"Helping people who help people"

My husband, a marriage therapist, just opened a new office. This has meant a lot of trips to Ikea, a lot of shopping for things we haven’t purchased ever, or in a long time. And it means figuring out the style you want, how much we are willing to spend for that style, and the needs of the couples who go to him for counseling. It also means figuring out how to pay for all the new furniture.

For those who have an Ikea near them, you know it’s a great place to get very affordable furniture, textiles, and miscellaneous decorative items like mirrors, vases, storage units, etc. Some say it isn’t “real furniture” because it’s not top quality. Their mission is to provide great style and functionality at a highly competitive price. And it fits many peoples budgets.

When couples and their families begin wedding planning they usually know it’s going to be expensive, or they know they will have to make tough choices to keep the prices down. But there is nothing quite so startling as searching for something related to your wedding (whether it’s photography, the dress, food, rentals) and being shocked at the prices. Weddings are a once a lifetime thing (hopefully) so you don’t have the “Ikea brand” to know if you’re really in a low end or high end place. And the thing about Ikea is if THEIR prices shock you, it is a one-two punch of first sticker shock, then extra shock knowing those are the CHEAPEST prices you will find anywhere.

Often the first place you get wedding sticker shock will not completely depress you because you still naively believe you can find the same things for less elsewhere. It is only in digging around that you find lower prices usually mean lower quality, fewer extras, or a “cheap look”. The trick for most of us is to get somewhere inbetween not expensive and not too cheap looking.

So next time your parent, fiance, or friend cop an attitude with you about decisions you’ve made that seem too expensive, remind them they gone though the same sticker shock in buying a car, a new suit, a house, finding an affordable college, or any number of other things people often do rarely. Even if they still freak out on you, be calm knowing they are staying at “sticker shock” land instead of doing their own research and realizing you may have actually gotten a fantastic deal. And if it’s a single friend, be extra relaxed while you wait for them to some day plan their own wedding and call you up freaking out about how expensive everything is and how they had no idea.

Watch for a You Tube video hopefully soon on this topic of money and why weddings are expensive! It’s being designed for parents to get a greater understanding of the wedding industry and why it is not the same as when they got married.

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