We are very normal people. We work very normal jobs. We make very normal money. We have very normal families who share our average financial status. I love them to death but the whole process would have been so much easier if they were multi-millionaires with a healthy “Molly’s wedding fund” just waiting for the day I decided to get married. But alas, they’re normal.
At the time we were thinking about getting married, we didn’t have a lot. We both had some savings but we also had student loans and very little capital to our names. Our net worth didn’t amount to anything. It barely broke even.
We wanted to do as much as we could on our own but we struggled with how exactly to balance our cash. We had wants about this special day, of course. I mean, who doesn’t at least have certain details of their “dream wedding” pre-planned?
However, as I’ve previously mentioned, I’m logical before emotional.
I’m no expert; but I wish to offer advice to those who are in a similar position that we were – an average couple planning to spend their lives together!
My first reaction to your situation – GO FOR IT! Marriage totally rocks – but yes, I’m bias.
If you are also interested in how we mentally, emotionally, and spiritually prepared for getting married – you can read my blog Prepare emotionally for marriage with these 3 tips that unfortunately – all to often – get overlooked.
Now, on to my advice, having been in your spot a short year ago. These are my three tips on how to prepare logically for getting married!
Most people have preconceived ideas about their wedding day. All to often, those ideas are misguided and unrealistic. It is imperative that you don’t get sucked into the madness; that you think logically and realistically.
If you can’t afford it; don’t spend it. The pressure of impressing people is so real. I encourage you to think about what the day is really about instead of what others might think of you because of X, Y, or Z. Therefore, if you find a beautiful dress that you are happy with don’t bother to worry about how expensive it is or what brand it is. Be happy with your choices! It’s your day!
Pick your battles; and stick to them. My fiancé and I made a list of wedding details from most important to least important. We included everything we could think to: flowers, DJ, food, drink, dress, shoes, rings, etc. We took our time and made a ranking that we agreed to stick to as closely as possible. Therefore, if flowers was towards the bottom of the ranking then when an offer for a beautiful arrangement presents itself; we passed.
You will here this organization stuff a lot from me. I’m a big believer in organization and it’s powers. Our wedding was an opportunity when I was able to put my skills to the test in a pressure situation.
Keep the books; keep them well. List, charts, and schedules aren’t easy. If they were, everyone would use them. However, it is a sure way of staying organized. There are a lot of details which go into planning a large event. If you aren’t careful; things can easily fall through the cracks. Organization is a necessity. Make lists; update them daily! Chart your budget; be a perfectionist! Stick to your schedule; don’t procrastinate!
Another huge part of keeping “books” is it is a physical system of organization. Meaning, don’t keep it all in your head. Make sure it is something that everyone involved can see. You know, many women complain about their husbands not helping out enough. How is he supposed to help if he doesn’t know the plan? Wedding planning is a prime example. Men often times take a step back and leave 90% of the work to the female. Now-a-days, you have no excuse to not be on the same page when planning a major event. Technology allows for shared notes, lists, calendars, and accounts right at your finger tips. Use it!
I talked about this a lot in my blog about emotionally preparing for marriage. Flexibility is equally important on the logical side. You are literally joining to lives together! I don’t just mean the spiritual bonding of two human souls. I mean literally joining two houses, two households, two phone plans, two insurance policies, two bank accounts, two furniture and decorations styles, two computer hard drives, and two closets.
Whether you live together already or not, chances are you haven’t combined everything yet. Doing so can be stressful. It is important to think logically and make decisions together. You might love your place; but if your future spouses fits better into the budget – move in to theirs instead of making them come to yours. Maybe you’ve had your same phone number since high school and don’t want to give it up; but if your future spouses carrier offers a better family plan – give in, sacrifice and make the best decision for your family.
I want to encourage those who are making this leap! It is scary; I know. But don’t be frightened. Marriage is beautiful and worth it.
I challenge you. During your process of getting married, save yourself unnecessary stress and be realistic, be organized, and be flexible.