I love summer. The oppressive heat, the long days inside a room with no windows, all the kids running around my neighborhood unchecked—no wait, I hate summer. I haven’t really liked it since I was in school and could count on getting three months of not having to go to school and when I could run around that old guy’s neighborhood. Now, summer has lost a lot of the magic it used to have for me.

Of course, I don’t want to sour anybody else on the fun of summer. It’s not a bad season. In fact, it is probably in my top four seasons.

I know a lot of people like to have summer weddings. For some reason, girls (mostly) think it is romantic to have a summer ceremony, and all the trimmings. June is the most popular month to get married, but the whole corridor from May to September encompasses the most popular 5 months of getting married. July is number 4, but right in the middle.

Those who were reading the feed, or who have stopped reading by now probably thought this was going to be a post about frugal weddings. I thought of doing that, and I probably will, but this is about the concept of getting married, especially for young people. I’m going to leave my comfort zone and give wedding advice. After all, money isn’t the most important thing in the world. These life events will be with you long after you stop caring about money.

I’m not going to try to talk you out of getting engaged, or getting married. My views on this are very clearly listed HERE, so today I’m talking to those who are on the verge of making this leap and who don’t want to be talked out of it.

Having been married, I can say it is one of the greatest things to be. When I got married, I honestly felt like I was beginning the best part of my life. I still do. But I remember when I was planning to propose to my wife: I made a few mistakes that happened to work out okay in the end.

First—The ring. The ring should cost no more than 2 months salary. Going with the Federal minimum wage, working full time, that comes out to just under $1,800.00. When I bought my wife’s engagement ring, I wasn’t working full time. I spent a lot more than I could afford (at the time), and the polite term for her engagement ring is petite. I made the mistake of financing her ring at a mall jewelry store, and it was—petite. To her credit, she never made a big deal about it, and when I wanted to get a bigger stone (after I could afford more), she wouldn’t let me.

Second—The plan. Guys, this is also for you. This is her wedding, not yours. Little girls wear pillowcases over their heads, pretending to be brides. Guys rarely wear suits pretending to be grooms. So don’t think your opinion really matters when it comes to the plan. She will ask, and the correct answer is always, “Well, honey, what do you think? Oohh, I like that idea!”. Now to translate that into what is probably going through your head, “I don’t care. This is your deal; I’d just as soon go to the courthouse.” You don’t have to say it.

Girls, let me make this easy for you. Your man doesn’t care about the plan. And to be honest, you really don’t care about his opinion here. That’s okay. You don’t have to have his input on things. Give him simple things. My job was the flowers. The flowers rocked!

Third—The honeymoon. This can get dicey. A honeymoon isn’t like a regular vacation. Don’t treat it like one. This is about you two going out in the world as one. Think of somewhere you want to be that you will always remember as the first place you went as a married couple. This is where you want to go. For guys, this is usually less important, because, lets face it, if we had it our way, the only requirements would be good room-service, fluffy pillows, and thick walls. ‘nuff said. While I’m talking about it, don’t expect “anything” to happen on your wedding night. You will both be exhausted, hungry, and possibly a little drunk. You’ll have the rest of your lives.

All of this hinges on the fact that you have been planning, budgeting, and saving for a wedding and being married. If you haven’t done that yet, and you want to get married, start now. Make a plan, do some research, and try to make sure you don’t go into debt. Start your marriage off without owing money. Revise this budget as often as it takes to make sure you have everything the way you want it. Once you’ve laid out the framework, have a good savings, and are truly ready to be married, congratulations! While a lot of people talk about how much being married sucks, I’m not a big fan of that. I think Billy Crystal once said something to the effect of; there is nothing like true love except for a nice BMT, bacon, mutton, tomato, where the mutton is sliced really thin.

To recap:

1. Save longer to buy a better ring, even though she will
probably love whatever ring you give her, because it
symbolizes your love for her at the time. When she
looks back, you want her to still be able to see the
diamond.
2. The woman is way more interested in the wedding
planning. Guys who want to have a happy marriage will
let the women have the wedding they want. Women
need to understand that he’s more interested in you
than any ceremony.
3. Make the first place where you sign Mr. and Mrs. be
memorable.
4. This one is new. Your wedding is the celebration of
what should be one of the happiest days of your life.
Make it a party that you will both enjoy. Don’t worry
about the family so much. Either they have had their
wedding (and the memories that will be with them
forever), or their time will come. Right now, it should
be all about you.
5. While money is infinitely less important than your
wedding and life together, it still has a place at the
table. Be realistic with your expectations. If there is
something you really want to do, but you can’t afford
it, you have two choices: either wait till you can
afford it, or reassess what you want to do. Either way,
do yourself a favor and don’t put yourselves into debt
to get married.

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Comments
  1. Fan-freakin’-tastic. You’re right on the money, Wil. Kids, listen to your Uncle Wil – he knows precisely what he’s talking about.

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