No matter if you have been planning on this day for months or years, or dreaming of it since the day you could walk, you are now finally getting married. After the excitement of this very special day wears off, it is now time to start considering the plans for your special day.
In this chapter, your goal is to come together and talk about the upcoming marriage. You will need to talk about what you each hope to accomplish in this very special event. Although, many men do not play a specific role in planning each aspect of the wedding more men than ever are getting involved. They do have the right to make this their special day too, of course. So, step one of your plan should be to talk about what your goals are.
What to talk about:
- What do you imagine your wedding to be like?
- What does your soon to be spouse believe is the perfect wedding?
- Do you want a large wedding or a private, small wedding?
- Do you plan to have a lavish event or a simple celebration?
- What are weddings like in your family, and his?
- What things do you really hope are not part of your wedding?
Talk about these areas with your significant other. Find out what their opinions are and start talking about the special day. Do not make any firm decisions, but do talk about what your hopes and dreams are for this very special occasion.
Hold on…telling your parents about your wedding is a good thing, so why is this such a big deal? It could be some parents want to immediately step in and take over the planning. It could be that your parents are not sure you are ready, either.
Telling both sets of parents can be a lot of fun, if you present it in the right way. Keep yourself positive and motivated. In some families and religions, it is still proper for the man to approach the father of the soon to be bride and ask for her hand in marriage. If this is something that would be the expectation, go for it.
- Keep it private and quiet. Most people want time to celebrate, not sit quietly in a restaurant.
- Be sure to give yourself and your parents enough time to soak in what you are saying. Do not expect an immediate reaction.
- Do keep them in the loop. Even if you will be doing the work of planning the wedding yourself, you want to be sure they know what is happening.
Telling Mom and Dad may be one of the easiest assignments for you thus far. On the other hand, it may be a challenge. Do not wait, though. If you wait to tell them for several weeks, chances are good they will be more frustrated later.
Now that everyone is happily celebrating your soon to be wedding, the next step is to set the initial budget. There is no way for you to know how much the dress will cost, how much the reception hall will be or what amount to set aside for flowers. Yet, you may need to cap the wedding at some level right now. For most couples this is the amount of money available to them.
Here are some things to think about:
- The average Canadian wedding can range from $30,000 to $45,000.
- You can cut costs along the way to have a glamorous wedding for less.
- Do not assume that your parents are paying for the wedding. Many parents simply cannot afford the cost of a wedding in these difficult times.
- Set a budget at the low end. Know what the high end is, too.
Going into debt is something that many couples end up doing right from the start. The problem is, if you max out your credit cards on your wedding planning, there is little for a down payment on a home or that fabulous honeymoon you are thinking. Therefore, keep the short-term goals of wedding on your mind, while still realizing the important of long-term financial goals.
Tip: Consider seeking out financial planning classes for you both, now. That way, you can start your married life one-step ahead of the game.
The final element of this chapter is knowing who is paying for the wedding. Do talk to your parents about it. Talk to your soon to be in laws, too. Find out if they plan to contribute in any way, in a nice manner, of course! If your parents simply cannot afford to do so, they may be able to offer their home for the reception site or they may be willing to contribute in another way. Allow them this privilege.
(Use this section throughout the book to make specific notations for yourself)