A wedding may be a one-day affair but there is nothing wrong with making it a special treat with all the niceties you’ve always dreamt of.
This is exactly what this Canadian bride-to-be, only known as Suzan, wanted when she planned to have a lavish $CAD 60 000 (R660 000) wedding. She decided to use all avenues at her disposal to get the money she needed, even if it meant attaching a price tag to RSVPs to the wedding.
One may wonder why the bride insisted on such a lavish wedding when she couldn’t afford it.
It turns out that her and her fiancé’s love was like a “fairytale” and they wanted that to come through on their wedding day, and a psychic had told them to go with the most extravagant wedding they could come up with.
So she asked for donations of $CAD 1 500 (about R16 000) from each of her guests, only to be disappointed when they were unable to help.
Her friends felt that keeping this friendship would cost far more than they were willing to fork out and were shocked by the request.
They also didn’t expect the bride-to-be to cut them off and cancel the wedding over the issue – but that’s just what happened. Suzan was livid.
In a now deleted Facebook post, Suzan shared the reasons for the cancellation, saying, “I specifically…asked for cash gifts. How could we have our wedding that we dreamed of without proper funding? We talked to a few people who even promised us more to make our dream come true.”
Justifying why she felt that the request was not out of the ordinary she shared that her maid of honour pledged CAD$ 5 000 (about R55 000), while the groom’s family would contribute CAD$ 3 000 (about R33 000). According to Daily Mail, the maid of honour later backed out of the pledge.
“I am exhausted. I am bone tired. My heart is not the same. It’s stone cold. Fragmented. Empty,” said the bride in the ‘goodbye’ Facebook post.
“I need to get away from this awful society. How hard would it have been to…donate? Do I matter to you? Just…give me the money for my wedding. I won’t even sugarcoat. I won’t even pretend that’s not what I wanted. It was for a dream. I am cutting all of you snakes off. I am living my life alone now. I only let in those I believe have good intentions.”
It seems not all is lost because she ended the heated post with hugs and kisses. But her would-be-guests were having none of it and one responded, “I have no words. You’re out of your mind.”
Another friend also questioned the bride-to-be’s behaviour, which seemed out of character, saying, “What happened to you? Who on hell (sic) expects that amount of money?”
As for the groom, according to Suzan, he had suggested that they elope to Vegas when he realised they wouldn’t be able to afford the wedding they initially wanted. But Suzan didn’t want a "cheap" wedding and rejected the "horrid" suggestion. They broke up over this issue.
But how can would-be-brides save themselves from drama similar to what Suzan’s cancelled wedding caused?
Lee Hancox, head of channel and segment marketing at Sanlam – says it’s important not to get caught up in peer pressure when planning a wedding, but rather to make the day about you and your partner as a couple.
“Social media has made it hard. There are so many pictures of people jetting off for perfect weddings overseas. But you never hear about the debt they go into to do so. It’s important to stay objective, consult a financial adviser and be very realistic about what you can afford.”
Lee shares 10 tips on planning a wedding that fits your budget:
1. Start saving as soon as possible.
2. Use your savings, don’t go into debt.
3. Consider your priorities. Would you rather have a big wedding now or put down a deposit on a house?
4. Use your resources – aka friends and family! If you know a seamstress, ask her for help with the bridesmaids’ dresses. If your aunt’s a baker, ask her to gift you a cake. But avoid making demands.
5. If other people (for example your parents) are contributing towards your wedding, have an honest conversation with them about what would be an appropriate amount for them to contribute.
6. Chat to your financial planner as a couple so you come up with a viable budget and savings plan.
7. Go to wedding expos and get lots of quotes before deciding on a supplier.
8. Remember travel costs for service suppliers often add up.
9. Ask the tough questions. Does your aunt three times removed really need to make the guest list?
10. Get smart. Consider using the same flowers in the ceremony venue and at the reception, for example.
If you are married, did you manage to stick to your wedding budget? If you would like to have a wedding one day, how extravagant would you like it to be? Share your thoughts with us here.
Compiled by Nthabi Nhlapo.
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