TEXT OF STORY
TESS VIGELAND: Today we turn the page for chapter three of our financial fairy tale.
Our hero and heroine, Michael Fox and Tiffany Lee-Youngren, will tie the knot on September 1st.
We’re following them as they walk toward the aisle, to have and to hold through sickness, health . . . and revolving credit card debt.
We’re back in the kingdom of Encinitas, Calif. where these are days of wine and roses for Tiffany and Mike. Or today at least, a day of wine.
They’re at Carlsbad Wine Merchants with somelier Debra DeFarcy, deciding which wines to serve at the wedding.
DEBRA DEFARCY: Is it an afternoon or an evening wedding?
LEE-YOUNGREN: Afternoon / evening.
DEFARCY: OK. So this would be something you could start off with . . .
VIGELAND: DeFarcy recommends they count on four to five pours per bottle. But some wedding guests may cork the wine in favor of the margarita fountain that will accompany the couple’s favorite local cuisine.
LEE-YOUNGREN: We grew up eating authentic San Diego Mexican food. And when we think, like, what, “If you could have the best meal, what would it be?” And to me, it’s little spicy cilantro, salsa . . .
FOX: Bean and cheese burrito, double-wrapped with sour cream . . .
LEE-YOUNGREN: Maybe not at the wedding.
VIGELAND: A fairly challenging food selection to pair with wine. But DeFarcy, the somelier, was up to the task.
DEFARCY: You know, generally what I recommend in party-type setting like that is just something that’s fairly easy drinking. That, whether it’s the ideal beverage pairing for your menu or not, you know, at least it’s something people are gonna enjoy. Let’s pick a few things that we can try, and that, you know, isn’t gonna cost you a lot and you can do a decent amount of.
VIGELAND: At about $10 a bottle, Tiffany and Mike want to keep costs down – even though they’re lucky enough to have someone else picking up big chunks of the tab.
LEE-YOUNGREN: My parents are paying for the majority of the wedding. Mike’s parents are paying for the rehearsal dinner and a lot of the alcohol. I don’t know what the budget is, because my parents have kind of taken the ball and run with it. They booked the band already. The venue is my grandparents’ house, so there’s no cost associated with that, obviously. I’ve just been pitching ideas to my parents, and if they say “No, it’s too expensive,” then I come up with another plan.
VIGELAND: Apparently, the average American wedding costs $28,000. Where do you think you might fall on the scale?
FOX: I really think that we’re probably like more on the lower end. I would think around like, $10,000, somewhere around there.
VIGELAND: Is that something that came out of a decision you made? That you didn’t want to spend a lot of money?
LEE-YOUNGREN: I think a lot of this stems from my proclivity, even since I was a child, to not want to be a burden on my parents and not want to make them spend a lot of money on me. Even though this is my wedding. And I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to spend $28,000 on a wedding. It’s everyone’s prerogative to spend what they want, but think about how much money that is.
FOX: I totally agree.
LEE-YOUNGREN: There is a little bit of push and pull when it comes to deciding things about the wedding, though, because my parents are paying for it. And then it’s kind of like, well, do I sound like a Bridezilla when I say, “It’s our wedding, it’s not yours!” When it’s really a family affair.
DEFARCY: This is Chilean . . .
LEE-YOUNGREN: This would go really well with the carne asada.
DEFARCY: Yeah. It’s got nice root . . . and it’s got a lot of spice too, so it will be able to stand up to something a little spicier.
VIGELAND: Well let me ask you guys as you’re continuing to sip. We’ve talked a lot the last couple of visits of merging your financial lives. Has anything come up that you’ve needed to sit down and talk about or that has surprised you?
FOX: This cat, she decided she wanted . . . oh wait, I’m sorry, we decided we wanted . . . the cat today had an accident in our closet. The expense of cleaning up after a cat is ridiculous.
LEE-YOUNGREN: The cat is really cute. That’s my . . . that’s all I have to say. But in terms of day-to-day living, we are . . . we’re doing really well. We don’t argue about money at all, really. We just trust each other. And he knows I’m responsible enough to not go out and buy a thousand dollar pair of shoes when we don’t have the money. And we’ve both lived on our own so long . . .
VIGELAND: . . . he’s got this look in his eyes like, “Well, you may not buy a pair of thousand dollar shoes, but you went and got a cat.”
LEE-YOUNGREN: It was a stray cat! It needed a home.
FOX: No, I do have something I’ve been saving up, though. The other day, she said, “What did you have for lunch?” And I said, “I had a sandwich.” And she goes, “Well, did you have it at home?” I said, “No.” She goes, “You know, you need to start making sandwiches at home. You know, we need to save money. I’m trying to save money, I make my lunch, duh-da-duh-da-duh.” And so when I was dropping her off, I see her get out with her little coffee thing and go straight to the coffee cart. Well, why don’t you make coffee at home?
LEE-YOUNGREN: I normally do.
LEE-YOUNGREN: I was running late.
VIGELAND: Ahh, welcome to almost-marriage. And with that we close chapter three of our financial fairy tale.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?