One of the reasons I started this blog is becuase I couldn’t find anyone else talking about how they financed their wedding in the larger context of their general financial life. I mean, where did your wedding money come from? Seeing as how, once you crunch the numbers, most people simply cannot afford the type of wedding that is de rigueur, I suspect that it’s becuase their larger financial life is kind of a mess.
Now of course, Anyone Can Afford to Get Married, so long as you can afford the cost of the wedding license. So I’m not saying broke people can’t get married. But for M and I, what with being legally de facto married, getting wed is not just about making it legal. It’s also about making promises to each other, and it’s definitely about celebrating with all our best peeps. And as my mom is want to remind me, it’s a family event. We want people there. And we want to party with them. We want to give them booze. And because it’ll go on for several hours, folks’ll* get hungry, and we will need to feed them. All of which means this is going to take some cash.
So with all of this in mind, yesterday we sat down to some figuring over what kind of wedding budget we’re able to afford. The first principle of budgeting is big rocks first. And the biggest rock is always going to be long term saving. That is non-negotiable. Except in emergency situations, I want to be devoting a minimum of 20% of our income towards long term goals (things like paying debt, saving for house, and saving for retirement).
The twist in our tale is that a few weeks before we got engaged, I resigned from my job (yep, November has been a big month for me!). We can get by without that income, but it’s not ideal. The rent is a bit more than we strictly should be dealing with, and if we are to stay committed to the long term savings, the amount left over after that and bills will cover only a pretty pared down version of our day to day expenses (read: food). There is ZERO left to put towards a wedding.
The bottom line is, we can’t afford a wedding until I get a new job. And since I don’t know excatly when that will happen, or exactly how much my salary will be, we can’t even predict how much we’ll have to devote towards the wedding. Wedding planning mode: STALLED.
I’m a person kind of obsessed with weddings, so it’s not so cool realising I have to wait longer, especially after waiting so long to get engaged. But I’m even more obsessed with living a happy, stable life with M, in the long term. Long term financial health trumps wedding.
*Some folks’ll never eat a skunk/but then again some folks’ll/like Cletus the slack-jawed yokel – The Simpsons