A nice guest post to start the week. Amy at My Daily Dollars blogs about her day-to-day battle with her debt. As she pays off close to $9,000 of credit card debt, she’s also saving for her upcoming wedding. Fortunately, her new frugal habits are helping her have a lovely, frugal wedding!
Wedding season has arrived once again. In past summers, I blissfully ignored all the wedding magazines, chuckled at a few episodes of whatever Bridzella show was hot, and sent off a gift or two. After a flurry of weddings in my early 20s, I wasn’t too involved in all the drama past idle daydreams about my own wedding day.
Now, in my early 30s, its 60 days and counting until I’m at the epicenter of the wacky world of weddings. Yes, I bore my friends with the minutiae of how I stuffed the wedding invitations. Yes, I read magazines, and planners, and websites. Yes, I even had a near-bridezilla meltdown about my dress.
During all those years, one thing I never daydreamed about was the budget. In my 20s, I had grandiose dreams about cocktail receptions, designer shoes, and string quartets. How I would pay for it all never entered into the fantasies.
Now, determined to start my marriage on the right foot financially, I’ve set the wedding budget at $4050. My parents are helping, and I’ll have the rest paid for by the wedding date. And, one month after that, I should have close to $9,000 in credit card debt knocked off.
How am I doing it? I’m flexible about everything about the wedding except for the budget and the groom.
In My Frugal Wedding series of posts, you can see how my thinking has evolved from fanciful to sensible. In “5 Tips for a Wedding Under $5,000,” I discovered the most important thing. This wedding is about the beginning of something, a marriage; it’s not an end in and of itself.
If relatives are grumpy that they didn’t get an expensive meal, it doesn’t matter. If the typeset of my invitations doesn’t match the RSVP cards exactly, it doesn’t matter. If we serve wine and beer without a signature cocktail, it doesn’t matter. What does matter is that I am committing to share my life with a wonderful, supportive, interesting man. All the rest is window dressing.
Armed with a firm sense of who you are and what you want from your wedding, the next important step is to set a budget and stick to it. I have every budget category written in my planner, and I treat each category as a final purchase. That way, when I’m looking for photographers, I keep thinking $500, my photography budget, not $4000, my total budget.
If you think about the big number, it’s so easy to go over budget. What’s $80 for disposable wedding cameras compared to $4000? But, what’s $80 for cameras compared to a $70 budget for wedding favors? Too expensive! By being flexible about everything except the numbers, I’ve done a nice job staying under budget for each category. That will give us more wiggle room for the unexpected costs that may come closer to the big day.
So my advice for a frugal wedding? Stick with the right guy and the right budget. Be flexible about everything else.
Ten years from now, you won’t worry about the color of the bridesmaid dress matching the color of the jordan almonds. You won’t care if you served roast beef, chicken, or a choice of sushi rolls. Heck, you probably won’t even remember what the invitation inserts looked like. After that one day, two things will remain: your debt and your husband.
Pick the right guy and the right budget and be flexible about everything else!
Image by Manassas Cakery
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