Wedding Planning #3: Money, Money, Money

We were talking with someone last night and my wife asked him if he was planning to get married any time soon. His answer said what I said often as a single person and I’ve heard many other men say as well. “I’m just getting things ready.” And 99.99999 percent of the time that means money.

With good reason too! Coz the pre-wedding can be expensive, the wedding can be expensive, and the post-wedding definitely is. So here are some tips we learned from tons of other people that were of great service to us. Again, like I said in the beginning of this wedding series – this isn’t set in stone. It’s just our story. If it helps you, great. If it doesn’t, feel free to write your own and tell us about it. Part of the fun is the unique ups and downs, mistakes and glories of every love story.

1. Don’t get suckered. Unless you’re planning to be. Then you aren’t really being suckered.

Suckered – to be fooled, to be taken in, to be hoodwinked, to have the wool pulled over your eyes. What area specifically? The whole wedding industry! Coz that’s what it is – an industry! That’s why there are expos. People are willing to pay money for a wedding like we’ve seen in storybooks, movies, celebrity news, or same-day-edits. And whenever people are willing to pay there are all kinds of people willing to take it. Some of the good and deserving; many are not. Don’t be suckered.

Some things (expensive things) people will insist that you MUST have. But do you really need it? Talk with your partner. Is this a must for both of you or are you being forced to comply with some artificial wedding picture in your head? Do you really need that cake like the one you saw in the movie? Does the wedding dress need to have a train like Princess Di (dated reference)? Now listening to each other is super important at this point. Coz if your partner says yes and means it, you don’t want to be depriving that person of the joy of that wedding day either.

For us, for example, there were some items that I knew were really over priced. But I just knew that it was important to my future wife or I really wanted to give that to her. Yes, she would have gladly married me even without it, but I was happy to give it to her anyway also. (See how that works?) And the end result made every peso worth it.

This applies to the proposal stuff also. Guys, does she really want a rock on the engagement ring? Would a piece of string do like in that ludicrous movie version of the Count of Monte Cristo?

Short version of stupid movie plot: Edmond loves Mercedes so he promises to marry he by giving her a string ring. They're separated when he's unjustly imprisoned. 18 years, one marriage, one son, and one massive fortune later they're reunited. And she's still wearing the string ring. Take that laws of entropy ...and hygiene!

2. Decide on what’s important to both of you. / Three Things

This really flows out of the previous point. Don’t do it because everyone says you should, it’s really in right now, no wedding is complete without it, your guests will wonder, etc. If you can’t afford a photo booth with instant printing and you really don’t want it, then don’t get it! And that goes for everything else. Even whole sections of the program. Carla and I totally minimized or completely removed a lot of traditional things in receptions and no one really noticed. In short, if you’re paying money for something, you better be doing it because it’s what you both want not because others want you to do it.

I got this gold nugget from a wedding magazine: “Find the three things that are most important to both of you and go high on those things. Then go as dirt-cheap as you can with everything else.” We really took this to heart. Our top three (and these don’t have to be your top three) were Venue, Wedding Dress (my insistence), and Documentation (photo and video). Everything else, and our wedding coordinator can confirm this, we were going with the cheapest possible option, if not free or even totally removed.

For food we were thankful to work with a caterer who helped us out in that area. They understood our intention and provided us with great ways to save. I’ll explain that more in the next point. For flowers, Carla said, “I don’t need the expensive kind. Buy me the cheapest ones that are white.” It’s a marvel that she didn’t walk down the aisle with just a garland of sampaguita. But she would’ve been okay with that if she did. She didn’t buy expensive bridal shoes also because she wanted to be bare foot. And there’s a lot more. These things we can live with, and we sure are happy with the end result.

More than half of the wedding budget right there. Totally worth it.

Gotta stop here because it’s late and the rest is really long. I’ll post the last five points tomorrow. Hope this was helpful!

Join the discussion

  • “Some things (expensive things) people will insist that you MUST have…”
    can really relate to this and the whole idea in #1 point 🙂

  • Hi Pastr Joe! Thanks for this wedding series posts! Really helps! 🙂

    Been reading yours and your wife’s blog lately… You and Carla are an inspiration! 🙂

    God bless you!

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