Little did I know that the search for the engagment ring is your first full blown encounter with the Wedding Industrial Complex. The conversation goes a little like this: " You are getting married! Fantastic! There are so many things you must BUY BUY BUY! We don't care if you want these things or not! They are traditional! They are vital to your future happyness! Everyone Else is doing it! You don't want to look POOR do you?"
We started off at your run of the mill jewelers, and I'd tell them what size stone I was looking for and they would look disappointed, then giggle a little (who was I to know what I wanted, after all), then say they had the perfect thing. Then out would come a stone that would feed a family for a year. I have little hands. These rings looked crazy on me. And I didn't like the way the jewelers were looking at us. It creeped me out. They seemed to be implying that David would only be a Real Man if he ponied up three months salary on the ring. I didn't want to be the all American princess Barbie bride. I felt sort of panicked. Suddenly I didn't even want to be engaged anymore. Continue reading In which the WIC makes it’s first grab at my soul. And wallet.
“Did you know, unless you are bananas-rich, you are kind of expected to plan an entire wedding by yourselves? Venue, invitations, colors, flowers, caterers. (For example, Papa John’s requires a two-month lead time for weddings! And they don’t do cakes.) You even have to be sure of things like “will the wedding venue have a sadsack on hand in case one of your wedding guests besmirches the restroom?” It really is that detailed.”
My new favorite word for weddings is now bananas.
I’m pleased to introduce Wedding Budget Wednesdays. I know, I know, it’s getting your teeth pulled. But, I love personal finance, and the staggering cost of weddings is a huge issue that I’m not hearing much discussion of. I know it’s supposed to be my BIG PERFECT DAY, but what about the rest of my life? Owning a home? Putting my kids through college? Sadly, weddings now cost so much that you start thinking about these things. The worst part is, every time I mention that we’re going to do the wedding on a budget, people tell me, “Oh, yeah, but you can’t really stick to a budget with a wedding.” I don’t know about you, but I stick to a budget every single month, and it’s always hard. Budgets are a b*tch. That’s just how they roll.
Ten minutes of looking at a wedding budget is enough to make even a girl like me, who’s dreamed about her wedding since she was four (it’s totally true, I’m a girls-girl through and through, I was just born like that) want to run off to the courthouse and get married. (This is especially tempting in San Francisco, since we have the worlds most beautiful courthouse). The problem with this is that we really want to celebrate with all of our family and friends. That’s the point of getting married for us, making a commitment in front of your community. Oh, and, since many of our family and friends will have to travel to get to the wedding, no matter where we have it, it seems polite to feed them. And maybe even give them something to drink.
So I know I’m tempting the gods by discussing things like wedding budgeting in the public square, but I’m going to brave it. Someone needs to do it. The average wedding in this country apparently costs close to $30,000 now. I’m not judging my fellow brides and grooms, because it’s really tough. And the minute you let slip that it’s a wedding, the price of everything goes up 25%. Lucky for us we’re having a ceremony at the synagogue followed by a family reunion.
It’s going to be a interesting process, keeping costs down, but I absolutely refuse to pay a amount that would have covered my first year at NYU for a party. Stay tuned…
Continue reading Mmmm…. gender stereotypes