Post # 1
I’m having a bit of a conflict with my outlook on my wedding budget. From the start my Fiance and I decided we did not want to spend a ton of money on our wedding. We have been doing lots of DIY(which I LOVE doing!) and saving money where we can by utilizing our friends talents (pastor, musicans, potographer, etc.). When it’s all said and done we will probably have spent about $8,000 on the wedding ($10,000 if you include the honeymoom).
My issue is that lately i’ve felt that we are living too lavishly (I don’t really mean lavish.. I’m a dairy farmer, I always use coupons at the grocery store, and my version of an “expensive designer” is the vera bradley bag I bought for myself, I’m just not sure what word to use) My future brother-in-law and sister-in-law just got back from a missions trip to Haiti. They had a very moving testemony when they came home and amazing stories about how the people there live in such poverty. Women might get $5/day for work and are lucky if they can afford to buy meat. Also at church we have been doing a series on giving. I feel like God has really been moving my heart to live minimally and give more to our church and other organizations we are involved in.
All of that to say that I feel kind of terrible spending all this money on one day. I’m spending money on flowers that will die, food that will most likely be wasted, and a dress that I will never wear again. When I could be using that money to give to someone who needs it so much more then I do.
On the bright side we are trying to incorporate our giving and Christian values into our wedding. Instead of giving favors we will be making a donation to the orphanage in Haiti that our church is partnered with. Also everyone in the wedding party is wearing Toms (Toms is a shoe company that for every pair of shoes bought, they give a pair of shoes to a child in need).
Anyone else dealing with this? Any thoughts?
Post # 3
Think of it this way: every dime you spend is going to support another person, another family. The people making your food for the wedding are probably not living some lavish lifestyle. You are helping to support their families.
I’m not sure why you think your food will be wasted. If you are having a buffet, maybe you could have the extras packed up at the end and donate it to a soup kitchen?
Flowers: if you are really concerned, you don’t need flowers. But honestly, what are they here on earth for if not for us to enjoy?
Other ideas for giving back through your wedding: donate your wedding dress to Brides Against Breast Cancer. That’s where I bought my dress from, they seem like a great organization.
You could forgo a traditional registry and set up a website where your guests could choose from various charities to donate to instead?
I hope this helps!
Post # 4
@MmeVT: Do you know of any websites that you can do a donation registration? That sounds really cool!
Post # 6
Have a grateful heart (which I believe you do), thank the Lord every night, and try to give as much as you can. The Lord knows your heart, remember that, which I think is in a very Christian place from your post.
Post # 7
@mrsZiggs: I just sort of thought up that idea, but a quick google search found this organization: https://www.idofoundation.org/
I would just make sure they don’t take a cut of any donations given.
Post # 8
I’m actually not a Christian myself, but wanted to add to a response on your concern over flowers. Yes, they pretty much exist for us to enjoy, but one thing you CAN do with those flowers, is have someone take them to a local retirement home or hospital once your wedding is done with. Others can enjoy those beautiful flower arangements after your wedding as well. 🙂
I also second dontaing your dress to a cause once you are done if you aren’t looking to keep it or pass it down for future generations.
Best of luck!
Post # 9
Have you already bought your dress? If not, buy pre-owned – and donate it afterwards to a needy bride (you can search online for places looking for dresses).
Regarding the flowers…have you thought about not doing cut flowers? We had potted plants at the tables that my MIL put together, ontop of quilted 8-sided placements that my mom made. (Blend of the families!) If you do something like potted plants, you can donate it afterwards to an organization who would love them (e.g. nursing home?) or just to your guests, as we did.
Regarding trying to give away everything, live on $5/day, etc…it’s interesting because that’s one of the flaws of an ethical theory called utilitarianism, where you seek to do the action that will create the greatest utility, or good. For example, this could be a great amount for one person, or a little for a lot of people. Anyhow, the issue is – where do you stop giving? You could give until you gave everything away (except what you need to make more money perhaps, such as a work wardrobe or such.) That’s obviously something you have to resolve for yourself.
Post # 10
Only you and God know what the right balance is, but I do encourage balance. More importantly than the dollar amount in the bank account is the condition of the heart behind it. Every person has their contribution to the church and community– the rich, the poor and those in between. If you live frugally on a day to day basis, and have been concious during planning to spend wisely, I see that as a huge testament to how you approach money and your priorities.
PS: we had several members take our flowers from the reception with them afterwards ( our wedding was on Mothers Day)
Post # 11
@MmeVT: Speaking of not taking a cut, charity water is a great org. A little bit of money ($20 i believe) gives one person clean water for life. They have all their overhead/staff costs covered by private donors so donations from the general public are purely to the charity’s purpose.
Post # 12
@spoiledvamp27: I’d never thought of this before. I absolutely love the idea of taking the flowers to a nursing home. My grandmother was in one towards the end of her life and it’s so sad to see some of the people there who have no one to visit or care about them. I think being given flowers would just make them so happy even if only for an instant.