The Budget

November 16, 2008

I have been pretend-planning my wedding for nearly three years.  It just happened one day.  I was bored and started thinking, I wonder how much my wedding is going to cost when I get married.  I started to look up wedding websites online and just like that – I was hooked.  I became obsessed with looking at pictures of wedding dresses, browsing the Knot, and looking at favor ideas.  Then I started discovering different wedding blogs and photographer blogs.

Over time, I came up with what I thought would be a reasonable budget to get all of the goodies I wanted for my wedding.  But the more I looked at photos of weddings, the more I realized, I didn’t want to spend the national average of $29,000 (or whatever the heck it us up to now).  I wanted to be a proud budget bride!  I wanted Po and I to have money in our bank account after the wedding.  I didn’t want to try to live up to some crazy expectation that people seem to have for weddings nowadays.

When I discussed the budget topic with Po, I asked him to just state the amount he’d feel comfortable spending on one day, and that’s the amount we’d work with.  I felt confident that I could work with any number he gave me.  And I knew he wouldn’t have any idea how much weddings really cost.  So, $13,000 is the number he threw out, and I said, perfect, that is enough.  We will pull this off.  But I will admit, more than once over the last five months, I have tried to talk him into increasing that budget.  What’s another $1,000?  $2,000? $5,000? Luckily he sticks to his guns and knows that no matter how much I whine about wanting an amazing videographer or a photo booth at our wedding, that deep down, I want to pull off this budget wedding without going over our original amount.

I think it’s even harder knowing we have enough money saved already, 10 months out, to have our “dream wedding”.   I just need to keep reminding myself about ‘life after the wedding’.  There will be other things we want: new furniture, vacations, a HOUSE, a retirement fund!  If we blow all the money we have saved on one day, we will regret not being smart and saving for all of these other things. We also have both sets of parents practically begging to help out with the cost.  And we’re very fortunate to be in that position.  However, it is very important to us to pay for the wedding by ourselves.  Can I just say, “guest list control”?

So, with a budget of $13,000 we are having a Friday evening wedding and dessert reception with approximately 150 of our closest friends and family.  That sum will also include our honeymoon, rings, and rehearsal dinner! So far we have booked a great photographer for a 4-hour package, I bought my dress off the rack (yesterday! ahh! more details to come), and we’re cutting out all of the unnecessary extras (i.e. favors, toasting flutes, pew bows, etc).  Hopefully our wedding will be fun, hopefully it will be pretty.  If not, eh, whatev. The important part is, we will be married! And not in debt.

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