Post # 1
I wasn’t sure if I should post this in the emotional forum or the money forum. My issue is inter-related I guess. I never thought I would ever meet someone so wonderful. I never thought I’d be a stepmom. I never thought I’d have a traditional wedding. I guess what I’m saying is that I am truly happy and now I want everything I never knew I wanted. I started out planning a small wedding for family only. It is now a traditional wedding for 150 people. I am constantly questioning whether or not I want to spend $12,000+ on one day. I do want it, but I also am worried about finances. I understand that I am not planning an expensive wedding compared to other weddings, but we just bought a home and the thought of putting that money towards a wedding instead of into a savings account is giving me anxiety. Does anyone else feel this way? How have you overcome these feelings?
Post # 3
If you aren’t comfortable spending the money, don’t. You have to be very okay with it, or after the money is all said, done, and spent, you’ll regret it.
Can you cut some of the budget to an amount you’re more okay with?
Post # 4
i agree with ej… can you host something in your backyard like a casual bbq or brunch with fun games like horseshoes, croquet, and that sort of thing?
Post # 5
I haven’t overcome those feelings. . .and probably won’t. I originally only wanted about 100 people tops. Because FI’s family is so huge we’re looking at a struggle to keep it under 300. We’re spending around half my student loan debt on this one (super awesome party) day.
What I’ve found that works best for me is to stop comparing the money to where it could more practically go, and focus on the symbolism of the day and the Awesome Party. It feels completly irresponsible, but every now and then you need to be a little irresponsible about something. . especially as a parent (or step parent).
Post # 6
It sounds as if some of the things you want to do are changing a bit, and you’re almost feeling guilty for spending the money on yourself. It’s really nice to have a nestegg in case something happens, but it’s also very ok to spend money on celebrating the two of you! If the 150 person wedding is something that both of you want, then go for it. Cut costs on things that don’t matter as much to you. What matters most is that you’re marrying the man of your dreams in front of everyone who loves and supports you. So, yes, while feeding everyone costs money, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg…and most will understand if you don’t have a favor for them, or super fancy invitations, or flowers at every table.
Hope that helps a little…just remember that everyone is there for the two of you, not for the food or for an open bar or for the flowers…
Post # 7
Big weddings scare the crap out of me. We have a large family and have gone back and fourth editing our guest list these last few years. (yea – “years,” We’ve been engaged for 5!) Of course we would love to have every person we love and care about there with us, but when it comes down to it, finances aside, a smaller wedding would be more intimate and personal, which is what we like. Plus, in big weddings I’ve seen first hand there’s a lot of room for error – more vendors, more food, more people who might mess something up, more “things” envolved that could go wrong. We’ve opted for a 90-100 guest wedding with a more casual vibe with self-serve food and a ton of my own personal DIY projects (if you want something done right, you gotta do it yourself!) Even if we had a million bucks to spend on our wedding, we would probably end up doing about the same thing that we’re planning now – because it makes US happy! That’s all that matters!
Anyways – that’s my two cents – good luck and congrats!
Post # 8
This might not be the best strategy, but it’s what works for me. Rather than looking at the total cost, I’ve been breaking it down into categories. For me, I really want to make sure my guests have a good time, so I’m fine with splurging on the caterer and the open bar. However, I don’t think that any guest is going to have a make-or-break moment when it comes to dishes or chairs, so I’m scrimping on the rentals. Photography is really important to my fiance, so we splurged on the photographer. Whereas I just can’t justify spending a lot of money on a dress that I’ll wear once, so I set my budget really low in that area. In each category, we’re spending what it’s worth to us. And yeah, it adds up, but when it’s all said and done, I don’t think we’ll look back and say, “Man, I really wish we hadn’t forked over so much for X.”
Post # 9
Thank you all so much for your replies. I’m the youngest in my family but I’ve always been the caretaker. Now that I’m in my early 30s I have to convince myself that I should have the day I never knew I wanted. My fiance is afraid that if we don’t have the wedding we’ve been planning I will regret it. I flip back and forth about what I really want versus what makes sense at least once a week. I need to make a decision and move forward. We found a great venue that is fairly inexpensive and offers a lot of extras for free. My dress was under $1000, I plan on doing my own centerpieces (possibly non-floral), and I found a very reasonable photographer. I should try to focus more on being smart about keeping costs down and, most importantly, the significance of this special day.
Post # 10
I feel the same way! I wanted a casual wedding and all of a sudden costs are explooooading. I dont know what I’m going to do yet. :/
Post # 11
@twinstar – I think you’re being extremely sensible about this. You’ve always been the caretaker, and I think it’s time to take care of yourself for a day. I like redherring’s strategy where she’s justifying spending more on certain things than others…find out what’s important to you and put more energy toward that. Skimp on things that just don’t matter to you. I think you deserve exactly what you want and you shouldn’t worry about feeling guilty about giving that to yourself. You’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to celebrate!
Post # 12
@twinstar – I agree, you have a great attitude. We pretty much did as redherring suggested. Figure out what is important to you and spend your money there. There are a lot of websites with good cost cutting ideas, including this one!
Post # 13
Just cut back on some expenses, we had to cut our guest list down alot and it saved us a bunch, invite singles that arent married and dont have boyfriends too, cut back on certain things so that your day will be well worth it, i mean, it only happens once in a lifetime
Post # 14
Sounds like where I will be in a few months. I know I want a totally awesome wedding, but then I realized that what we’ll spend on the wedding could cover our basic living expenses for a year!
Post # 15
If your feeling anxious and having doubts I think you should cut back everywhere you can without loosing the feel you want! That way you can balance the dreamy part of yourself with the realistic part and you will have balance and hopefully eliminate stress!