- 9 years ago
Warning: I’m about to dump a whole load of crazy on ya
I’ll start by saying that, when it comes to the wedding, the most important thing to me is the actual marriage part! All of the rest is icing on the cake. Whether the proposal had come when we had 20,000, 2,000, or 200 dollars, I would have been just as happy and excited – and I would have made it work with what I had. What happened to that girl?!?!
As it happens, I came into this planning adventure with a little 10k wedding egg that I had squirreled away for just such an occasion. Given the nature of our careers, we won’t know for sure that we’ll be in any one city for more than 2-3 years for at least another 7-10 years, so I’m sure something would have come along eventually to eat my egg, and I knew this was exactly what I wanted to spend it on. 10 thousand dollars, the number I even went so far as to refer to as my wedding budget. In reality I knew that it wasn’t likely to happen that way, given that we have big families that are all traveling in from out of town to our wedding in Los Angeles, which is not exactly the cheapest place to plan this type of an event. If I wasn’t about to become a doctor in 6 months, ie: if I didn’t spend 50% of my hours in the hospital on any given week, I probably could have gone budget crazy and made something amazing come out of a hat with a hole in the bottom. The point is that, when the budget started nudging its nose up to 15k, it was something that I realized I had been all along. That I had decidee that was ok in my subconscious beofre I actually decided it was ok in conciously probably should have been a hint that my descent into maddness had begun. Truly it wasn’t really a huge deal, because I knew we could cover the extra amount over the year or so of planning time I had left. I never expected parental contributions, I guess because I just haven’t expected parental contributions for anything in a long time. Of course I was happy to accept, and they were more generous than I ever thought they would be. Essentially they had been privy to conversations where I disclosed the crazy excel document household budget I had created to keep track of every penny from now until the wedding. Its not as crazy as it sounds though, because I make a spread sheet for every aspect of my life anyway. So, they knew that we were working to come up with 5k, and decided that would be a good amount. All of a sudden I could breath again, without worrying about the cost of oxygen. Our wedding was as well as paid for, and all I had to do was stick to the budget I had already obsessively researched and created, and focus on the fun stuff that comes with the planning instead. Yay.
I’m still that girl, loving the whole process and using my mantra ‘Bride-CHILLa’ to guide my planning process. Except, some days I wonder where the hell that girl went too?!?
So, where did I go wrong? Well I can pin point the exact moment, which then repeatedly occured throughout subsequent months. It happened when we sat down to make our guest list cuts and these words came out of my mouth for the first but certainly not the last time “we’re already spending $xx on this day, are we really going to spend that much money and have to pick and choose who we share it with and have people out there who we really wanted to invite thinking that we didn’t” It felt amazing! To just look at the three lists, his family/my family/friends, who had all been ranked on a 1-3 scale in order of importance to make the process I just completely avoided easier, and not have to cross anyone off.
Of course then there were those times where we’d be talking about some wedding thing that we had opted not to do (2 invite envelopes, cake etc) Some were for money some for other reasons…but inevitably a mom or someone would say “well how much more is it, maybe I can help with that”…Although if it was something I really felt like I shouldn’t do without, I’d have forked up the cash in the first place. Either way, they were definitely not a good influence on my new habit…the one that sneaks up on you like the little chocolate you eat every day slowly fattening each little part of my budget in totally non-drastic ways that were adding up in the shadows.
So, when I sat down this weekend to update the many boxes of numbers within my masterfully created excel budget, to find that our budget was right on track … at 15 K. Oh wait, we had already gotten out at a few stops and spent 3-4k along the way. If I had a break pedal under my desk, I’d have slammed my foot on it. GAH! I’m so frustrated, especially because I have nobody to blame but myself.
Ok so now here I am, if you’re still reading at this point – maybe its because you can relate? Or maybe you don’t automatically close the window when the text of a post fills your page 😉
Anyway, I can’t go back in time and un-sign my contracts or un-spend my money, and I don’t really want or need to either. Although, I will admit that they are decisions I never would have made if I hadn’t gotten the extra ‘here you can breath and have fun now’ money. I don’t want to call them bad decisions, but they were probably not the most wise. Alas, they were made, and now all thats left is to move on. Can I just stop now? Or is that totally crazy because there are still things on the list of wedding stuff that I don’t actually have figured out yet (DJ/music, dessert etc)
What I’m saying is…if i finish the remaining details of my wedding, at the venue I fell in love with, with the lighting that made me starry eyed, catered by the restauruant i keep coming back to for non-wedding related activities…and I do them within the real budget, and not the imaginary budget that it feels really good to ignore – ie: homeade desserts, possible ipod entertainment, etc, I would have been just as happy with a wedding I had planned on whatever meager budget was around. So, how the hell did I end up becoming the ‘am I really going to chose the slightly cheaper option I don’t like as much just to save a couple of dollars here and there’ girl?
So, is it really just crazy to have spent the bulk of the buget on a few of the items, which just happened to be the things I booked first, and not necessarily the things I would have strategically splurged on…while the remaining bulk of the wedding is the crazy cheap chic type of stuff I would have done if I had come into this without an egg. Its like America’s wealth, a small amount of items are allocated a much larger poroportion of funds, while a substantially larger portion of individual details are left to fight over whats left?
This is probably the most ridiculous question ever, because I know the answer…and yet I still can’t shake the idea that one day I’ll be looking at my wedding album and wish that I had just said ‘screw it’ and paid for the videographer we thought was too expensive at the time. Or that I had just paid for the damn florist instead of epically failing at diy flowers etc.
In conclusion: hey guys, I’m in crazy town and I need directions out – because soon I’m going to convince myself that I can’t actually do it within our budget, and I’m going to have to go over anyway so I might as well do it now……..