Posted by: Angelique | 2013/02/21

Need advice from the wise...

My partner and I are wanting to get married by the end of this year and have a baby in the next year. We have a plan in place (i.e. buy this and that before hand, etc) but wooooaaaahhhhh I didn''t realize things were so EXPENSIVE!

It''s not the monthly costs that will bother us, it''s the initial outlay of everything! I calculated that if we want to buy enough baby things to last us at least a year (basics like clothes, blankets, soap, shampoo, vitamins, etc), with the pram and stuff it could cost over R15 000!

Not to mention the wedding, even with my cutting down the list and getting the cake, make up, photos instead of wedding gifts (from friends and family qualified in these fields), we are still looking at quite a bit.

We have a plan, but I hate asking people for money so I don''t know how nice this sounds, but please let me know if it sounds viable?

We sell our second car (which, to be honest, we don''t use often at all). We use the money from that to pay for the wedding. Instead of asking for wedding presents (because we''ve been living together for 3 years already, we have everything we need) we ask for money/ baby/ toddler items so we can start our little family (maybe get another cheapie run around car).

Does that sound OK, or completely ridiculous?

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Our expert says:
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Maybe get married in a simple legal ceremony without a wedding at all, and have a nice wedding later when you can afford it. I am certain that whatever was disasterous about your fiancee's parents marriage was NOT caused by their wedding.

But I see no problm with ezplaining to friends ( nobody else should be invited to a weddng ) that as you've been together a while you don't really need the usual wedding present gifts, but due to the astonishingly high cost of the child's needs, you'd appreciate either cash contributions, or gifts of what the child will need ( you can even supply a list as so many people now do with their wedding gifts ). Where your friends may have older children of their own, they may even have some second hand items that they'd be glad to give and which could be really handy.
One of my best friends is a wedding function organizer, but I'd say in my view the lavish weddings now fashionable are probably the very most useless expense any couple indulges in, apart from addictions.
And dont try to anticipate and buy everything in advance ? Get only the immediate needs, and get the rest as they become necessary, also taking advantage of any sales that occur. There's no special advantage in buying in advance unless the price is outstandingly good and likely to rise considerably.
Pixie raises some useful extra points, and Anon and others.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Purple | 2013/02/22

well said Kelly.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Kelly | 2013/02/22

Hi Angelique
If you read with an open mind you would see that people are not really being hostile just putting themselves on the other side of your request. Just imagine you on the other side, receiving am invite and then the request to give baby things instead of the norm. I would be like WTF I’ m going to a wedding not a baby shower! Even so I wouldn’ t want to give baby things for a baby that hasn’ t even been conceived yet! That would kind of put me off your wedding.

Being only your close family etc I guess it would be fine to ask them, they might understand you more than others but still have the same thoughts so why not just ask for money or vouchers and you can do with it as you please.

No one is against you having a wedding but just that if you cannot afford one why put yourself through stress and possible debt. And you have been planning for years …  perhaps you should have a look at your planning skills…  Then who says making that baby is not going to take a couple of years too? These things don’ t just happen when we want them to happen and because we say so.
You might be sitting with the baby things in the next decade still waiting! ‘ m just saying.

The someone you confided in was just being nice…  I doubt she would tell you your idea is sucky.
Its ok to get household things yes because it’ s a wedding and usually after a wedding people move in together and need those thing, this makes things easier for the newly wed couple that is why it is OK. If it’ s a couple already staying together people generally still stick to it but tailor the gift to the couple or just give money/vouchers? Would you think of asking people to give household things at your baby shower because you already have enough baby things which you received as your wedding gifts…  You see how lame that is??

It’ s not hostility and more common sense you picking up.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Lu | 2013/02/22

Ignore them all, do what you think is best! It s really NOT that far fetched and VERY possible for all that you have planned to come together and work out just fine!

Good Luck!

Reply to Lu
Posted by: Angelique | 2013/02/22

Thank you for all the replies.

I am in my early 30''s and my fiance is in his late 30''s. We''ve been together already for about five years and we''ve been planning and planning for years and nothing has ever come into place so we decided that enough is enough.

I think maybe I wasn''t all that clear in my first post... we want to get married this year, prepare for the baby this year and start trying next year.

Christina, I know it sounds stupid, but I really don''t want a court wedding. My fiances parents did that and their marriage was a nightmare. It''s tainted that for me.

Pixie, yes both our cars are fully paid off. We would be quite happy with an older car as like I said, we don''t use our second car. It has not moved in MONTHS (and then the only reason why we use it every now and again is so it doesn''t die). Our immediate family (his parents, my parents, our siblings already amount to 20 people, of our list we literally have 16 friends and the rest are close family). I''m sorry about your problems. :(

Purple, our guest list is under 50 people and we can''t cut down as it''s mostly family (and family that we are actualy close with and see regularly- I''ve cut out the aunts and uncles that we see once a year). As we both come from divorced homes, we both have step parents and step siblings that we need to invite (our siblings alone add up to nine people).

And yes, my fiance and I are going to the banks this weekend to check out investment/ saving accounts. We also have personal savings accounts that we have made an agreement to put into those AS WELL AS an account for baby.

Someone that I confided in told me yesterday that if it''s normal to give household presents/ money at a wedding in general, then it''s fine to ask for non householdy things. Anon (second Anon poster), why is it then OK for people to finance a new couples household items then but not other things?

In anycase, I was just asking if it was a good idea or not. Some of your people are very hostile.

Reply to Angelique
Posted by: Kelly | 2013/02/22

Eish Angelique, you see how your ideas are really not as sensible as you think they are and I hope all this advise gets taken to heart. Also I was def. not having a bad day or aggressive in my reply to you, just trying to make you see how bad your ideas are.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: qwerty | 2013/02/22

The problem is that wedding presents are a completely voluntary contribution, not a legal requirement for attending the wedding! So you can''t really prescribe to people what (if anything) they should get you.

The most tactful thing you can do is to tell your nearest and dearest what you would prefer (i.e. cash or vouchers as opposed to dinnerware) and when guests ask them for gift suggestions, they can tell them your preferences. I wouldn''t specify baby things as a wedding present.

Reply to qwerty
Posted by: Romany | 2013/02/21

I have to agree with " just me" .
This is all too much.
One thing at a time

Reply to Romany
Posted by: Just Me | 2013/02/21

A good fairy tale...gone wrong! Too many negatives and not enough pluss''s in your idea. All the advise above is sound.
For starters your family and friends will presume you''re pregnant, and secondly there''s the cold reality that baby might not appear for a very long while. Thirdly, if I was a guest, I would be rather unamused if I was requested to sponsor your ''future'' planned baby..... at your wedding!!!!
Sorry, but I don''t find any of your ideas ''the right thing to do''.

Reply to Just Me
Posted by: Purple | 2013/02/21

Why don''t you have a smaller wedding that you can afford, and then, while not in debt, put a little away each month towards baby costs.

I think asking for baby gifts for your wedding is a bit tacky, but that''s my opinion, others may think its fine.

You could ask people to give cash for your wedding to put towards purchasing a large appliance.
Why not just get married through home affairs / court (I don''t know how it works) and have a small reception - then there is no need to sell any cars. If you have children, you will be very grateful to have a second car.

Your friends will give you a baby shower, and you don''t need to buy everything at once, but it is wise to ensure you have enough to last your maternity leave period when you''re unpaid.

Trying for a baby for couples without fertility problems can take anything from immediately to a year down the line, so there isn''t a huge rush. Also, planning for education is more important than planning for the cost of nappies.

The only truly necessary items for having a baby are the book " the womanly art of breastfeeding"  , a la leche league membership and a wrap to keep baby close so you can feed while walking around and having both hands free, and a car seat.
Nappies come in a huge range from cloth nappies with a once off cost to disposables from cheap to with all the bells and whisltes and very expensive.
Baby clothing is not that expensive unless you''re buying it from a designer store. 8 outfits in each size are enough so long as you wash daily, but about 12 are needed if you wash less frequently.
If I''d known all of this before becoming pregnant, I would not have bothered to buy a cot or a pram at all. My children have never slept in their cots, and I''ve only ever used the pram for carrying my nappy bag.

Reply to Purple
Posted by: Anon | 2013/02/21

Wake up my girl, what about summer and winter babies grow you now, you are not even expecting yet, maybe the bay is born in winter and you have summer things, or it is a girl and you have boys things. Think a bit further than you nose.
Also why are you expecting other to finance you having a baby.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Pixie | 2013/02/21

Hi Angelique

Weddings are expensive - just have a small affair with your immediate family and 10-20 closest mutual friends.

Why sell your second hand car only to want to get another later? Is the car you currently have paid off?

Also, why the rush to have a baby - why don''t you adjust to married life for a year and then start trying? You don''t mention your ages. Buying stuff for a baby ahead of time is not a great idea - as a start, you might end up with stuff you don''t need, people will give you STACKS of stuff at the baby shower. Also - I planned to start a family after we''d been married a year and we''re about to celebrate our 6th anniversary and ... no baby! Can you imagine how I''d feel with a whole lot of baby stuff lying around and no baby? Its bad enough that everywhre I turn someone is pregnant and its not me. I am not saying that you will have the same experience you could be successful first attempt... but why tempt fate? Enjoy each other for a while first.

Reply to Pixie
Posted by: Christina | 2013/02/21

Hi Angelique. Why don''t you and your partner rather get married in court, and just have a Braai afterwards or something where you invite all the people on your guest list? Well that''s just a quick option though. Asking money from the guest is perfectly. Or like Lu says maybe yiu should give them a hint. Like on the wedding invitation. Put: instead of getting extravagant gifts. We prefer, maybe baby vouchers, money, or baby stuff. Thanks.


Reply to Christina
Posted by: Anon | 2013/02/21

Why the rush? Can''t you sell the car for money for your wedding, then spend a bit month by month to get a baby room ready and AFTER you have everything in place start working on the actual baby? :) Something very expensive that you should also budget for baby is nappies! Trust me it can add quite a bit to what you thought you would be spending.
I to an extent agree with Kelly, if you are not already expecting at the time of your wedding it does sound kind of strange asking for baby oriented gifts as wedding gifts. That is what the baby shower is for! I''m about half way through my pregnancy and we have only bought the basics now, crib, stroller etc. Family have been giving us clothes, towels, blankets the whole lot of it, as they go shopping and see something cute. My mother has told me not to buy anything more than we have now untill after the baby shower or we will end up with too many doubles.

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Angelique | 2013/02/21

Thank you Lu. I wasn''t quite sure as like I said, I hate asking for money but if it sounds OK we''ll look more into it.

Kelly, why do you sound so aggressive in your reply to me? I think we have a very good plan thank you very much (i.e. the buying in advance) without the " I want I want I want" . I am planning, not expecting handouts. I would like to be married, is that such a crime? I would like a baby, is that also a crime? I am thinking of my future here- if people have to wait until they can " afford"  it then people will be waiting forever because the price of things go up all the time. I''m not some lump sitting at home expecting people to cater for my future. Nothing wrong with asking for baby stuff in lieu of gravy boats and towels in my opinion. I don''t see how I am being self centred at all?

Reply to Angelique
Posted by: Liezl | 2013/02/21

Nice advice from Lu.

Geeze Kelly, having a bad day?

Reply to Liezl
Posted by: Kelly | 2013/02/21

Buying so much things in advance is also not too great an idea espcially for babies. Most of those things you might end up not even making use of and each baby is different.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Kelly | 2013/02/21

Why don''t you jsut buy what you can afford...
OR skip having a wedding you cannot afford and buy the things you want for your baby. Sacrifice for the important things in life. How is having a wedding going to help you or your finances?

Sell the second car and spend it on your baby things.
Yes, asking for baby thing for your wedding gifts sound ridiculous.

I want I want I want I want...
People, if you cant afford something then wait until you can! Stop being so self-centd.

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Lu | 2013/02/21

Sounds absolute fine to me, I''m sure if you give your guests a hint of what your plans are they will all understand where your coming from.

Reply to Lu

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