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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everyone! I'm new to the forum so I will try and be as brief and clear as possible. I'm looking for any outside input on the situation I am facing with my current boyfriend:

My bf(mid 30s) and I (late 20's) were dating for a year and living in the same city until I left for graduate school in another state. Both of us agreed we would make it work long distance (and we have succeeded very well so far) and we have already passed our 2 year mark.

Before and after my move we discussed marriage, children, spirituality and I think it is safe to say we want to get married to each other someday. Our love has grown stronger and stronger each day and we get excited planning our future life together. So here is where my dilemma begins: I will be done with school in summer and then get a job wherever I can find it, he is willing to follow me, but that is mainly because he doesn't have a "real" job he would have to stay with -he works for after-school programs and is a part-time clerk. We have lived together for a few months during the summer (I was at his place with his roommates) and needless to say it was not ideal.

My fears are starting to creep up as I think about what will happen in 6 months to a year. My worry is this- I want to marry him but he has no career (or idea of what his career will be) while in the meantime I'll be starting mine. So what is suppose to happen once I'm done with school and find a job?! I'm not in a rush to get married but due to past experiences I also don't want to live together if we have no concrete plans of getting married. The main issue living together is that he is still a virgin:angel3: (due to religious beliefs, which I respect) but I am not a virgin and living together over the summer became more like living with a roommate I kiss a lot. We have passionate times together but they can only go so far...before I get sexually frustrated.

I honestly think the main reason we haven't gotten married yet is because a wedding is so darn expensive and we don't have the money for it, but the love and commitment is there!

I would just appreciate some input from an outsider's POV. How do you transition from being bf/gf who don't live together to being engaged? Is my concern about him not having a career fair since I don't even have a job yet either? Ultimately, I would be the breadwinner making around 40k a year and I don't know if I feel comfortable with that kind of financial pressure in a relationship... or should I just be happy and hope our love "pays the bills" :p? He's a great supporter, best friend, lover and spiritual companion... so why am I so nervous on where to go from here with us?

(Also, it's important to note just because he doesn't have a "career" doesn't mean he has no work ethic, he's the hardest-working person I know and never even complains after a 60 hour work week.)
 

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How much college does he have? Is he not interested in any sort of career?

Working 60 hours weeks and not complaining does show a strong work ethic. But it's hard to have a good relationship when one or both of you spend so much time working. It cuts down on your time together. A couple has to spend at least 15 hours a week together as a couple doing things you both enjoy to keep the passion and love in your relationship.

Not having money for a big wedding is not a good reason to not get married. A couple can get married for for very little.

If the idea is that you think the two of you should not get married until you both are financially stable, you both have a way to go.

With the economy the way it is, he could have trouble finding a new job in some city you find your job in. The more education a person has, the easier it is to find a job these days. So he might be stuck where he is. This is a reality you both will need to look at.

HOw do you transition into being engaged and living together when you have been separated for so long? You just do it.

Are you getting cold feet?
 

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GG, it's tough to offer quality feedback without first understanding a couple of things:

1. What do you feel a husband's duties are financially?
2. Do you think your guy will meet your expectations? Why or why not?
3. Have you discussed any of this with him? What does he say about it?

I can see this as a red flag, but I'm not yet sure.
 

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Honestly, it seems that there's a lot of red flags flying that would make me nervous.

1). Why is he "mid-thirties", still single and still a virgin? Has he had any serious relationships? Or are there things that you just haven't found out about him yet?

2). Financial/career. Just because he's a hard worker doesn't mean much. I can work my tail off trying to empty a mud-puddle with a pitchfork, and at the end of the day be all sweaty and comment on how hard I worked. But sometimes, practical considerations need to take place. What's going to happen when you two have kids? When you want to buy a house?

My stbxw and I never lived together before we got married, but we spent enough time with each other that it wasn't really an issue. Of course, one of the problems you'll face is that for your bf to be able to move to wherever you get a job, he likely will need roommates because he won't make enough money to live on his own, and he may not know anyone. So your options may be for him to live with you, or continue the long distance relationship. Neither of which is ideal.

C
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I wouldn't consider my apprehensions to be "cold feet" but more of me trying to see if my worries are valid or not.
I hope to clarify a few things in my response (thank you for your quick feedback btw):

He has a bachelor's in video production but barely used it. He had to go into tens of thousands of dollars of debt and does not want to repeat that all over again and essentially double his debt for a degree he may or may not be successful with. I was fortunate enough to only have to pay (with loans) for my grad degree.

I realize most couples start off "poor" but the whole me "finding a job while he doesn't have one" has crossed my mind many times but he is not as worried about it whenever we discuss the future. I don't expect him to be a CEO or own his own business, I just worry about the fact we won't be financially stable as I have never faced this problem before coming from a middle class family lucky enough to not suffer any unexpected financial troubles .

I don't want a big wedding necessarily, I just want my family and close friends there (but we have a LOT of people=more money to have a good time at a wedding). I guess a wedding is not as expensive as I assumed? I'd rather spend money on a vacation for the two of us honestly.

1. I don't expect my future husband to make x amount of dollars. Ideally, I would want his salary to compliment my salary in order to provide enough money to live reasonably on and eventually save while at the same time allowing him free time for a personal life.
2.I think he would meet these expectations because of his work ethic and he is also considerate. He wants the opportunity to spend more time together as well. We spend the same amount of money on our extras and know how to save etc
3.Yes, I have discussed some of this with him. He recently (today) lost his job so I don't wanna stuff all this hypothetical stuff down his throat when I don't even have a job yet and I'm asking him what he plans on doing. Maybe I am thinking too far ahead?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Honestly, it seems that there's a lot of red flags flying that would make me nervous.

1). Why is he "mid-thirties", still single and still a virgin? Has he had any serious relationships? Or are there things that you just haven't found out about him yet?

2). Financial/career. Just because he's a hard worker doesn't mean much. I can work my tail off trying to empty a mud-puddle with a pitchfork, and at the end of the day be all sweaty and comment on how hard I worked. But sometimes, practical considerations need to take place. What's going to happen when you two have kids? When you want to buy a house?


C
I am his longest and most serious relationship. This is a very "40 year old virgin" type of deal, he's not "weird" just never happened for him. Also, he is a very spiritual person and has specific religious morals he wants to stick by- ie waiting for sex until marriage.

The practical considerations are exactly what I'm thinking/worrying about: we both want kids and a house (the "american dream") but sometimes this seems impossible for those just starting out in the real world....
 

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I'm similar in age to you and my bf is similar to your bf. Except we have the same # of partners and mine has a job. But due to these jobs we are probably going to have a bit of distance between us FOREVER. We've always been like 5 hours apart so I can't even conceptualize what it would be like to live together.

But we've also talked those "practical considerations" to death and have sketched out a pretty good plan of what life will look like over the next five years. We will have an unconventional arrangement for a while, and I wouldn't want to commit it it without knowing the particulars of exactly what kind of weight we're each going to be pulling.
 

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Your fear is valid.

Why would you consider marrying a man that has no career or even a decent job so you can be a breadwinner?

Why don't you adopt a baby instead...
 

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I missed your ages the first time I read, but I've caught it now and have read your follow up posts. I think you have some significant red flags you should address before you marry.

Most people do have a career track by the time they're in their 30s. Although he may be willing to do long, hard work, it doesn't mean he has a good worth ethic. A good work ethic means also doing what you don't like because it's necessary. It means having a plan. And it doesn't mean getting let go from your job again. Something's interfering here.

The virgin thing is bothering me, too. Even though you feel admiration for his religious stance, I've known examples of where this was used to mask something that a person might not want you to discover, especially when you later added that it "just never happened for him." Sexual compatibility is very important in a marriage, and to go into a marriage with no idea of whether you're sexually compatible is irresponsible in my opinion, no matter what religion says. What will you do if you marry and then discover he has no libido to speak of and only wants sex once a year? Or that he's a closet cross-dresser who was afraid you'd reject him so he never told you?

Stepping back and asking myself what kind of guy you're talking about leads me to believe that he's a somewhat passive man who doesn't take responsibility for his life. He'll follow you to wherever. He won't manage his career. I envision you one day feeling like you married a child instead of a husband, but you'll have to decide if you're an alpha female who can be ok with taking most of the responsibility (and blame) for whatever happens in your relationship as the years unfold.
 

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Ms. Spin and I did long distance while I was in graduate school but for us we did so because she had a nice paying career track job. We cohabitated during breaks and I interned, back home, for 3 summers. We did have sex and I can’t imagine not – I was in my 30’s at the time myself and she, ironically, late 20’s.

You guys need to really discuss details of what your goals ambitions and plans are. He may be an ideal candidate for a Stay at Home Dad. Do you think he would be a good primary care giver, do you want a family? I’m also concerned about debt. You say he picked up a lot for his bachelors and you will have graduate debt. Your target salary is $40K. Do you have potential to go up on that in half a dozen years – say the $80K ball park? If you’re much over $40K in debt (and I believe education is good debt, as opposed to consumer debt) it’s going to be tight. You both will really need to be eye-to-eye on the money.

Both Ms. Spin and I had graduate debt (combined 6 figures worth) and the best thing we did was delay kids (she was 35 and 37 when we finally did), pay down as much as we could and get into a 3-bedroom starter home. We were literally living like gypsies for 5-years. Those were tough and frustrating times in which we argued a lot because (for me) it was really tough to feel so poor while working so hard and making pretty darn good money.

But I tell you, 10-years of hindsight, it was the smartest thing we ever did. It allowed us to be positioned where we could swing her staying at home with the kids and granted probably the fanciest fishing boat I’ll ever get is the 20-year old canoe I got off of Craig’s List, but we’re comfortably positioned (financially) now and the sacrifices allowed us the ability to raise our family the way we wanted to – not knocking duel incomes but that is just not what Ms. Spin wanted.

Good luck.
 

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You two have:
  • ONE YEAR of actual dating
  • 1-2 years of long-distance dating
  • No sexual history together
And yet,
I am his longest and most serious relationship
BIG RED FLAG!

BF cum fiance:
  • He is a mid-30s virgin for religious reasons
  • His religion does not preclude him from living with you (?!?)
  • He has a Bachelor's Degree that is UNUSED (and he doesn't seem to want to TRY using it)
  • He has college debt STILL UNPAID after 10+ years (although he's had no wife, no kids, and plenty of roommates to share living expenses with)
  • He has NO CAREER path in mind, nor is he looking for one; he is content to 'drift' aimlessly through life
  • He 'gets by' through cobbling together part-time jobs
  • He has LOST at least ONE of his part-time jobs
I realize most couples start off "poor" but the whole me "finding a job while he doesn't have one" has crossed my mind many times but he is not as worried about it whenever we discuss the future
Expect a LIFETIME of *this*.

We have passionate times together but they can only go so far...before I get sexually frustrated.
It is VERY TELLING that you don't mention HIM getting sexually frustrated.

You:
  • Average sexual history
  • Graduate-level degree
  • Career path developing
Ultimately, I would be the breadwinner making around 40k a year and I don't know if I feel comfortable with that kind of financial pressure in a relationship
And, yet, that is HIS expectation.

KathyBatesel makes an EXCELLENT point about his lack of sexual history as PBear does about his work ethic.

My take on all this, for what it's worth (56yo), your BF is AFRAID to grow up. He's AFRAID to be an adult. It makes him uncomfortable.
  • No adult sexuality
  • No adult earning/working
  • No adult living (on his own)
  • No adult planning
He may have MANY admirable traits and be a wonderful guy, it DOESN'T MEAN he's the right guy FOR YOU! Your life goals are diametrically opposed....he's drifting through life while you're plowing a path toward a goal.

He seems incredibly passive, and you WILL eventually resent feeling like the only ADULT. YOU'LL make the money, YOU'LL make the important decisions (he'll agree to them all...he's passive), YOU'LL feel the pressures, YOU'LL feel like you're pulling the ENTIRE LOAD yourself: financially, emotionally, logistically. I totally agree with:
KathyBatesel:
I envision you one day feeling like you married a child instead of a husband...
The KINDEST thing you can do for YOURSELF, is END this relationship. It will drag you down emotionally over time. You are unequally yoked! (if your religion is Christian, you'll get the reference)

PLEASE think SERIOUSLY about letting go of this relationship now! Better sooner than later. Better now than with children involved.
.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Thank you everyone for your responses. Perhaps I am still being naive (despite most of you suggesting to end it), but don't many marriages start with an uncertain path/life goal for one of the partners involved?

Does that necessarily mean a marriage will be in trouble because you can't decide on a career? I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but after taking classes I decided it was not a good fit for me (or for kids). My boyfriend thought about teaching as well and decided against it for the same reasons. I would hate to think someone would leave me because I decided to leave a career path I knew wasn't right for me.

Yes, being wishy washy is concerning, yet I don't think my bf is guilty of this at all because he is financially secure and able to do more than just "get by". Also, I should add he was let go of his job due to no fault of his own.


I should be clear I do not intend to wait for him to "grow up" because I believe he already has done so given his cultural surroundings (ie his lifestyle is pretty normal in areas like Portland or Seattle). However, in response to his passiveness...we are both "passive" people in one way or another, we have learned to step-up and trade roles over the past few years and overtime he has become more dominant and so have I.

Maybe I should not have included the sex part as it confuses me as well...:eek: we both have fooled around enough to "enjoy" it but not enough "playing" be considered intercourse. I don't really understand the reasoning of why some sexual stuff is ok more than others, but I think since I am his first partner he is pushing his own boundary.

It is not my idea to get married immediately after school as I think (obviously) there are some kinks in our relationship to work out. I was mainly looking for experience based advice from people who have had trouble with finances and careers as a young couple... I hope my defending him won't make any of you feel like you wasted your time commenting, because I am considering a lot of the points raised. So feel free to continue to reply or discuss since it may help me make sense of how to tackle my fears when taking these big relationship steps. Thanks so much :)
 

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What religion is he? Do you share those same religious beliefs? If you two do end up married, are you okay with raising your children in that religion?

I think his religious excuse is BS and there is something else that is making him stay away from intercourse for the time being. I see that as a red flag and I'd be hesitant to move forward in that relationship if I were you. Plus, it is always easier to be married to someone who shares the same beliefs, as it makes many decisions a lot easier. My husband and I share the same religious beliefs and it makes life a lot easier. My parents don't share the same religious beliefs and they tend to argue and bicker a lot more than others who do share the same beliefs.

Why did he get "let go" from his last job?

I think a number of couples start off kind of wishy washy, but they, at the very least, have an idea of their career path and/or a plan of getting one. Your boyfriend has no idea what he wants to do and is not making any effort to move forward in finding a career. That to me would be another red flag. My husband was not totally sure on what he wanted his career to be, but he knew his interests and chose a degree that would be helpful for him. He has also worked hard to make sure he worked toward a career that would be both good for a family and also something he enjoyed that paid well. He always had a plan and went with it, modifying it when necessary. He was never one to just sit around and wait for life to happen. That doesn't work and I wonder what it will take for your boyfriend to wake up to reality. He can't just wander through life, as it won't just work out.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Perhaps I am still being naive (despite most of you suggesting to end it), but don't many marriages start with an uncertain path/life goal for one of the partners involved? Yes, one who's twenty NOT mid-thirties.

Does that necessarily mean a marriage will be in trouble because you can't decide on a career? I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but after taking classes I decided it was not a good fit for me (or for kids). My boyfriend thought about teaching as well and decided against it for the same reasons. I would hate to think someone would leave me because I decided to leave a career path I knew wasn't right for me. Our point is he's pushing FORTY and he STILL doesn't have a career path. What the heck's he been doing for the last TEN YEARS????

Yes, being wishy washy is concerning, yet I don't think my bf is guilty of this at all because he is financially secure and able to do more than just "get by". Also, I should add he was let go of his job due to no fault of his own. Let go from his part-time job?


I should be clear I do not intend to wait for him to "grow up" because I believe he already has done so given his cultural surroundings (ie his lifestyle is pretty normal in areas like Portland or Seattle). However, in response to his passiveness...we are both "passive" people in one way or another, we have learned to step-up and trade roles over the past few years and overtime he has become more dominant and so have I. Then WHERE is the problem? Why the angst? Why the uncertainty? You came here seeking answers, but you want to REFUTE EVERYTHING that makes your bf look like an immature (for HIS age) lazy slacker. Maybe he is, maybe he's not. All WE HAVE to go on is YOUR DESCRIPTION.

Maybe I should not have included the sex part as it confuses me as well... we both have fooled around enough to "enjoy" it but not enough "playing" be considered intercourse. I don't really understand the reasoning of why some sexual stuff is ok more than others, but I think since I am his first partner he is pushing his own boundary. THIS IS THE BIGGEST RED FLAG OF ALL!!!!! If YOU don't share his 'ideals' about religion/sex, how do you know you're going to get ANYTHING other than once-a-month, missionary-position, lights-out, obligatory sex? Maybe you will, maybe you won't. Maybe you're okay with that. There's just an AWFUL LOT of uncertainties to hang your hat on FOREVER!

It is not my idea to get married immediately after school as I think (obviously) there are some kinks in our relationship to work out. I was mainly looking for experience based advice from people who have had trouble with finances and careers as a young couple... I hope my defending him won't make any of you feel like you wasted your time commenting, because I am considering a lot of the points raised. So feel free to continue to reply or discuss since it may help me make sense of how to tackle my fears when taking these big relationship steps. Thanks so much

*I* don't feel offended, and you should not either. It's a forum. Take what you think is useful, leave what isn't. But remember, sometimes the advice you DISLIKE THE MOST is exactly the advice YOU NEED TO HEAR and HEED.

Our job is to give you POINTS TO CONSIDER. Do with them as you will!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
What religion is he? Do you share those same religious beliefs? If you two do end up married, are you okay with raising your children in that religion? QUOTE]

Yes, we are both Christian...but he is more of a practicing one than I am. However, he doesn't impose his views on to others who don't follow his value system (he has also never had a drink etc)...but he doesn't look down at me when/if I do. I would be happy to raise my kids with him, following these same practices. This is one of the reasons why I don't mind the abstinent thing, there may be some issues that don't make sense...but I have been in enough sexual relationships to know sex does not "fix" anything and if you are insightful, compatibility is pretty easy to tell with a little foreplay...

My bf is also not one to "wait for life to happen" however he does seem timid to take risks (like asking for a raise) when he deserves them. He is already searching for a new job and opportunities, but he also knows he would want to be with me wherever I end up so I think that may be stifling him as well. I'm not trying to give him excuses but some of that makes sense to me.

I'm more impressed with the fact my bf got up from being let go, dusted himself off, and continued to search for a good job. I don't see him just giving up and being a couch potato at all.
 

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If you printed out this ENTIRE THREAD (which I am certainly not advocating that you do), how do YOU THINK the following people would react:

  • your parents
  • your siblings
  • your best friend(s)
  • your priest/minister/brother/pastor
and WHY do YOU THINK they would react that way?

(Do NOT feel obligated to respond on this board. This is for you to THINK ABOUT and ponder on your own.)


.
 

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Thank you everyone for your responses. Perhaps I am still being naive (despite most of you suggesting to end it), but don't many marriages start with an uncertain path/life goal for one of the partners involved?

As SWG said... if they're in their low 20s, yes. But people who have college degrees? Not so much.

Does that necessarily mean a marriage will be in trouble because you can't decide on a career? I thought I wanted to be a teacher, but after taking classes I decided it was not a good fit for me (or for kids). My boyfriend thought about teaching as well and decided against it for the same reasons. I would hate to think someone would leave me because I decided to leave a career path I knew wasn't right for me.

Did you replace your desire to be a teacher with a new plan? Would you expect to just be able to drop it and never pursue another plan? What does he love to do?

Yes, being wishy washy is concerning, yet I don't think my bf is guilty of this at all because he is financially secure and able to do more than just "get by". Also, I should add he was let go of his job due to no fault of his own.

Where is his money coming from?

I should be clear I do not intend to wait for him to "grow up" because I believe he already has done so given his cultural surroundings (ie his lifestyle is pretty normal in areas like Portland or Seattle). However, in response to his passiveness...we are both "passive" people in one way or another, we have learned to step-up and trade roles over the past few years and overtime he has become more dominant and so have I.

Maybe I should not have included the sex part as it confuses me as well...:eek: we both have fooled around enough to "enjoy" it but not enough "playing" be considered intercourse. I don't really understand the reasoning of why some sexual stuff is ok more than others, but I think since I am his first partner he is pushing his own boundary.

It is not my idea to get married immediately after school as I think (obviously) there are some kinks in our relationship to work out. I was mainly looking for experience based advice from people who have had trouble with finances and careers as a young couple... I hope my defending him won't make any of you feel like you wasted your time commenting, because I am considering a lot of the points raised. So feel free to continue to reply or discuss since it may help me make sense of how to tackle my fears when taking these big relationship steps. Thanks so much :)
I'm glad you are thinking of this stuff now instead of after saying your vows. May I invite you to read this article on compatibility as you go forward and determine if he's a good candidate for marriage to you? (It's on HubPages and is written by me... not some virus plagued site / link.)
 

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You didn't answer why he was let go from his last job. There is always a reason and I would be uneasy about a guy who can't keep a job. That shows a lack of responsibility and maturity, in my opinion.

He is in his mid 30s, not 20s, and still has no idea on what he wants his career to be. He sounds like a child to me, not wanting to grow up. I don't know anyone similar to your boyfriend. My husband came from another country, learned English, and went through college to get his degree. Even with all of his set-backs of having to take a lot longer to get through English classes just to go to school, he is still ahead of where your boyfriend is. I don't see any excuse for your boyfriend to be clueless as to what he wants to do with his life. Him just wanting to follow you, where ever you go, makes him seem co-dependent, not a strong individual who can be in a healthy relationship.
 

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To OP:

If you want to understand more about his position on sex, you should google christian marriage forums. He really does seem to be straddling the fence on that but the advice you are being given here about his sexuality does not even apply to someone who is not having sex for religious reasons. I think the Christian marriage forums would clear this up for you.
 

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I don't want a big wedding necessarily, I just want my family and close friends there (but we have a LOT of people=more money to have a good time at a wedding). I guess a wedding is not as expensive as I assumed? I'd rather spend money on a vacation for the two of us honestly.
A wedding can be as expensive or inexpensive as you want it to be.

You could spends $50K or more. Shoot you could spend $2 Million like some very rich do.

Or you can do like some friends of mine did . They got married at the JP’s. Then went on their Honeymoon. When they got back from the honeymoon they had a big bar-b-que for their friends and family at their land/house. I made their wedding cake. It was a big 3 tier cake. I don’t know how much they spent on the reception/party but it was not that much. It was a great way to celebrate a wedding.

I got married in our back yard. My fiancé and I cooked the entire meal for 100 or so guests. It was things like brisket, roasted chicken, salads, etc. My mom and I made the wedding cake. We had dancing on our porch. The whole thing cost us $1,500.
 
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