The following is a post written by my younger sister. Please note: I did not have to pay her to write nice things. 🙂
The Frugal Weddings Series
Hello Frugal Portland family! My name is Caitlin. Sometimes I comment on posts here as “Little Sister” because that’s what I am! I have known and loved Kathleen a lot longer than you, and for that you should be jealous. She is the best sister in the entire world.
Being such a good sister, she is letting me get a little air time on her fantastically authored blog. You see, I am planning a wedding.
I am a lot like my sister. When I was an awkward middle schooler and she was already in college, I used to refer to her as, “society’s accepted version of myself.” Looks-wise, we are almost identical aside from the fact that Kathleen is a little shorter, a lot tanner, and a brunette. Personality-wise, Kathleen is your typical oldest child. She is much more organized and practical than I will ever be. Fortunately for me, her adventures with personal finance have helped me understand the reality of money and all that goes along with it, as I am not about to ignore the mistakes, successes, and damn good advice of my elders.
Back in my younger days I took out loans to finance a master’s degree in a field I am (at best) ambivalent towards. After paying off almost $7000 of student loan dept on a teacher’s salary, getting in a and out of credit card debt, and doing my own taxes only to find out I OWE this year, one could say I have financially come of age. So here I am, 24, fiscally aware, and planning a wedding.
In 2012, the average amount of cash Americans dropped on a wedding was $28,427. That’s slightly higher than the average in Portland, a mere $26,375. I don’t plan on getting high and mighty or even sad and whining from my pity potty, but Frugal Weddings is all about how Tim and I, together with our parents, refuse to spend anything near that number. I love, love, love weddings and I am determined to plan one that we will remember forever, for around $12,000.
Despite the fact that it is less than half of the average, $12,000 is so much money! I feel totally blessed to have so much to work with when it so obviously isn’t coming from my own savings. My promise to Frugal Weddings readers is this: Not once will I make you feel like 12k is not enough money for a wedding. Not once will I ignore the fact that 12k is a sacrifice for my ever-generous, ever-loving parents. Not once will I judge other people’s wedding budgets. Weddings are personal, and, when done right, they unite two families in love and joyful celebration. Now the joy and love is free, but the celebration… that isn’t.
What about you? What did you spend on your wedding? How do you feel about the national average?
Frugal Weddings Lesson One: The Ring
If he offers to pay for it and you wont be paying it off while married, let him buy you the big diamond. Do not include in the wedding budget. Wait, I just had a thought! Is the engagement ring typically included in the average costs of weddings? That doesn’t seem right, but it would explain the high averages…
Look forward to upcoming posts on how we cut costs and personalize our event so that December 31st, 2013 ends up being a magical start to a new year and our newly married life.