Ask Minda Honey: Get married sooner to save money?

In a relationship jam? Lemme unstuck your life: [email protected]

Q: OK, so we’ve been engaged for about a year and decided to set the date. Weddings are expensive so we set the date for November 2018 so we can save. My cousin was engaged and had picked everything out and unfortunately their engagement is now off. Since the venue has already been reserved and paid for she very generously offered it to us free of charge. It is an all-inclusive wedding package. But it moves our wedding up to June of this year and it’s in Columbus, Ohio. What do I do? Can I really pass on this offer and can I realistically plan a wedding in three months?
—Warm Feet, Cold Wallet

A: Confession: Readers, I know this letter writer IRL.

I’ve been friends with WFCW since high school. I’ve watched her live a life that college essays on adversity are written about. So, I’m a little amazed that there’s anything she believes she can’t do.

C’mon. If anyone can pull off a wedding in three months, it’s you Boo. You’ve already done the hard part. You found someone worth marrying — Dear, Future Husband, Where Are You?! — and you had a super adorable baby with that someone. He’s a good father. He’s isn’t an asshole. He has a job he’s been at forevs. You have a job you’ve been at forevs. You two are stable as a table. You’re legit checking off all the boxes society measures us against. On top of all that, you shouldn’t feel like you have to live up to some nonsense wedding standard to have the “perfect wedding.”

Because I’m a perfectionist who likes things just so, I get where you’re coming from on the planning front. November 2018 gives you a lot more time to make sure all the little details are right, collect a bunch of wedding mags and handcraft 90 gazillion table settings people might not even take the time to Instagram. For real I get this desire to treat the perfect wedding as a lucky charm for a perfect marriage. But whether you get married now or later, the big details, the ones that really matter, are all already in place. You have a partner who loves you and friends and family who want to celebrate in your joy with you.

If you had asked me this question a couple of years ago when I was giving out rookie relationship advice, I’d probably have told you to hold off. Because not only am I perfectionist, I’m also a fan of ritual, and weddings are a ritual bonanza. But then my middle sister got married.

I was super disappointed when she gave me, like, six-weeks notice, plus I had to buy a plane ticket from Cali to Kentucky on the fly. She happened to find her wedding dress on her lunch break, when she’d gone to pick up a bridesmaid dress for another wedding she was supposed to be in. I wanted to be there for that and sit sniffling in the wedding dress gallery telling her she’d never looked more beautiful. She didn’t have a bridal party or bachelorette party. She was the most casual bride ever. I started calling her the Wedding Grinch. She and her husband planned a very small, 30-person wedding and they did it their way. No cake covered in fondant. A fancy dinner. They didn’t spring for a DJ. They did spring for a professional photographer. It was beautiful and it was intimate.

My other sister and I got the three of us matching necklaces — it’s our thing — and in that way we made our own ritual that meant so much more than drunkenly fondling strippers could have ever meant to me. Today, all the stuff that didn’t happen leading up to the wedding or at the wedding doesn’t matter. All that matters is the love my sister and her husband share. And every time I’m with the two of them and I witness that love, I’m taken back to that moment of them at the altar — well at the table up against the wall that they were standing in front of — and their desire to be together forever and that feeling is all you really need for a perfect wedding. So, take your cousin’s offer and blow the extra cash on a super dope honeymoon — I know you’ve been itching to collect more stamps in your passport. 😉