Saturday, June 30, 2007

Borrowed and Blue ... Think outside the box when planning your wedding.

Borrowed and Blue

Cinderella got to have glass slippers, horses, and a grand ball to which the whole kingdom was invited. Princess Diana got a crown and scepter and world-wide syndication. How does the image of what you've envisioned for your dream day match up to your check book balance?

Unless you have extremely wealthy and generous parents, think about the debt you can incur planning your dream day. You could be $25,000 or $50,000 in wedding debt before you even leave for your honeymoon. Is it worth all that? Or would it be better to have a smaller affair and spend that extra dough on something else - like a down payment on a house?

Last summer, my family witnessed a wonderful, unusual beachfront wedding at our condo on Panama City Beach, Florida with a balcony that faces the ocean. While relaxing on the balcony near dusk, we noticed two sunburned men in tuxedo shirts and white Bermuda shorts dragging a plastic rose-laden trellis down toward the ocean. Stopping 10 feet before the water, they tilted the flowery rental piece upward until it was vertical and shoved it in the ground, digging the latticework into the sand with their bare feet.

Two minutes later, a bottle blonde in a white vinyl minidress hauled out a boom box and placed it next to the trellis. Next, a man who appeared to be the father of the bride, (also Bermuda-clad, with a boutonniere) dragged a blanket printed with "Holiday Inn" down to the trellis and spread it out in front. Next, three kids and five adults came and sat on the blanket, two disposable cameras in tow. The woman in vinyl pushed "Play" on the boom box with the bare big tow of her left foot, and "Here Comes the Bride" warbled out the speakers, with extra bass.

Miss Vinyl then ran back to the rec room of the condo, where she quickly reappeared holding the hand of her loved one. A minister in a flowery Hawaiian shirt followed them. They step-touched their way to the lattice, which blew over in a big ocean breeze - but the father of the bride and best man saved it before it smacked the kids in the face. They shoved it back into the sand.

Those two got married that evening, at sunset, facing the waves and everyone who was important to them on a blanket. If we squinted our eyes, we could see the word "MONICA" tattooed on the groom's calf with a pierced heart underneath it. They kissed passionately. Then they invited everyone on the beach back to the rec room, where there was cake from Piggly Wiggly and margaritas waiting on the pool table.

My point? Yes, your wedding day is a big deal. But it's only the first day of a long, hilarious, hard, exciting journey. Your can still have a wildly romantic wedding and a wonderful party for all your friends and family without breaking your savings - or, even worse, going into debt. When matching your Dream Wedding with your Reality Balance Statement, think outside the box.

Cost of the Wedding at Panama City Beach

Latticework trellis (41"x 61"), tied with plastic roses $21.95
Batteries for the boom box (6 D size) $8.50
Two disposable cameras, 36 picture exposure $15.00
"Wedding Favorites" cassette tape $3.99
Sheet cake from Piggly Wiggly $12.00
Margaritas (for 20) from scratch, top-shelf tequilla included $92.00
Total Cost $145.94