Marriage is for...Later?

When I see young couples get married I can’t say that I’m not a tinge jealous, because I am! Who wouldn’t want to have a day to themselves where you get to eat cake, dance, receive gifts, and wear a gorgeous dress walking down the aisle? (sidenote: I already planned my wedding dress. Le sigh) What crosses my mind when people my age (23) get married is “how the hell did they come up with all that money?”
Marriage to ME is something that you decide on when you are an adult, ready to start a family, combine finances and start a life together. When I get married, I want to be able to finance at least 80% of the wedding ourselves. I know my parents (both sets) and the BF’s parents would love to help and I will gladly oblige but I am not one to have them pay for my entire wedding and I do not want to fund a wedding with credit.

I recently found out that about 7 gals in my sorority and 5 other people I’ve known since junior high are getting married this year. We are all relatively in the same age bracket and I can’t figure out how everyone is funding these weddings. I would like a small and intimate beach wedding with a pretty dress, good food and great company. I still think I would need about $10,000 in cash to afford everything. After I’m married I want to concentrate on building our life together without heavy debt. BF already has school loans so why would I want to add to that and a future mortgage? That reminds me, I should start a wedding fund.

Is everyone getting their parents to fund their weddings? 
What’s the deal?!

For the BF and myself, I feel like we are doing things backwards. We already know we want to get married in the future and have kids but right now we are focusing on our careers, making investments, saving for travel, and saving for a place of our own. We have lived together throughout college and we do everything married couples do. I can’t help but wonder if I am missing out on being married like all my friends.

How did you save/pay for your wedding? Cash, credit? What was the total cost? How old were you?


ND Chic'c Cents said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think that most people's parents fund the majority of the wedding. Some parents are fine with it and I think that some are pushed into it by their children.

I eloped and married my husband in a courthouse. We planned to do it and it was a very simple affair. We did have a small reception at his parents' house afterward which they paid for. I think the total cost of the reception (really more of a lunch) was about $1000. My husband and I paid for all of the costs associated with our wedding.

Jessie said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

My sense is that these days, most people getting married are paying for it themselves - Jordan and I are planning to.

Also - do you want to know just how much the wedding is going to cost or the honeymoon/rings included in that?

All-in: we're looking at approx 20,000

Just the ceremony/reception - we're looking at approx $10-15K

Oh and I'm 26 and Jordan is 27 - we both have birthday's in July and are getting married in August :D

I would be happy to do a full post on what we're spending if you wanted :)

shoppingtosaving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

ND Chic - that sounds awesome. I would love to elope but my parents (all 4) would KILL me haha.

Jessie - I wold love to see a post on what you are spending it on! Your numbers seem to match what I was thinking and I want to fund the honeymoon + reception ourselves.

mybuckstopshere.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I wonder the same thing! My BFF is getting married in a year, and as one of her bridesmaids, we had to ask her, "what is your budget?" I was SHOCKED and ready to fall of my chair when she told me $30,000. Do you know what $30g can buy? For one, a car, a hefty down payment on a home, and for some, an entire year's salary! I didn't ask how she's planning to afford it, whether it's her parents, her funds or credit, or a mixture of all, but it just made me realize that I would never spend that much money on a wedding. I know that it's a special day, but I'd rather put that money toward something that benefits my future, more than a one day ceremony. $10,000 sounds like a nice amount. So does small intimate ceremony, but that's just my opinion. :)

mybuckstopshere.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

**Note (because I just read Jesse's comment) the $30 doesn't include rings or honeymoon.

Rubee said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

We got married last year and spent about $30k on everything (sans rings and honeymoon). We had 50 guests at the wedding so it was fairly intimate.

We spent about 2 years saving up for the wedding and paid for it all by ourselves in cash. I'm 27 and Asher's 30.

Afford-Anything.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Two of my friends got married for $2,000. Here's how:

VENUE: A beautiful park in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees. About a 2-hour drive from the city, so it wasn't an inconvenience for the guests. And because it was a park, it was very cheap; they just had to book it ahead of time.

PASTOR: A friend who got herself certified online in 30 minutes by an online church to legally perform the wedding. She did it for free, and because she was a close friend and an elegant speaker, she did it beautifully.

MUSIC: Ipod playlist and some pretty nice speakers.

DINNER: Cooked by friends (rice, chicken, and two veggie dishes), stored in catering trays and served buffet-style. Guests lined up at the buffet table and served themselves.

TABLES: Park benches covered with simple white linen tablecloths to look elegant. Glass bowls with fruit as centerpieces instead of the more expensive flowers.


CAKE: Made by a friend.

WEDDING DRESS: A beautiful blue dress -- since the bride wasn't attached to a white wedding dress, she got to buy a gorgeous blue evening gown for a couple hundred bucks.

WHAT WERE THE BIGGEST COSTS?: The food ingredients, the gas burners and catering trays that the food was kept warm in, beer, wine, and party favors for their guests.

ANY OTHER COSTS?: They promised to do some big favor for their friends who made the food, the cake, and worked as the bartender. I was one of the lead chefs who helped prepare the food, and I "cashed in" the favor by throwing a party in their home a year later (when I was living somewhere where that I wasn't able to throw a party at).

GUEST ACCOMODATION: Most guests camped in tents (free). Old people, or people who were seriously anti-camping, booked themselves a nearby hotel.

nevermindkim.com said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I totally understand where you're coming from. The majority of my friends got married in their early to mid 20s and while at that time I was with my bf and we knew we had planned on being together for the rest of our lives, a wedding was never on our radar.

We have been living together for nearly 8 years and have basically a marriage without the wedding and still I'm in no hurry to get married. He proposed to me last month and we're slowly planning our own beach wedding and intend to pay 100% of it though at this point we're just starting to save.

We're planning on going away just the 2 of us though so it won't be too expensive. Having lived together for so long the wedding is more for us than our friends and family.

When the time comes though it will 100% be cash :D

shoppingtosaving said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

mybuckstopshere: 30k! I would hope to avoid spending that much just cuz I can't afford it :P

Rubee: It's good to hear you spent awhile saving, 2 years is not bad at all. 50 guests sounds like the right amt for me.

afford-anything: WOW Thanks for the in-depth comment. I really will keep those tips on hand. Trust me when I say the BF wanted a TACO TRUCK (we are in SD after all) for our wedding. You are such a great friend!

nevermindkim: We seem to be the same person. Our wedding will be just for us... friends and family unfortunately won't be surprised at all. LOL.

fabulouslyfrugirl said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I'm in the same boat that you are.

A few of my friends have gotten married, and mostly their parents pay for it.

If I were to do, I'm not sure I want a wedding. I have a HUGE family (Chinese family - very big and nosy), and I don't want to do the whole she-bang cuz I don't want to deal with the organizing, planning, etc. Totally not my thing.

If I could, I'd like a small wedding - just my immediate family and close friends. Maybe 20 people. But it's so easy for these things to spiral out of hand, I'm not even sure I want to deal with any of it.

(Wow, I sound like such a wedding scrooge...)

dancethroughtherain said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I have no idea how some of these people are affording weddings! I think you are really bright, hoping to not take on further debt after the wedding is over. I'm turning 20 in a couple months and I have already started a wedding fund. There isn't much in there right now (~$150) and I don't plan on getting married anytime soon but I do eventually plan on getting married. Regardless if it is in 3 years or 10 years I want to have money saved. I also think that starting a wedding fund sooner rather than later is a good choice because who wants to be super frugal and not allow them selves to go out at all the year before they get married. Not I. I don't want the fact that I'm getting married to change the way I do things in day-to-day life so starting now allows my future self to breathe a little easier :)

Blonde Ambitions said...Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

M & I got married later than most people (I was 29 & he was 38). We got married on the beach in Hawaii, with just the two of us in attendance, for a variety of reasons. For us, it was the perfect low-key, romantic & very private way to get married. We paid for it ourselves, but it was very inexpensive. I think it was around $10K for everything, which includes our honeymoon.

My parents had a small party for us when we returned from our wedding.

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