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My SO and I will be having our 8 year anniversary August 28th. I wanted to get married that day, just at city hall. I would like to have the same last name as my daughter and SO. I've grown past using "boyfriend". It jsut sounds so juvenile to me, especially considering how long we've been together. The marriage license is $88 and the wedding ceremony is $55. Our rings we found are $500 for both. Not to mention the cheapest dress I could find was at David's Bridal for $229. I can't even find a decent "casual" type dress to wear. There no way we can come up with the money for everything and it just makes me sad...
Have you thought about getting married using some inexpensive rings (maybe even like silver or another metal instead of gold) and then saving up for an upgrade later? And I'm sure the dress is important to you - it would be to me too - but you can always get married without one and then maybe have a vow renewal or reception later when you can afford it and get a nice dress for that.
I guess it depends on what is most important. The marriage or the wedding. I know that the wedding was important to me and I wanted to do it the way I wanted it. So we waited until we could. You can always just get married without a new dress or rings and then have a ceremony later with all the bells and whistles you want. That's how my bil did it.
I'm sorry this is even an issue for you...it shouldn't have to be. weddings are way too expensive.