Use Wedding Budget for Down Payment

I'm a real estate broker and I work with many young couples buying their first home. I have a friend who just recently married and learned (the hard way), that the advice I gave her a year ago proved to be true. She spent almost a year and about $68,000 on "the perfect wedding".


I had told her long ago that the best advice I could give to her as a friend was to have a small conservatively priced wedding and to spend her real cash on a down payment for their first home. She and hubby-to-be paid for this wedding themselves from their savings and a small inheritance. It was beautiful BUT after their honeymoon, she called me to begin looking for houses only to find they would have to compromise their "wants" and future "needs" in this new home because they didn't have enough down payment to buy the size of home they really wanted. They seemed to take this information in stride although I know she's reconsidering the "value" of her big perfect wedding.

The bad thing is that after all that planning and expense, she and the groom were both so tense and stressed on the big day that she says most of the day (including the ceremony), was a blur. I can't imagine choosing one day over several years of contentment. Not to mention that her almost $70,000 wedding is money spent while using that money toward their home would have given her a considerable return on her investment in the long run.


I think in our society, girls are raised on what I call the "Cinderella principle" and taught that the wedding day is the most important day of our lives when, in reality, having a big wedding does nothing for our future let alone ensure that the marriage will last.

If we could begin teaching our young girls to prepare for the future and to invest while they're young, maybe they would be better off in the long run! Just makes sense to me!

By Angela from Central Florida

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

The wedding is not important--the MARRIAGE is. I borrowed a dress from a neighbor, only had a maid-of-honor and a best man (she wore an old prom dress and he a suit), no music while walking down the isle, the only photographer was my brother and his 35mm camera, homemade food, and the cheapest hall we could find. We spent about $500 dollars on the whole thing.


We have been married 25 years this year and the only regret that I have is that I wished I had eloped and not spent any money. Weddings are so stressful, I only had the bare minimum wedding, and I still didn't enjoy myself! I am shocked that someone actually felt that they had to spend $68,000 for a wedding; that would have made a fabulous down payment for a house and I would much rather have that!!

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

I AGREE!!! We will have been married 11 yrs this Valentine's Day and we had a gorgeous wedding.
In San Diego, CA we picked an ideal spot, Presido
Park overlooking the city and park fee was $35.00
I got fresh pink, red roses, pink, red tulilps, fresia


etc for free for all the flowers as a grocery store was opening a flower stand inside and the manager came by and would not let me pay. I was 34 when I married and my family had always shopped there.
All our gift money we took part for LONG honeymoon and the rest to save for things we wanted like a home. I have been to too many weddings that cost so much and someone always
complains. Mine was simple and lovely and I remember each moment and had only family and friends that I truly loved there not just everybody I ever met.

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By (Guest Post)
January 20, 20060 found this helpful

oh my gosh...if every girl could take this to heart.
Better yet, SAVE AND BUY YOUR OWN HOUSE FEMALES.....When it is yours, then you can get married, keep the deed in your name...when the marriage least you have your house, which s more that most females get. Yes, they may be awarded the house, but paying for it is a different matter!

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

I am curious as to why the minister, priest, rabbi, or whoever officiated at this big deal wedding didn't do some pre-marriage counseling and tell this couple that a $68,000 wedding was a ridiculous expenditure. When my hubby and I got married 24 years ago, that was one of the things that the minister discussed with us.


A few years ago hubby and I went to the wedding of our neighbor's daughter. This wedding was a year and a half in the planning and set "Daddy" back many thousands. At the ceremony, the priest said to the the happy couple "Today is a fairytale, a dream. This is not marriage. Marriage takes hard work, but it is worth it." He must have had his suspicions. The "marriage" started to collapse after they came back from their 2 week honeymoon on Maui. It lasted a grand total of 3 months. People put too much importance on putting on a grand show and not enough importance on the actual marriage.

O.K., I'll just jump off my soapbox, now.

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By Cathy (Guest Post)
January 20, 20060 found this helpful

hi Angela
You're absolutely right. The wedding isn't important. I know many people who forgo the wedding and 20 years later they're happier than most. I wish girls wouldn't think marriage will make them happy, they need to be happy first. Getting married won't solve all their problems.


With this attitude it'll only make their problems worse, as they now have a failed marriage behind them. This couple is already going to be stressed, the money she wasted is going to add to their resentment and financial problems when they buy a house. I hope she learns her lesson and helps others from her mistakes.

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January 20, 20060 found this helpful

I am 24 and my bf of 2 1/2 years proposed to me on Jan 17 2006 and we are planning on getting married on June 3 2006. I have no intentions on spending over $1,000 on our wedding. I am actually hoping to spend a lot less than that. I have been shopping around looking for discounts so that we can stay under our budget. I think that if you have a budget and are willing to stick to it that you can have a perfect wedding for a lot less.

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By Julia (Guest Post)
January 21, 20060 found this helpful

The wedding itself is not important. The only thing I would recommend is that the couple make sure they have some good photographs of the day. Don't people realise that everything they buy is very overpriced just because it is marketed "for a wedding"?

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March 11, 20060 found this helpful

My Fiance and I are getting married August 19, 2006 and we have decided on a cheap wedding...but cheap doesn't always mean that it isn't "the perfect wedding".

We are having ours in my parents yard...and we have a lot of people coming! We decided to use picnic we don't have to rent chairs...then for the folks who are going to spend the night (that is why a hotel reception is convenient) we are having them set up their tents. It sounds cheesy to say...but, it is a lot cheaper than a hotel reception :)

Then...most of the decorations, flowers etc we are making. We are making cookies (color and theme oriented) and we will have cameras on the tables for pictures.

I am going to print a list of key moments up and place them on tables...this way those people can get the camera ready for me at that time. Maybe I will have several people doing the same "moment" at the same time but that ensures I will get something good. This adds to the whole thing...when I look at the photos, we all won't be will catch moments poses can't.

My theme is butterflies...and I keep finding many items on butterflies that are very highly a butterfly garter (30 - 40 bucks is crazy!) Instead we will buy the butterflies and buy a plain cheap garter and attach them to it.

So basically...try to save as much as possible...and remember...The "perfect wedding" isn't all the material items...the PERFECT wedding is you and the love of your life joining lives forever :)

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March 15, 20060 found this helpful

It almost makes me physically ill to think about spending that much money on a wedding. It would take me about three years to earn that much BEFORE taxes.

My fiance and I are getting married in June of 2007. My mom will make the dress, so it will only cost me the materials. We will make the cake and food ourselves. We will make as many of the decorations as possible.

I plan on hitting the sales after the wedding season in 2006. A lot can be said for a long engagement!

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March 17, 20060 found this helpful

Please let me help you with your "Perfect" Wedding. When my husband and me got married I received so many double if not multiplies. The year we got married the Iced Tea maker from Lipton was the gift of choice.... Needless to say we received 7, 5 crockpots and 4 dozen pie plates.....

Anyways fast-forward, since then I have become a Pampered Chef consultant. We are offering an ABSOLUTELY amazing Wedding Registry to couples with Wonderful benefits. I would be happy and honored to "Pamper YOU and your Kitchen" Our new cookware is superior to none. It is free of charge to you to sign-up plus you can earn benefits for your guest purchasing.....

Like to know more or would like to make a referral, please contact me....
Best Wishes.... Have your cake and eat it too!!!

staceycooks4u @ (remove spaces)

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By (Guest Post)
February 2, 20070 found this helpful

Society lies to little girls who are raised on Princess stories and taught that the fluffy dress is the pinnacle of her life. (And then she wonders why her husband doesn't act like the prince - which boys have no idea about) Having had real life experiences (divorce and budgeting) My fiance and I are spending money on remodeling his house to sell it (for our Real house) Our "wedding" will be in our pastor's office. My parents and friends are not speaking to me for not inviting them, but at 44, I can't blow money on something that isn't tangible. Part of our required pre-marital counseling is to take a financial management course (Dave Ramsey) and read "Love and Respect". It's put us both on the same mindset without starting our lives together in debt.

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