Rich Bride, Poor Bride

24Jul08

I came home from work a little earlier than usual today, and caught an episode of Rich Bride, Poor Bride. I’ve seen this show before, but never a whole episode. The short version of my feelings about this show? What. The. Heck.

The show follows a couple through their wedding planning, focusing on their budgetting decisions. At the end of the episode, they reveal the total cost of the wedding, and whether it went over or under their budget.

This particular episode featured a couple who were constantly bickering about their decisions. She didn’t want to have any alcohol, and he ignored her and demanded a bar. He wanted to be careful about their money, and she bought four pairs of shoes and refused to return any of them. Their wedding planner constantly fought with them and his assistant. It was generally just… awkward and a little painful to watch.

At the end, they revealed that their budget had been $30 000. That seems like a lot of money to me, but I can certainly see how a couple with more money and in a bigger city could spend that much. Then they revealed their actual spending, and this is where they totally lost me. They spent $50 000 in total. First of all, that’s enough money to put a down payment on a HOUSE. Second of all, that’s almost twice their original budget.

What. The. Heck!!

I understand that not all budgets are set in stone, and that many people will go over their budgets by a bit. Going over budget by thousands of dollars, though, just seems irresponsible. How is that a healthy way to start a marriage? How does that prepare a couple to negotiate bills, mortgage payments, or other expenses, or to live within their means when they go through hard times?

I feel like shows like Rich Bride Poor Bride make it acceptable to go over budget, because they treat it in a very glib way, like it’s really not a big deal. With the economy slowing down across Canada and the US, this seems especially irresponsible. Our dollar certainly doesn’t go as far as it did even six months ago, and while our wedding days are deeply important, that shouldn’t come at the detriment of our future marriages.

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