I had a blast hosting my HGTV show “The House My Wedding Bought.” I’m always honored to help clients, especially when they’re couples making two of the most important decisions of their lives. It can be challenging to navigate purchasing a home and paying for a wedding simultaneously. Thankfully, I have expertise in both to make the paths for these special events clearer!
Fancy vs Glampy
When it comes to home and wedding desires, Francis and Kristen couldn’t have been more polar opposites. Fancy Francis, or “Francy”, as his fiancée’s family calls him, appreciates the finer things in life. He had no problems letting me know when it came to the house he wanted, he preferred a new build with all the bells and whistles. And, he didn’t want to obligate himself with many modifications, maintenance or sweat equity. His wedding mindset was no different; Francis put grandeur over an extensive guest count. Prioritizing plated dinners, multiple courses and a live James Brown cover band, his tastes were definitely the more elevated between the pair. The catch? He only wanted to spend $10K on his ultimate wedding wishes. (How’s that for an HGTV kicker?!)
Kristen, on the other hand, wanted to spend the bulk of their $30K savings on their special day. Instead of opting for a quaint guest count, she wanted all of her family and friends—at least 150 of them—to attend her glamping-themed wedding. Going for a buffet versus plated meals, Kristen hoped to still save for a charming, farmhouse style home with three bedrooms, two bathrooms and a large backyard. While I’m in no way playing favorites or endorsing one person over the other, I get Kristen’s thought process. A couple can take their time getting a home together and making the necessary investments over years. A wedding, however, is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There were big dreams and big bucks proposals on all sides of the couple’s dreams. Getting the best of both worlds required some serious negotiating to truly get them to “the house my wedding bought”!
Home Buying Options Galore!
As with most couples, Kristen and Francis wanted to do a lot with the money saved for their home and wedding purchases. But I wondered if the expectations on either side were as realistic as they needed to be. I decided to present high-, low- and middle-range options for homes and wedding venues in the Austin area. I wanted to show them that having a budget was only half the battle, but that there were plenty of ways to get what they both wanted with a little compromise.
The first home I showed the couple wasn’t a new build, much to Francis’s dismay. BUT, it did come in at a lower cost and lower down payments. This would get them below their monthly mortgage payment goal. Even without the thought of a wedding, that’s a wise notion; there’s a high potential for more savings while making a great investment. While the second home was a shiny new build, it was more expensive and would force Kristen and Francis to go above their anticipated monthly budget. The third home was a new build that would allow them to be under their monthly budget. However, to give the home the personality they wanted, it would require a little financial investment to make some cost-effective upgrades.
None of the options were bad, but they did force both Francis and Kristen to consider what they were willing to sacrifice. The older home would cost less IF Francis would be willing to do some maintenance and upgrades himself. The second home would be great IF they were willing to have a greater monthly payment for years to come. The third house would be an excellent choice IF they were willing to invest in some cost-effective upgrades. Decisions, decisions!
The Perfect Place for an HGTV Wedding!
Such was the same with choosing the wedding location. I ended up showing Francis and Kristen two different venues that catered to each of their preferences. The first was a historic hilltop venue that offered a gorgeously elevated landscape and amenities to create epic photo memories. It was the kind of place HGTV dreams are made of! The historic church at the venue offered great space for all of Kristen’s family and friends, as well as the live band and games Francis wanted. This satisfied all of Kristen’s desires, but it was a bit too much for what Francis had in mind for a smaller, more intimate wedding.
The second wedding venue option was a beautiful winery setting that was as cheap as I’ve ever seen. That left more room for food and wine, two priorities the couple shared. There was a catch: the venue only allowed 75 people for an event. This would force Kristen to cut her guest list in half, but it would offer the smaller, more intimate setting Francis was fighting for. Still, Kristen would get the camp-y vibe she wanted for her wedding, sort of, and they would be saving money for the dream house they wanted for their first purchase. While I didn’t have a perfect option to fill EVERYTHING they wanted without some sacrifices, there were enough choices to make some great decisions, both for the present and future.
So, what was the final verdict? You should check out the episode on HGTV or discovery+. I think the final decisions will shock you. I know I was! What matters most is they both chose to compromise and consider each other in their ultimate decisions. And, I believe they chose the most cost-effective options for their budget and home investment. As staunch as they both were with what they initially wanted, I’m very proud they made the perfect choices for the life they were building together. And, I wholeheartedly believe they are both proud to tell their friends and family, “THIS is the house my wedding bought!”