Inside views on the jobs market
Love in the time of caution
By Kristen May
It worries me how oblivious I was to this recession. I knew bad things were happening. But then I blinked and suddenly this country is in the worst recession in my lifetime.
I do have something to blame my lack of attention on: I’m in love.
I got engaged Dec. 24, and my fiancé and I are planning a wedding for June. This is not the best time to be making big changes intentionally. But I’ll be giving up a paying job and moving to a city where he’ll be in school. Then I’ll have to find a job. We’ll be dealing with the intricacies of being married while trying to pay the bills with nonexistent money. Maybe it’s just the rose-colored glasses, but I’m confident it will all work out.
My parents are graciously paying for the wedding, but my fiancé and I have been keeping costs low for their sake, knowing that they are living under financial stress. (They had retirement accounts that were hit hard, and we haven’t started saving yet.)
We decided to reduce costs by serving cake and hors d’oeuvres at the reception instead of the traditional sit-down dinner. That way, we can still send out 200 invitations and expect 150 guests without too much cost per person.
In addition, we are planning to use recorded music during the wedding and reception, to hire a friend with experience as a photographer and to have fewer bridesmaids and groomsmen. Our dress scheme for the wedding party is also cost-sensitive. We gave them basic colors they need to stick to rather than requiring them to purchase or rent specific elements.
In addition to moving our belongings a few thousand miles from Northfield, Minn., to Columbia, S.C., my fiancé and I are responsible for the honeymoon and wedding bands. My parents have a timeshare and his have frequent-flier miles, but the two of us are saving for a rental car, food and additional expenses for our honeymoon.
Our wedding bands are a bit trickier. We want them to match my platinum heirloom engagement ring, and platinum is far more expensive than gold. Because of this, I have been especially cautious in my spending and especially quick to take any money-making opportunities I can find.
The last thing I want to do in this economy is to go into debt. That’s much of the reason we’re in trouble.