First things first: I’m getting married.
Second, the idea of blogging while planning the wedding has crossed my mind multiple times, but I have always been under the impression that if you’re going to blog about something, you have to start right away. By the time I had thought about blogging (about a month or two after getting engaged), too much time had already elapsed, too many ideas had been discussed, and none of it had been blogged. I had missed my opportunity (read: planning poorly).
Today, eight months after getting engaged, Kevin tells me he has come up with a brilliant plan: “I think we should blog about the wedding planning.” Like all of Kevin’s wedding ideas, this one was free and involved lots and lots of my time. His proposal surprised me (not quite as much as the one that got us here), and I told him that I had already thought of this but that, yes, it was a great thought. (Good job, Kevin!) After Googling “best sites for blogging,” we landed here.
We argued for days about the title. Several iterations of “[Adjective] Bride” were thrown around, my favorite being “Bickering Bride,” because nearly every wedding idea or decision results in a bickering match between Kevin and me. Second-runner-up was “Cynical Bride” (which was ditched after a close reading of the Dictionary.com definition of cynical), followed by “Bittersweet Bride” (which sounded more like I was only so-so about marrying Kevin rather than apathetic toward the planning process). It wasn’t until WordPress demanded a blog name that I tried “Poor Planning” (which of course was taken) and then–in a genius act of wordplay–“Planning Poor.”
While the grammarist in me resits the urge to slap myself on the wrist for this blatant misuse of an adverb, the intent of the title is to reflect our philosophy toward wedding planning: plan as though you are poorer than you are. The poorer, the better.
Kevin and I are very frugal. His philosophy toward money and his spending/saving habits are two of the reasons I knew I could spend the rest of my miserly life with him. (We’re still working on aligning our coffee-brewing-strength preferences, but some things just take time.) I don’t know about him, but every time I purchase anything for myself that is not essential (essential items being food, gas, rent, and animal supplies), I feel guilty for days (weeks if the purchase was really expensive or I’m being a downer). So when I read that the average cost of a wedding in 2012 was $25,000, my immediate reaction was, “Screw this. Let’s elope.”–a thought that resurfaces every other week, even now that we have made some slight planning progress.
Women of the world: I don’t care for how long you’ve dreamed about your picture-perfect, fairy-tale wedding; NO wedding is worth going into debt for. (Hell, if you make a ton of money, or you’ve got a rich dad who has saved his entire life to fund your event, milk that shit for all it’s worth.) But, to me, it is financially irresponsible to squander my hard-earned savings on a one-day event for which the costs have been grossly inflated by the industry to turn a profit. Talk about a losing investment! You spend $25,000 and get a lifetime of…memories? How is that going to pay for my retirement when I’m 95 and showing signs of memory loss?
Your money is much better spent when it is working for you–whether that be in a retirement fund or a stock-market investment–to save for your future goals (e.g., buying a house, saving for retirement, planning for those savings-draining life-suckers we affectionately call “children”) (read: planning smartly). Using $25,000 to pay for a wedding is nothing but a hedonistic act of financial un-intelligence.
A year after the wedding, I want to be reminiscing about the fun event we threw; I don’t want to be paying my twelfth bill on the no-interest credit card we opened to pay for an over-the-top event that no one but us is thinking about. Since I never imagined that Kevin would pop the Q, and since I spent literally zero hours dreaming up my perfect wedding before getting engaged, I have no preconceived notions of my wedding day going into this. Hopefully, this will save us a lot of money when all is said and done.
*Steps down from soap box.*
So that’s the gist of our blog: With no expectation of financial assistance from family members, we are planning the wedding as though we are very, very poor. Like, “Can I make a dress out of my cardboard panhandler sign?” poor.