Expectation vs. Reality: Don’t Let Wedding TV Dictate Your DebtJul 21, 2015
Wedding reality shows started streaming onto our airwaves about 10 years ago, and have steadily gained in popularity. These ‘reality’ shows depict stressed-out brides, lavish venues, fairytale dresses; and they’re giving many couples unrealistic expectations for their own real-life weddings. Given that wedding reality shows rarely disclose the real cost of these wedding luxuries, it’s not surprising that there are many couples seeking debt help before and after saying, “I do”.
There’s real evidence that reality TV shows are impacting Canadians’ spending. We often feel a sense of entitlement when we watch these ‘real people’ spending money without consequence, and we feel we deserve the same. Wedding planners have noticed an increasing wave of couples who come to them with a list of ‘must haves’, only to be shocked by the actual price.
What steps can couples take to avoid falling into the trap of reality show debt and consequently find themselves in need of debt help?
Start with a budget.
- Write down wedding necessities such as venue, food, flowers, dress, tux, and photography, and shop around for the best prices. Simple, elegant and thrifty weddings are often the most intimate and memorable.
- Involve family in discussing the budget if they are contributing to the wedding expenses. This will keep you more accountable when everyone is on the same page. Make copies or digitally send the wedding budget to anyone involved.
- Ask Bridesmaids and Groomsmen to cover the cost of their wedding attire, hair and makeup. This can go a long way in keeping your costs low.
Pay down individual debt.
- You both may have accumulated debt as students or during your engagement. Paying down debts prior to your big day will help you begin your lives together on the right track without inhibiting future milestones.
- Avoid falling into reality TV-inspired debt by keeping your wedding day budget realistic and compromising with your future spouse. Find ways to make your day memorable, but practical.
- You probably don’t want to begin your marriage by paying down your wedding day debt.
- Talk openly with your spouse-to-be about how you both will handle household finances once your bank accounts are combined. Having common financial goals can eliminate major stresses during the honeymoon phase. Prioritize future goals such as home ownership, or starting a family, to avoid the need for debt help prior to your wedding day.
The need for debt help can play a major role in relationship difficulties. Begin your marriage on the right track financially. Do your best to avoid debt dictated by the values you see on wedding TV shows. When debt help is needed, there are many options available to couples. Seeking advice at the first signs of financial trouble can help debt relief professionals guide you toward the best solutions.
Did you find yourself in need of debt help after your wedding. Tell us about it. #RealityShowDebt #RealityDebt #LetsTalkFomo