One of the most crucial pieces of advice we learned from FinHealth is paying for large purchases in cash, instead of on credit. Karen and Devin decided to do just that when it came to paying for their upcoming wedding. They wrote about the experience, and how they made it happen, below.
Before we started planning our wedding, we wanted to take time to enjoy our engagement without letting the pressure get to us. Very quickly, though, we started getting questions from friends: Are you going to have an engagement party? Did you pick a date? What kind of venue are you looking for? What is your budget?
“Did you know that most people in our area spend $60K+ on a wedding”? One friend asked. Hearing that was pretty daunting, but we also decided early on that despite being overwhelmed by all those questions we did not want to let that dictate our decisions.
One of the first things we did was ground ourselves on our purpose. Our wedding is about the commitment we are making and a celebration of the love we have for each other with the people who have come alongside us throughout our lives. We want to create a space where we can celebrate that in a beautiful way. But we also want to be wise with how we start our lives together – weddings are big investments, and it can be easy to let the emotions around the day put you in a bad place financially.
We decided to create a plan and cash flow budget. We wanted to pay for our wedding fully in cash. This was great because it allowed us to see what we could afford to spend for the wedding and also helped us break down buckets for specific categories such as the venue, attire, music/photography, etc. Having this plan allowed us to tackle tasks one step at a time before going to the next one. This gave us amazing clarity when it came to working on our plan. If something was not the next item on the plan, we were not focusing on it or talking too much about it. This system also helped us delegate some of the items we knew we wouldn’t be good at, such as creating graphics and the invitation suite. Karen’s sister, Cristina, has done an excellent job on that! And as we take each step, the momentum has helped us stay focused.
One of our biggest celebrations so far was finding a venue. When we first started looking for venues, we were overwhelmed and stressed by the prices we were seeing. We searched at least 50 places online and visited six locations in person. There were many times where we got discouraged and thought we would have to go over our budget to get what we wanted. But with patience, diligence and some out-of-the-box thinking, we were able to find a beautiful place within our budget. With each venue visit we learned a little more about our preferences and started to learn how to ask the right questions. After touring a venue that was top of our list, we sat down with the event manager and found out there were no summer Friday dates in 2019. This was disappointing for sure. But after some discussion and waiting, Karen asked a simple question that would end up saving us over $4,000: “Do you host weddings on Thursdays?” The venue made us an offer and, after some more questions, we had a deal and it was within our budget for the venue!