Our wedding is going to cost HOW MUCH??
Maybe you can talk some sense to my fiance. We are getting married next year and she wants a big wedding. I want to save our money for a house. She reckons I’m being selfish – Am I?
Drew, I sympathise with you and don’t believe you are being selfish. Nor though do I believe your fiancé should compromise on her dream of a big wedding. It just may be to someone else.
What I find most unsettling from your question is the disparity of your goals and values with your fiancé before you even get married.
Can I suggest that you and your fiancé sit down and do a plan before you even tackle the wedding thing. You should decide about all the stages of your marriage.
When and how many children you want (this is a big one). How they will be raised? What religion you are going to raise them if you are not both of the same church(this can cause a lot of problems later if not sorted and agreed). Education for the children, private verses public.
You should consider where your careers will take you and what sacrifices you are going to be wiling to make. What if one of you gets transferred interstate. Who will take time out to look after children? Where do you want to live? Where do you want to retire? How and where will you holiday? How will your current hobbies affect the budget?
Discuss in depth what each hopes to get out of life.
You should work out a budget with your combined incomes and agree who will manage the finances. Be honest about the strengths and weaknesses each of you have. Work together to ensure that you are both growing, supporting and educating each other. If you don’t both grow together, you will grow apart.
Look at all the possible things that could go wrong with your marriage and discuss how you will deal with them. (Most will happen)
Talk about your long term plans and where you want to end up. Ensure that you are both on the same path.
During this process you will be able to understand each others motivation for wanting different things.
Also a big wedding does not necessarily mean a lot of money. Decide together what you think is an appropriate amount to spend. Look at what’s really important and splash on a couple of things and save where you can on all the others. Do a budget and stick to it. Tip – wedding photos are a waste – the memories are all you need. Borrow nice cars from friends. Accept all offers of help. Have a wishing fountain instead of gifts.
Most importantly set a weekend aside each year to review your goals and ambitions. Do a budget and a wish list. Compare it to each of the previous years and see what you have achieved together and what has fallen by the way side. (this should not be your wedding anniversary as debates can get heated).
You and your fiancé should also take the time to see a financial planner to ensure you are saving the appropriate amount of super. While you are there, organise life insurance.
The earlier you tackle these issue the better off you will be.
Failing to plan for the partnership of life time is just a disaster waiting to end in divorce. I wish all you the very best