My fiancée and I are a little over three months from our wedding date, and a lot of the expenses for the wedding have been piling up. Here are most of them: invitations (we did these ourselves), wedding dress, venue rental fee, catering, decorations (going to do these ourselves too), my wedding band, the DJ, photographer, officiant/pastor, groom’s outfit, chair and dance floor rental, honeymoon, and so on. It’s tough to avoid most of these costs, even though we shouldn’t need to please anyone but ourselves.
So what does one do when having to cash flow thousands of dollars in wedding expenses? If you’re in my profession, you barter. I work in marketing and I can design websites, develop and implement email marketing, and work my way around Photoshop. Those traits come in handy when I’m tight on spare cash. So far, I’ve been able to barter the cost of my DJ, venue and even our pre-marital counseling.
In Part 1 of this series, I outlined various costs that I believed would result in a $5,000 wedding. I think we’re still on track and on budget, but there are still a few unknowns. From the photographer and decorations to the rental equipment and honeymoon, there are still a handful of expenses we need to finalize.
But as money conscious as we’re trying to be, at the end of the day we want to enjoy our wedding and not worry about how much money we’ve had to spend on it, or worry about how much closer we could be to being debt-free if we hadn’t spent so much. Many money-smart people say if there’s one thing you shouldn’t cut corners on it’s your wedding day. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to rack up expenses, but it does mean that you shouldn’t skimp on things if you have the budget to afford them. Could we find ways to cut expenses more than we already have? Of course we could. But we only get one wedding day and looking back we don’t want to wish we had spent a few hundred extra dollars for a dance floor, or an open bar, or decorations – if we can reasonably afford it, we won’t say ‘No’.
We have friends that are spending over $75,000 on their wedding day, and inviting over 400 people to their wedding. That’s completely ridiculous in our eyes. But, we aren’t living their lives and we aren’t at the same place financially. We also aren’t getting too much help from our families. Is there a chance they’re severely hindering their finances by having a wedding that big? Probably. But everything is relative. $5,000 is WAY more money than I would like to spend on our own wedding, but if your family is helping cover most of the costs and you don’t have debt, it’s a different story. We’re doing what’s right for us – and we hope our friends all do what’s right for them.