Archive for the ‘Money’ Category

Recessionista Bride? Or Welfare Bride?

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

wedding reception

It’s that time again, by which I mean the earth has circled the sun just enough times to make people think once again that asking strangers to pay for their weddings is an original and inspired idea. As I said back in 2006, “The idea is not new, of course. Michael Palmer and Kristi Laurita created the now defunct Someone named Cynthia created in an effort to raise $25,000. And CyberBeg and DonateMoney2Me remain as active as ever.”

Some of these sites offer advertising space in exchange for contributions to a wedding fund, while others — like the new Help Me Pay For My Wedding — merely make a grab for the cash necessary to pay for a larger or more luxurious wedding.

The nameless Broke Bride-to-Be has this to say on her relatively new blog:

I have almost no money saved for my wedding. Why do I have nothing saved? Well, because the proposal was a surprise for one thing. For another, I’ve spent the past year paying off all my debt – an accomplishment I’m quite proud of, thankyouverymuch. I admit it. I spent like a maniac on things I shouldn’t have. Which is why my hair is now my natural color and I’m in last season’s jeans. The itch to spend is coming back in a big way with these wedding plans, and that is why I’m planning ahead of time to stay OUT of debt. Hence, helpmepayformywedding. If you want.

Do I know that asking for money is a bit “tacky” as so many of have called it…. yes. But, desperate times call for desperate measures. And it’s not as if I’ll announce to my guests that I solicited donations to pay for their bacon wrapped scallops. Give me some credit, people.

I want to give Broke Bride-to-Be credit about as much as I want to give her a donation. My take is and always will be that asking for donations from strangers to pay for a wedding is tres skeevy. I don’t go up to strangers to ask for money to upgrade from drip coffee to lattes or to buy those cute shoes that are just out of my price range, so it stands to reason I wouldn’t call upon strangers to foot the bill for the wedding I want but simply cannot afford. But maybe I’m alone in thinking this way… maybe soliciting donations to pay for a wedding is the new normal in these tough economic times. You tell me:

(Note: WordPress decided to randomly delete a bunch of previously approved comments on multiple posts. If like Zette and others, you don’t see your recent comments, we’d appreciate it if you repost them so we can keep the conversation going. Sorry about that!)

What’s a Broke Bride to Do?

Saturday, December 13th, 2008

Yesterday, our own Never teh Bride advised reader Gwen not to accept discounts from wedding vendors in exchange for putting out advertising for said vendors. I’m in absolute agreement with my collegue on that point.

That said, Gwen is still on a painfully tight budget and could probably use some help figuring out how to stretch it wisely. I thought it might be helpful if we all pitch in and offer up our best budget-stretching tips. Here are mine:


Your Wedding Is Not Nascar or the Times Square Ball Drop

Friday, December 12th, 2008

sponsored wedding

The gorgeous (and thrifty) Gwen wrote:

My fiancé and I are paying for our own wedding, end of story. For various reasons, we’re not getting any help from parents. We don’t have a lot of savings. And we’re not the kind of people you read about in wedding magazines whose idea of budgeting is choosing the California Estate Osetra over the Asetra caviar. I don’t feel comfortable saying how much we have to spend, but we’re looking for creative budget wedding ideas. Anyway, I read an article at Simple Dollar that suggested we put “vendor cards” on the reception tables in exchange for reduced rates. My fiancé thinks it’s a great idea. I’m not so sure.

I can see how at first glance this might seem like a solid money saving idea. I really can. Celebrities strut their stuff for the photogs at parties sponsored by everything from car companies to mouthwash manufacturers. We’re used to hearing that our favorite television special was brought to us by company X and product Y. More often than not nowadays, the coffee sleeves that protect us from the heat of our lattes are splashed with ads… and sometimes even free samples. Advertising is everywhere, and we are all, for the most part, somewhat desensitized to it.

But Gwen, your wedding is not a Nascar race.


Five Real Money Saving Tips

Friday, October 10th, 2008

Among the spam I get every day, I occasionally get lists from vendors hoping to get their content posted to the blog. I usually ignore these, but now and again one of these lists catches my eye. The most recent was ’20 Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding,’ and I opened it up hoping I might see something new. Alas, it was just the same old non-specific advice: Cut your already tiny guest list! Ask your busy friends and family to be your wedding vendors! Using potato stencils and sponges, design, print and fold 200 invitations on paper you made yourself!

Ohhhhkay…that’s great for brides-to-be who live in fairy land, but those of us living in the real world need real money saving tips. The following five are by no means the only practical and specific tips out there, but they’re a start and a heck of a lot better than the usual ‘opt for the buffet’ and ‘make your own favors’ drivel.

Ditch the wedding dress
This is a painful option, but a very good one for those who aren’t (ahem) married to the idea of walking down the aisle in a frock they bought at a bridal salon. A mere $300 — and sometimes a lot less than that — will buy you a gorgeous gown that you’ll be more likely to wear again. Now that’s economizing!

Vera Wang silver satin lace-up back mermaid gown

Here, for example, is a Vera Wang dress with a lace-up back in silver — still one of the current popular bridal colors — that can be yours for a mere $176.


Are You Feeling the Pressure?

Friday, September 19th, 2008

It’s not at all uncommon for wedding planning to include a little envy and a little oneupmanship. You want to wear a gown just like the one Gwen Stefani wore. Your sister had a sundae bar so you want a gelato station. And you just know everyone is going to love the favors you’ve chosen. There’s nothing wrong with thoughts and feelings of that ilk.

Nothing wrong, that is, until you start making decisions driven by the peer pressure that seems to be omnipresent in the world of weddings. When you stop thinking in terms of “I WANT to do this” and start thinking in terms of “I HAVE to do this,” there may very well be heartbreak on your horizon. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to keep up with the Mr. and Mrs. Joneses or trying to appease pushy relatives — bowing to nuptial peer pressure often means having the wedding other people want instead of the wedding you want.

Wedding peer pressure
They didn’t give in and look how happy they are!

Where does the pressure usually come from? There’s media pressure, for one. Magazines, television shows, and the ladies who love them will all be quick to share these “facts” with you.


There’s Careful, and Then There’s Picky

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I’ve talked very briefly about pre-nups before, but I tend to avoid the topic because I think the whole idea is a little weird. To me, working out a pre-nuptial agreement is like saying, “We’ll be together forever, of course, BUUUUT just in case we’re not, I want to make sure I get what I deserve/you don’t get more than you deserve.”

Not being overly moneyed myself, the only comparable thing I could have said to The Beard would have been, “We’ll be together forever, of course, BUUUUT just in case we’re not, I’m going to want my William Shatner records and that $4,000 I brought into the marriage back.” Sounds silly, right?

It’s not the silliest idea for a pre-nup out there, however. LegalZoom published a short list of crazy clauses that brides- and grooms-to-be agreed were fair. Pool boys and pets play a larger role in pre-nuptial agreements than you might have imagined. Yes, sometimes it’s not enough to divide assets…domestic help gets shuffled around in the fray. The “no diaper” clause is apparently popular among those looking to avoid children, and some couples even stipulate how (and how often) they’ll have sex.