Cheaper Weddings = Better Marriages

It has long been my observation that those who put a lot of focus on the wedding day are more likely to have a short marriage.

Usually the 12-24 months from engagement to the wedding day is a very exciting time. There are magazines to be read, suppliers to be booked and copious amounts of shopping to me done; not to mention lots of little details to be decided upon. Wedding planning creates a whirlwind of exhilaration that is hard to sustain once the dress has been dry cleaned and the thank you cards have been delivered.

I urge couples to bear in mind that married life will be exactly the same as your pre-engagement life was plus extra bling. Similar to post-natal depression I have seen many a woman show signs of post-wedding depression. Usually post-wedding depression kicks in about 3 months after the wedding. 3 months into martial life the dress has been dry cleaned, the photographer has come back with your pictures, thank you cards have been sent and no one wants to talk about the wedding with you oie_oie_trim_imageanymore. Your friends are no longer on permanent stand-by to avert any wedding related crisis and it all feels lackluster and flat. It is perfectly normal and OK to put great effort and time into planning your wedding day, but remember that life will not instantly change when your marital status does.

For many couples in the midst of planning an expensive celebration date nights falls to the way-side as every weekend is taken up with browsing, shopping and tasting, meaning a couple can feel distanced from each other as planning progresses. The engagement stage is one of the most-important times in a couples life to carry-on dating each other. If the cost allocated to the wedding far exceeds an affordable saving level then finances wont be the only thing to suffer. Stress will get the better of you at some stage during the planning; and it is at this time when you really need to be connected with your partner and remember why you fell in love with them in the first place. It is my advice to budget your wedding planning schedule so that you still have the ability to “date” each other once a month.

So is this observation of mine true? Can the cost of a wedding have an impact on the longevity of a marriage?

In September 2014 a study on the correlation between wedding expenses and marriage duration was completed by two Economics professors at Emory University. The study was done on more than 3,000 people (an admittedly small study group) asking them about their first marriage. Some of the results of the study are in bullet below:

  • Men who spent between $2,000 and $4,000 on an engagement ring were 1.3 times more likely to divorce than those who spent between $500 and $2,000 (USD)
  • Those who spent more than $20,000 on their wedding day were 3.5 time more likely to divorce than those who spent between $5,000 and $10,000
  • Those who spent less on their wedding were 82-93% less likely to experience wedding-debt related stress post wedding.

Given the fact the study size was small, and the write up is short with few definite conclusions the validity of the study is questionable at best. It would be good for a study to be done on a much larger group, spread across more than one developed country. The best platforms to complete these surveys are the ones who wouldn’t want to do so because the results could be negative towards their business model.

With the above aside, the study does show a correlation between lower wedding expenditure and longevity of marriage.

So you’ve never had a better reason to cut that wedding budget down and knock off those unnecessary wedding expenses off the list. Worried about what your friends and family will think of your parred back nuptials? Just tell them it is all for the good of your resulting marriage.

Cheaper Weddings = Better Marriages

Marriage (life)


Sometimes we can get carried away with the romance and the wedding planning, but it is important as the big day looms to make sure you are 100% sure this person is your forever person.

I know this all too painfully as when I got engaged at 19 I couldn’t have been happier. But at 22 and five months away from the wedding, I realised I had got swept away with the planning and the excitement of wedding planning was all that was keeping me with him. I made the difficult decision at that point to end it all. I’m so glad I came to the realisation I had fallen out of love before saying “I do’.

Now I’m 25 and couldn’t be more sure my fiancée is my forever man, but I still recommend to take time out to evaluate before your wedding day that you’re doing this for all the right reasons. All too often couples spend so much energy planning their wedding day they don’t realise that between getting engaged and getting married things have changed, then once they’re married and the reality of married life kicks in and all the wedding excitement has ebbed away, that they are no longer in love with their now spouse and divorce happens a year or two after marriage.

I hope none of your experience this and if any of you have as I did before getting married then I am truly sorry; but hold on to the knowledge that like me, you will find someone else who couldn’t be better for you.

Wedding Fayres – not convinced?

When I got engaged for the first time I avoided wedding fayres like a cat avoids water, with a misguided thought that wedding fayres would only make me wish I had a bigger budget or break by budget by tempting me in to products and services I couldn’t afford.

Ideas I found when I attended my first wedding fayre

The truth of the matter is there are all sorts of suppliers at wedding fayres providing services and products to suit a range of budgets, plus you can get some fantastic ideas like I did when I attended my first wedding fayre.

There is a company called ‘KK Events‘ who specialise in wedding fayres – check out her blog for even more proof about how useful and inspiring wedding fayres can be

To quote Matilda and Molly (found via KK Events blog):

“Now, there is no easy way to say this….the excitement will drain you a little and you will start to think “why?” “what!” “how?!”. Planning your wedding can be daunting. Pinterest is GREAT for weddings, however it can also leave you mightily confused and asking “what on earth do we want our wedding to look like”.
When you get to this stage it is time to sit back and remember why you are doing this. You are getting married because you are in love. You are getting married to tell the world that you are in love. You are getting married because of you and your partner.
So, now we have got you back down to earth and in a happy loved up and smiley inside place, you are can start to think about your wedding and what you want it to say about you and your future husband or wife.”

When trying to work out where to start in the whole wedding planning dream/nightmare attending a local wedding fayre and speaking to the guest suppliers can really help to settle your mind and provide some clarity amongst all the bewildering options available.

Sending all you wonderful B2Bs the best of luck!

Generational divide – wedding cost

From my own experience and from talking with friends, it seems that sometimes there is a generational divide when it comes to the perception of how much a wedding is worth.

When I was planning my wedding (which, unfortunately did not go ahead when five months before my wedding date, I realised I did not love my fiance any more and broke off the engagement and the relationship), my parents were forever saying how a wedding needn’t be expensive. They couldn’t understand why anyone would want to spend thousands of pounds on a wedding.

I was planning my big day for 6k all in, which, I often felt wasn’t enough. All the wedding magazines I bought, the wedding forums I frequented and the big day blogs I read told me that you needed at least 10k, but that most couples sent 20k on their celebration. Thinking about trying to pay for everything on a small budget whilst avoiding my guests thinking that the decorations were tacky or sparse and underwhelming was daunting.

No doubt we’ve all heard one of our relatives telling us how they got hitched on a shoe string, and how they loved their day and all the guests had an excellent time. My own parents got married at the tender ages of 19 and 21 in 1984, spending about 1k on everything. 30 years later they are still happily married and have wonderful memories of their day.

£1,000 In 1984 is equivalent to £2,725.30 today. However, can we really imagine spending just £2,725.30 on your wedding day?

How they did it in brief:
My Dad and his Best Man wore their RAF best uniforms – FREE
My Great Grandmother and my Grandmother bought my Mum’s wedding dress and veil for her – FREE (downside was they went shopping and bought it without her. She didn’t choose it at all!)
They used a local taxi driver as the wedding car (the taxi was unmarked and put a wedding ribbon on)
A colleague of my dads did the photography (he was more used to taking pictures of planes! But he did a wonderful job) – FREE
They bought a high street Flower Girl dress in blue and the adult Bridesmaid wore her own dress
The ceremony was done at the village church
The reception was in the village hall
My mum won their honeymoon in Paris through work – FREE

I understand completely where people such as my dear parents are coming from when they moan about how much money couples spend on their weddings. It does seem to have become a competition; who can have the best entertainment, who can have the nicest wedding favours etc, and a certain snobbery seems to have developed, notably among many a snobbery against DJs and a move towards live bands or musicians.

However, I also understand why many couples wish to save a large budget for their wedding day. In the 1980’s and earlier it was frowned upon to live together without being married, more so frowned upon to have children outside of wedlock. For most people the norm was to get married, move in together and then have children.

In today’s society, it is no longer frowned up on live together or have children outside of wedlock. Many people are single parents, many are living together without being married, and even more who live together and have children minus the vows. Marriage is now a CHOICE, not a convention to be abided by.

Therefore when women grow up, surrounded by divorces, by friends who decided not to marry, when they meet their future husband and mutually decide to show their commitment to each other by joining into matrimony they want to do it ‘properly’, even if it means saving a lot of money, and perhaps, making sacrifices to ensure they can have the day they have spent years planning.

The average age of people getting married has also gone up since the 80’s. In the 80’s the average age for men and women to first get married was 24 for men and 22 for women. In 2010 the average age of people getting married for the first time was 28 for men and 26 for women.

The average ages for couples first getting married rising and the increase in women earning higher wages is a very good reason as to why, when couples do get married they decide to spend extra on making sure they are able to have everything they have planned to have.

I’d love to hear from other brides-to-be or wives in relation to if you feel there is generational differences when it comes to opinions on how much a wedding should cost.

Taking things back to Basics

I love brides who take their weddings back to the basics of the wedding and stop worrying about all the added extras that are not necessary but we feel are due to the wedding industry in-graining it in our heads that we are a bad bride if we do not have a blue wedding garter on, if we do not release doves after the ceremony, or even worse we are an awful, ungrateful bride if we do not give our guests gifts for coming to our wedding.

A friend of mine who is getting married on a very tight budget, is going to the Registry Office to have her civil ceremony in a dress that is being made by her grandmother, afterwards they are going to their local community hall where they are having a DJ style party. They will only be feeding their guests once. The best part of the whole wedding plan in my opinion? The buffet is made up of the food that the guests have bought with them, known as a ‘Pot Luck’ buffet. All guests bring a plate of food with them, put it on the buffet table where people will go up to get food from later in the evening.

Bring your own plate at very small budget weddings is something that I whole heartedly agree with. Many people who come to a wedding would love to contribute anyway, and if each person brings something different, if you have 50 guests, you have 50 different plates of food on your buffet. To make sure you have no duplications, you could always, in with people’s invites ask people to bring some sandwiches, sausage rolls and pork pies, chicken kebab, a trifle etc. An alternative to this, is that you ask people to bring a plate of food that they are going to eat. Pot Luck catering is more popular with brides getting married for the second time, and it does depend on how casual your social circle is and would be best suited to smaller weddings as opposed to large guest list weddings.

The thing that I love about a potluck wedding is that it takes all the pomp out of the wedding. The day becomes about the couple coming together as man and wife, and about the two families joining together as one family due to the love between the couple. Each guest can bring something that reflects them and who they are, (my brother in-law loves spicy food, so no doubt he would bring food that would blow your head off your neck, my mother in-law loves her trifles so she would no doubt bring a superb trifle with her) and it is fun for the other guests to try and guess who bought what with them. For some practical advice about potluck weddings check out this page.

If a couple are on a very tight budget, the way to make your wedding an amazing day is to put the focus on your marriage instead of your wedding. All of the guests will love it for being so fresh and so much about the love as opposed to about the money spent.

Have any of you been to a potluck wedding? How did it work out? Do you have any advice or tips that you would like to share about potluck weddings?

Click, Flash, Snap

The uncles have had a few drinks, downing their last one, they make their way outside where one drops his trousers and there is a flash from behind, laughing and celebrating at their idea, another joins him and drops his trousers as another flash goes off. Inside the ceremony room children are running around taking snaps, unsure of what they are actually snapping, and too busy rushing around to stand still long enough to create a steady focus. A few weeks later as the Bride and Groom go to collect the results they begin to laugh but ultimately feel disappointed at what they see in front of them.

This is often the story that is created when disposable cameras are given out at weddings on the tables for guests to use to take pictures. 20/30 years ago, giving out disposable cameras for guests to use at a wedding was a good idea. It meant that the Bride and Groom got some nice, informal pictures of their guests that they wouldn’t have been able to see otherwise. Now a days disposable cameras are nothing but a waste of money for the budget bride.

You are looking at about £2 per disposable camera and then £3.50 ish per camera to process them. To buy and process 10 cameras you’re looking at £55.

Disposable Camera

Aside from the cost there is the point of how useless they are when most people, if not all have either a digital camera or camera phone, that has a zoom, better pixel-ation and different modes they can use depending on the photo conditions, inside, outside, dark etc. Your guests will be able to take much better pictures with their digital cameras than they ever will be able to with disposable point and snaps. Plus they will give you copies for free, emailing them to you and often putting the pictures on Facebook.

Not to mention that the majority of people who use disposable cameras at weddings are children, who run around snapping people, with their fingers over the lens or moving the camera so that it is too fuzzy to make out who is in the picture, or drunk men who take pictures of themselves mooning.

My sister in-law and brother in-law felt pressured into having disposable cameras at their wedding, which they say to this day was a waste of time and money as loads of guests had their own digital cameras that they were using. They never even got them developed.

Therefore I am campaigning for any bride, not just the budget bride to step away from the disposable cameras, and to for once, trust your guests to be able to take some pictures and give them to you after the wedding.

Did you have disposable cameras on the tables at your wedding? Do you regret or are you really glad you decided to provide them? Please comment with your thoughts as I’d love to hear from you.