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Should Money be the First Topic of Conversation After You Get Engaged?

©1998 June Wedding, Inc. An Association for Event Professionals

  Robbi Ernst III, President/Founder
Website: www.junewedding.com
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robbi@junewedding.com
 

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  You've got your ring, and you are officially engaged. You are as excited as you can possibly be. You have met your one true love and expect to spend the rest of your lives together. BUT, did you know that an engagement ring isn't a gift to keep .... legally in the United States of America, it is considered an "anticipated gift".... in other words, it doesn't really become yours until the marriage contract is signed. And, in the summer of 1997 US courts upheld this as a legal statute. In other words, it has become law. Until then it was merely "custom' that if the groom called off the wedding, the bride got to keep the ring; if the bride called off the wedding, the ring was returned to the groom. But now the courts of law have intervened. If this isn't enough to upset the ring bearer's pillow, get ready for other important factors that can make or break your wedding day. For years wedding magazines and books refused to write about realities in planing a wedding. They felt that talking about money and costs to put on a wedding would detract from the dreamy fantasies that a lady has in thinking about her wedding. That has changed. Today's contemporary wedding periodicals and books are more realistic and thus provide a greater service to the consumer in the sense that they are writing about budgets and costs. But, they still are not writing about realistic costs. They are taking averages of costs of weddings that might involve pot-luck in a town with a population of 5,000 people and averaging that with the cost of a wedding in a fancy-smantsy city like San Francisco or Chicago or New York. Most magazines and books state that the average wedding in the USA costs about $ 17,000 for 125 - 150 people. Actually, the more accurate amount is closer to $ 25,000 to $ 35,000. So, let's talk about money and realism, because it should be the first topic of conversation after the happy tears of new a engagement dry up.

When beginning to plan a wedding, sit down with your fiancée and talk about the wedding you want, the wedding of your dreams, the wedding that will relate to your friends and relatives who you are and what you are becoming. Make a list of categories that are necessary for a wedding (ceremony and reception sites, florist, photographer, cake, etc.... Beside each category, write out what you want to have. Next to that make three columns: the first column (label this column "Budget") is what you think you are able to spend in each category. The second column will be what we call "Realistic Costs" and a third column labeled "Actual Costs..... and we'll come back to these below. Add up the first column.

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