Welcome back to Having a Debt Free Marriage.
In the first part, I established four steps which are 1. Setting a marriage budget, 2. Pre-selling yourself to your In-laws, 3. Negotiating rightly and 4. Saving years ahead for the marriage project.
If you missed it, please follow this link to catch up. https://web.facebook.com/roborbliss1/posts/2032997670291142
Now, let’s continue…
4b. Involve your Spouse in the Saving: There’s no law that said only the man must finance the wedding ceremony. Let your wife contribute as well. I know a lot of people may pull back on this but it is very valid. It’s a team effort. I strongly recommend that both husband and wife ‘to be’ should be active financially. It may not be 50/50 but what if the wife helped out with as little as 10, 20, 30 or even 40%? The burden on the man is reduced and you have a happier marriage. Ladies, don’t spend all you earn on fashion and looks. Save for your marriage too, you’ll earn the respect of your husband more. In my book Money Bliss, I shared how much you must save at every age bracket to enjoy financial bliss. And all is centred on having a plan for every kobo you earn. If you save for every project, you will have financial ease.
5. Choose your crowd wisely: The most expensive part of a wedding ceremony is the reception, so choose a crowd that you can afford. If you’re not careful, you will spend your annual salary if not more on just reception. Be intentional with the number of people you want to attend. On the average, the cost per head in a single ceremony these days is between N1,000 and N5,000. Feeding, Drinks, Hall, Decor, Entertainment and more. So the more people you invite the more you spend. Do you really need your entire clan to attend?
Don’t forget to make room for extras cos there will always be ‘follow comes’ the “owambe” freaks.
6. Be your first Event Planner: I know by now you may start wondering why you should do all these by yourself. Very simple, if someone else does it for you, they will plan it to big or too small. “Na only you know wetin you get for ya akant”. By this I mean, draw your own plan first before you invite a pro or third party. Do you want to have a live band or DJ? Big hall or a small one? What kind of decor do you want? You must set the pace for what you want and can afford first. Sit your spouse down and agree on the hall. The kind of clothing to use. Do you really need to change thrice? I know its a once in a lifetime event but don’t forget no one will remember how glorious your event was in a few months from now. We’ll all forget but you will be paying debts.
What if your parents or you parents-in-law conflict with your plans? No worries find the nearest ‘bus stop to alight’. Push the boundaries, especially if you’re funding most parts.
7. The Aesthetics: When we were planning for our marriage ceremony, my wife and I went around the city looking for a hall. The first hall was 450k, the second was 500k. Later saw one for 250k and guess what the budget was? A maximum of 150k. I knew there was going to be an issue so I went the extra mile, drove around the town until I got a better deal. Next to food and drinks, the highest consuming part of a wedding is the Aesthetics (hall, decoration, photography, makeup and music etc). Don’t go overboard here… Look for moderate rates. Remove some features to cut cost. Get a hall that is accessible, it mustn’t be the most popular or closest. After all most of the attendees will come in their cars. Negotiate everything, look for what you can offer as bait to foster the negotiation.
8. Have an emergency contingency plan: Things can go bad. And trust me, you’ll be disappointed if you don’t have any backups. In my case, I had about 100k untouched as backup funds. After our marriage ceremony, I had some balance left. Before the wedding day, all bills were settled except for the balance of the photographer. During the reception, I transferred the balance to him and soon after that, I left the venue with my bride. Got home, refreshed and did some stress relief exercises. The rest is history today. And I’m ever grateful to God for the wisdom and ability to do all that.
9. Don’t worry about what people will say: In Nigerian ceremonies, there are always complaints of not enough food or drink so you won’t be the first. Ladies and gentlemen, personally, the most important thing is a good home, not the ceremony. People will forget what they ate, drank or how the place looked but you will not forget the stress you went through and no other person is to be blamed for it. You don’t deserve to start your marital journey under pressure of debts and lack. Know what you want, agree with your spouse and just get married.
Like I said in the beginning, if you have the means, do your thing. But I still suggest you be prudent and invest those funds in your marriage, children to come and your life rather than blowing so much in one day.
These steps worked for me and people I’ve shared them with but I also believe there are more.
Do you agree with me? What was your experience and what did I miss? Please share with us in the comments, let’s help some folks get married on the right path.
Till I come your way again,
I Value You!
I’m Robor Bliss, the financial Strategist that helps you plan your finances to enjoy today and have a secured tomorrow.
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