Written by on July 17, 2018

When someone proposes to you, do you say yes because it’s your chance to be the belle of the ball in a magnificent gown / tuxedo, or because you really see yourself spending a lifetime with this person? When you’re engaged, what’s more important to you? The wedding or the marriage? What do you invest more in? And who shoulders the financial weight of planning and executing your wedding? Do you take up the bigger shade then fundraise, or the opposite? Do you plan for after the wedding with your partner or does all planning culminate with the wedding day? I’ve noticed a rather worrying trend among our generation; which is most people focus more on the wedding than the marriage itself. Let me put it in perspective.

Your wedding day is at the very least, 8 hours long. Hours in which you spend hundreds of thousands of shillings pulling off an event for people who either genuinely wish you well or are only there for the food and the bride’s gown. You fundraise, take out loans and do all sorts of things an entrepreneur would do to expand their business, then retire to a hotel room with pending debts and an uncertain financial stand in the start of your marriage at the very least. Reality checks in after the honeymoon, when the bank and loan sharks come knocking for what is owed them. The real hustle begins.

Alternatively, you could go to the AG’s office, invite trusted people of your choosing to bear witness to your union, sign your marriage certificate and live happily ever after, debt free. It’s as simple as that. I’m not saying don’t have the wedding of your dreams – personally my wedding was 500 guest heavy and I hated most of it. It ranks far up on the worst days of my life. You could have the wedding of your dreams, but take the time to plan it so you and your partner manage at least 70% of the financial obligations, then close family and friends can contribute to the 30%. That way, you have more control of your wedding and your marriage. Don’t even get me started on parents insisting they want certain things for your wedding, calmly remind them that it’s YOUR day therefore you have final say.

Starting a marriage without financial backing is the worst mistake anyone could ever make. You literally start counting every penny spent on the wedding and wonder if it could have been put to better use. What’s worse is getting into fights about money with your partner weeks after your honeymoon phase. Money, like sex, is a very touchy subject and is a leading cause of relationship deaths. Lack of it, misuse of it, under-declaring it and not explaining its sources can cause a whole lot of friction which may lead to one half of the union leaving for good. So how do you avoid this? My suggestions are simple: either settle for a wedding you two can comfortably bank roll or simply save more and plan better for your marriage than your wedding. It really is just eight hours, and doesn’t make your marriage any less significant if you choose to legalize your union in a more budget friendly fashion. More power to you, in fact, for being wiser and investing more in what matters most – your marriage.

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