It’s not uncommon for couples in Australia to re-mortgage their homes or take out ridiculous, interest-laden loans to pay for that “dream wedding”. To me, this is just absurd and to be honest, really bloody stupid. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely aspects of my wedding that are somewhat unnecessary but the pull of this multi-billion dollar industry is something even I succumbed to. ‘Oh this is for your wedding? Excuse me while I add 500% to that invoice’.
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There are women out there that are prayed on like ivory poachers selling every goddam bell and whistle that could earn them an extra buck for someone’s big day. A monstrosity of sugar and flour? That will be $1500 thank you. I mean, hello! What is it about the female brain that has the ability to justify these exorbitant and outrageous costs for one day, yet when it comes to investing it’s like ‘nup, not going there’.
Let’s look at this logically ladies – we will spend hours scrolling through google for the perfect seasonal flower that’s imported from South America because we couldn’t possibly have anything local; and a gown without French lace is a consideration you’re not willing to take; BUT researching shares, high interest accounts, managed funds and comparing insurance is just annoying. How does that make any sense?
So when it came to my turn, my ‘dream day’, for a short moment I fell into the wedding trap and I fell hard! Like a drug addict relapsing, I found myself justifying every.single.frill. It started at one of those over-the-top bridal shows in Brisbane. I went with a friend who had been planning her wedding since forever and not one to shy away from a competition I felt desperately behind on the appropriate bridal behaviour and bible. She knew every flower, frill, cake type, paper gsm, chair names and rituals. I knew absolutely nothing and felt but a mere mortal in a planet of overzealous brides.
(Crazy brides – kinda like the ones that I met)
As soon as we walked into the convention hall I was thrown down the rabbit hole and landed on what felt like the trading floor at the NYSE but way more dangerous. There were women screaming, shrieking and selling. Selling for their lives. These women were good. So good that I almost bought one of everything. By the end of our round trip across the bridal trading floor, I needed a sweat towel, huge glass of cold vino and quite possibly a lobotomy to forget the whole experience.
This is where my smart brain and possibly my stubborn nature kicked in and refused to be sold to; I refused to relapse into spontaneous and superfluous shopping. I felt liberated and pretty proud of myself for saying ‘No’ to the wedding industry and all the over-spending that came with it. But what did this mean? Does this mean I don’t want a wedding? Was I a terrible bride?
Well not exactly, but it did help us to change a few things to reduce costs –
We scrapped an over-the-top wedding cake – no one eats it and besides I wasn’t prepared to pay an extra $3/head for someone to scribble coulee onto a plate. (Update: we paid $300 2 weeks before our wedding to have a chocolate somethin’, somethin’)
Reduced the guest list because inviting Aunty Mary’s best friend’s sister was an expensive outlay. We didn’t want to meet anyone on our wedding day. Nope, sorry, not happening.
Delayed the traditional honeymoon by 12 months. Besides the fact that my partner’s job isn’t as flexible as others, we also wouldn’t be able to afford a wedding AND holiday in one year, especially when we are bankrolling it all. Besides the pressure to run off into the sunset or plane straight after a wedding just sounds like my worst nightmare. I mean, this woman has got to sleep!
No bon-bon-thingys – I’ve never understood this and never will. Also one less thing to organise and by the time your guests are full of booze, they’re not going to care about a little cute gift that you hand made for them! That doesn’t mean that I didn’t steal 3 of your fig jams Cessie!
No gift registry – for goodness sake, if any of my family are reading this, please don’t buy us another cheeseboard or knife set. Instead we have set up a pseudo registry at www.notanothertoaster.com
This is the big one and not for the faint-hearted – sell your wedding dress. There it is. In writing!
(My wedding cake – ok not really, but the drama of this one is amaze)
Before you go all lady-cray-cray on me, hear me out. Your wedding dress, like everything else at the wedding is simply a thing or more literally, a piece of material. Albeit a big and expensive piece. Like everything else we buy, women have a habit of finding emotional connections with material things. Now I’m not saying that you shouldn’t do this, but merely suggesting you should consider shifting your attachment to those things that actually resemble memories like the photos or video.
For me, my attachment isn’t going to be to a dress that would otherwise sit in a closet for 20 years only to be gawked at if I ever had a daughter. Let’s be honest, she’d probably cut out the tiniest piece of lace and get rid of the rest and it’s certainly not something that you can dress up or dress down, let alone wear again.
So ladies, free the dress! Create memories that last a lifetime and don’t rely on material things to do that for you.
Fearless Female Traders