Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on Planning a Budget Wedding

A dear friend of mine, who has been an active participant in my wedding planning process, got engaged on Halloween. She and her fiancé will be getting married exactly three weeks after we do. There's a whole lotta planning going on! A few days later, she text messaged me "where do I start?." Hey, I'm not an expert (yet), but it helps a lot to start with the money. 

I consider us a budget couple. Right from the start, we were on the same page about finances. You know, the "big stuff." We have a few differences, interests and quirks that make us a well-rounded couple (doesn't everyone?), but money matters is not one of them. When we developed our wedding budget, I shot high, he shot low and we met in the middle. We feel like the amount we are spending is reasonable and most importantly, sane. We even have a separate checking/savings account for the wedding. Does this mean we can hire a specialized vendor for everything under the sun? Nope. We had to prioritize.

Perhaps "Simple and Sane" could be our other wedding mantra, but however we spin it, my goal is to create a day that is reflective of who we are and what we value most. So far, its been more than fun to plan the wedding together and with our loved ones. At the end of this adventure, I want to reveal our budget breakdown, just like
{The Thirty-Something Bride}! For now, I’ll settle for telling you a few of the things we’ve passed on paying for and what we’ll be doing ourselves:

• Flowers – The aforementioned friend works for a wholesale florist. She’s hooking me up (and she’s really really good!)

• Coordination – Again, my amazing friend will be handling this for me. I love her. 

• Videography – I love professional wedding vids, but honestly, its going to be one of those things that never gets watched or looked at. No, really. I’ll ask a friend with a handheld.

• Transportation – Eh. This was a no-brainer because neither of us really care. I have a new car named “Hatch” and he’s gonna be sporting a $2 Martha “Just Married” banner like whoa.

• Expensive Wedding Cake – Big Spoon let me work this one out for myself. I blogged about it a lot. Here and here. Oh, and here too. We’ve found a local bakery for fractions of the cost of other vendors. Hellooo real wedding cake!

• No Alcohol – Big Spoon doesn’t drink and our families don’t drink. It is also a two-hour reception. That isn’t long enough for me to feel safe serving alcohol. 86 the booze.

• Other – No professional lighting, no bridal portraits, no day-after shoots, no “second” dress for the reception, no bouquet or garter toss. 

• Invitations – I’m ever-so-happy to be designing our wedding stationery! I’m cutting some corners, DIYing and the like to make it all wonderful and affordable.

So, those are my current thoughts on the budget. Do whatever makes the most sense for you as a couple, but don't sell your firstborn child in order to pay for one day. 

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