Wedding Budgets

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When Wes and I got married, we didn’t have a huge wedding budget. Actually, we had a pretty stinking small wedding budget.
My parents gave us two options:
1. Wait to get married until we both have secure jobs and they’ll give us $10,000
2. Get married when we wanted to (right after graduation) and they’ll give us $5,000 and save that other $5000 in case we need help.
We chose the latter. And I’m glad we did. We ended up getting to keep about $1100 from our wedding fund. Our wedding actually cost about $6000, but Weston’s dad paid for our photography as a gift to us. And guess what? That $1100 we have left is our emergency fund now.
Neither of us are the big to do type people. We just wanted to be married and whether that was eloping or in a big church didn’t matter to us. We’re just as married as the next couple.
While I do not think that having an expensive wedding is wrong, I do think it’s wrong to take out a loan to pay for a wedding. I think you should be doing everything in your power to have a wedding you or your family can actually afford.
  • Have conversations that set realistic expectations for all sides. Bride and groom. Both families, etc.
  • Be honest about what’s important to each of you, and how much you can actually afford for things.
  • Don’t be ashamed to find things second hand, find shortcuts, and do things yourself. If you don’t mind being engaged for a longer amount of time, have a longer engagement so you can space out the big purchases.
  • See if the place you want to get married has a discount for getting married in a certain season or on a Sunday.
Wes bought my engagement ring on Ebay and saved 60% (and it wasn’t some sad story of a broken engagement or divorce). Look on Amazon for wedding bands (Weston’s cost us $200 at Zales, but could’ve been purchased online for $30). I didn’t have flowers at my wedding, we didn’t serve a meal, just snack foods. My mom and her best friend did all the decorating. My mom bought things with coupons. I bought my dress from David’s Bridal. I bought my veil from Amazon (no shame here). We had our wedding at my parents’ church, which was free.
In the end, remember, it’s about the promise not the party. But there’s no problem having an awesome party, too.


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