Money troubles, help?!

Hello! So my boyfriend and I have talked many times about marriage, and we both know that in time, it's what we want. Neither of us want to get married too late in life, and we've been looking at marrying after we both graduate college.

He knows what job he wants in life, which would put him into the work force once he graduates, but I'm looking at med school. I know med school can be long and tough, and I don't like the idea of having a wedding while I'm in school.

 At this point, both of us are aiming to graduate a year early which would give me a year off between college and med school. What I'm particularly concerned with at this point is how we will manage to fund a wedding. Both of our parents are putting in a lot of money towards our education, and at this point, I highly doubt that they will be able to help us contribute much. We've both looked at getting jobs, but it's been really difficult, and it feels as though no one's hiring right now. We aren't looking to have a huge grand wedding, but even a small one is expensive.

Do you think it would be tacky to have our registry be that which helps us pay for the wedding? Neither of us need house things as we won't be buying a house for a while. The liklihood is that we will be in one of our parents' homes, but I don't want to look too far into the future. The whole ordeal with money is just making me nervous about how things will work out and any advice would be fantastic!! Thank you all!!

Re: Money troubles, help?!

  • I really understand your impulse here, but the short answer is, yes, it's tacky to ask your guests to pay for your wedding.  No matter how young or how poor you are, it's really not okay.

    Here's what I would ask you, in what I really mean to be the nicest possible way.  If you can't afford a cake and a couple of bottles of champagne, or a backyard barbecue, or any of the other options for a cheap wedding, do you really think that in terms of both your finances and, frankly, your maturity, you're ready for marriage?

    (In this vein, your comment about living with your parents after you get married is also a red flag.  You really should not get married until you're able to support yourself, for about a zillion different reasons.)

  • edited March 2012
    I highly disagree with waiting, it's just not practical and isn't me. I know my heart and for me, waiting until I'm in the middle of medical school isn't practical. An no, I already stated previously, he will be starting a career and I will most likely be volunteering at hospitals for more experience, etc. It's a choice both of us have made, not to wait as it would be easier on our faith lives and where we want to go in life. In terms of living in one of our parent's home, they have talked about traveling and doing things elsewhere and talked about making the house into a home for their children and spouses to have until they choose to live elsewhere, that is a choice they have made and talked about. I'm not looking for a change of plans, I'm trying to find what is the best way to fund a wedding here. I hope I'm not coming across as critical or defensive, I'm trying not to be, I just feel like this doesn't answer my question.

    I've seen sites (such as Disney) that have registries that tell people what their money is going towards (ie show tickets, day trips, etc.) and I was thinking about something like that. At this point I have at least a year and a half for the two of us to come up with the money. Are there any ideas how I can start earning money now?
  • Seriously? Beggars can't be choosers. If you cannot afford the wedding and, as it seems, honeymoon you want, then you either need to wait until you can afford it or make some concessions (courthouse wedding with a backyard barbeque, no honeymoon, whatever). A registry to pay for your wedding is beyond tacky. 

    Getting married during medical school really isn't that big of a deal. DH went to med school and I went to vet school. We got married between our second and third years. Did it require planning to make sure he would have time off? Certainly (we got married three days after he took Step 1), but wedding planning was a nice vacation from studying. 
  • OP, I get not wanting to wait, and if you're cool with marrying before financial stability and living with your parents, well, it sounds like they're supportive.  But I do agree with the PP who pointed out that beggars can't be choosers.  Have the wedding you can afford.

    For funding your wedding, the biggest thing is just to make a budget based on how much you can save each month.  It's 100% okay to have a simple wedding, just cake and punch in your church hall after the ceremony, or a barbecue in your parents' backyard.  Seek out work-study options through your school- most pre-med people I know work part-time at the research labs at their schools.  If that's not an option, there are jobs in libraries, gyms, dining halls, etc.  I really did not know anyone at my college who could not find a part-time work-study job if they wanted one badly enough.  In most college towns, local businesses (restaurants, retail, etc) are also usually always hiring because there's so much turnover, though if you're actually in downtown LA that might not be the case.  If nothing else is available, professors always need babysitters/housesitters/petsitters...let it get around to your profs that you're looking for that sort of work, and it will come.

    I really don't recommend doing honeymoon registries like the Disney one for a number of different reasons, though.  First of all, it still looks like you're asking your guests to pay for your honeymoon, which is tacky- though they're becoming popular in some circles, you will almost certainly still have some guests who are offended by it.  More importantly, though, the vast majority of them don't actually work the way they say they do.  Here's how they work: say a guest buys you show tickets off the registry.  You don't actually get show tickets mailed to you by the company- that wouldn't make sense, because what if not enough people buy you stuff off the registry for you to be able to afford your honeymoon?  Instead, they just send you cash, in the amount of the value of the show tickets, except that the registry company takes a cut, sometimes up to as much as ten percent of the value of the registry item, for maintaining the registry.  So, basically, if the guest had just written you a check as a gift, you would have gotten the full value of the check instead, and could still use it to buy show tickets if you wanted to.

    One thing you can do, if you'd really like to receive cash as a gift, is to have no registry, or a very small registry, and if anyone asks - and believe me, they will - let word get around that you're saving for a honeymoon/a house/whatever.  And most people will get you cash.  (Don't do a cash registry for the same reasons as above- it's tacky, and the company takes a cut, so you don't get the full value of the gift.)  But people will ask around- typically they'll check in with you, your mom, your maid of honor, or the MOG- so just let all these people know that you're saving up and word will get around.
  • You need to have a wedding you can afford.  I understand not wanting to wait.  My fiance and I are getting married right after we graduate college and before he starts PA school.  I'm going to work for a year or two after I graduate and then try to get into an evening MBA program (the experience of working full time helps your chance of getting in).  Asking people to pay for your wedding is really rude.  Almost everyone would rather attend a smaller wedding that you paid for yourselves than attend a wedding that they helped pay for.  

    If you want a bigger wedding you may have to wait a little bit.  If you don't want to wait, then you may sacrifice having a larger wedding.  It depends on what's more important to you.  

    There are ways to save money.  The first is a part-time job.  Yes it is possible to go to school and work part time.  Most students do it.  You can also limit how much you eat out or shop.  Good luck with whatever you decide to do!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker PersonalMilestone
  • From another Los Angeles resident, Disneyland is pretty amazing. For a flat rate they do everything. Although, I think the lowest amount is $5,000 and that is for 20 people and less.

    My sister looks into Disneyland all the time for her (imaginary) wedding.

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