It has been just over 9 months since my beau and I got engaged. I remember how it felt when marriage finally dawned on me days after his proposal. I was nervous, ecstatic, anxious, elated, and just simply happy. I was purely happy! We spent the next few days celebrating our engagement. Maybe a few weeks. It was like we fell in love with each other all over again. Yeah. It was great.
Shortly after we came back, I started to do some minor wedding planning. Wedding colors were picked. We decided we wanted to do a beach ceremony versus a church one. We thought of possible locations and started a rough guest list. I started browsing through Pinterest and created a board to help me visualize the wedding I wanted to have.
The planning excitement was short-lived, however. Next thing I knew, I was planning my son’s first birthday party in May. My father was diagnosed with his second bout of cancer in June. He was hospitalized and cut open shortly after diagnosis. I gained another year of wisdom. We moved and relocated closer to my beau’s work. Packed and unpacked and still unpacking. October brought Halloween in a rush, and before I knew it, I was cooking a Thanksgiving feast for what seemed like a whole town (okay…roughly fifty people!).
Each day just went by so quickly; I had forgotten I had a wedding to plan.
With four months left before the big day, we were almost forced to start thinking about it, since family started asking questions. And why not go ahead and ask me if we’d been saving for it?
Big fat no.
I really believe that money shouldn’t be the driving force of a wedding. I still acknowledge the symbolism of a wedding ceremony, and that simply is marriage. We could easily keep it much more subtle than what it’s sometimes beginning to seem like, but there’s nothing wrong with wanting a “dream” wedding. Each person’s dream wedding is different from the other. Once I thought I wanted to have a cathedral wedding a la Lady Di, super long train and all, 500 guests on the pews. But thank God that’s all changed now! A wedding ceremony should be all about the marriage of two people, two souls, two separate groups of families and friends. It’s easy to forget that with all the glamour of glitter and gold, so I try to remind myself constantly.
And this leads to our budget. There’s no reason not to have your dream wedding with whatever budget you may have. I’ve spoken to so many wedding vendors, and I’ve found that most of them genuinely want to give you what you deserve on your day. If they can’t work with the number you’ve given, then the next steps are to simply hang up the phone and move on to the next. These days, I can’t imagine anyone who doesn’t know someone that knows someone who can either DJ or take awesome photographs or do DIY decorations on the side. This is ultimately what we’ve resorted to in order to really stretch our budget. From doing the decor ourselves and resorting to minimal floral work to reaching out to our artistic and talented friends for people in their circles who might be willing to do our wedding for a lower cost, the savings are just everywhere. We really just have to cut the coupons and use them.
Whatever your budget may be, your wedding will be fabulous. You are having a celebration, and as long as you’re happy, your family and friends will be. The most important thing is still what goes on inside and not what goes on the tables.
I’ll post some of our budget ideas here as we get closer to our spring wedding. If one person can have a dream wedding on a budget, so can the rest of us!