Marriage or Mortgage?

That is the question at the base of a new Netflix series I recently watched. Set in different states in the US it features two mature female hosts, one a shrewd mortgage broker, the other a sassy wedding planner. In each episode they feature a couple with a budget enough to either put a deposit down to buy them a new home, or to have their dream wedding. The challenge for the hosts is to try to convince them their option is the best.

Although the show is perhaps a little too staged and “American” for my taste, I found it peaked my interest none the less.

The fact that a commercial show has been created around this question, shows that this has become a more common dilemma then we perhaps think.

Especially with the financial challenges we’ve started to see come into play globally due to COVID measures and regulations and a rise in financial uncertainty and the housing market, this question is now more than ever at the forefront of many a couple’s mind.

Somehow over the last decade, weddings have been increasingly getting bigger and more lavishing and adding pressure on couples to take out a bank loan or second mortgage to cover all the costs that come with having a wedding that outdoes the last wedding they went to. Since the global outbreak of COVID the whole wedding sector however has come to a screeching halt. Now that weddings are only allowed with strict rules and regulations many couples have stopped in their tracks and been able to take stock as to whether they want to risk putting themselves in a financial hole…for a single day!

With the couples I’ve spoken to over the past year the answer has been a very solid NO.

I’ve seen a complete overhaul of the whole “bigger is better” wedding trend, and be replaced with a “less is more” wedding.

Many of the couples I was asked to create engagement rings for told me how relieved they felt with being able to opt for a small low key ceremony without a feeling of guilt or having to explain or sometimes even defend their choice to their families or friends.

Instead I was told of how all of the sudden a huge feeling of pressure and stress was removed from the couples shoulders as well as having to buy a lavish dress or pay for having an open bar for all the guests, (which is also the main reason why most of the distant cousins and uncles are coming to the wedding anyway!).

Instead couples are choosing not to put themselves (further) in debt, but to spend the money they actually do have on a great outfit, their rings, an awesome wedding shoot, and invest in their home, business or even krypto.

As someone who has been married before, and felt very much pressured into having an extremely lavish wedding by my ex-husbands family (for reasons I totally understand but still do not agree with) and subsequently ended up paying back on the loan for that for several years only to divorce after 8 years (talk about a dead investment!) I am all for a low key (in my case Boho chic) event that fits in with the simple and sustainable lifestyle I live.

Because lets be honest, with more and more people moving over to a slow living and sustainable lifestyle, having an intimate and personal wedding, one that doesn’t add the stress of having to work all hours of the day for the next couple of years to pay for it, seems a pretty healthy and sustainable choice to me.

And I haven’t even touched on the positive effect not having to think about how you’re going to pay for your wedding or loan has on your mental health, let alone the home life of a newly married couple.

Now that sounds like true marital bliss to me!

With love,
Anouk Wijgergangs

Anouk @Nova Diamonds

Born & raised in the birthplace of the diamond trade, Amsterdam, and in a traditional Jewish family, I had been surrounded by diamonds and gemstones pretty much from birth. One of my earliest memories if where my grandma used to take me to mineral & gemstone trade shows and it is exactly there where my curiosity and passion for working with crystal and gems was born. Over the years I developed a solid foundation of knowledge on gemstones and crystals, as well as working with them for energetic and healing purposes.