The thing that weddings and funerals have in common is not what you think it is.

Yes, it is a group of people meeting to celebrate life. The difference is the funeral lets people celebrate a life that has been had. A wedding celebrates the life about to be had.

What they have in common, though, is debt.

That’s right: Either way, you are going to have to spend money.

My fiancé and I decided not to go into our marriage in debt. In reality, we have been married for a long time and this wedding is just a formality for us to legally be together. So it will be very simple.

According to a sociology class I took at UNM my sophomore year, people who have big, expensive and extravagant weddings are compensating for their relationship. My teacher said that married couples that do the expensive/extravagant weddings are five times more likely to get divorced over financial problems.

For me, an expensive/extravagant wedding just doesn’t make sense anyway. Most of the expensive part is because of all the extra things that no one really needs.

I have similar feelings about funerals. As my dad always said, “The funeral is more for the people who have lost and not the dead.”

I, of course, plan to respect my parents’ wishes, but they’ve made it easy for me. As easy as it can be anyways.

They’ve planned ahead so I don’t have to deal with the extensive paperwork afterwards. I know they did this for compassion’s sake because that is who they are.

If I am crying and upset, I don’t want to have to decide the fate of my dad’s company. They knew that.

Another favorite quote of mine actually comes from Harry Potter. Albus Dumbledore says, “Do not pity the dead, pity the living. And above all, those who live without love.”

My advice for people that are planning a wedding, a funeral or even a birthday party is to live simply.

Also, remember the people involved and what they are taking on.