I received an email from a college student who has set up a website, Advertise My Wedding in the hopes of selling enough ad space that he can raise the money to buy his girlfriend an engagement ring. Creative, yes. In good taste…
Now, I realize that we're in the midst of a 'R' (I prefer to not use the word that shall not be named as it's soooooo overused) and things are tough all over. I have seen fundraisers for children struck with cancer or buying a wheelchair for traffic accident victim or paying for a life-saving operation for a child from a Third World Nation. But…a diamond ring for your girlfriend?
Personally, when my husband and I married, we could barely afford the $120 for the wedding bands. I have no engagement ring and you know what? It's not a big deal. One day, when there is extra cash, we'll get one (and now that we have a daughter, that should be in about 25 years, provided she doesn't get into med school). But is my life worse for lack of diamond? Is my husband's love any less due to the missing gemstone on my digit? I've survived the last six years being diamond-free and thus far, I seem to have evaded any symptoms brought on by diamond-depravity. I'm sure there's some day-time talk show I could be a guest star on and talk about my years as a survivor of this trauma.
There seems to be a new mindset evolving of 'well, I can't afford it so I'll get someone else to pay for it' with some brides and grooms, as witnessed by books and websites dedicated to showing couples how to sell 'sponsorships' to pay for their event (imagine open up a ceremony program with 'Bob & Sue's Wedding Brought to you by Thrifty Dry Cleaners' – klassy). Perhaps it's indicative of the 'charge it' mentality at large – the 2008 US consumer debt load weighed in at 2.6 trillion dollars. Living beyond your paycheque is the norm for millions of people, brides and grooms included.
Point of my tirade? Although I work in the wedding industry, I do not believe anyone should get into debt over their wedding. Seriously. It's very easy to get swept up in the excitement of it all but you need to keep your feet on the ground. You do not want to start your married life together with a big debt over your head. Be realistic with your budget and then find creative ways to stick within it. A great wedding is not about ice sculptures or having U2 perform for your first dance or having five wedding dresses to change into throughout the night. A great wedding is one with true heart and soul, that embraces the guests and makes them feel part of a truly magical and love-filled day. It's the little things that make it memorable and not how much money you spent.
So, Jack, our ad-selling groom-in-embryo, while I applaud your chutzpah, I am not a fan of asking others to contribute to the 'make my wedding day all I want and more' fund. Why not consider giving your gal a family heirloom instead (free, historic and super meaningful)? Or tie a little piece of string around her finger (cute idea to then tie in as a theme at the wedding)? Or take a cue from Knocked Up when Ben proposes to Alison with an empty box, promising her he'll give her the ring she deserves when he's able to afford it. Now that's sweet and thinking outside the ring box.
What are your thoughts on the whole 'sponsor my wedding' trend?