Creating A Financially Stress-Free Wedding
Budget… In “normal” circumstances this one word is enough to strike fear and feelings of failure into most people. How many people do you know who like sticking to a budget?
When it comes to weddings it is even worse.
There is always a trail of broken budgets that extends way into the future of the happily newly married couple. How many people do you know who have been able to stick to their wedding budget?
There is no sugar coating it… weddings are expensive. A regular pair of white shoes in a store is usually nicely priced, but when those same shoes are placed in a specialty wedding store and called “ivory” the price increases massively. Flowers will increase in price as you order the colours you want at the time of the year you need.
Unfortunately though, some wedding debts will in fact outlast the marriage itself. As horrible as this may sound, it can be avoided by sticking to a budget or a plan of action.
You don’t have to be planning a “Kardashian” style wedding for the costs to blow out. Just having a small ceremony and reception can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
Your wedding day is an emotional day and the planning will be exactly the same. Trying to work out who to invite and who you want to share your day with can be a huge headache. You will never be able to make everyone happy. So be realistic and consider your future finances as well as your immediate happiness.
Traditionally it was very clear who paid for what in a wedding but in an ever changing world those roles have changed. Different cultures have different customs. You need to be clear on this point as you move forward to plan your big day. As soon as the wedding day has been set, it will take center stage in the couple’s life and it should, it is a day of great celebration.
However this one day should never be an ugly shadow hanging over the couple for years to come. When a couple plans to get married, they always make sure they meet the family and find out everything about the family they are joining. But how often do people introduce their partner to their financial past, which will become the couple’s combined financial future?
Starting the conversation about your finances early in the relationship will ensure there are no nasty surprises in the future. Also you will be able to share your individual financial dreams and create new financial goals as a couple. You have a new and exciting future ahead of you.
Here are some suggestions to make sure your future is full of financial happiness:
• Identify your own spending & savings habits and your financial goals
• Get to know your partners spending & savings habits and their financial goals
• Discuss what financial situations each of you bring to the partnership – savings and/or debts, who will be responsible for paying off current debts?
• Budgeting for “The Big Day” – work out who is paying for what & how much they are willing to pay? Set an upper limit and stay below it.
• How will you manage your money after you’re married? Will you have joint accounts and/or individual accounts – joint household accounts, etc.
• Discuss joint financial goals and decision making – get into alignment with each other financially, negotiate instead of compromise
• Create a simple budget to achieve your joint and individual financial goals
• Be open with discussing financial issues in your relationship
• Keep each other financially accountable
• Consider debt consolidation and downsizing of possessions, eg. Cars, furniture, etc.
So when you are standing on the altar sharing your wedding day vows with the one you want to be with for the rest of your life, as you say the words… “to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer” you know your life together will be a dream come true.
Growing old and rich together, living ‘Happily Ever After’.
(“The Money Mirror” book is a great resource for more guidance in discovering and understanding your financial habits and goals, and is a valuable asset to any soon to be married couple – http://TheMoneyMirrorBook.com)