- 7 years ago
- Wedding: June 2012
The to-be-hubby and I got engaged last March. Woah. How 10 months have flown by. We knew that we were going to have a long engagement for the following reasons:
1. We needed to save. We really didn’t want our wedding to be a source of large financial burden for anyone in our family.
2. We have a large family. Ok, Wes has a large family… and they are super close. Therefore, a large wedding was a need.
3. Why rush a good thing? I spent my whole life rushing to the next “step”. With Wes, it seemed natural to stop and smell the roses.
We spent the first few months of our engagement enjoying just being engaged. Very few serious “wedding” thoughts went through my mind and we had a very nice engagement party thrown by Wes’s mom for his side of the family in his homestate, Florida.
But, when we did start talking about the wedding after the spring semester ended, we started with dreaming big. Now we aren’t your typical big dreamers. Our idea of a grandiose evening is dinner at Carrabba’s. It seemed like a good place to start before all the financial realities humbled us. So, we wrote down the things that inspired us, things that seemed like fun extras, and all the things we wanted to be a priority. This was such a fun thing to do. We thought of long tables, white linens, bright flowers…not too many flowers, great photos, mojitos. We decided we would rather have a simple reeeeeaaaaallly good cake and a DJ. And, an open bar was a must. I usually am not a big flower person, but I saw this bouquet on TV so I paused the TV and took a pic of it.
Before we had got engaged, we looked at a place called Deering Estate in Miami, FL and we loved loved loved it. Because we loved this place so much, I think a lot of our initial ideas came from having Deering Estate in our minds. Well, I am from Michigan. Cue reality #1.
I knew it was going to be a source of tension, but deciding where to have the wedding was tough. Most of you know this by now, but the wedding will be in Michigan. I am so happy with our decision. My family is there (mostly) and my mom and I are very close. Having it there means she can help me more. And, I grew up there, so it means a lot to me. It wasn’t a tough decision because our families made it hard, it was hard because we really like Florida. I like to tell people that Wes bleeds Florida. Also, it should have been more obvious but Miami, Florida is also more expensive. Cue reality #2.
We have a tight budget. For good reasons! We want a nice wedding, but we also want a nice future! Maybe a college savings account for a baby one day instead of loans we can’t pay off. Michigan was chosen because it meant a lot to me to have it there, but it is a nice side bonus that it will be cheaper there as well. Cue reality #3.
I actually had no idea how much a wedding costs… in any state. I had bought these great wedding books that said that you should spend this percentage on such and such. Ok. So, what is the big number so you know what the percentage means? You know, the sum total of one day of your life (granted a beautiful, wonderful day), but only ONE day of your life. We picked a number based on the national average and how we thought we could do better than that since I love do-it-yourself projects and finding a good deal. We were driving to Michigan getting ready to look for wedding venues when we came up with that number. I will never forget Wes asking me how much these things cost….my answer was, “I have no idea. I have never gotten married before.”
Cue reality #4. We were greatly mistaken for what weddings cost even in MI. So, we greatly altered the “percentage based crap budget” we started with.
Has anyone else felt like this planning their wedding?
For any recently engaged brides reading this, please take this suggestion: Enjoy your engagement for a while and make your “idea board” and have fun doing it. And, when you get budget blues go back to your inspirations and know that you will find a way to make sure all the important things get worked out that day. Most importantly, at the end of all of it, you will be married to a great person.
Also I want to say, throughout this blog, I will give out all my ideas for saving money. In the end, I hope that I will get to post the budget breakdown on certain things so people can see what a real wedding costs! No stupid percentages. I saw another bride do this on a wedding website that I have become obsessed with “weddingbee.com”. It was immensely helpful.