I Can’t Afford The Dream Wedding of my Fiancé, What Should I Do?

Posted by under Personal Finance, Reader Mail . Published: February 14, 2019

A guy is worried that he won’t be able to give the dream wedding that his fiancé always talks about. He sends me an email asking for advice on what he should do, and what he should tell her.

Just immediately after I got the email, I asked my friends online for their thoughts. I’m happy to receive many great advice, which you can read here.

But how did I eventually respond to his email? Below is what I sent.

Have an Honest Talk

Dear Mr. A,

Congratulations on your engagement! You are lucky to find a woman that you’d want to spend the rest of your life with.

I believe almost every woman has at one point in their life, imagined their perfect wedding. And because you love her, I know how much you want to meet that expectation.

First of all, know that what you’re feeling is normal. Planning a wedding is a daunting task. It is overwhelming in many aspects, including financially.

Thus, it’s important to deal with the situation with a level head, but with a firm belief that love will find a way.

What should you do? Talk to her. Share your concerns. Be honest with your financial situation.

Money is the number one cause of stress in a marriage. That’s why it’s necessary to learn how to deal with financial issues as early as you can in a relationship.

Marriage is all about teamwork. And you can consider planning for your wedding as the “qualifying game” before your team enters the “professional league”.

What should you tell her? The optimistic truth.

Here’s what I would say if I were in your shoes:

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“I love you so much and I want us to have a perfect wedding. However, I’m worried that it might be too expensive for me. I want to give all that I can to make your dreams come true, but I need your help.

I hope we can sit down and plan the details of our wedding. I believe it’s important to really know how much it would cost. And then, let’s see how we can afford it.”

What happens next after this?

Scenario 1: She expresses disappointment in you and even doubts that you love her because you can’t give her what she wants. In this case, you may want to take a step back and assess your relationship.

Scenario 2: She expresses loving concern, and is willing to work on the wedding plans with you. In this case, you can move forward and get going with the next tasks at hand.

Planning For a Wedding

Get down to business and lay out your dream wedding. Contact suppliers, go to wedding fairs, get a good estimate of how much it would cost.

After you’ve calculated the amount, then it’s time to answer some questions. And remember to work as a team:

  • Who will pay for the wedding? Is it just you or is she willing to shoulder a portion (or even half) of the expenses?
  • Is there anybody who can sponsor and shoulder some of the costs?
  • If the total cost is too much, what are the expense items that you can eliminate or replace with a more affordable alternative?
  • Finally, given the final amount you’d need for the wedding, how long will it take to save that much money? Is the target date acceptable? If not, then cut costs further.

It’s not a romantic task, but you need to work through this challenge. There could be compromises but that’s all a normal part of being in a relationship.

However, I do discourage you from taking out a loan for the wedding. And even if you can afford it, remember that after the wedding is the marriage, which also comes with a new set of costs.

So, be practical. Hold out on borrowing money and reserve your loans for more important and necessary expenses that you’ll incur during the marriage.

And lastly, believe and remember that love will find a way. You are planning a wedding, and that’s beautiful and awesome!

In the end, you may or may not have the dream wedding that she initially imagined. But I’m sure it will still be perfect because of the love you have for each other.

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One Response to “I Can’t Afford The Dream Wedding of my Fiancé, What Should I Do?”


  1. Ann says:

    HI!

    I have decided to hold my judgement as the fiancé might still be on a euphoria, hence the constant “dream wedding” talks.

    As a bride-to-be here, let me share some wedding prep experience so far:

    My fiancé and I have been invited one too many weddings and at this point, we already have an idea which of the elements we can splurge/save. Say in our case, splurge on caterer and photo/video, let go of souvenirs. It really depends on the couple’s preference.

    Aside from attending wedding expo, it also helps to join soon-to-weds group like W@wies, an exclusive group of soon-to-weds on Facebook. They can search for their prospect supplier’s rating from their previous clients which are also members of the group. They wouldn’t have to worry about giving an honest rating as well, as the admin screens requests to make sure the joiners are not suppliers pretending to be clients. it also helps if the couple or anyone they know are willing to do some DIY invitations.

    Congratulations on their engagement and Happy preps!

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