6 Steps To The Wedding (And Budget) Of Your Dreams

Figuring out your wedding budget is one of the worst parts of wedding planning. Finances are difficult alone, but now you’re taking the first steps into merging your lives together and things may get sticky. You might have lavish dreams, but are they realistic for both your and your future hubby? According to Brides American Wedding Study, the average wedding costs $26,522! If that doesn’t make you bat an eye, then hey, have at all those details you’ve always dreamed about. But if you’re like me and are wanting to cry into a bottle of wine while analyzing that down-payment on a house/one year’s worth of student debt/brand new car then I have some advice for you.

Like nearly half of the couples getting married this year, G and I are covering the majority of expenses for our wedding. However, did you know that one in three couples actually goes over their wedding budget? This was not an option for us so we opted for setting a solid budget before doing anything else in the planning process. We began by tallying up all assets, listing our must-haves for the day-of, creating and maintaining a detailed spreadsheet, and being realistic throughout our engagement when it came to costs. It was hard work, but was so worth the time and energy to be wedding-debt free come post-nuptials. Here is exactly what we did on setting up our wedding budget:

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Knowing Where To Draw the Line on Your Wedding Budget

Okay, time for some tough love. My average wedding while I was a wedding coordinator was $17,000, and I simply received that amount for the venue, tables and chairs, linens, the dinner catering, and the bar tab. For those couples who wished to add music, photography, desserts, decorations, and any other basic wedding niceties, you could be looking at a minimum of another $10,000 added to your budget. The Knot actually stated that the typical modern wedding averages $35,000. My jaw dropped reading that article, actually. For G and I, this *clap* was *clap* not *clap* an *clap* option.

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Vendor News: Videography Decided

We have been going back and forth on the topic of videography since we solidified our budget five months ago, and some great questions are been risen: should we hire someone, should we buy a video camera, who would we have film everything, would a cellphone work just as well, won’t photographs be just as good, where could we place a camera rather than have someone hold one, who do we know that can edit, what fits our budget, where could we elope, etc. And we have finally decided on an answer! (Plus we’re proud to say discussion on elopement has dropped from 10 times daily to nearly three…)

We are going with the online videography option called WedIt. With WedIt, we will have five iPod Touches delivered to us the week of our wedding in which we can disperse among our guests, set up in special locations, or pretty much do what we would like with them in order to film/snapshot the important parts of our ceremony and reception. Then, once the wedding is over, we can either download all the pieces on our own in order to edit them or send them back to the company and have a edited video made for us. Though we aren’t sure exactly how we will edit the camera footage, we do feel this is a great option for us while trying to safe-keep memories without spending an arm and a leg on a professional videographer.

Thinking ahead, I plan to have two of the cameras stationed on tripods to capture the ceremony and one camera at the reception’s photo booth in order to capture all that fun. The other two I am going to ask a few artsy friends to safeguard and capture some important moments throughout the night. All in all, we are excited for this Pinterest find and for another budget-beater!

I Bought My Dress Online & I Adore It

Traditionally, wedding dress shopping is done in a wedding dress boutique. The bride-to-be, her mother, and perhaps even a few bridesmaids join in for a day out on the town scouring shoppes for the perfect dress. Even before they’re engaged, most brides have their ideal gowns chosen and are on the hunt for either that exact designer dress or something very similar.

Unfortunately (or fortunately for me), I am not traditional in this sense. I never wanted to go to David’s Bridal or a local boutique to shop for my dream dress. Instead, I took to the World Wide Web and found exactly what I was seeking, and for a fraction of the price.

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How We Saved Costs on Invitations & RSVPs

As I finish off my last bottle of Syrah and wait for G to finish leading his youth group, I am in a slightly better mood than when I arrived home this afternoon. I came home after a typical work day to find a sweet little gift on my front step. The gift, lovingly given by Mr. Postman, was a carton full of G’s and my wedding invitations — the invitations we had hand-crafted and dropped into the mail only two days prior. To accentuate the package, a handwritten sign was taped to the carton as well which read, “$0.21 needed on each due to enclosure.” It made me grimace…

And face-palm myself.

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Budgeting 101: Save the Dates

Now that we have our engagement pictures, G and I are ready to begin the trek into the wonderful world of postage, stationary, and all things calligraphy. I say wonderful very loosely though, friends, because as I have started to look into options it seems as if this stage may be one of the most over-looked expenses a bride-to-be has during her wedding planning experience! I mean, I never realized different envelope types needed different stamp costs. Nor did I know that there were so many options for stationary: postcard, petite, classic, folded, etc. When in the world did a card become so expensive?!

That brings me to today’s discussion: Save the Dates.

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Reblog: Here’s What My Parents 1974 Wedding Would Cost in 2017

With our list of all-things-wedding-related (vendors, rentals, objects, songs, guests, etc.) ever increasing, I just had to share this blog post with you as it hits STRAIGHT. ON. THE. HEART. of what I have been saying lately: weddings are ridiculously expensive! And it is simply due to the word “wedding” that vendors and other event-aimed businesses are able to increase prices. Ugh! DOUBLE UGH!! Now, with this handy little monster of a post at my disposal, whenever someone feels the need to say, “We didn’t pay that when we got married!” I’ll be able to cheerfully hand this wonderful explanation as to why the world hates on true love and makes the wedding planning situation so much more difficult than necessary. (Please excuse the language.)


Reposted from Buzzfeed, originally posted on October 22, 2017 and written by Meg Keene.

I got engaged in San Francisco, exactly 35 years after my parents’ 1974 wedding. Their San Francisco wedding cost about $2,000, which in today’s money is roughly $10K. So naturally, when we started planning, my mom thought that if I made the same good practical, frugal choices that she and my father had made, I should be able to pull off something similar for $10K. I just needed to be smart about it.

In fact, when most people get engaged, I think we generally assume it should be possible to get married for $10k BECAUSE THAT IS A FUCK TON OF MONEY. And yeah, if you cut some corners, in many parts of the country you actually can pull off a pretty nice wedding for $10K. (Hell, I’ve built a whole business around helping people do just that.)

But by today’s standards, my parents’ wedding was BEYOND. They got married in San Francisco’s reigning massive church, Grace Cathedral, three days after Christmas. They had a whopping 300 people in attendance, and a cocktail reception at the swanky Marine’s Memorial Club. Their cake alone was so big that when we tried to re-create their wedding, we couldn’t even find a baker that still made cakes that large.

And yet their budget was only $10,000 in 2017 dollars.

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