Sorry to disappoint, but this isn’t your ‘how to save money on your photographer type post, or ‘how to cut wedding costs’. Just as understanding what our cars say about us can save us a bunch of money on car purchases, remembering this key tip can shave thousands off your wedding bill
The commitment of two adults choosing to share their lives together forever, is the BIG DEAL
The trend seems to be for weddings to become more and more lavish, even to the point couples are willing to take on $10,000+ in debt to live up to some external standard for what a good wedding should be. A wedding isn’t about the flowers, the dress, personalized gifts, or the DJ. It is about two people making a life-long commitment to one another. Our consumerist culture does play a big part in the spending trend, but so does the fact that weddings aren’t a big transition for a lot of people. In the days of live-in boyfriends and combined finances in dating, a wedding doesn’t signify a huge change in people’s lives. With the reduced significance for the wedding day, we like good Americans, try to imbue meaning into the event by spending.
For my wife and I, our values lead us to do things traditionally. Long courtship (2 years), long engagement (2 years), no living together, no sex, and no shared finances. Marriage represented a radical change to us. In the end we paid $10,000 cash for a beautiful catered wedding. The stress wasn’t too much and the celebration was significant and meaningful. While we planned the external events of the wedding, we also tried to pay attention to the internal journey that marriage represented. We devoted significant time to prepare internally for the change that we were embarking on. The celebration was awesome, but the act of getting married was much much better. It is hard to quantify, but I suspect that our financial and life circumstances, along with our values saved us thousands of dollars on our wedding. Our union was the big deal, not the chocolate fountain and amazing ice sculpture we could have had.
Inspired by an interview with Rebecca Mead.