8 Wedding Gifts That Newlyweds Will Really Use

The following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Laurie Blank.  Laurie is a wife, mother to 4 and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency, and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

It’s wedding season, which means that wedding-goers everywhere are beginning the sometimes worrisome work of finding just the right gift at just the right price. Gift registry lists help, but we’ve all seen the wedding gift registry that contains crazy things you know the couple will probably never use. For some help in picking just the right wedding gift, consider these hard-to-fail ideas for wedding gifts the lovely couple will cherish forever.


A Year’s Worth of Streaming

A year’s subscription to Netflix, Hulu Plus, Sling TV or any of the other many streaming options out there would be a great way to help the newlyweds have access to snuggle time in front of the TV without having to worry about making sure the bill is paid on time.

You can present the gift in printed gift certificate form by finding a free online site, and add in print-outs of several options of streaming companies for the couple to choose from.


A Decent Set of Pots and Pans

My husband and I were married twenty-one years ago, and I still, in my mind, thank our friends Scott and Karen for the high-quality set of Farberware pans they gave us on our wedding day. We use them every single day and they’re still in great shape.


A Quality Set of Bed Linens

There’s a big difference between the feel of cheap bed linens and the feel of quality bed linens. We stopped buying the cheap bed linens years ago and opted instead to go for quality high thread count sheets that make going to bed extra comfy. If you don’t know the couple’s bedroom colors, stick with a neutral color such as white or ivory.


Money, Money, Money

It may seem uninventive, but you can bet your bottom dollar that money is a gift that every single couple – regardless of taste or style – will be able to use. If you’re worried about the “boring” factor when giving money, consider using one of these creative ways to give money as a gift.


A High-End Camera

This gift idea is for those looking to spend a good chunk of change. Nearly everyone can fall in love with the ability to use a high-quality camera to capture fond family moments on film (I mean “on memory card”). A photographer friend of mine says you can expect to spend a minimum of a thousand on a high-quality camera, so this gift idea would probably work best for newlyweds who are close relatives or friends, or for those with a hefty bank account balance.


A Quality Blanket

This is another gift idea that we cherish from our own wedding. We got two quality blankets from two different people on our wedding day, and we still use them both on a regular basis after twenty-one years of marriage. Color and design is key in picking out a blanket that the newlyweds will love, so try and go with something that will match their home décor or something neutral like a navy blue or gray.


A Quality Set of Steak Knives

A good set of steak knives will find regular use in the kitchen of anyone who eats, even if they’re a non-meat eater. Even salads and veggies often need to be cut before they’re eaten, and a decent set of eight or so knives will ensure the couple has enough steak knives to cover the needs of guests too.  Personally, we prefer the Cutco brand.


A Tool Kit that has all of the Basics

A tool kit will come in handy for nearly every newlywed couple at some point. People I know who’ve gotten them as wedding gifts count them as one of their favorite gifts. We got my young son (he’s 11) this Stanley Tool Kit for his birthday, and I think my husband uses it more than my son does.

Whatever gift you decide to give the newlywed couples you help celebrate their big day with, may it be a gift that they cherish for years to come.

How about you all? What is your favorite wedding gift to give newlyweds?

10 Smart but Frugal Wedding Gift Ideas

wedding-gifts-my-personal-finance-journeyThe following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Laurie Blank.  Laurie is a wife, mother to 4 and homesteader who blogs about personal finance, self-sufficiency and life in general over at The Frugal Farmer. Part witty, part introspective and part silly, her goal in blogging is to help others find their way to financial freedom and to a simpler, more peaceful life.

With wedding season in full swing, some might be a bit overwhelmed with working extra money into their budget for wedding gift expenses. Wedding gift shopping is of a whole different genre; you want to give a gift that the newlyweds will cherish forever. So, how to make that special gift mesh with a frugal budget? Here are ten ideas for frugal wedding gifts that come from the heart and will bring joy and remembrance to the wedded couple for years to come.

Personalized Cookbook

Purchase a blank cookbook and fill it with hand-written versions of your (or their) favorite recipes (if you don’t have great handwriting, print out the recipes and glue them to the book page). You can also use some pages to put photos on or to share memories you have about the couple’s pre-wedding years. Remember to leave at least half of the pages blank so that the newlyweds can add their own favorite recipes.

Themed Gift Basket

Themed gift baskets can cover so many different genres and are a joy both to give and to receive. Here are some basket ideas:

A cleaning supply basket containing:

  • A brightly colored cleaning bucket
  • Staple cleaning supplies such as window cleaner, toilet bowl cleaner, dish soap, hand soap, etc
  • Sponges, paper towels and/or cleaning rags

A dinner basket containing:

  • A box of pasta
  • Your favorite sauce
  • Non-refrigerated garlic or other bread
  • Croutons (for a salad)
  • An inexpensive bottle of wine
  • Inexpensive wine glasses

A bonfire basket containing:

  • Hershey’s chocolate bars
  • Marshmallows
  • Graham crackers
  • A cozy blanket

A picnic basket containing:

  • A picnic basket
  • Plates, silverware and napkins for two
  • A cozy blanket
  • An inexpensive bottle of wine
  • Wine glasses

There are a host of other gift basket ideas you can use too; just check online at sites such as Pinterest for more ideas. Wrap the baskets in clear cellophane and use a bow to add extra sparkle to the gift.

Framed Wedding Photo or Wedding Invitation

Purchase a nice but inexpensive wedding frame and use it to frame their wedding invitation or a great casual photo you have of the couple, either from their wedding reception or from another event.

Personalized Stationery

Hook the newlyweds up with a package of personalized stationery designed to fit their personalities, and add a nice but inexpensive pen/pencil set if it’s in the budget. Online sites such as Vistaprint have a host of different types of personalized stationery at affordable prices.

First Anniversary Bottle of Wine

Go to the wine store and find a nice, specialized bottle of wine – maybe something locally produced – and place it in a basket with a nice hand towel, some inexpensive wine glasses, a corkscrew and a note saying that the basket is for the celebration of their first anniversary. Wrap the basket in cellophane and a bow to keep it looking nice for the year.

Photo Scrapbook

If you have access to a dozen or so photos of the newlyweds, consider buying an inexpensive scrapbook and making a nice album for them to hold cherished memories of their life pre-wedding. Take advantage of craft store coupons when buying supplies to save even more money on this gift.

Personalized Christmas Ornament

A personalized Christmas ornament ready for their first Christmas together as a married couple is another great gift idea. Online stores, sites like Etsy and brick-and-mortar stores such as Things Remembered are great venues to find personalized ornaments.

Digital Kitchen Timer and/or Scale

These are two items that I really find helpful in our kitchen but didn’t take the time to buy until years after I was married. You can pick up a digital kitchen timer and a digital kitchen scale for less than $40 if you shop right.

Lawn Chairs and/or a Full-Sized Cooler

This is one of those gifts that your newlywed friends will likely use over and over again. An especially great gift if the couple likes to hang out in the great outdoors.

A Nice Blanket or Quilt

We received two really nice blankets from different people as wedding gifts and we still use both blankets nearly every single day after twenty years of marriage. Every time we use them, I think about the people who gave them to us with fond remembrance for this useful gift idea.

With a little thought, you can come up with a cherished wedding gift for your newlywed friends that won’t break your budget.

How about you all? What are your favorite smart but frugal wedding gift ideas?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/43027029@N00/1078586764/

How to Stick to your Budget when Planning a Wedding

wedding-budget-my-personal-finance-journeyThe following post is by MPFJ staff writer, Chonce. You can read more articles by Chonce over at her personal blog, My Debt Epiphany. Enjoy! 

The average cost of a wedding in the U.S. is $26,444 but some couples have spent way more on their special day. I personally couldn’t imagine spending $50,000, $30,000 or even $12,000 on just one day even if it was a special life changing event.

When I got engaged last year, my fiancé and I decided to have a semi-big wedding to celebrate our marriage with our family and friends, but we didn’t want it to put us in the poor house. We both have debt and little savings, but wanted to live in the moment when it came to our wedding and enjoy the present instead of delaying our gratification like we usually do.

The wedding is now just two short months away and we are still within our budget. If you’re in the process of planning a wedding or believe you will be planning one in the future, here are some tips to help you stick to your budget no matter what.

Be Honest with Yourself

This is the first and most crucial step when planning your wedding. You need to determine how much you can spend realistically right off the bat so you can plan your big day around that amount.

For us, we decided a budget of $7,000 for the ceremony and reception would be ideal. We would split that amount so we’d each be responsible for coming up with $3,500. That amount doesn’t include any extra gifts or funding from our parents who only pitched in on the venue.

Yes, that $7,000 could have been used to put toward our debt, or in a savings account for a down payment on a home, but we chose to share this special event in our lives with our friends and family and were comfortable with spending that amount and still being able to work toward our other financial goals.

When you sit down with your partner and assess your goals, expectations, and budget constraints for the wedding, it will provide you with an honest idea of what you can and can’t afford so you don’t end up broke or get into debt.

Commit to Having a Small Event

If you want your wedding to be an intimate event, then you’re already on the right track to save money. The less people you invite, the more money you can save. The cost of a wedding rises as you add people to the guest list because you often have to pay for their seating, food, cake, favors, a big enough space and so on.

If you only invite close friends and family and keep the guest list under 25 people, you can probably find some great deals on venues that will be less than $1,000 and you can always reserve a private room at your favorite restaurant for the dinner and dessert portion. You may even be able to have a backyard wedding or utilize a free space with a smaller wedding.

Having a smaller wedding just wasn’t an option for us since we come from larger families and have lots of long-time friends, but it is a great option if you want to share your special day with others and stick to your budget.

Choose a Time and Location that Saves your Money

When and where you have your wedding is very important. One of the highest wedding expenses is the venue. If you plan on having lots of guests like we do, you can try choosing an all-inclusive venue so your reception hall rental and dinner will all be covered in one price. It’s much cheaper with this solution and you won’t have to worry about dealing with a caterer and other vendors to coordinate everything.

Another option you should consider is having your wedding during an off-season like the fall, winter, or early spring and choosing a less popular day like a Sunday. Basically, as long as you don’t choose a Saturday for your wedding date, you will save quite a bit of money.

Also, choose the time of your wedding wisely since food is another big expense and you might be able to get away with serving lighter foods and appetizers if you have a morning wedding.

Skip the Traditions

Traditions are great to cherish, but when it comes to weddings, if something isn’t going to offer value to you and your partner, it’s best to skip it despite what anyone else is doing or what they say. If having something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue doesn’t really matter to you, you need to voice your opinion to your friends and family and let them know that you are skipping certain traditions.

For example, since my fiancé and I have a short engagement, we opted out of sending out save-the-dates to save money and just sent out regular invitations. I figured anyone who was really close to me and interested in coming to my wedding would make the effort to attend without a fancy heads up arriving in the mail. Plus, I think people just throw that stuff in the trash after a while anyway.

Some couples opt out of having a wedding cake – which can be $3 to $4 per slice on most occasions – and do something different like serving pies or cookies instead. More recently, brides are finding unique ways to replace their traditional bouquet of flowers to save money on expensive and short-lived flower arrangements.

Planning a wedding while adhering to your budget can seem stressful at first. But when you become honest about how much you can afford and determine what factors are truly important to you and what isn’t, you’ll be able to prioritize expenses and cut the ones you can do without.

How about you all? How did you save for your wedding? What tips do you have for someone trying to save money on their wedding day?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

***Photo courtesy https://www.flickr.com/photos/sinksanctity/2800806402/

How Can You Save Money When Purchasing an Engagement Ring? – Lessons from Personal Experience

Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the “About” or “First-Time Visitor” pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!

According to a report from TheKnot.com, they put the average price of an engagement ring around $5,000. In my opinion, this number seems about right after going through the ring-buying process recently (we got engaged on Friday, March 15th, 2013!). If we assume the average household income in the US is $50,000 per year, this equates to ~1.2 months salary spent on the engagement ring.

The Engagement Ring Markup

Have you ever stopped to think about why alcoholic beverages at bars and restaurants cost $8 when you can go out and buy an entire bottle of the alcohol in the drink for $15 or eat a dinner at that same restaurant for $10?

The answer is actually quite simple – it’s because we as society over time have allowed the price to be set this high. Think about it – if we didn’t continue purchasing drinks like this, the price would go down (supply/demand curves, right?). However, the truth is that we are OK to pay this price because an alcoholic drink is more than a simple mixture of raw materials – it’s an experience, both of the taste buds and of the mind (because the alcohol makes us feel a certain way and we often enjoy these drinks in the presence of friends).

Similar to how we routinely pay for the large mark-up in alcoholic beverage prices, we have also grown accustomed to paying the markup associated with engagement rings. It’s the same sort of reasoning. The engagement ring is more than just a compilation of raw materials, it’s an experience, a symbol, and something that will be worn for a very long time. Thus, people often are willing to pay an arm and a leg for the ring of their dreams. According to one of my friends that is a diamond wholesaler, the stores that he sells to mark up the price of the rings at the retail point 3 times! That’s quite a business, right?!

Even though we as ordinary consumers do not have much control over the global price movements/markups of engagement rings, we should focus on what we can control – trying to optimize our own engagement ring purchase so that we save the most amount of money while obtaining the most value. 

In an effort to help others, I thought I would share 8 cost-saving strategies that I employed recently while negotiating a path through the world that is engagement ring purchasing.

Money-Saving Idea # 1 – Have an Idea of What You can AFFORD vs. What You Can Comfortably SPEND Prior to Going to the Ring Store? 

For me, an important distinction in the ring-buying process was drawing a clear line between what I could AFFORD based on my salary and savings and what is an INTELLIGENT amount to spend based on my financial goals.

Because of the magnitude of the engagement ring purchase, I think that a lot of guys have these lines become very blurred. In other words, since they are only going to complete this purchase once, they think about the maximum amount they can AFFORD (utilizing credit cards, savings, payment plans, etc) instead of thinking about a comfortable amount they can spend while still working towards their long term goals and not racking up more debt. This is the same sort of logic that goes in to buying an appropriate “amount” of house; the lenders will give you a house payment that is 40% of your salary, but most the time, an intelligent amount is only 28-30% max of your monthly salary.

When I first started thinking about purchasing an engagement ring, I loosely defined my comfort/intelligent spending level as $1,000. This was a good number to have in mind/establish internally before actually going out and being influenced by salespeople, my girlfriend/fiance, etc.

Money-Saving Idea # 2 – Ask For a Discount and Search for Better Offers Elsewhere

In my specific situation, my fiance had done the bulk of the “shopping-around” for an engagement ring on her own with one of her friends. They went to maybe 4-5 jewelry stores in town, and the rings that my fiance liked best were at a chain jewelry store, Zales.
Having never been to a Zales before in my life, I didn’t really know what to expect. However, I was pleasantly surprised with the kind and low-pressure sales staff, the Lifetime Diamond Guarantee, and the value that was on offer for the price points at Zales. All in all, it seemed like a good place to buy a ring! 
Having nailed down the specific store that we would look for rings in, I then went with my fiance to pick out a couple of rings that would be “acceptable” options, with the intention of coming back later to actually purchase one of the rings to at least have some element of surprise. 
Prior to physically going to the local Zales store, I did a little research online to see what sort of discounts people tended to get at Zales. To my surprise, the consensus in the Internet discussion forums was that large chain stores like Zales do not really offer discounts, even if you ask for them specifically. 
However, I figured that this wasn’t going to deter me all that much. Since I knew there was such a large markup on diamond rings, I figured that it was likely that if I asked for a discount, they would give me one. And sure enough, after trying on a few rings, I simply asked, “Can you please give me a 10% discount on this ring?” The saleswomen politely replied, “Yes, but only if you purchase it through me because we’re really not supposed to give discounts like this.” Now, I’m not sure if she was telling a white lie or not, but it was good to hear that I could at least get a 10% discount on the ring to take care of some of the taxes! 
After defining the general level of discount I could obtain from the local Zales store, I then reached out to other jewelry stores (included other Zales locations) in the area and region (within a 1 hr drive or so) and asked the following questions:
  • Do you have the XYZ ring that I want to purchase?
  • Can you beat the price and 10% discount being offered by my local Zales location for this ring?

Unfortunately, for the specific ring I was looking at buying, the other stores I called either didn’t have the specific model or offered similar pricing as the local Zales store. However, it never hurts to ask and shop around, right?!

Money-Saving Idea # 3 – Don’t Forget to Consider Outlet Store Versions of Jewelry Vendors 

The next idea I came up with to try to save some money on my engagement ring purchase was to try to purchase the model ring that I was wanting from a Zales Outlet Store instead of a normal retail-priced store, since outlet stores generally have lower prices. 
However, in my specific case, the closest Zales Outlet Store was 3 hours away, and since I didn’t feel like driving that far, I decided not to pursue that option any further.  But hey, it never hurts to think about it if you have outlet stores in your area!!! 🙂

Money-Saving Idea # 4 – Wait to Buy Until There is a Sale

As we mentioned previously, the markup on diamonds and jewelry is crazy! Because of this, I found that there ALWAYS seemed to be sales going on in order to move product. 
Because of this, a good mode-of-operation to go by is to never buy an engagement ring unless you are getting some sort of sale. 

In the 1 month period that I was closely monitoring discount and sales promotional offers at Zales, I think there were like 5-6 different sales that came up:
  • 15% for Valentine’s Day.
  • $50 off for signing up for free email updates from Zales.com
  • 15% off store-wide online only sale, for no particular reason other than having a sale! (haha!)
  • 75% off clearance items.
  • 25% off clearance items.
So, even if there is not a sale going on at the moment you’re reading this/looking for a ring, just wait two weeks and you’ll likely have one pop up! Just be patient!

Money-Saving Idea # 5 – Consider Shopping Online After Trying on Rings at the Jewelry Store

In the end, I actually purchased my engagement ring from the Zales.com online website. You can see a picture of it at the top of this blog post. 
Since a lot of rings I saw (including the one I ended up buying) looked a lot different in real life than in the online pictures, I wouldn’t advise anyone to buy a ring until they have seen it in person with more natural lighting. There’s something also to be said for physically going to the store in order to try rings on as well! 
However, after trying on rings at the store and having the saleswoman write down the exact model numbers of the rings that I was interested in, there are some significant benefits that can be realized by buying a ring online. 
Several of these benefits for my specific situation (and hey, maybe yours when it comes time!) are listed below:
  • No pressure sales. 
    • Even though the saleswomen at Zales was very nice, in my mind, it is always a good idea to spend some time by myself prior to making a large purchase just to double-check that everything is good to go.
    • By purchasing online, you can buy an engagement ring at any time of the day or night, at your speed, in the comfort of your home.
  • No pressure to buy extended warranties (which more than likely, are not needed – see more about this below).
  • More sales/promos being offered to online shoppers only.
    • This was really the biggest factor for me. When I purchased the engagement ring, I bought during a 15% off sale that was only available to Internet shoppers. Pretty good in my book! 
    • In addition to store sales, you can also take advantage of cash back websites (see more on this below).

Money-Saving Idea # 6 – Utilize Cash Back Website

So, having found a way to save 15% through a sale/promo offer for my engagement ring, I was feeling pretty satisfied. However, I figured that in today’s modern Internet age, there had to be a way to save even MORE money! After all, I was about to spend around $2,000, and with the high mark-up on rings, I figured that Zales would likely be begging for my business! 
In order to research available options to save additional money, I simply Googled, “saving money + the store I was looking to purchase the ring from.” 

  • When I did this, the search revealed that people saved money on their Zales purchases in three primary ways:
    • Sales/promo offers
      • Check – already done in my case!
    • Online coupons
      • Unfortunately, the coupons I could find for Zales were for very small amounts of savings such as free shipping, $30-$50 off, etc, and could not be combined with other sales.
      • So, coupons were out of the question for my case!  
    • Clicking through to the site you’re buying from through a cash back website
      • Now, this was a new thing for me to hear about! 
      • What happens with these cash back websites is that brands pay these sites a portion of affiliate income anytime someone comes directly from their site and makes a purchase at the brand. And, these referring sites pass on some of their affiliate income to you, the purchaser! Pretty cool, right?!
      • These cash back opportunities can be significant – anywhere in the range of 2-15% cash back, so they are definitely worth looking in to!
      • To find out what type of cash back websites and offers are available for any major purchase you’re thinking about, simply Google, “cash back website + the store you’re purchasing from.”
      • In my case, the best offer (which I took advantage of) was 7% cash back using the site, BeFrugal.com.

Money-Saving Idea # 7 – Extended Warranties Make the Store More Money Than They Save You, the Purchaser

Heaven forbid we make it through purchasing ANYTHING major these days without someone attempting to sell us an extended warranty plan! 
On my post from 2012 about CarMax’s extended warranty plan on car purchases, we have had some really great comments! Someone mentioned that the salespeople make almost the same commission on selling an entire car as they do on getting someone to purchase their extended warranty. That gives you an indication of how lucrative these things are! 
Let’s take a look and see how Zales’ extended warranty stacks up to determine how it is likely un-necessary. 
On diamond ring purchases of $200 or more, Zales offers a free Lifetime Diamond Commitment limited warranty. Under this warranty, you have to bring your ring in every 6 months for cleaning and tracking (for free!), but in return, they will replace or fix any diamond that is damaged or lost from it’s original setting under normal wear and tear. It does not include loss due to theft or if you simply leave your ring somewhere due to user negligence.
So, that’s the free option. Let’s now take a peek at the paid extended warranty that Zales offers.
There are two extended warranty options from Zales, the Lifetime Jewelry Protection Plan and the Lifetime Jewelry Protection Plan with Limited Theft Replacement. The only thing that the Lifetime Jewelry Protection Plan gives you on top of the free warranty above is regular repairs. In my opinion, it’s unlikely that this will be used very often, so I don’t see this as being a good deal. Similarly, the Limited Theft Replacement is ridiculous because it only covers you for theft if it occurs less than 2 years from the date of purchase. 

As you can see folks, do yourself a favor and just say NO to extended warranties. OK?

Money-Saving Idea # 8 – Use a Cash Back Credit Card for the Purchase

The final method I used to save some money on my engagement ring purchase was the use my Chase Freedom Cash Back Credit Card. 
Since I was purchasing the ring online, I knew I would need to use a credit card since it provides me with purchase protection / fraud security if I needed to dispute anything in the unlikely event that I got screwed by Zales. Alas, this didn’t happen, and the ring came in record time and in great shape!
However, an added perk was that I was able to get an additional 1% cash back by using my card.

If you have multiple credit cards, check before deciding which one to use to see if any offer “rotating categories” that happen to be offering a larger amount of cash back for jewelry store purchases at the moment. Unfortunately, none of my cards offered that enhanced cash back category at the time I bought my ring. 

Putting it All Together – Total Money I Saved

The item pricing for the ring I purchased was $2299.99. The following price adjustments were then made:

  • +   $97.75 for sales tax
  • –    $345 for 15% off for buying during online-only sale
  • –    $161 for 7% cash back clicking through to Zales.com from BeFrugal.com’s cash back website.
  • –    $23 for 1% cash back using Chase Freedom Visa Card.

So, the net cash outlay to me ended up being $1868.74. Not too bad at all since we are very satisfied with our ring purchase! 

However, it’s pretty amazing that simply by doing a little planned shopping, I saved myself $529 (or 23% off in the end)! Nice! 

How about you all? What techniques would you utilize to save money on your engagement ring? Have you used any of the ones discussed above?

Share your experiences by commenting below!

    ***Photo courtesy of http://nominalnuptials.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ring.jpg

    Yakezie Blog Swap # 20 Roundup

    Welcome to My Personal Finance Journey! If you are new here, please read the “About” or “First-Time Visitor” pages to find out more about us. If you would like to receive free updates on articles like this by email, then sign up here or you can subscribe to the RSS feed. Also, check us out on Twitter or Facebook. Thanks for visiting! Keep on learning!

    On Friday of this week (4-May-2012), My Personal Finance Journey participated in the 20th Yakezie Blog Swap (can you believe we’re already on the 20th edition!? Crazy!). In this event, members and challengers of the Yakezie Personal Finance Network paired up and exchanged posts on a common topic. 

    This month, the topic selected for us all to write about was as follows relating to wedding spendingAccording to the Huffington Post, the average wedding cost in 2011 was $27,021. Looking at this statistic, why do you think people spend so much on weddings? Do you think it’s worth the money? How do people afford weddings that cost $27k if the national savings rate is so bad? What are the long-term financial ramifications of an expensive wedding? What tips do you have to help people save money on weddings? 

    There were 10 bloggers who participated in the swap this time around. The various posts written are described below:

    My Favorite Swapped Post

    Emily from Evolving Personal Finance shares first-hand experiences from her wedding planning about why weddings cost so much, how people finance weddings, and also money saving tips on Edward Antrobus. I really liked how she placed on emphasis on the importance of prioritizing what is important to the bride and groom in the wedding in order to maximize value.   

    My Swap

    Kathleen from Frugal Portland wrote about if a wedding is worth the down payment on a house on My Personal Finance Journey. 

    I wrote about why people spend so much on weddings and possible ways to save some money on Frugal Portland.  

    The Rest

    Nick from Step Away from the Mall writes a fascinating article about his first-hand experiences with inviting 350-400 people to his wedding and how it can easily cost a ton of money on Daily Money Shot. 

    Jana from Daily Money Shot wrote about the various ways she saved money on her wedding on Step Away from the Mall. 

    Edward Antrobus wrote about why weddings cost so much these days and how he kept the cost of his wedding to $200 on Evolving Personal Finance. 

    eemusings from Musings of an Abstract Aucklander shares some thoughts about how she intends to save money on her upcoming wedding on Fiscal Pheonix. 

    Melissa from Fiscal Phoenix restores faith in the idea that a 250 person wedding can cost only $6,000 on Musings of an Abstract Aucklander. 

    Marissa from Thirty Six Months shares several tips to save money on a wedding on Call Me What You Want Even Cheap. 

    Call Me What You Want Even Cheap wrote about how weddings don’t need to cost an arm and a leg on Thirty Six Months. 

    How about you all? Why do you think people spend so much money on weddings these days? Is it worth it? What tips do you know of that people have used to save some money?

    Share your experiences by commenting below!

      ***Photo courtesy of http://www.public-domain-image.com/cache/people-public-domain-images-pictures/male-men-public-domain-images-pictures/man-reading-and-writing-at-table_w725_h544.jpg