I received another wedding invitation of a dear friend’s daughter last week and it reminded me of my own children who have gotten married. When my son got married several years ago, the bride wore white and the groom was in black—in the black, to be precise. Our oldest son, Daniel, graduated from college debt free with a great FICO score and no consumer debt. When he was married, there was no debt associated with the ceremony, reception or honeymoon! In fact the only “red” that this new couple got into was their (paid for) red convertible. And it wasn’t because mommy and daddy took care of all the boy’s bills, it was because he learned about financial freedom and living within your means. Starting out well in life by paying cash may mean you wait on the things you want to get, but it also means that there’s twice the likelihood Daniel and his bride will not divorce since one in two couples cite “money issues” as the reason they separated.
These were the days before Pinterest (which is a tool that can save literally thousands of dollars), so I gave them The New Bride Guide when they got engaged over a year before the wedding and they used it as their wedding planner. Thousands of other couples have done the same and here are just a few of the key tips to have the wedding of your dreams in the reality of today’s economy.
▪ Live Your Plan – It’s important to evaluate how much you can spend by having careful and honest discussions with parents, grandparents or others who will contribute to the wedding. Don’t work your plan until you know how much you have to spend. I have a chapter that gives you the step by step guidelines for these discussions. Too many couples make their plans first then struggle with a way to pay for it later which usually means debt.
▪ Bargaining – By incorporating five words (is this your best price?) you can save thousands of dollars on everything from invitations, dresses, flowers, photography, the rehearsal dinner and the honeymoon! Learn the fine art of bargaining.
▪ Honeymoon Savings – Daniel followed the tips on vacations and got a rock bottom price on an incredible honeymoon trip to Ireland. They layered the savings online for other items they needed for the trip and saved as much as 50%.
▪ Pinterest – I do want to insert this in here as well. If you have not looked at this site, go now and sign up. It has thousands of ideas for weddings, and very good links for doing weddings on a budget. A beautiful wedding IS possible for less.
You don’t have to be the son of a financial expert to learn how to have a tasteful debt free wedding. As I told Daniel, it’s not about planning a wedding, it’s about planning a marriage and starting a marriage debt free is the best gift you can give your bride.
America’s Family Financial Expert (R)