Give Me Back My Five Bucks

We’re engaged!

Happy New Year!

2017 was a huge year of change for me personally, but also for us as a couple. We bought our first condo together, went on an amazing adventure to Portugal, adopted the cutest little rescue cat, and just before Christmas, we got engaged!!!!!

I don’t post a whole lot about RD or our relationship on this blog because he’s a pretty private person, but some thing are just worth sharing. :) We had been talking about getting married for a few months, so it didn’t come as a total surprise. But the proposal was sweet and unexpected, and we’re both excited and happy about our future together.

I had previously written out my goals for 2018, but now that we have a wedding to plan, my goals will be shifting slightly (updated post will be coming out soon). So yes, we’re having a short engagement. I don’t think it really mattered to either of us when we got married, but 2018 seemed to fit perfectly because I’ve always thought it would be cute to get married on your dating anniversary, and our 3 year anniversary just happens to fall on a Saturday in 2018. Plus, there are a bunch of 8’s in that wedding date … I’m not typically one to care about Chinese superstition, but it just felt like it was meant to be.

I’ve also never spent much time thinking about my own future wedding, except that if I ever did get married, I wanted something small and within a modest budget. So when we first got engaged, being the PF blogger I am, I started drafting an initial budget. I smugly thought we could have everything we wanted for under $10,000. But once I added up all the numbers, our budget was almost double that amount! I even asked a friend to take a look at my spreadsheet, and she thought what I had was quite reasonable. So I spent a few days adjusting and trying to trim costs down, but we couldn’t get them to move more than a few hundred dollars without completely compromising what we wanted. And when we really thought about it, we realized we were okay with that.

Why on earth would a PF blogger want to spend $20,000 on a wedding!? Well, because we’re having two receptions. Yes, I know what you’re thinking. :) But while the wedding day is absolutely about the bride and groom, it’s also about family. The details are obviously still coming together, but our plan is to have a small ceremony and reception on the Sunshine Coast for our immediate family, very close extended family, and good friends. Then the following weekend, we will throw a big Chinese banquet dinner in my hometown for our friends, as well as my entire extended family. This is super meaningful to us, but clearly not the most frugal way of having a wedding (and trust me when I tell you over the last week or so I’ve been reading so may blog posts and stories about frugal weddings). However, what we’ve come up with satisfies our desire for an intimate low-key ceremony and reception, as well as our strong pull to include all of our family in our celebration.

We have less than 8 months to plan a wedding, so I’m sure there will be many more posts coming your way – including, of course, our budget. Thankfully, organizing and planning events is something I enjoy doing (and I think I’m pretty good at it too), so it’ll be more fun than stressful. I hope. :)

Author: Krystal Yee

I’m a personal finance blogger and marketing professional based in Vancouver. I’m a former Toronto Star (Moneyville) columnist, author of The Beginner’s Guide to Saving and Investing, and co-founder of the Canadian Personal Finance Conference. When I’m not working, you can usually find me running, climbing, playing field hockey, or plotting my next adventure.


  1. Jen says:

    Good luck with wedding planning. We’re very good with money, having a small wedding in June and it’s still $15k+. Dress, suit, and rings are over 5k alone, so it’s definitely more than we expected! We’ve cut out a lot of things, but I realize a lot more now how weddings might add up to $30k.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes I totally agree. I used to scoff at how much the “average” wedding cost, but now that I’m actually starting to plan one myself, I totally get how easy it could be to spend that much. If we hadn’t cut a bunch of stuff out, we’d definitely be closer to $30k. Good luck with your June wedding!

  2. SP says:


  3. Heather M says:

    Congrats. I think it is awesome that you want to share your celebration with friends and family. The cost makes complete sense given two receptions.

  4. Jess says:

    Congratulations! That’s a beautiful ring too.
    Do you think you will change your name when you get married?
    Best of luck with wedding planning

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thanks! We’ve spoken about it, and I’m pretty sure I’ll keep my name once we’re married. I don’t really care either way, so since he’s not fussed either, it’s just easier to keep it as is. :)

      • Jess says:

        I’m really happy for you that he seems to be a nice guy and that you are happy together. I look forward to reading about your wedding. It would be great if you could do a post on wedding dress shopping.

  5. Mandy says:

    Congratulations!!! Gorgeous ring!

    I’m a long time reader (5+ years it has to be now…) and if I’ve learned anything about you, you have the fiercest discipline out there…including when to find the right balance. Looking forward to reading about your wedding planning – this is an exciting time for you!

  6. Congratulations! Marriage is wonderful.

    Weddings are so expensive but what do we save money for if not to spend it on things that matter to us? If you haven’t found it already, I recommend the blog and book A Practical Wedding, which celebrates weddings of all sizes and digs deep into a lot of the deep meaning around weddings, money, and marriage that I was surprised at. Congrats again!

  7. Congrats to you two! Wishing you the happiest of years. I so appreciate your honesty about the cost – it’s expensive, no matter how frugal you try to be. Enjoy the process!

  8. Tiffany says:


  9. Congratulations Krystal and RD! Many blessings and good luck on your life together 💍🍾

    Looking forward to your wedding costs and planning posts! I hope you have tons of fun with it and as little stress as possible.

  10. Congrats on the great news! Weddings can be expensive, but I agree that sometimes it’s more about the family than the couple themselves. :)

  11. Nancy says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been a new reader of your blog since last year and I always look forward to our next posts. Also enjoy the old stuff, too. Thanks for being honest and open and congratulations on your engagement!

  12. Chelsea says:

    Congratulations! 10k is not extravagant by typical standards, so good on you! Let me know if you’re in the market for a princess gown, I need to part with mine :)

  13. Laura says:

    Congratulations! I think your conscious decision to have two receptions is what makes you so great at personal finances. It is all about spending money on what is important to you and RD

  14. Steph says:

    We are getting married this year too – it is an exciting time, congrats!
    To me, being “good” with money doesn’t mean never spending it – it means spending it in a thoughtful way on the things that really matter to you as a couple! The whole point of being “good” with money is to be able to afford the things that are most special or important to you in life. A wedding is one of the only times in your life together that you will be able to have all of the people who are important to both of you and who love both of you in one room at the same time… to me, that is worth the money.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Congrats to you too!! And yes I totally agree with you. Money is meant to be spent on things that are important and special, and I know that in the end it will be worth it to get what we want. Neither of us are too fussy or want anything extravagant, so it also helps that our expectations are the same. Although, RD (being the more frugal one) freaked out a bit at the initial cost of the whole thing. He’s fine now though, haha.

  15. Jena says:

    I don’t know that I ever really posted anything about the total cost of our wedding, but I think we ended up nearing $35,000 if we include our honeymoon trip… It all just adds up so quickly!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thank you! And oh god, I don’t even know what our total cost would be if we include our potential honeymoon trip lol! We’re postponing that trip (Iceland, 2-3 weeks) until 2019 just to make things a bit easier on our savings accounts. :)

  16. Judith Cane says:

    Krystal congratulations!!!! 2018 will be such an exciting year for you. Our wedding (28 years ago) was $15,000 including the honeymoon to Bermuda. We had an evening wedding with an appetizer and desert table and an open bar. My dress was made with 22 yards of silk (which I still have). I rented a wedding cake for the photos, my aunt made my bouquets (Feb wedding, flowers would have been to expensive) and my mother and I made the cummerbunds and bow ties for the groom and attendants. We only had that much money so everything had to fit in the budget. Best of luck, I know you will make a beautiful bride!

  17. Dar says:

    Congratulations, Krystal and RD! I am glad you don’t feel pressured to go super-cheap on your wedding if that doesn’t feel right for you.

  18. Leigh says:

    Congrats! Super cute idea to get married on your dating anniversary. I forget what season you two started dating in but that might result in narrowing down venues. Our first choice one wasn’t available on our preferred date (which was a Saturday), so we ended up picking the Sunday instead.

    The costs really add up! We ended up spending $3,500 on our elopement and then $23,000 on our big wedding. You’re very right that the wedding day is about two families joining together. The intimate, low-key wedding ceremony was absolutely wonderful, but so was our big party!

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Yes, I think we will enjoy both the small and the big receptions for different reasons, and I’m really happy that we have the ability to do both. Nice idea to do your wedding on a Sunday – did you end up saving money by having it on that day instead of your preferred Saturday?

      • Leigh says:

        We didn’t with the venue we ended up picking. Their minimum was lower on Sunday, but it was laughably low for our size. Other venues though, we might have! It depends on how they price things. The venue we picked, we paid based on actual consumption, whereas others price per person and vary that depending on the day of the week.

  19. GYM says:

    Congratulations Krystal!! :)

    We ended up spending $21K on ours but it included paying for accommodation for our family (destination wedding). We still reminisce about our big day and what an amazing time we had. There are things that don’t matter and things that do, and only you and your fiancee will know what they are (for example, we both didn’t bother with a videographer and are still happy with that decision).

    I found Wedding Wire to be quite helpful to plan, down to the table arrangements and they had a nice budgeting template.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      Thanks for your comments on your own wedding! We have a pretty clear understanding of what we want and don’t want(we’re not getting a videographer either), which is a good feeling to have and makes us feel confident in the money that we’re spending! Also yes, I’m using Wedding Wire too for budgeting, which has been super helpful in managing payments and deposits and due dates. :)

  20. Adrianne says:


    I saw you were sad about the J.Crew wedding line on twitter – have you checked out BHLDN? They are associated with Anthropologie, but,
    it’s a very similar vibe to the J.Crew line, and so pretty.

    Also, I would be interested to hear your feelings about prenuptial agreements.

    • Krystal Yee says:

      OMG yes I love BHLDN and that is my #1 stop for wedding dress shopping – there’ll be a post coming about it shortly. :)

      Also I will for sure write a post about prenups at some point before the wedding, as that’s something we recently talked about.

      • Adrianne says:

        Cool – I would love to hear your thoughts. My husband and I got married quite young and accumulated almost all our assets together, but if (God forbid!) I ever had to get remarried, I would definitely consider a prenup, just because now I have assets to protect.

        Also, watching people I love go through the financial and emotional horror of divorce has really made me think more about it.

  21. Mark Seed says:

    Congratulations Krystal and best wishes!!

  22. Sunny says:

    Congrats!! I can’t wait to read all about your wedding planning.

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