing, one year ago: wedding on the back deck, minister from my church (free)*, license from the state (can't remember, but whatever it was), our two best friends to stand up for us (also free), maybe 40 bucks in groceries for the bruschetta and something else (can't remember now what else I fixed, but I was still cooking as they arrived, and they pitched in and helped finish up), $26 x 2 for two bottles of Napa Brut Prestige (not allowed to call it champagne, but that's what it is), and the cat wandered across the deck for free. We did slip the minister $100 afterwards just because, since he did a great job, and just out of a general sense of relief. (I'm never getting married again.) Unlike my first wedding, I wasn't chased up hill and down dale by a photographer, and I didn't have to make nice with total strangers who were friends of my folks, and we just sort of moseyed around to the ceremony when everyone was ready, and when the bruschetta was out of the oven. We all passed around cameras and took pictures of one another, and we're happy with the results. So something under $200, and guess what, we're legal.
My older daughter just got married a month ago, in a formal ceremony in a church, with a catered reception, and she and my new son-in-law kept expenses ruthlessly under control, and they (and all the guests) had a blast. They paid for most of it (I picked up the flowers and decorations, and his folks did part of the reception), and it was a beautiful, beautiful occasion. (Pauses to blow nose.) Total cost somewhere around $8K, and they had it all saved up ahead of time (plus what his folks and I kicked in), and it's already paid for.
I guess what I'm saying is: don't buy into what Bride Magazine and the cable shows and your friends and the department stores tell you you're supposed to do for your wedding. A wedding is when you and your intended stand up before your family, your friends, and the community and proclaim your intent to stick it out, through thick and then, until one or both of you bites the dust. Yes, it can be a fun party, but it doesn't have to be some god-awful debt-inducing nightmare of consultants and florists and swans. IMO, it should be something that you can look back on with fondness and the occasional gut-splitting guffaw, and incurring minimal or no debt. Don't buy into what the wedding industry tells you you're *supposed* to have.
* eta: re the free minister from my church: see, people say there's no reason to attend church these days, because we can all go wander up a mountain and commune with the Creator. While I'm all about commuing with the Creator, belonging to a house of worship will save you money on your wedding.
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