By Sylvia Juuko
Many newly-weds are confronted by a financial reality a few weeks after the wedding. The reality is that they could have opted for a smaller reception or a less expensive cake.
In extreme cases, such thoughts become even more unbearable if the couple has to dodge loan sharks and friends they owe money, fresh from the honeymoon.
In retrospect, they realise that using debt to finance that magnificent and glitzy wedding isn’t a great idea after all. Especially when they have to make embarrassing calls to family or friends to bail them out with soft loans, making a bad situation even worse.
With some careful planning and a lot of compromise, this situation can be avoided. Your energies are better utilised on working out how to achieve a meaningful union, one that is supported by good financial health.
All the couples I have talked to say saving and planning to the last detail worked for them.
These couples attest to the fact that it took them some few years of planning and discussions to achieve the dream of a decent wedding at an affordable cost.
And the common factor was purposefully saving to finance the wedding, which largely contributed to the success of the event.
For this to happen, you have to take into account the financial status of the couple, the nature of event being planned (big or small wedding), the kind of families you have to work with and the level of influence they have on you among other things.
Remember that the manner in which you handle this event will reflect the level of cohesion you have with your partner, how they cope with pressure from different quarters and how you will go about making decisions related to money in the future.
Some people have argued that given it’s a big day held once in their lifetime, they would rather keep up appearances, including borrowing, to throw a party everyone will remember. What they forget is the stress that follows the status they are trying to project.
Consider a couple that began their union with falsehoods. Each had overwhelming debt from consumer loans they took to purchase cars and other items to try and project a wealthy lifestyle.
Most of the wedding budget was funded by loans. When the honeymoon was over, the money squabbles began in earnest, with each accusing the other of spending so much on frivolous items.
They soon discovered that they were saddled by high consumer debt. On the other hand, the lady thought her debts would be off-set by her husband, while the husband thought that once he handled his debt, building a home would be number one priority.
Their expectations were shattered. The quarrels over money were inevitable because they omitted the honest discussion about what they could and couldn’t afford.
Given that situations vary, planning and saving for a wedding depends on a number of factors including the financial status of the couple and their families and the level of expectations. But this can be managed by a couple that is focused on what they want within the available resources.
The advantage couples have today is that there are so many lessons to learn from and information is available in the print media and websites to manage costs yet have a memorable wedding. As long as you can tell the difference between genuine advice and a sales pitch.
With that in mind, irrespective of societal expectations, a couple has to realise that planning should be a big component of the new financial future.
And nowhere is this tested than how you handle expenditure items like weddings. If not handled well, such expenses may impact your future financial goals.
The writer works with Bank of Uganda