The First Conversation to Have After You Get Engaged
You're engaged! Congratulations! Now what!? There are so many things to decide after you get engaged and all of the options can be very overwhelming. When's the date? Have you chosen a venue? What colors scheme are you going to choose? Woof. It's a lot. And while all of those are important questions to answer, there is ONE BIG DECISION that needs to be made before you start any big planning: what is our budget?
You may already know your financial situation but have you talked with your future spouse about your dreams for your day and what you can really afford? This may seem like it's not a big deal and you can figure it out along the way but financial arguments are the second leading cause of divorce. And on top of that, one of the reasons people end of having financial arguments is because they haven't talked about financial stress or they live beyond their means which causes anxiety. Going into debt before you even get married may not be the wisest way to start out a long, healthy marriage. So, how do you start the conversation? Here are a couple of questions to start with...
Do we have any debt currently?
You may be coming into your marriage with debt. Lots of people have student loans or other debt when they come into their marriage. You may have even purchased a home together before getting married, so you may be very aware of your financial situation. However, talk together about your debt situation, what your monthly payments currently look like, what money you have that can be used for your wedding, etc.
Are family members contributing?
It is pretty common for parents to help with wedding expenses but that's not always possible. Have a conversation with your family early on to figure out if and/or how they can help pay for the wedding. You may find they are contributing $5,000 to your wedding day or they say the sky is the limit! Whatever the answer it is good to know that before you start doing things like booking a venue!
What are the non-negotiables?
I am going to talk more about this in another blog post but I wanted to mention this in the budget conversation as well. What are some of the things that are worth spending more money on? Maybe you're spending less on a venue and have more money to book your dream photographer? Or maybe you can spend less on flowers and more on a venue? Whatever you decide, make sure you have the same dream!
How big of a wedding?
Do you have to invite every family member and friend and feed 200 people? Maybe you just want a small gathering with immediate family and your closest friends and only have to feed 50 people! This can immediately save you a lot of money if you are able to go smaller. If you can afford a big wedding then go for it!
Whatever your financial situation it is not worth accruing a pile of debt to get married. Extravagant weddings can be just as beautiful as a small intimate wedding. Don't start of your marriage with financial stress. Start your life together with open communication. It will be worth it!