I don't know when my parents started saving for my wedding, though I suspect it was the day after my sister got married. They paid for her nuptial event by chopping down a bunch of trees on their land. Or maybe that was just a coincidence. In any case, I was seventeen at the time. A few months later, I picked my college based on which one my boyfriend was attending, and so it might have looked to them that they might have to finance another bride before too long. They're savers, and so that's what they did.
Roughly twelve years later, I got engaged. It took a little longer than anyone expected, but life's a funny thing.
I'm pretty sure my parents stopped adding to that wedding account a long time ago, once it reached some sort of maximum. They probably matched the tree money, you know, keep it fair. I have an idea of how much it might be, but I haven't asked.
I can't tell you when it first occurred to me, but sometime after we got engaged, I decided that I did not want that money. I'm going to be a thirty-year-old bride. I have been consistently employed in a good-paying job for the last seven years. And, like my parents, I'm a saver. At some point, adult children should pay for their own weddings. So thanks for the offer, Mom and Dad, now go spend that money on something else. Take a cruise through the Panama Canal.
Josh thought this was a great idea. He even thought it was a great idea once I told him that we probably would not be going to Europe on our honeymoon, because there just wasn't that kind of money. We will have a fun and fabulous honeymoon, but it will be stateside. He agreed that continuing to pay extra on the mortgage was the first priority. See? We're building a marriage here. And once we pay off that house, we'll have all kinds of money lying around.
As for the rehearsal dinner, I figured we'd leave that up to Josh's folks. I am all maxed out on things that I am going to pay for, and by the way they were already offering to pay for little things, I could tell they were itching to pitch in. So yeah, I was ready to let them buy me and the rest of the wedding party a nice dinner. Heck, they could even pick where they bought me dinner, I wasn't picky. I was already having dreams of my sister's rehearsal dinner at Ruth's Chris steak house. They were drooly dreams.
Then Josh destroyed my drooly dreams by deciding that he wanted to pay for the rehearsal dinner himself. See? You start volunteering to be a grown-up and you talk yourself out of a fancy dinner.
I did not see that coming at all. But what can I do? Josh will tell you that most of what he knows about money-management, he learned from me. And though I was a little sad as the steak-filled thought-cloud went *poof!*, I am proud of him. It will be more casual than fancy and the dinner party will likely be a little more inclusive, but who cares? We're getting married! We'll be happy no matter how much or little of our own money we spend.