The Almighty Dollar

Restoring some fiscal sanity in our -- negative savings rate -- lives

2.28.2006

Getting Married? Tips from a Survivor

The latest flurry of wedding-related posts from the newly-engaged bloggers among us has inspired me to get on the bandwagon.

Having "been there, done that," I look back on my wedding experience warmly with only a few regrets. I suppose that's natural. It taught me a lot about love, money, and relationships. Sadly, it also made me mourn what was once a beautiful tradition, originally intended to celebrate love, and is now a shallow and commercialized one. The worst part about this unfortunate development is that our society condones, even encourages, it.

I think we can all agree the bridal industry is ruthless and relentless. Heck, it nearly suffocated me. But I managed to survive by knowing what I wanted, what I could afford, and sticking to it. Equally important is knowing what I didn't want. It's that simple.

My husband and I were married on a terrace overlooking a strikingly picturesque Italian village under a clear, blue sky surrounded by our closest family members. From there, our families continued their first trips to Europe while we honeymooned in the south for two weeks.

Not only did we have a unique and memorable celebration, but our wedding abroad cost thousands less than had we done it here.

That's impossible, you say? I say it is possible. It's just impossible to include everything the bridal magazines brainwash you to need and want in your wedding.

Don't be afraid to toss out the predictable wedding rituals. Make your own traditions. Don't succumb to the pressure of others. Do what YOU want.

In subsequent posts, you will find my manual on Getting Married, My Way: the engagement, wedding, and honeymoon.