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Wedding Tips Winner!

October 25, 2010

Awhile back I wrote my column about weddings and the importance of making wise money decisions so the debt from the wedding does not outlast the marriage. Thanks to everyone who sent me their wedding budget tips on weddings. Below are comments from the winning entry, as well as my thoughts in parenthesis afterward:

            “I am the wedding coordinator at a local church.  When I meet with the brides for the first time, I always tell them that they are just as married spending $3000 on a wedding as they are spending $30,000. And, I always tell them to get a good, professional photographer because, other than the rings, pictures are all they will have left of that day so they might as well pay someone who’s good, and not depend on dear old Uncle Harry who used to belong to a photography club and shows up with his Kodak Instamatic!”

(Good advice. I think with digital cameras and softwear such as Photoshop, couples think they can save money on pictures. As time goes on, the pictures we have from our best experiences are our prized possessions. I was watching the news last week and a lady from Boulder was able to return to her house to get a few belongings before the fires were predicted to arrive. When she was asked what she got, she said she got all the photo albums, because all the stuff they owned could be replaced, but not the memories and experiences captures in the album.)

            “We have three sons who are all married.  Since it was the last thing we felt that we could actually tell them to do, we told each of them that that engagement ring did not go on the girl’s finger until it was paid for with cash. No credit cards and no payments. They did not need to start out their marriage with payments still being made on an engagement ring. I’m pleased to say that they obeyed us on that one! And, not one son spent anywhere near $3,500 to $4,500 for a engagement ring but their fiancées were thrilled with what they received in the way of a ring.”

(I’m glad you mentioned this. I was afraid I would be in the doghouse at home if I spent too much time talking about saving money on the ring. It is a shame that some expectations and commonly-accepted sayings, such as you need to spend so many months of your salary, kept getting passed down by marketers and are accepted by society without question.)

            “My husband and I did not agree with you about getting married in Vegas, though. We attended a “destination wedding” there a couple of years ago for our nephew. We found it cold, impersonal and terribly costly for us, and for the bride’s/groom’s families. To each his own but we would NOT recommend it.”

(Fair enough. We still are thrilled about our destination vacation. I think our parents did pay for the rest of our siblings to attend, but considering my wife and I paid for our wedding, they came out way ahead of most parents paying for weddings. All our guests were thrilled to have a little vacation, with a lot of activities to choose from before and after the wedding. Also, as the bride and groom, it was great to not have to worry about all the details, but still have a classy wedding. We did not send out invitations; we simply told our family and friends when and where we were getting married and said we would love to have them if they could come. 

            “Unfortunately, as long as there are shows on TV like “The Wedding Story,” or “Say Yes to the Dress,” brides will continue to think they need to compete to have the best and most expensive wedding ever. And, with Chelsea Clinton’s wedding supposedly costing 3 to 5 million dollars, that’d sure make a lot of nice down payments on houses for a lot of deserving young couples. Somewhere along the line, priorities sure got mixed up, didn’t they?”

(Great point on how celebrities and cable television have altered what we believe. I think a combination of home shows and lifestyle shows have convinced us that we need to live the good life without necessarily earning it.)

            Thanks again to those who submitted ideas. It was fun to hear about others’ experiences and perspectives. Keep reading, and sometime down the road, I will ask for your ideas on another topic. Also, it you have something you would like me to write about, feel free to e-mail me at

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 27, 2010 7:40 pm

    I have 4 married children and agree with the author of the article above. I also am a co-owner of a wedding event facility in Birmingham, Al. Do not skimp on your photographs… they will last you a lifetime and they are all you have left of that special day. Instead cut elsewhere. I just wrote an article on how to save on at least one portion of your wedding. You can view it at:

    And no, I do not get paid if you read it!

    • October 27, 2010 10:09 pm

      Thanks for the comment. I went to your site at and it looks like an outstanding facility. I think it’s great that you promote your facility by giving out free information in your articles on different sites.

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