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Will Your Wedding Cost You Your Marriage?

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Marriage Educator: How Much Should Your Wedding Cost?
Are we quite sure the doves were necessary?
Are you getting married for the wedding... or having the wedding to be blissfully married?

According to CNN, many newlyweds suffer from reception-spending blues. The afterglow of a pile of cash washed down with champagne can be duller than you ever dreamed. Starting a marriage by either wishing you had the money you "wasted" or feeling bitter about the gifts you got seems counterintuitive, doesn't it? But it's not totally your fault. Society has raised us all on the Cinderella principle: girl meets prince, he kneels, then poof: the fairytale happy ever after begins. Most of those fairytales stopped at the celebration, yet a set of antiquated rules on how to tie the knot reinforces the belief that a wedding makes a marriage.

Now, if we're being fair, a wedding does make a marriage. The approach you take to getting hitched sets the tone for wedded bliss. But getting high on nuptial glitter may have you sleeping on a bed of thorns long past the honeymoon. Setting priorities for a love partnership that actually succeeds means paying more attention to your needs as a couple than the font on your wedding invitation. Here's the thing: the dinner menu is merely the icing on the cake (which is the actual union itself), so let's call for a little less tulle and a little more planning for happily ever after.

More from YourTango: Where is your Money Bar?

Sometimes, the pressure of following wedding must-do's can make you lose sight of why you're getting married in the first place. If wedding details are more compelling than your future partner's opinion, goals and dreams, perhaps you need to rethink this whole marriage thing.

What is it about your special day that makes you prisoner of the hunt for the "perfect" dress or hottest favors? Yes, it is a celebration, and perhaps the sheer joy of joining in holy matrimony makes you want to invite everyone to the castle for the party. However, you need to get clear on the purpose of your wedding before dropping a dime. Ask yourself if your wedding plans are for the two of you or for social requirements. What do you want more? a luxurious party or a steady start to your new life? Will you cave in to family pressure or follow your hearts?  

Also ask yourself how much time you want to spend on planning a wedding. Are you ready to devote a year of your life to creating a wedding of the century? What matters to you as a couple — a down payment on a new home or trip around the world... or an extravagant designer-infused gala with the best money can buy?

Make a choice and see it through. A good time does not (and should not!) have to mean going broke in the process. Prioritize and think of the party in terms of that famed travel rule: double the assumed cost of everything you want and then cut out half of the "must haves". Pace yourself so that you spend time, dollars, and focus on what really matters. Handling your money with love will help ease the path to a stronger, longer union with many reasons to celebrate again and again throughout the years.

If you or someone you know is overwhelmed from saying yes to everyone else and unsure what of matters ultimately, I am ready to help with expert advice and coaching. Get more tips by downloading my FREE e-book 3 Ways to say No without being Pushy or a Pushover. My goal is to help you create sanctuary and clarity around what you do want, as quickly as possible.

More from YourTango: Why I Am Discarding My Big Girl Panties

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Jen Duchene

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