I was reading a bridal magazine a few weeks ago showing fun items you can buy for your wedding. I almost gasped at the fact that you can buy an Oreo cookie – just ONE, for $2. It’s fancy, of course, not just out of the package and it is sold in a pack so they never do break down the price per cookie. But wow. Only in the sub-world of wedding planning (or other event planning) could you get someone to buy one cooke for nearly the price of an entire container!
But, as we say at The First Dance, money is not about money but about values underneath. I am the first to admit that I refuse to pay full price for a 12-pack of Coke, but if I go to a movie, or the Minnesota State Fair, I will (painfully) hand over more money for one Coke than I do for an entire 12-pack in the store. Why? You pay for convinience and you pay to help support the places that entertain you.
So the wedding world is the same. Otherwise rational men and women who clip coupons, avoid high-end items, will easily fork over 10x what they normally would spend for this one day. What I care about is whether you are having the money conversations throughout wedding planning. I don’t feel it is as simple as finding your final vendor choice, telling the groom, groom flips out at the cost, you get in a big fight, you “educate him” on how much things cost these days, and he swallows his horror and you go with the vendor. The reason I don’t like this typical approach is because it’s not just weddings where you will find sticker shock. The more practice you get in navigating money dicussions the more likely you are to avoid fights altogether in the future. Your $2 Oreo cookie favor today becomes your $20 work lunch when you’re trying to save for a house becomes your $200 baby crib becomes your $2000 bedroom set becomes your $20,000 car becomes your $200,000 house. And on it goes.
I was at a marriage fair and did a mini version of a “Money game.” I was completely shocked at how interesting and different it was! I haven’t yet made the time to do the full version with my husband but I will. The link to this card game – it’s VERY simple – every card you put in three piles and with real life examples you just put the cards in the pile you want. In the end it helps summarize whether you’re a saver, spender, how much money means security to you, and a lot more. I like that it goes beyond the traditional “dumbed-down” quizes in most magazines around money. The link to the website is: http://www.moneyhabitudes.com/