Howdy after so long! I’ve had a bit of a break from writing as we have just moved and have waited for our new DSL connection to be established, which was happily completed today. I currently have a wee list of blog post ideas but none of them are really grabbing me tonight so I thought I’d sit down with a glass of wine and just freestyle, off the top of my dome like. Here’s my new work station, by the way;
Lately Chris and I have been talking about weddings (don’t get too excited baby boomers, we aren’t getting married! Not that I could because I technically still have a husband so that would be a bit Amish of me) and the cost thereof. Having had a wedding before, I feel like I am somewhat qualified to comment on the clusterfuckery that is wedding culture. Oh – I was a keen bride-to-be, I pored over dozens and dozens of bridal magazines, convinced that my wedding would be a stylish day to remember (it totally wasn’t, because I was a 20 year old bogan with no style, and still am). The more magazines I devoured, the more important it became to have the perfect invitations, decorations, locations and bomboniere (the random little keepsakes/candies that you normally find at your dinner place at weddings). My fiance at the time was easygoing and didn’t really mind too much about the details, so I was the “Judge Judy and executioner” for all decisions.
The ridiculous thing is, my parents offered to pay for us to go over to the Cook Islands and get married there with family present, and we stupidly said no, because we wanted all of our friends to be there and I was quite hung up on the idea of having a big classy wedding. So on we went with our plans and on we went with our debt, because what else are credit cards and personal loans for, amirite? I can’t remember if I was a bridezilla or not but I probably was because I’m pretty sure I made my bridesmaids spend all day making white chair covers tied back with black ribbon because it would have been ludicrous not to have CHAIR COVERS BECAUSE OMG I DIDN’T WANT EVERYONE TO THINK WE WERE TACKY!!
It was also imperative to have the following things; matching 1964 Chevy Impalas, expensive matching suits for the groomsmen, new dresses made for myself and the bridesmaids, bouquets of white oriental lilies (nowhere near in season of course), a fancy a la carte dinner at the French restaurant in the city (complete with a chef that had cooked for the queen), chair covers and tablecloths, bomboniere, fancy invitations, a DJ, decorations, a large bridal archway, an open bar, the presidential suite at the Southern Cross Hotel, hair and makeup done for myself and my 4 bridesmaids, an expensive, sought-after photographer, the list goes on and on and on, I can’t even be bothered recounting the rest. The bottom line? It cost a fucking shitload and was only one day, and even with all that money spent it was STILL not a classy affair, because we were not classy people. If I were to get married again, I would have such a cool wedding and it would be really cheap in comparison, but so much more tasteful.
The point of this post is to enlighten unwed ladies about the dangers of falling prey to the bridal industry. Bridal magazines and bridal expos showcase weddings that cost people $20,000 and upwards and in the photos the whole thing looks so whimsical and perfect, but totally not worth the months of planning and the financial sacrifice. By all means if you are rich as fuck, then drop all the coin you want on your big day because you probably won’t really miss the money anyway. If you are of modest means, then remember that the $40K that you want to drop on your wedding could save you about $100K in future interest if you pay it onto your mortgage, or for about half the price you could have the most wonderful memories and adventures travelling the world, and getting married in a small “Chapel O Love” somewhere.
Unfortunately I didn’t get this memo and was so fixated on having the big wedding with all the guests, and I can’t understand why I did that. In fact, I can’t understand why I did half the shit I did when I was in my early 20s, so maybe it’s just part of growing up. I have a funny feeling that the wedding debacle is something that people only fully understand after the rush of that big day is gone and they are left with nothing but debt, or a big hole in their savings. Then they realise that their wedding day wasn’t actually all that special/worth all that stress, and they should have spent the money elsewhere. Another way to look at it is this; 33% of all marriages end in divorce*, which means that you are essentially gambling a lot of money on poor odds that it will even be worth it in the long run. The house always wins, remember that.
Obviously I’m not trying to tell anyone what to do with their life, some people wish nothing more to have that big white wedding and happily factor it into the budget, I’m just hoping to be a voice out there that says its ok not to do the big traditional wedding if your bank balance can’t handle it. Even worse is putting yourselves into debt to do it, because that’s where your first arguments with your new husband/wife are going to lie – money and debt. As someone who was staunchly in favour of having a big expensive wedding at all costs, and having seen the error of my ways, I hope that my advice can help anyone who may feel pressured into doing the big bridal expo wedding with all the trimmings. You can most definitely have a decent wedding on a budget as well! If anyone wants to get married traditionally but doesn’t want to break the bank, email me because I totally know how to do a stylish wedding for under $5000, I shit you not.
Bottom line is; love is love no matter how you tie the knot.
Love (but perhaps not until death do us part?), Chelle xoxoxooxoxoxoxo
* According to this guy: