Wedding woe: Money talks

20:21, Nov 07 2012

Money, money, money. It's a sad fact but so many times this is what "weddings" come down to.

Weddings, for the most part, cost money. Whether it's $125 for the simplest service (the cost of a wedding certificate), or $50,000 extravaganzas, at some stage money has to get discussed. In today's wedding woe, Judith asks just that:

Hi Greer
Love reading your blog, it's absolutely fantastic! It's given me a few ideas but I do have a woe of my own. I've been engaged since February and as much as I love being engaged I would like to get on to planning the wedding but in order to do that I need to prove to my fiancé that we can do it on our very tight budget. I've come up with a few money savers like having a garden wedding at a family member's house and having the reception at a free venue but I'm wanting to get married in November 2014 and my fiancé just doesn't thanks we can do it. I'm sure we can though.
Help is very much appreciated. 


Ding, ding, ding... I'm sorry but whaaaaaat?

Great that you're engaged - congrats! And yay for you wanting to get married on a specific date (a mere TWO YEARS AWAY), but why on earth does your partner not think that you can do it? How much are you considering spending?


I get that, for the most part, weddings are one heck of an expensive party. Most couples have to spend a fair bit of time saving to get the day of their dreams - but that's the trick. What are your dreams?

Two years for a couple to save, I would have thought, is plenty of time? Everyone's finances are different but when you guys got engaged, did you have an ideal timeline in mind?

Does your fiancé have a date that they would rather aim for?

One of my issues is that when you got engaged, surely you weren't being put on hire purchase or lay-by? You made a decision to make a formal commitment. The bells and whistles are just that.

An engagement is a proposal of marriage so presumably your fiancé does actually want to get married?

It sounds as though you really need to sit down with your fiancé and work out what kind of wedding day you both want, work out roughly how much that would cost, and work out how much it would cost to save for that amount. If it is a decade, maybe sit down and re-look at areas to save on.

Venue - like you said, a garden is free. Done.

Guest list - 500 people on your list? Maybe have a rethink. Seriously, have a rethink.

Food - heaps of ways to save: get friends to cater, bring a plate, have a relaxed BBQ, ask a chef school if students want to cater.

Dress - look for sales, buy off the rack, get someone to make or alter something for you.

There are endless ways to save!

Most of all, it's your day so you (somewhat) get to write the rules. No one says you have to spend money on anything in particular (EXCEPT the $125 for the paperwork!) so don't feel pressure to have to bankrupt yourselves just to declare your love to each other.

Failing all this, do what I wanted to do: have a surprise wedding. Boom. Done.

Do not, I repeat, do not get lost in the wedding day when what you should be focused on is the marriage.

What are your suggestions for Judith?

Follow Greer on Twitter or Weddings on Facebook

You can also email Greer here and share your wedding woes, feedback or questions.