While perusing the internet this week, I came across several advertisements for financing your wedding. Because there is nothing that says we are ready for the next chapter of our lives like starting it with a massive debt. Curious, I investigated more. Washington Times reported that the average price of an American wedding had reached a mind-boggling $35,329!
WHAT! On a party?
This amount could send that couple on good economic footing into the world. 35,000 dollars is a great downpayment on a home in most states or even a paid in full, flat-out cash price on some fixer uppers or condos.
It could allow that couple to house hack and cover all of their housing expenses!!! Why would anyone in their right mind finance a wedding?
Where are the friends and families not condoning excess and telling the perpetrators of such wastefulness what they are doing? TIME reports as of 2016 that 1 in 3 people have no retirement savings and that 72% of millennials have less than $10,000 in savings.
Where did we go wrong?
When did declaring our love for someone for our all our friends and families to nourish and protect become a pinnacle of American consumerism?
Does having the $3,000 dress instead of the $300 one say our love will last forever? Well it better, because that debt probably will stick around for a while.
But guess what, it does not, in fact quite the opposite.
On average, if you spend more money on your wedding ring and wedding, the marriage is less likely to last! The professors went on to hypothesize that it was possible that the economic stress of the debt from the wedding was what caused such outcome.
Do we need more reasons to be fiscally responsible, on this special day?
It goes on further to say:
“evidence suggests that the types of weddings associated with lower likelihood of divorce are those that are relatively inexpensive but are high in attendance.“
So if you want that marriage to last, go cheap, but don’t skimp on the people.
I didn’t know all this when I got married, but this is exactly what I had.
A big, cheap wedding.
This is what I did to get the wedding that I wanted without busting my budget, all said and done I think I ended up paying less than $2000 for 80 people:
Buy many of the things you would normally rent. And then sell them back on ebay.com, craigslist.com, or a Facebook group. Net after the sale will be a fraction of the cost to rent. It is usually pretty easy to do in bulk, but you can get more back separate. I got all sorts of things on Amazon.com: Wedding Fairy Lights, Table Runners, Table Cloth, Vases, and anything else you can think of!
Choose a cheap venue. We did a backyard wedding, and it was wonderful. Other places that are cheap are city parks, national parks, and some other public facilities.
Get a pre-owned wedding dress. Using an expensive dress for one day is wasteful. I bought something that I had tried on at a store for half-off the tag. And guess what you can sell it again afterward!! I used Pre-Owned Wedding Dresses, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Many of the dresses offer returns.
Get a Birthday Cake! I went wedding cake shopping and was disgusted both with the level of quality and the price. Instead, I decided to go to my local bakery and ordered three all white birthday cakes. They were amazingly good and a fraction of the cost.
Rent the tables and chairs, make sure to shop around and don’t mention that it is a wedding.
Don’t skimp on the Wedding Photographer. This was the one thing I wish I hadn’t gone cheap on. Still, there are so many amazing photographers out there I would choose one that isn’t huge on the wedding circuit to get more value.
Food. This was my biggest expense. I had my favorite restaurant cater a buffet. The meal was my chosen splurge for my guests that made my wedding feel not low budget at all.
Get flowers in bulk. I ordered 450 roses in three beautiful colors from Sam’s Club.
Have family help out! Some family members will want to help share in your big day; this is an awesome way. Those flowers need to be arranged, the chairs set up and moved, maybe you have a cousin who would rather give some time than cash for a present!
How do you feel about the modern American wedding? What was your wedding like or what are you planning?
Whenever I end up in a conversation about citizenship and the fact that I have Dual citizenship in the USA and Italy I generally get two responses. One group of people give me that wrinkly brow skeptical look and ask why? The other group look excited and ask how? Here is the answer to both those questions.
Why not? I live my life wanting as many options as I can have. There are no negatives to having a dual citizenship, except for maybe high-level security clearances in the government. And in worst case scenarios of draft or political turmoil, I can always renounce that citizenship.
You know those worst case scenarios I just spoke of? I could drop my original home country too. I will always have another home country that will take me in. Clearly, the US is not Syria, but I like the idea of always having that escape plan.
I love to travel and really experience new cultures. It allows me to live, work, or go to school in Europe for as long as I want with all the benefits and rules of a national.
Having a second passport adds to the list of countries I can enter without a visa.
It was a labor of love. It makes me feel more connected to my familial roots and undertaking this task has brought me closer to my heritage.
Now, this is more complicated! The way I got my dual citizenship was through jure sanguinis, citizenship by descent. This means I had to have an unbroken chain of citizenship all the way to Italy.
There are a few hitches to this:
Your Italian relative had to have been in Italy or been born in Italy post-March 17, 1861, which was when Italy became a united nation.
If your lineage depends on a female link, you could have a problem, women could not pass on their citizenship unless the child was born after January 1st, 1948.
If your ancestors naturalized and renounced their citizenship before your link to them was born the chain is broken.
Then comes all the research, paperwork, and waiting. Each embassy is a little different but you have to provide a full history with birth, death, and marriage certificates. Which all have to be authenticated and translated into Italian. You have to show proof that no one renounced their citizenship, and if they did proof your ancestor was born before they did.
It was a lot of work! I know there are some companies out there which will do some of the work for you, but I did everything myself, and I’m glad I did it was very rewarding. It also took a lot of time, Italians do not feel the hustle, it took me over a year to get my great grandparents birth and marriage certificate from Italy, and once I had submitted my paperwork to the embassy it took them a year and a half to declare me an Italian Citizen. Now while my children were automatically made citizens with me my husband now has to apply through marriage. Which is a different thing entirely, I’ll let you go know how that goes when it is done!
A healthy relationship is paramount to your happiness and wellbeing. A good relationship builds you up and helps you achieve your goals. It is there for you when things get tough. A bad relationship can destroy your self-worth and damage you severely. No relationship is perfect, but once you both get these rules down pat, it really can be pretty easy to have an incredible connection where the sky is the limit.
Make your partner a priority. Many people have a real hard time with this one. People often put work or their children in front of their spouse, or even their friends. Remember: your partner is the person you have chosen to build a life with. You will change jobs or eventually retire. Children move out of the house, and the best thing you can ever teach them is what a healthy relationship is. Your spouse should be your partner in life, listen to them, if they say they need more time with you, make it. If they need to set a limit on something, try to meet them.
Do not say negative things about your partner to anyone other than your partner or a professional. It reaffirms your negative thoughts. It brings you closer emotionally to the person you are talking to and farther from your spouse. Also, once you move on from the issue, it is more likely to be brought up again, and that will not help your relationship or your friend’s opinions of your partner.
Get on the same page, set goals together or do something new together. Feel like your drifting apart or have nothing in common? Struggling to make conversation after you’ve caught each other up on the day? You can change that. Find something you’re both interested in be it getting your finances on track to buy a house, planning a trip, or taking up a pottery class.
Learn your love languages of your relationship and do at least one thing each day to tell the other you love them. The power of positivity is strong. If you want to be treated well, treat your partner well. Let them know you love and appreciate them. If you do not know what makes yourself, and your spouse feel loved you can always check out: http://www.5lovelanguages.com/ they have a free test to find out your love language.
Pick your battles. Try not to sweat the small stuff. No one likes to argue all the time, and it is easier to jump from one fight to the next when you do. If enough small things pile up into a real issue, have a conversation about how you would like to see progress on them. Instead of focusing on what negative things your partner is doing, make sure to comment on all the positive ones. See: How to Fight Like a Pro! Conflict Resolution and Forgiveness
Change your response, not their actions. Relationships give the opportunity for positive change within yourself. You can only control yourself, and they are an individual. Instead of focusing on them doing something or the lack there of, bring your energy to finding solutions or peace with how things are. People respond much better to asking for help in a loving manner than complaining why they never do something. Remember: Our partners can not read our minds, even if sometimes it feels like they can, you need to communicate your needs.