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Old 02-19-2014, 07:34 PM   #41
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OK, here's the deal. It's only money. It's not like it's something important, like a relationship. Sometimes you just need to grit your teeth, spend the money, and get on with life. It's sort of like agonizing over a tip in a restaurant. If you go cheap, you are still going to be wondering if you're a cheapskate three days later. If you overtip, it hurts for about ten minutes and then you forget about it. Spend the money. Feel bad for ten minutes. Then enjoy your bride, your life, and your future. There is plenty of money ahead.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:36 PM   #42
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We eloped, and it was the Best Decision Ever. Seriously. We've had big parties for our friends for our 5-year, 10-year, and 15-year anniversaries, though we're thinking of doing a luxury vacation for just the two of us for our 20th. It's been loads of fun, and way less stress than a wedding. Our families weren't happy with it at first, but they got over it, especially as the years went by and we have a happier marriage than many of my cousins whose parents shelled out a lot of $$$.
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Old 02-19-2014, 07:38 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by ragnarkar View Post
Her family is fine with a modest wedding.. although they expect us to have a house before the wedding (hence the downpayment.) My family doesn't really care but probably won't be providing any financial support.
We got married in Palo Alto for about 7k (10 years ago). We kept the guest list small (less than 50), did a morning wedding (officiated by a friend who became an online "minister" -- fully legal though), and had a lunch reception.

To save money on the rehearsal dinner, we rented a barbecue spot in a park ($50) and went to costco to get food. It was actually the nicest part of the wedding.

I'm still envious of my friend though who got married at city hall.
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I feel I may have a problem with hoarding money..
Old 02-19-2014, 08:03 PM   #44
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I feel I may have a problem with hoarding money..

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Her family provided her with almost 100K for a downpayment for a 300K house.. I jointly applied with her for the mortgage a few weeks ago (since she cannot afford it on her own with a grad student's salary.) In this situation, I cannot fathom how asking her to foot any part of the wedding costs would be fair.

For as long as I've known her, she's been quite frugal in her everyday spending.. way more than most of my friends but not to my extreme degree.

As for our honeymoon, I have enough Chase Ultimate Rewards for a round trip ticket for 2 to Europe or Asia and possibly some hotel stays (played the Credit Card Rewards "game" last year to rack up over 100K points) so only a few thousand dollars more should suffice.

Please be careful. How much is the mortgage payment going to be for a 200K mortgage? Be sure to include 1/12th of your property tax bill and 1/12th of your homeowners insurance bill as these will probably be included in your monthly payment. If wedding costs are making you uncomfortable monthly mortgage payments will make you nauseous.

We were 21 and almost done with college when we got married. My parents did the whole thing. It really was their party, we were just the main act. If I had been older and wiser (and stronger) I would have preferred a courthouse wedding and a nice dinner with just close family and a few friends. After hashing over every little detail and deciding that stuffed mushrooms were very important during the cocktail hour, I spent the entire time in the receiving line and never even got one.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:20 PM   #45
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There's only one rule - you and your wife to be need to discuss your wedding plans and come to a joint decision that you're both happy with. Don't bother making any other plans until this happens.

There are lots of good idea's in this thread. Some people like large weddings, others (including me and my wife don't like large groups and preferred a very small wedding). My wife and I thought it was more important to spend money on a house down payment than a 1 day party.

You can always renew your vows at a later date, and have a different type of ceremony - it's your choice. Have fun.
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:30 PM   #46
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Whatever happened to the days when the BRIDE'S parents paid for most of the cost??

I think this varies by region but I think it's common here to split the costs in half. My DH and I paid for half of each of my step-daughters' weddings. However, both the weddings were pretty frugal, no fancy stuff. We live very rural and most weddings here aren't too expensive (thank goodness).
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Old 02-19-2014, 09:44 PM   #47
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To the OP, you definitely need to sit down with your sweetie and discuss this. Maybe there are certain things she will be willing to spend less on. Find out what's most important to her about the day. It is true that some of us silly women dream about our weddings years before they actually occur . Decide on a budget together and then stick to it. Decide on a max number of guests to invite and stick to it. It won't be easy but you guys will get there and it will be wonderful! Congratulations!
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Old 02-20-2014, 08:43 AM   #48
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Thanks everyone! I've spoken with my fiancee and she agrees that we should stick with our original budget if possible and the additional money is best invested in our future.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:00 AM   #49
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Most of the focus here has been on the wedding expense. However, living in California at 40k annual in finance with a masters and 3-5 years of experience? Get some confidence with interviews, have some friends help out with your résumé, call a few head hunters and get a 30-50% raise! Then the wedding hurt won't feel so bad.
This is the next problem to tackle and I've devised an extensive but potentially risky plan.

Background

I currently work at a the US branch of a multinational financial firm. There are just 2 employees at their only US branch: my supervisor and I.

I'm also pursuing the CFA charter (think of CFA as the equivalent of CPA for Finance.) The CFA's code of Ethics requires us to get permission our employers if we do anything that is Finance-related in our spare time (more on the relevance of this late.)

The Plan

My plan carries the risk of potentially losing my current job and putting in a ton of hours outside of work.. the reward = building new connections that'll hopefully lead to a better job/career.

Charlie Hoehn, a 2009 college graduate, used the tactic of offering to work for free at many different companies to build his extensive network and land his dream job rapidly.

I'm planning something similar:

Step 1: Find Financial firms I'd be interested in and do extensive research including what projects/issues they may be facing.

Step 2: Go to local Networking Events or search on LinkedIn to find managers at these firms. Contact them, maybe meet them for coffee, and make a proposal to help them by working for free.

Step 3: Note that the CFA ethics requires me to seek permission from my boss before working part time for another company (even if for free.) Now, at a normal company with multiple employees and being paid a fair wage, this would immediately put my job at jeopardy. However, since I'm the only employee in the office and am being paid far below my market value, it affords some leeway. It's likely gonna be an awkward conversation with my supervisor and he will likely refuse.

Step 4a: If my supervisor refuses my request for permission to work part time (for free), then I'll ask for another raise in a few days. Hopefully, after doing this a few times, he'll get the picture.

Step 4b: If my supervisor grants permission, then it's off to the races.

Thoughts?
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City Hall - Not all it's cracked up to be
Old 02-20-2014, 09:02 AM   #50
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City Hall - Not all it's cracked up to be

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Originally Posted by photoguy View Post
I'm still envious of my friend though who got married at city hall.
Unfortunately for you, Mrs. Photo Guy didn't want to get married at City Hall. But it was a lovely wedding.

That being said, a wedding is not worth breaking the bank. And this is a great time to make sure you are both on the same page financially. It's so much better to have a wedding you can afford and not start your marriage in the hole financially. We didn't spend a lot on our wedding (and I wish we had spent even less), but it was beautiful and our wonderful memories are completely unrelated to how much we spent on it. We went to a wedding where we estimated they spent $75,000-$100,000 on the festivities, and honestly ours was a lot more fun, especially the barbecue the night before.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:25 AM   #51
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Thanks everyone! I've spoken with my fiancee and she agrees that we should stick with our original budget if possible and the additional money is best invested in our future.
Smart lady! Good luck with your planning.

One more thing to add: Make sure you get what you pay for! In our case we paid extra for Prime Rib. What we got was shaved roast beef! Received over a $3,500 credit from the caterer.

Paid extra for iced tea. Servers didn't offer it at all the tables. Bread was pitiful. Caterer did not bring salt and pepper shakers for tables. Champagne was suppose to "offered and served" at each table- instead all glasses poured and sat on one table with the D.J. announcing "Go get your glass of champagne"! Really!!!!!

I was both shocked and furious as it was my only daughters wedding and would much rather have had the Prime Rib and all the other details. Their excuse? They had 10 weddings they were catering that night. I guess we were low man on the totem pole.

Guests had a great time and I was told only I knew about the snafus. Yet I paid for those extra things that were not done. Hence the credit.

Caterer was a well know upscale caterer. I would never recommend them and wrote a scathing review.
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Old 02-20-2014, 09:43 AM   #52
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Are you taking into consideration that you'll receive wedding gifts from many of the attendees (including cash) that will offset the cost of the wedding? I could cut you costs in half.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:05 AM   #53
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Are you taking into consideration that you'll receive wedding gifts from many of the attendees (including cash) that will offset the cost of the wedding? I could cut you costs in half.
Yes, but you may end up with four toasters, knickknacks you don't know what to do with, and can't sell on Craigslist. I like the Ukranian custom of cash gifts, with envelopes placed in a bowl at the reception. Otherwise, make sure that the stuff you get is the stuff you need by establishing a wedding registry list.
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Old 02-20-2014, 10:26 AM   #54
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Thanks everyone! I've spoken with my fiancee and she agrees that we should stick with our original budget if possible and the additional money is best invested in our future.
Great News! Since you mentioned the beach, I see many lovely weddings at the public rose gardens near our house. They also have a couple of large event rooms where people hold receptions. The surrounding park is also very nice with a couple of small lakes, water fountains and floating gardens with picnic areas with tables and grills that used to cost only $150 for a large group permit. It is a beautiful place and I am sure would cost much less than a commercial facility. You might want to contact the nonprofit and public gardens, parks, museums, planetariums, etc. in your area and just see what their rates are for private, large group events.
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Old 02-21-2014, 08:39 AM   #55
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Are you taking into consideration that you'll receive wedding gifts from many of the attendees (including cash) that will offset the cost of the wedding? I could cut you costs in half.
Don't forget the value of the gifts! If I remember correctly, the monetary gifts we received from the 200+ guests pretty much covered the cost of the reception.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:29 AM   #56
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The CFA's code of Ethics requires us to get permission our employers if we do anything that is Finance-related in our spare time.

Thoughts?
My thoughts on the "CFA code of Ethics" is that it was authored by some corporate propagandist. That "code" clearly does not have your best interests at heart.

What would pose a true ethical breach would be working on the side for some entity which poses a conflict of interest with your present firm. Not "anything that is Finance-related." Most people of integrity know a true ethical issue when they see it.

The fact that you're being paid well under market value for the work you do just adds to the tragic irony.


My advice... commit to yourself that you will not do anything that might bring disadvantage (other than your potential leaving) to your current employer. With that firmly in mind, quietly but aggressively pursue better options for your future.


Good luck with the wedding. Sounds like you're in a better place with respect to that...
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:46 PM   #57
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I'm planning something similar:

Step 1: Find Financial firms I'd be interested in and do extensive research including what projects/issues they may be facing.

Step 2: Go to local Networking Events or search on LinkedIn to find managers at these firms. Contact them, maybe meet them for coffee, and make a proposal to help them by working for free.
The networking plan sounds really good but why would you offer to work for free? I would use the opportunity to make connections and interview for a new job. Working for free strikes a number of alarm bells in my head: As a hiring manager I would see the candidate as desperate and think what's wrong with him/her. Personally I would never ask even an intern to work for free as I think that would be taking advantage of them. Finally, what projects could you work for free that don't involve confidential client data? having a non-employee touch sensitive data smacks of unprofessionalism, would be a gigantic liability issue, and would probably get the manager fired.

Do the networking but don't offer to work for free. I think the types of jobs that Charlie Hoehn did are very different in nature from what you can expect at a financial firm.
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Old 02-21-2014, 10:08 PM   #58
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When I was laid off many years ago, I set up 20 or so informational meetings with people in my industry. They wouldn't have been willing to meet with me if I was asking for a job, but a lot of people can't resist when you ask for their expertise. It was a great way to network, and I landed a new job right when my severance ran out. Networking is a really smart move.
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Old 02-22-2014, 07:59 AM   #59
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enjoythe networking but do not offer to work for free.
It would raise concern that you do not trust yourself to provide value to a new employer.

I have always paid a fair compensation for interns and other contributors, sometimes retroactively when it turned out that they did provide value.

Here 1-2 day test working is becoming popular for some jobs. But we have 20-30 days paid vacation and could use that for such purpose, unless prohibited by a non-compete.
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Old 02-22-2014, 11:02 AM   #60
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To the OP - realize that you have value as an employee. Yes, network like crazy and don't be afraid to ask people for referrals, help, advice, etc. however, get paid for your work unless you see a huge upside (startup firm comes to mind). Most new jobs aren't going to come from applications and cover letters, they happen because someone is proactive to find the hiring manager and getting to meet them/get referred to them before HR ever has a chance to look over a résumé.

Here in the Midwest, a degreed financial professional with 3-5 years of experience is one of the most sought after skill set that we come across. (I'm a finance/accounting headhunter). Keep up a professional look when you are job searching. You don't know when you'll run into someone at the store, on the weekends, etc. I don't mean to wear a suit and tie everywhere, but keep a clean presentable appearance, don't wear ratty jeans and holy sweatshirts out to the store, etc. If you are not already on LinkedIn, get on it now. If you are, start linking to people at work, friends, HR professionals, recruiters.


Good luck - it's not as daunting as it seems, but it does take commitment.

If you want any specifics, feel free to message me directly.
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