The title sounds like the homily part of a wedding ceremony. One I would not preach, by the way. However, I’ve got some money thoughts for you.
According to “The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study,” the average cost of an engagement ring is currently $5,680. Source. Add in another $500 to $1,000 for wedding rings and you are looking at maybe $7,000 on rings alone for your wedding.
I’m all for a beautiful ring. I have been wearing mine for 22+ years and plan to wear it for another 50. Because of the “use value cost” of this ring, the value definitely holds up. But there are creative alternatives out there to give you that beautiful ring without the diamond cost. Millennials are onto the fake advertising of the diamond industry. Maybe you can find something so unique and so uniquely you that you will spend less—and still have something that people will gape at for 50 years.
With your savings, hide that away for fancy dinner dates to remember the date you got engaged or the date you told each other you loved each other. Depending on your savings you could actually afford at least 20 years of fancy dates for a night that is not normally celebrated in a fancy way.
According to “The Knot 2018 Real Weddings Study” the average cost of a wedding dress is $1,631, including alterations. Source. Your photos from that day are going to last a lifetime. You will be looking at them for at least 50 years. So you want to love your dress. You want to love how you feel in that dress. But does it have to be new?
Just one block from my home is a wedding consignment shop. This is owned by a lovely Christian lady who knows just what looks right on you. Her gift is dressing you up. And her shop is filled with hundreds of wedding gowns people have worn once. I have taken many teen girls to gawk at her windows while we talk dreamily about their weddings—and their choices of whom they will marry. One day I will be able to take a graduated teen there and let Ellalyne do her God-gifted thing. There has got to be a wonderful place like this somewhere near you. The experience is special. And there is savings.
Take your $500 savings and hire a housecleaner for the first year of your marriage. That equals more play time for the two of you together for all of those firsts you will experience.
According to Google the average cost of a wedding is $30,000! That has got to cover many varied expenses, some are optional. You can make choices.
Instead of some of those fancy and spendy wedding choices, how about you find a way to pocket some of that wedding budget? Save $5,000 on something and bank it and now you’ve got $50 to pay a babysitter for 100 dates with your spouse. That is 100 date nights–after you have kids! That is far more memorable than that bounty of flowers or the prime rib.
Or how about this one. Save that savings (this money does not touch your regular living budget!) and use it to pay for future marriage counseling. As you are in love and planning your wedding I know you don’t want to think about future rocky and vulnerable times in your marriage. You and your love for the lifetime want to be the exception. Except you won’t be. No one is. Marriage counseling for every couple is a good “tune up” every now and then or a necessity when something unexpected about life changes both of you to the core. When you have this money hidden away you have removed one less prohibitor from seeking marriage counseling. This becomes an easier decision because the two of you have already saved for this day. You are not dooming your marriage by doing this. You are beginning your marriage with truth—the truth that there will be a life circumstance that the two of you will not be able to handle alone and now you have the luxury of asking a professional to help. This has great value.
Wedding Gift List:
People love to give gifts to a newly married couple. You’ve got all those bridal showers and the gift list. This is your chance to get the bedding you can’t afford. Or that luggage set for your honeymoon.
Use your gift list to help pay for that honeymoon so that debt doesn’t come into your marriage. This is becoming more and more common, by the way. Use your gift list to ask for gift cards for future dates. Add that description right into gift list. Promise you will use those gift cards for future dates to continue to grow your relationship. People who get it will be a sucker for that one. Also place on your gift list a request for a wise married couple to mentor you. Put it out there and allow that to be their gift to you. Which also means they are committing to be that gift to you. And what a gift it is!
Clever stuff? But it has you thinking? Good. Get creative.