Ah, it’s June! Here comes the bride. Doesn’t she look lovely? She should. After all, thousands of dollars have been spent to ensure her wedding day will be nothing short of perfection.The bride insisted on a gown covered with natural pearls carefully hand-sown onto lace fabric imported from Italy. She and her eight bridesmaids had their hair, nails and makeup done at the finest salon in town. Her mother said, “You cannot have a proper wedding without a horse-drawn carriage.” And surely the entire event would have been ruined without those expensive Casablanca lilies for the bridal bouquet.Too bad the $58,000 wedding bill didn’t come with a guarantee the marriage will last longer than one performed at city hall for far less bucks. But if there were any correlation between the cost of a wedding and the success of a marriage, the American divorce rate would not be topping 50 percent.I believe some marriages fail because of the way they begin. You will notice I didn’t mention the groom in my wedding description. That’s because all too often the wedding is all about the bride. The groom merely plays the role of an accessory on her arm.A bride’s dream wedding relates directly back to the fairy tales of her childhood. Girls are raised with visions of Cinderella and Snow White, wherein a beautiful woman is rescued by Prince Charming. What a shame, because a wedding should celebrate the uniting of two adults as a couple, not the childhood fantasies of an individual. Planning an affordable wedding together provides the perfect opportunity to learn what money means to your prospective mate. If one of you believes maxing out the credit cards is a patriotic duty, while the other won’t spend a dime on ice cream on a sweltering August day, forget the wedding. Divorce lawyers have enough clients already.
Too bad the $58,000 wedding bill didn’t come with a guarantee the marriage will last longer than the one performed at city hall for far less bucks.
Waiting till after the honeymoon to discuss money issues is often too late, because the saying “two can live as cheaply as one” is an outright lie. Forming a new household requires reams of money for down payments, furniture, utilities, etc. It may mean combining credit card debt, student loans or medical bills. Prince Charming probably won’t like paying for that horse-drawn carriage month after month. As the couple works longer hours to pay mounting debt, his snoring no longer seems cute and Snow White quickly transforms into the Wicked Stepmother. Resentment builds. Then, the newlyweds face the No. 1 cause of divorce in America: financial difficulties.About now you may think I’m a cynic, who doesn’t care much for marriage, but I’m happy to report my husband and I will celebrate our 40th wedding anniversary this month. That certainly doesn’t make me an authority on marriage – no such creature exists. Friends, who have been married for over 60 years, freely admit marriage is an ever-evolving relationship. However, I can tell you sharing a lifetime with a decent partner is so special that it shouldn’t be endangered by reckless spending before the marriage even begins.A wedding lasts a day; a marriage is meant to last a lifetime. A wedding marks the beginning of a life to come. A marriage is a lifetime commitment to a person who respects you, makes you laugh and brings out the best in you. If it doesn’t make you a better person, then the union doesn’t make any sense. Marriage is life – with all its ups and downs – times two. Love, friendship, and a heavy dose of passion get a couple through the worst events in life, while making the best ones more enjoyable.