Recession Mama

{May 16, 2009}   A Wedding Update

By Katy

I want to have my cake and eat it too!

I want to have my cake and eat it too!

A lot of my conversations, these days, go something like this:

Other person: “So…when are you getting married?”

Me: “Umm…sometime next year, I think.”

Other person: “Yeah, I would think so…it’s too late for this year.”

Me: “Yeah, I suppose. But not really.”

Other person: “So..have you set a date yet?”

Me: “No.”

So that’s my update. I have officially postponed my wedding until next year. SUMMER 2010 – the blockbuster union! Or the official beginnings of AntKat!! If you ask me again, I might just refer you to my blog. And yes, the reasons are financial. But it’s not what you think. Well, it actually might be. I’m only pretending to know what you’re thinking.

I still do not want to spend an exorbitant amount of money on one night, and I do not think the recession will get better by next year. I think it might actually fluctuate quite a bit before things get better. So I want to be prepared for the worst. I’m hoping for the best though, so don’t think I’m in the basement stocking up on canned goods. Well, not just yet. If I didn’t have a mortgage, I do think I would’ve gotten married this year. Having to think about paying that mortgage and not knowing whether or not I will continuously work can be a bit stressful. But I don’t like to stress about stuff, and that’s why I want to be prepared. I want an emergency savings fund of a year’s worth of expenses, AND I want the beautiful wedding. Yes, I want my wedding cake and be able to eat it, too. Is there anything wrong with that? On Monday, I start addressing locations. Follow me, as I document my LONG trip down the aisle.


–By Carla


If you’re married, engaged to be married, ever thought about getting married, or if you’re divorced, remarried or alive at all, you already know this: love and money don’t always mix. Not all couples fight over money, but lots do. It’s no surprise, when you have two people coming together and merging not only their hearts, minds and bodies (hopefully…), but also their checking accounts, savings accounts, investments, views and expectations about money, good financial habits, bad financial habits, FICO scores…and so on. It’s hard enough to combine two totally separate lives under one roof…then throw money into the mix and you might as well throw gasoline NEAR the campfire.

The best advice I ever heard on the topic was to treat marriage like a business…something that romantic types are cringing at right now. There’s nothing romantic at all about that. It makes marriage sound terrible. Not the way I think about it, though. What happens when you start a business? You talk about money pretty much from the start. It’s not a secretive topic that never gets brought up or addressed. Can you imagine what THAT business meeting would be like?

But something funny happens when you mix your heart and finances. Not funny “ha-ha”, but funny odd. For me, growing up, money was used (at times) as a sign of love…not that I’m complaining. We’d go see Grandma a couple of times a week and she’d slip my brother and I a ten or a twenty dollar bill when we were really little and she’d say “shhh, don’t tell your mom and dad”. Ok, your secret is safe. The older we got, the bigger her gifts, like a new car at 16 for each of us. Maybe that was her way of showing us how much she loved us. (I don’t see anything wrong with that if you have the means and you are also grounded in other ways.) But you can imagine how difficult it was for me once I grew into adulthood and into adult relationships, realizing that not everyone did those things. I’m pleased to say I’m (mostly) over that little phase, but it was a bit of an adjustment.

How great would it be if — by law — every married couple had to hire a full-time Marriage CEO. That person would deal only with the financial aspect of the marriage, therefore taking all of the pressure off of the two lovebirds who could then focus solely on being nauseously fabulously in love and nothing else. You’d take your CEO places with you, like out to fancy dinners and when you got the check, you’d hand it over to your Marriage CEO and he’d give you a look like, “Um….you’re pushing it here”…and the waiter would say, “Who’s the random guy in the suit next to your wife, eating a PB&J?”… and you’d say, “that’s Oscar, our marriage CEO. Give him the check when we’re done.”

What a world that would be.

Hey, mama can dream, can’t she?

By Katy

Beverly Hills Courthouse

Beverly Hills Courthouse

After I wrote about recession-proofing a marriage and, more specifically recession-proofing a wedding…I got a lot of mixed reactions. So I sent some e-mails to wedding vendors who were looking to get my business (and had e-mailed me first). I told them that I was possibly considering getting married next year, instead of this year because of the recession and that I wanted to have more money saved up. I was hoping for a few e-mails offering me some deals. But instead, here’s a more typical response from the ones I got.

“I do understand your dilemma that you posted at the bottom, about whether or not to get married this year and the deals. Something else to keep in mind – a lot of properties go through annual pricing review and prices often increase a bit at the beginning of each new year. Mostly to go along with the general increase of the cost of goods.”

Yikes! That’s obviously what I don’t want. Another “vendor” who had spammed me with e-mails had this to say about a wedding…

“Katy, with homes prices finally within reach, interest rates at 4.5%, $8,000 buyers tax credit and our cash back rebate of thousands of dollars – why not elope or at least modify wedding costs – and set a goal to buy a home together sooner? I invite you and your fiance to meet with us for a free homebuying plan.”

I don’t know how he got my e-mail, but dude, I already own a home…an awesome loft in downtown Los Angeles. (If you actually read this blog like I asked you too, you would know that.) On the other hand, eloping IS something I’ve considered. (Although, my mother might not like that, since I’m her only daughter and the ONLY one of my generation to get married.) And that’s kind of how another wedding vendor felt about the possibility of my fiancé and I eloping:

“I cannot tell you how many times I hear that and I understand your feelings. It’s a personal preference if you want pictures with Elvis or pictures with your flower girl…? We have a great location that can’t compare to the desert – we’re the beach! Great weather, beautiful sunsets – what more could you ask for! Let me know if I can help and we’ll see if we can pull something together for you.”

Hmmm…what does the desert have anything to do with it? And to be honest, I like Elvis better than flower girls. I won’t be having any of those in my wedding. If I elope, it will be at the Beverly Hills Courthouse. And I think I can safely say that Elvis has definitely left that building.

et cetera