Money problems are the top reason so many marriages collapse, people say. So if you want your marriage to collapse quickly, why not start the money problems early?
Here are nine tips for blowing your wedding budget, leading to more stress than any young couple can handle:
1. Plan your wedding for a Saturday
Saturdays are naturally the most popular days for weddings, and all the companies that provide services to weddings know this, so their rates at maximized that day. Friday night and Sunday weddings are becoming much more common, but holding a wedding on those days could save you thousands of dollars, so don’t bother.
2. Choose a typical wedding venue
Rental halls, fancy hotels, country clubs, popular houses of worship, and other typical wedding spots charge top dollar for weddings, especially on Saturdays (see tip #1). So don’t be creative and choose an out-of-the-way spot such as a public park, your parents’ farm, a civic building, or a zoo, because you might save lots of money. However, if you insist on getting married in an atypical location, choose one that’s not set to handle catering or such, because then the caterer will charge you extra.
3. Buy a fancy designer wedding dress
You watch “Say Yes to the Dress, ” don’t you? Then you know that no wedding is complete without an excursion to a snazzy wedding dress shop where you can easily drop five grand on a dress. Make sure you don’t shop at sample or designer sales, because you can save lots of money at those places. And certainly don’t consider a used dress, even though most wedding dresses have only been worn once (or never). Finally, skip the idea of making your own dress or renting a dress, because those are the least expensive options.
4. Make sure your reception is at night
Don’t even think about an afternoon reception, where you could get away with light appetizers and wine spritzers, because that would cost a lot less. Instead, plan an evening reception where guests will expect a full meal. And let guests choose from several entrees rather than limiting the menu to one thing; remember, blowing the budget is the goal here!
5. Have a completely open bar
Don’t limit the choices, because that way when your show-off friend from college orders a martini made from some obscure brand of vodka, you’ll get charged the full price of the bottle even if that friend’s one drink is the only time that bottle is used. And forget the idea about serving only beer, wine, and soda, because that move could save you many thousands of dollars.
6. Get exotic flowers for all of your arrangements
Skip the locally grown flowers, because they will definitely cost a lot less than exotic blossoms. And make sure you have the top florist in town create the arrangements, rather than students from the local community college horticulture program. If you bought the flowers wholesale and did simple arrangements yourself you’d save hundreds, and who wants that?
7. Skip the homemade invitations
Buy the fanciest invitations you can find, with all the extra little sheets of paper and return envelopes. They’ll look great and cost a bundle! Some thrifty brides make their own invitations, which adds a personal touch to the affair, but that doesn’t cost nearly as much.
8. Buy the biggest photo/video package available
Trust me, you’ll want to pull out at least a thousand photos of your special day at each anniversary, so don’t skimp on the photo/video package. Most photographers charge based on the amount of time they’ll spend at your wedding, so ask your photog to stay around all night and shoot your reception, too. You’ll love the photos as much as the giant invoice! Whatever you do, don’t hire a photography student from your local university, because her invoice would be ridiculously small.
9. Buy elaborate favors
Everyone at your wedding needs something to take home — memories are not enough! Why enlist your friends to help make tasteful little favors when you could buy expensive, impersonal little pieces of junk at some party supply store?
If all of these tips don’t start your marriage off with a mountain of debt and the resultant stress, plan a giant, over-the-top honeymoon. Avoid the typical travel advice about saving money — such as flying on an off day, using money-saving hotel booking sites, or staying local — and blow any cash gifts that you received.
You’ll be amazed by how much debt you can accumulate with just one event!