Screen shot 2013-04-19 at 11.24.29 AMWeddings are expensive. And the fact that a $10,000 wedding (I repeat, TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS) is looked at as “a challenge,” at least in the wedding industry, speaks to that. (Careful: that link will send you to an article on The Knot.)


Alas, there are really only two ways to get over (read: solve) this problem: 1) be rich as hell; or 2) stop caring. So, until our cat wins the lotto, my fiance and I will pretty much fall into the latter category. And while that certainly sounds irresponsible (and it certainly can be, as I’m sure we’ll find out), our reasoning goes like this:

We’re only getting married once (at least to each other… JKJKJK, I mean ever, ’cause we’ll be together till the end of time, duh), so it’s worth it to us to pay cash credit money for the things we truly want at our wedding—for those items that will meaningfully make our day better.

Our particular list includes great food and drank, a talented photographer, an officiant who can both legally marry us (I mean, really, that’s the point, right?) and also, we believe, make our ceremony enjoyable for both us and our guests, a day-of planner so I don’t have to sweat through my silk chiffon, a DJ who knows what he’s doing, and probably some other stuff that we haven’t even thought about yet.

Obviously, though, we‘re not insane we have credit limits, so we’ve put some sorta cap on our budget… or more truthfully, probably, our tastes did. I’ll admit, it really helped out our economic situation that neither of us envisioned one billion long-stemmed roses, expensive silk tapestries or anything that’s shiny and goes by the name of Swarovski at our soiree, thus, we won’t be needing to pay for those expensive things. So, when we note our decor budget is “as cheap as possible,” we actually don’t really see that as a sacrifice.

But even if we did, cutting down a decor budget or dress budget or any budget won’t make a $25,000 wedding a $5,000 wedding, especially in an East Coast urban city. Them’s just the depressing monetary breaks. And most definitely, we both experienced sticker shock. These costs are hard; they present to us several moral conundrums; they make us angry; and now they’re making us very poor.

On the bright side, once we threw down that first $10K in payments (YUP, I JUST SAID THAT), the initial shock and awe of how much everything was costing started to wear off and something very weird began to happen… Our perspective went from “ZOMFG WHAT ARE WE DOING?!” to “Meh, whatever.” I can’t even pinpoint when exactly this shift happened, but somehow our minds began to subconsciously rationalize these costs. It’s almost like we got used to talking about these gigantic sums of money that our entire perspective changed. Like, now we think about money in terms of “wedding dollars,” where $100 real dollars equals $1 wedding dollar.

Let me tell you, this is dangerous.

This shift makes me feel like a cumulonimbus cloud: all I wanna do is make it rain. Everywhere. For instance, that $100 pair of grey and neon yellow Topsiders I’ve had my eye on? That’s, like, what… one wedding dollar? Pfft. I’ll take ’em! (And I did. And I listened to Vampire Weekend immediately after the purchase.)

Or how about that extensive honeymoon we were going to put off until our first anniversary, when, you know, we paid off our debts like responsible adults. The one with the $1,200 plane tickets (a piece)?

“Oh, that’s just 24 wedding bucks. We’ll take ’em!” (Although, I think after planning a fucking wedding in America, these two dozen wedding dollars are most definitely worth it.)

Yes, be prepared for a perspective change on your cash flow once you get into the depths of wedding planning. But be careful. I’ve had to stop myself from making several frivolous purchases over the last couple of weeks, like a… $10,000 couch. (I can’t even believe I just wrote that.) I mean… it’s just 100 wedding dollars, right? That sounds like a deal to me. Thankfully, though, I still realize it’s one thing to be poor temporarily because of a wedding; it’s another to be poor for life. After all, what fun is a nice couch if you can’t afford the house you’d like to put it in? Houses are, like, thousands of wedding dollars, people.