E195- Our African Wedding

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Denis O’Brien [0:08]
Hello, welcome to Episode 195, our African wedding. Hey money clan, a very warm welcome to the Chain of Wealth podcast. I’m your host, Denis O’Brien.

Katie Welsh [0:20]
And I’m Katie Welsh.

Denis O’Brien [0:22]
All right, Katie. So we did it, we tied the knot.

Katie Welsh [0:25]
I can’t believe we’re married.

Denis O’Brien [0:27]
Crazy.

Katie Welsh [0:28]
I still panic a little bit at the thought of it. But I’m doing okay, I’m hanging in.

Denis O’Brien [0:32]
Yeah, I mean, like, you know, it’s obviously a really exciting event. We absolutely had a fantastic time. So we’ll be diving into a little bit about, you know, like how we managed to pay for our full wedding. Really exciting times. And I think, you know, Kate, the thing is, like, when you starting a relationship or life with someone, you want to make sure that you’re on the same page financially. And I feel like we have achieved that. So kudos to us.

Katie Welsh [0:55]
Yeah.

Denis O’Brien [0:55]
But uh, yeah, like, I think that there’s definitely something to be said, for if you can get your money life in order before you get married. That already can help you out later on in life.

Katie Welsh [1:06]
Yeah. Well, and I’m so excited to talk about what we are planning next in our life.

Denis O’Brien [1:11]
Yeah, definitely. So before we dive into today’s show, if you guys haven’t already come and join our Facebook community and come say, Hi, you can head on over to chainofwealth.com/group. Come join the group and let us know what you’re busy working on. All right, Kate, you ready to dive right in?

Katie Welsh [1:29]
I guess so.

Denis O’Brien [1:30]
Fantastic. Let’s do it.

Alright Kate, so where to start?

Katie Welsh [1:50]
Ah, lets start with the 24 hour flight there.

Denis O’Brien [1:54]
To be fair 23 and a half hours and two those hours were on the ground.

Katie Welsh [1:59]
Okay,

Denis O’Brien [1:59]
Yeah, crazy long trip.

Katie Welsh [2:01]
So when we left, we left out of Virginia.

Denis O’Brien [2:05]
Yeah, Dulles

Katie Welsh [2:06]
I get Virginia and Maryland mixed up because they’re pretty close together. But it was me, you and my mom flying over together. And my mom came down early, just to make sure. You know, I didn’t need help with any of like the last final minute things. And I knew she wanted to be there, like hair and makeup trials. And I also didn’t want her doing that long of a flight all by herself.

Denis O’Brien [2:29]
Yeah, for sure. So jump on the flight hit all the way there. And then.

Katie Welsh [2:34]
And then we got there. And your whole family was there to meet us, your mom and dad and sister and her husband and your grandmother. It was so exciting.

Denis O’Brien [2:47]
Yeah. And you know, like after that it was we were the first people to arrive. So then it was welcoming. A lot of the guests who had flown [from international as well. So when a whole bunch of people come out from the States, someone from the UK as well. So it really was quite a balancing act like trying to coordinate like jumping to the airport and everything else. And

Katie Welsh [3:06]
I will say, I feel like you learn a lot about yourself and your partner when planning any kind of event. But for us, it was a wedding. And now it was a wedding overseas. And it was a lot of coordination. And I didn’t realize because as we sit here, and I cleaned all day, and your pants are on the ground behind us, you are actually very organized.

Denis O’Brien [3:33]
Ah, Thank you.

Katie Welsh [3:35]
So I want to give a big kudos because Denis ultimately planned the entire wedding.

Denis O’Brien [3:41]
Well, I wouldn’t go that far like you definitely did you’re more than your fair share as well.

Katie Welsh [3:45]
Yeah, but you had all your folders going on, because the whole wedding. And I told this to a lot of people when we were there, the whole wedding was planned pretty much via email. And there were so many folders and so many different things going on. And I could not keep up with it, that you would fill me in when needed. But you organized the whole thing. So along with that we had, like Den said, all of these Americans who had never been to Africa had no clue what was going on. And the last thing I wanted was for my family to fly all the way from America and jump into a cab and not know where they’re going and then get lost.

Denis O’Brien [4:25]
Yeah, or worse.

Katie Welsh [4:27]
That is not ideal. So we organized to have a van driven by Denis, go pick up everybody from the airport. And it was like a stroke of luck it was a complete miracle. Because the way people’s flights had been delayed, made it so that all 10 of them.

Denis O’Brien [4:47]
Yeah.

Katie Welsh [4:48]
Came in on different flights from different parts of the country. Within like an hour of each other.

Denis O’Brien [4:55]
Yeah. So basically, there’s only one really direct flight from the States. And that’s really from New York, so that flight was pretty much direct, but everyone else had like a lay layover somewhere. And, you know, sometimes It’ll be like, oh, Dubai, or Frankfurt or whatever. Yeah, like there was never really a direct flight. So the fact that we all managed to, you know, get everyone on the same page, like, within like, literally an hour and a half, two hours of each other was quite a miracle. But then on out, it was just like a lot of planning and a lot of, you know, like trying like catch our feet and make sure that everything’s coordinated. And on the day of the actual wedding itself. So we got married in a game farm. So basically Safari wedding.

Katie Welsh [5:41]
Yeah,

Denis O’Brien [5:41]
Yeah. So like this free roaming Big Five. So lions, leopards, elephants all all the big animals that you know, are considered quite dangerous,

Katie Welsh [5:51]
All the really good African animals.

Denis O’Brien [5:53]
They, they could literally come into the area that we were busy having the ceremony. So really, really cool. And a lot of coordinating went into that. But Kate, like, I can’t believe that everything just went off so smoothly. Like I was expecting something to go wrong. Because you know, like planning something from the other end of the world, you only have so much control over everything. And we did our best to do our due diligence. And on everyone we were using, and but realistically, like a lot of it was sort of left up to fate. You know, in terms of how it would actually turn out. Like, I thought a massive thing would be forgotten, like the cake wasn’t ready, or you know, something else went really wrong. Like there wasn’t a DJ. Well, if he forgot or got the date wrong or something. That’s what I was expecting to happen.

Katie Welsh [6:37]
Yeah, well, I also had that in the back of my head too. And I was a bit nervous. But the next day, we hired a lady to come and do all the centerpieces and all the decorating and everything. And she was fantastic. And if you’re getting married in South Africa, hit us up because she was more than what I could recommend. But anyway, I told her that and she said, why would you expect for something to go wrong? You hired professionals, and you did your research. And I think that is what it comes down to when planning anything big. You have to hire reliable people to make sure that things will run smoothly.

Denis O’Brien [7:17]
Yeah, I totally agree. So on a money front, Kate, like if we had had the same wedding in America,

Katie Welsh [7:24]
I shudder to think

Denis O’Brien [7:26]
How much think we would be in for?

Katie Welsh [7:27]
Oh, my goodness, I don’t even want to think about it in an American term. I would say probably. Now it was a small wedding.

Denis O’Brien [7:36]
Yeah. So there were only 43 people.

Katie Welsh [7:38]
So if it was in America, it would have been substantially bigger, but for the wedding we had, I probably think about 35,000.

Denis O’Brien [7:51]
Yeah, it definitely would have been considerably more than what we ended up paying. So the funny thing is that we set a budget, I think it would cost around $20,000. And I think we ended up coming in at about 19 and a half, like all in. And I think that that just goes to show that, you know, there’s a couple different takeaways that I had from that is that, number one, if you set a budget, you’re probably going to stick to it, or at least get pretty close to it. Like maybe

Katie Welsh [8:17]
If you’re setting a realistic budget,

Denis O’Brien [8:20]
If you’re realistic, yeah. But also, I think that you, you know, it’s an age old thing with like, say, for example, you’re a teacher, I’m sure you can relate to this, if you give the class an hour to do a task, they’ll take an hour, if you give them two hours, they’ll take two hours to do the same task. You know, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get a better outcome, it just means that people will stick to the time allocation that you’re given. And in our case, I think from a budget perspective, we knew how much we wanted to spend going in, and we spent how much we wanted to spend. And I think that that is really important. And not just when it comes to weddings, but just general money. You know, if you stick yourself a budget and you are accountable, and you hold yourself to it, you will stick to that budget. So i think that’s a really important takeaway.

Katie Welsh [9:02]
Yeah, not only that, but we worked really, really hard to settle all of our decks before the wedding.

Denis O’Brien [9:09]
Yeah.

Katie Welsh [9:10]
And if anybody is not aware, maybe this is your first episode of chain of wealth, a little backstory, I had like a mountain and a half of debt. And it was my student loan, and I had this horrible car loan. And if you really want to hear about all that, you can check out other episodes. But we worked really, really hard to pay all that debt off. So that we were able to save up for the wedding because we didn’t just have thousands of dollars laying around collecting dust, we had to save up for it. And it was really important for us to not start out in debt.

Denis O’Brien [9:49]
Yeah, like that was a really big priority of ours, we didn’t want to go into any sort of debt for the wedding. So everything had to be paid for cash.

Katie Welsh [9:57]
Yes.

Denis O’Brien [9:57]
So we had to set ourselves a realistic budget and figure out how we’re going to save up the money. And a lot of that was working extra jobs and you know, doing side hustle and stuff like that,

Katie Welsh [10:06]
And eating at home.

Denis O’Brien [10:08]
Eating at home alot and cutting back on our lifestyle, inflation or lifestyle creep, and really trying to keep costs under control. And doing a bit of shopping around in terms of the actual process itself. Like we could have spent a lot more money if we really wanted to. And, you know, there was points, we had to just be accountable be like, no, this is excessive, we just need the entry level of item x. We don’t need anything more fancy. You know. And I think that that’s a really important thing to realize as well. Like, say, for example, if you’re buying a car, all you really need is something to get from point A to point B and you can pick up secondhand used car for like 10 grand, it’ll be in reasonable condition and like not that old. On the flip side, you can drop the 40 k on a car, and you now have this massive monthly payment that your dealing with. So you got to pick your battles in terms of what you want to put in.

Katie Welsh [10:59]
And side note, we bought a second hand car for about $10,000. And it is amazing. It’s probably the my favorite car that I’ve ever had.

Denis O’Brien [11:08]
Yeah, it’s a nice little run around car.

Katie Welsh [11:10]
But that’s besides the point. I did want to ask what is your favorite part of the South African trip? Because there was a long, we were there for about two and a half week.

Denis O’Brien [11:20]
Yeah, I would say that my favorite part of the trip was probably seeing you in a wedding dress.

Katie Welsh [11:26]
Aw aren’t you a sweetheart.

Denis O’Brien [11:27]
How about you? What are your What was your favorite part?

Katie Welsh [11:30]
Well, I had so many I guess seeing you in a tux. That was a favorite part. We got to eat. So every time we’re in South Africa, I make it a point to try to eat something a little bit exotic. So we went to a restaurant that was semi sort of like Texas de Brazil where you eat all kinds of meat. And we got to eat really interesting things like I know your heart is going to hurt a little bit. But we ate zebra. And I hate to tell you that. It was delicious.

Denis O’Brien [12:01]
I actually didn’t like the zebra all too much.

Katie Welsh [12:03]
Really it tastes just like roast beef.

Denis O’Brien [12:06]
Yeah, like I don’t know, like I just sort of had a little bit of a kick sometimes.

Katie Welsh [12:11]
My personal favorite was crocodile

Denis O’Brien [12:13]
Come on you not giving me anything for has a little bit of a kick.

Katie Welsh [12:19]
That was actually pretty funny. Good job. But I liked the the crocodile.

Denis O’Brien [12:23]
Yeah.

Katie Welsh [12:24]
And then

Denis O’Brien [12:24]
You did enjoy the crocodile.

Katie Welsh [12:25]
I did that was my favorite and crocodile is kind of like a chewy lobstery taste not as good as a lobster. But comparable. And then the wedding of course. And I I also this is gonna make me sound like such a foodie. But I really enjoyed all the food.

Denis O’Brien [12:47]
Nothing wrong with that, you know,

Katie Welsh [12:49]
We ate a lot of steak.

Denis O’Brien [12:50]
Yeah and I mean, you know, like, when you’re in a new country, like you really should just try and explore, like, the culture and everything and, you know, get a taste of how the local people eat. And I think that doing that is definitely part of the experience when you’re traveling. And, you know, obviously, we chose to have our wedding there. But yeah, like, I think if if you are considering an overseas destination wedding, you know, you definitely want to sort of try and be on the better side of the exchange rate as well, like

Katie Welsh [13:16]
the best bang for your buck.

Denis O’Brien [13:18]
Yeah, it was in our favor, that the dollar is really strong compared to the South African Rand. So we literally like our money went a lot further than what it would have, had we had the wedding somewhere else.

Katie Welsh [13:30]
That is a good point. Because even, I’m going to add one more thing that I really enjoyed. I really enjoyed taking my family to South Africa and seeing them experience such a different culture for the first time.

Denis O’Brien [13:42]
Right, ’cause you’d been there twice before.

Katie Welsh [13:43]
Yeah, so it wasn’t new for me. But I really enjoyed that part too. But on that point when, especially shopping with my mom and all the stores and everything. My mom would look at a price. And then she would ask me roughly about how much it was American dollars. And then she never believed me. And I don’t know if I should feel offended or impressed that I was right. Every single time. After she would ask me she would then double check with you.

Denis O’Brien [14:14]
Yeah.

Katie Welsh [14:15]
And I was right every time. And after a while I asked her like mom, like, do you not, trust me, Like why, Why do you keep checking? She’s like, I just can’t believe how cheap it is here.

Denis O’Brien [14:27]
Yeah.

Katie Welsh [14:27]
So the exchange rate is definitely in your favor it takes you literally feel like you’re going to die on the airplane, because it’s such a long flight. But once you’re there it is 100% worth it.

Denis O’Brien [14:39]
Yeah, totally. So when our wedding pictures are available, we will let you guys know in a future episode. So if you guys are curious to see what it will look like and everything, we will definitely be sharing, like some of our photos so you guys can check it out. But Kate, like I think now would be a great time sort of speak about what we’re up to next. So what is the next sort of financial thing that we’re looking to do?

Katie Welsh [15:01]
Oh boy, it never ends. And I was so excited when I paid off my student loan. I was like, Yes, I have some money now. And I can save it. And then you’re like, eeh, not really, because we have a wedding to pay for now.

Denis O’Brien [15:18]
Yeah, there’s always the next thing you know.

Katie Welsh [15:20]
After the wedding, I was like, Yes, my student loan is done. And the wedding is done. And now we are done. And now because we’re married and you know, wanting to be like a real married couple, and we actually have so much stuff now. Our little apartment is like bursting at the seams. You can’t lift up any kind of blanket or look any corner too hard because we are packed.

Denis O’Brien [15:45]
Right

Katie Welsh [15:46]
We’re saving for a down payment for a house.

Denis O’Brien [15:49]
Yeah, so super exciting. And like that, obviously, it’s going to take a while to save up. So we’re still trying furiously to make money and you know, save up and everything else including side hustles and everything else like we normally do. So we’ll definitely keep you guys updated in terms of if we come up with any new cool side hustles we have for you guys or quick tips to make some extra money in future episodes.

Katie Welsh [16:09]
Yeah, so that is basically our strategy, now. We’re going to not go crazy with going out, you know, saving up for the wedding kind of got us into this really great habit of eating at home, eating what we buy at the grocery store, shopping around for a deal, the grocery store that is immediately closer to us. So that we could like walk to is a little bit more expensive. So I happen to drive by a cheaper grocery store on the way home from work. So usually on like a Thursday night or Friday. If I don’t have a side hustle going on, I’ll stop and do my grocery shopping there because it’s a little bit cheaper. And really just being mindful of our money. And like you said, trying to scrounge up any extra pennies together that we can that we can and that’s how we’re planning on saving up.

Denis O’Brien [17:02]
Yeah, so really exciting times ahead. And you know, we look forward to bringing you guys a lot more content and you know, really diving into a lot of other people’s stories and everything like that. So super pumped for future episodes.

Katie Welsh [17:14]
Yeah, Chain of Wealth is definitely getting more exciting.

Denis O’Brien [17:18]
Yeah, definitely. Alright guys. Well, we really hope you enjoy the rest of your week and we’ll catch you next time.

Katie Welsh [17:25]
Bye.

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