Over the years I’ve watched, listened, and observed many engaged couples caught up in the planning stages for their big day and am often the one helping them through part of this process. Many go back and forth on size and level of extravagance, at times wistfully planning a fantasy that will haunt their wallets for years to come. I understand how important and special a wedding is, but as I’ve matured (I’m nearing my 40s), I have a new grasp on the stress that debt can cause and that ultimately, a wedding is about the couple alone, about their new life together, and not about the inclusion of every family member and friend. Families have told me stories that I would hate to have gone through! Stories of grand ceremonies and opulent reception dinners that drag a new couple tens of thousands of dollars into debt right out of the gate! Not to mention those who discover only a few years into their relationship that perhaps they weren’t right for one another after all, but still share the weight of their wedding debt.
This is not to say that if you have the money to spend, that you shouldn’t spend a little extra on your wedding. But if you ultimately don’t have the funds, realize that you can still have an AMAZING wedding on a budget and maybe even siphon a bit of cash toward your honeymoon. Starting your lifelong relationship with a joint burden does nothing but cast a shadow over a beautiful thing. My wedding was a lovely, memorable day. We had a small budget, stuck to it, and didn’t have any debts at the end of the wedding and the beginning of our married life. Be creative, focus on the timeless, and celebrate your love rather than going over the top and after your wedding day is over and you settle in next to your new spouse, you’ll be happy you did.