Marriage or Mortgage?

Hey guys!  This weeks post is a bit different, and I’m excited to share it with you!  We’re going to talk about two of my favorite things, weddings and reality tv!

If you follow me on Instagram, @planningcollectively, I’m sure you’ve seen that I binged the new Netflix show called Marriage or Mortgage right away, and LOVED IT!   For those of you not familiar, the premise of the show is that engaged couples have saved between $20-$30k, and they are deciding on putting that towards a wedding, or a down payment on a home.  

Each of the 10 episodes features a different couple, and they work with realtor Nichole Holmes and wedding planner Sarah Miller to go through the options available to them with either option.  They tour 3 homes within their budget with Nichole, and Sarah walks them through potential venues, catering options, and other wedding details for their dream day. 

In the end, the couple meets with both Nichole and Sarah, and tell them what they’ve decided.   The episode wraps up by flashing forward a few months, to see the couple in either their new home, or on their wedding day.  

Earlier this week I had the privilege of chatting with one of my favorite  couples that was featured on the show, and I’m excited to share that with you all here!  Check it out, and then scroll down to see my key takeaways for all couples that might find themselves in a similar position.  

Denise & Nick are one of the most loved couples from the show. They are the absolute sweetest, and i’m so grateful that they could share a bit about their experience in not just the show, but how they went about making their decision.  This is your official spoiler alert that we do talk about their final decision, so if you haven’t watched yet, make sure to do that first.  Their featured in the second episode titled “Adopting New Traditions” 



    So what are my thoughts on the show?

    Many people have an immediate reaction when they hear about the premise of the show, and it’s definitely not in favor of weddings.  I have to admit, when I first heard about the show, I was very nervous that it was going to be a horrible reflection on the wedding industry.  That’s actually what initially made me watch the show right when it came out, planning to do a podcast episode defending the wedding industry. 

    I was very pleasantly surprised that the show really did a great job representing the decision making process, and how, for some, it can be a really tough call to make.  Of course, it is a reality show, so there there were some things that were thrown in for entertainment purposes on both sides that might not be standard for most couples either buying a home or planning a wedding.  And because we only see 44 minutes of a weeks worth of filming, there were some important details that didn’t make the final cut.  I can’t speak to the real estate side of things, but I did want to highlight a few of my main take-aways here.  

    1. Everyones financial position is different.  While we only get surface details on what the couples do for a living, and certainly not any info on the status of their bank accounts, we do know that they have a certain amount of money set aside for either a wedding or home.  I did love the approach that this meant they were taking with the wedding budget, having a big picture number of what you actually have to spend, vs. planning a wedding and then figuring out how to pay for it.   I get into this conversation about the budget, and how most couples plan their wedding backwards in Episode 2.  Make sure to check that out, if you haven’t already! 
    2.  Everyone’s life priorities are different. If you’re looking to start a family, spending money on in vitro, school, or other massive expenses, putting a chunk of money towards a wedding (or a house, for that matter) may not be at the top of your list. On the flip side, if your family/friends don’t live close to each other, or you don’t get to see each other often, the idea of having everyone together in one room to celebrate your marriage could be an amazing experience.  We often hear that the best gifts to give are experiences, and that’s exactly what a wedding day does.   Now, I would guess that a few of the couples could probably afford to do both at a similar level, but that doesn’t mean that both would be priorities for them 
    3. Everyone’s wedding priorities are different.  For this one, I’m going to refer you to the first episode of The Wedding Planning Collective Podcast.  I go over the main categories of wedding planning, and help guide you  through what your priorities would be fore your wedding day.  
    4. The negotiations seen on the show are definitely not the norm. Again, I can’t speak to what might be normal deals when you’re buying a house, but I’m guessing both sides received some of these amazing discounts because of the potential promotion of the show.  That said, a wedding planner can definitely help save you money.  Sometimes it’s in actual line item discounts from their vendor connections, but often it’s by saving you from making really expensive mistakes! 
    5. And finally, you can do both!  No one is saying that whichever you pick, you can never have the other!  You don’t need to spend all your savings, whatever that might be, on one or the other.  Whether you split the difference evenly, or favor one or the other.

    So, what are your thoughts?  Check out Marriage or Mortgage on Netflix, and then head over to the Facebook Group to discuss!