It all started in November 2020 when we had to decide where to stay after I learned that my apartment in Brussels would face a 10 to 12 month (!) delay due to corona -although I'm very doubtful it's just because of that- and that my wife would deliver the end of May 2021.
Last Updated on January 1, 2021 by Mr. FightToFIRE
You read that right, I’m a married man as of the 2nd of May!
First things first, saving money was not the key reason we got married in this period ;). The major reason we wanted to get married was that we believe in it and want to share our lives. Cliché, I know.
Another more practical reason was the fact that my wife is non-EU and for us to be together we need to perform family reunification which goes a lot easier when you are married.
Even though we didn’t spend much on our wedding, there was one item that was worth every euro: the rings. It symbolizes the commitment to each other. As cliché as it sounds, both I and my wife feel the same about marriage. For us, it is a true symbol of the total commitment between husband and wife. It’s something you commit to for the rest of your life. Having the “luck” to marry in times of crisis helps us grow closer and appreciate each other more while living in a 40 m² apartment.
For this proof of commitment, we wanted something that we both liked and that would last a lifetime. At first, we thought of ordering them online. When searching online, the offering at hand surprised me. Before, I never looked for wedding rings, so seeing quite a few online sellers was a novelty to me. I thought at least the jewelry market was a sector that online consumerism had left untouched. I was wrong. Online sellers like Lucardi, Glamira, Diamore, and many more offer a wide range of engagement and wedding rings, shipping a matter of days.
The image on the left is from Glamira. Thanks to this online jewelry, we could find a design that we both liked. But instead of ordering it through them, we went to a local store and asked for a quote. We got an excellent offering with a 10% discount because I ordered the engagement ring there as well.
It ended up costing 1594 EUR for:
- 2 rings
- 18K yellow and white gold
- 5 mm and 3 mm
- 2 mm thick
Even if I could get it cheaper, it would be wrong to go back on our verbal agreement in times where the local retail sector is struggling.
I, my fiancée, and a government official walk into city hall
That’s it, really. Our wedding ceremony was obviously held in the city hall, but there weren’t many people. Heck, we almost failed to arrive at our wedding on time. Since it was so close -the city hall was literally right around the corner- we figured we had time enough, but time flies by when you are busy getting ready for your wedding ceremony. Arriving right at the stroke of 12:30 -the scheduled time-, the city official, the usher, and a translator for my fiancée were waiting for us.
To allow friends and family to follow the ceremony, I set up a Facebook Live. They make modern technology such as Live streaming for this moment. It allowed over 20 people to follow one of the happiest moments of our lives.
Facebook Live is probably the prime example of how we shared this exciting day with tens of people without spending much. While the absence of family and friends in person left us with a heavy heart, a digital tool helped us lift this feeling and created an atmosphere filled with joy plenty of laughter. Instead of having 20+ people physically present, everyone could follow from the comfort of their own home. In turn, we didn’t have to foresee a venue and catering.
As I alluded in the beginning, keeping the euros in our pockets was not of major interest to us, especially on this day, but it was a nice consequence of the circumstances. Nevertheless, I would like to share some other things that helped add sunshine to a cloudy day while at the same time limit spending.
Nothing fancy, just love
In total, we spend 291.89 EUR (excl. wedding bands) to at least create something that seemed like a marriage party. While it wasn’t anything close to a full-fledged party, we had all the elements: friends and family (online), a festive atmosphere, good food, and a cake. Thanks to a tripod that could hold our smartphone we could stream and record the event and afterward make pictures to share.
All things considered, we were able to make it our own. Making something that wasn’t fancy but had just as much love. At the time of writing the measures are still in place and will be for a while longer. But once things return to (semi-)normal, we hope to still host a small BBQ for friends and family. Next is a ceremony for the friends and family of my wife in her home country.