- I am an only child. No other siblings to get “do-overs” with,
- I am a girl. Weddings are always bigger deals for girls than boys.
- Mr. S and I have been together for 13 years. We have a lot of “shared” people.
And so, the pressure is on, along with all the options, decisions, and expectations to consider. Every time one decision is made, another one rears its ugly head before I can even think of congratulating myself on a job well done.
When are you getting married? Where will you have it? Picked a date! Booked the venue!
What about the church? Oh right, ok, booked the church!
What about the photographer? Yes – so important! Picked out a photographer!
And the videographer? Um…
And florist? Um…
And an aisle runner? And then before you know it, you’re bald and cooking the books in the budget tab of your wedding spreadsheet.
Mr. S and I are barely three months into this endeavor and this has happened to me more times than I can count. The budget tab in our wedding spreadsheet resembles a Sudoku puzzle – change one number here, and another number somewhere else must also change. And why? Because all the wedding gods tell you that the first part of wedding planning is making a budget. And the second part of wedding planning is sticking to it.
Those close to me will tell you that I have no problem spending money (really, it just seems to spend itself). But the wedding budget…I could never get my head around spending all that money on one day. And that argument about memories for a lifetime? I’m pretty sure we will have memories for a lifetime no matter how much money we spend.* And after reading various wedding blogs and attending a few weddings myself, I was convinced that having the wedding of our dreams did not equate to sacrificing a down payment on a future home.
From the beginning, Mr. S and I had very similar ideas of what we wanted for our wedding – fun, cozy, informal but still special, and very dancy. Surely we can evoke those feelings on the big day without spending ridiculous amounts of money? And so I set out to research/obsess what those feelings would realistically cost us.
The budget started arbitrarily at $25,000 – tented backyard wedding at my parent’s house, barefoot bride, iPod DJ, pour your own drinks, etc. That budget evaporated once I saw that a tent and dance floor alone would cost $25,000. Not to mention our family members are not hippies and would be digging holes into my parent’s backyard with their stiletto heels. Ok, maybe I was being a bit naive… bump it up to $40,000. And while we’re at it, let’s move it to NYC. What, you need $100,000 to have a wedding for 150+ guests in Manhattan? Uh ok, let’s back it up to Brooklyn and call it a deal.
Fear not, Mr. S and I are not starting off our marriage in debt – actually we are because we both have student loans…but at least not in debt on account of our wedding. The issue wasn’t that the money isn’t there, more so is the money really necessary? And what I soon found out was yes, yes it is.
So there you have it – step one of wedding planning. We’re already a little iffy on step two.
*And just in case that’s not true, I doubled the budget allocated to the photographer.