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Hello Currycracker lovers!   My fianc?e and I decided to join the early retirement movement.  We live in Sydney for work which is one of the most expensive places to live.  However also super clean, safe a beautiful.  Any ways,  we know we have to save approx 1M to live that 4% dividend life.  We are far from that.  We are also suppose to get married.  How much did you, Jeremy and Winnie spend on your wedding? Did you just elope to save the money?  We were thinking to just have our family only but it makes me sad not to have my close friends.  Plus we met in Chicago so our friends live there, his parents are in Ohio and mine is in California.  We live here in Australia...  Ideas???

Thanks so much for the inspiration!


Weddings can get expensive fast.

Our wedding was before we discovered FIRE/ERE, but we simply were broke and didn't have much money to spend so the whole thing cost under $1000.

We got married in a very small chapel with a very minimal ceremony and a very small party(under 20 guests in total only close family and friends), a friend played DJ for the ceremony. Afterwards instead of renting out a space we simply had a reservation for a large party at a restaurant and had the reception there instead They agreed to let us bring a wedding cake in as part of it and it was a cake made by a family friend.

As for the rings you can save a decent bit on this too depending on how important it is to your fiancee. You could get a lower carat ring to save money or switch to something other than real diamonds to have a larger stone at a lower price. Or you could forego the engagement ring completely and only do wedding bands.

Finally another thing to save big on is the honeymoon. Either don't have one or do something much smaller. Closer to home and not as extravagant.

If you wanted to minimize the cost you could just do a courthouse wedding with only your very closest family and friends with tungsten wedding bands, no engagement ring, have the reception at your or a friend/family members home(whoever has the space) and no honeymoon. If you do this the whole thing will likely only cost a few hundred dollars.

I would take that minimum and discuss what things either of you just refuse to do without and go from there.

We got married at a courthouse for $50, have never had rings, and our honeymoon was a 10 day 100 mile hike that cost $0.

Or another way to look at it, we are 6 years into a 60 year honeymoon.

Relationships are really about shared values. Sometimes (but seldom) those include high savings rates and efficient spending.
Saving for financial independence is really about spending money on only the things you truly value. Sometimes (often) that is a wedding.

That could be a big gala in Australia where your friends & family have to buy airplane tickets and hotels to come see your special day or it could be a small gathering followed in Chicago with your favorite pizza and your closest friends, at a time when you are going to be there anyway (visiting home is a normal cost of International living... maybe even do it with miles/points.)

Thanks for the fast reply Jeremy & Prognastat.  So cool!!  My fiancee already got me a beautiful sapphire ring (more affordable than a diamond) as an engagement.  I think color stones are becoming more popular as we learn that diamonds are a rip off and not rare.  He got the ring before we decided 2 weeks ago that we want to retire in 7 years, really hoping in 5 but it's a stretch.  If we decided earlier to join the FIRE movement and knew better, I would have said forget about the engagement ring too.  Thanks for confirming Jeremy that we don't need to spend on bands no matter what people say.   

Nice weddings can be a huge social pressure especially for the brides.  I have had plenty of friends tell me that my wedding should be lavish because theirs was 50-100K and they expect the same.  My mom even said she thought my idea to have a reception at a house was weird and no one does that. I think she feels embarrassed for me but your encouragement to decide what I value is most important. It is our life.   

If you ever come to Sydney, let us know. We have an extra bedroom where you, Winnie and your son can stay.  My fiancee's company subsides our rent otherwise we'd move to a one bed.  Thank you so much!!!!


I posted your question on twitter too, which got some comments

Also see this link


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