Today's blog was written by Katy Robinson, who work closely with the Young & Free Maine team. She's young, recently engaged, and planning a wedding. Her input on wedding planning may be useful for those 20-somethings out there going through the same thing.
Tying the knot
Many young girls grow up dreaming of the perfect wedding day. As they grow into women and start seeing someone they could see themselves marrying, the day-dreaming kicks up a notch. Finally, he proposes, congratulations you’re engaged! You can enjoy the bliss of having a ring on your finger, but you can’t linger for long, everyone you know will remind you that you have a lot left to do. Time to plan (a.k.a. SPEND).
Having worked at a credit union, and now working with credit unions, I had some solid ambitions about wedding planning on a budget. Note the “had”. Once the numbers started rolling in on the cost of some aspects, I realized I couldn’t stick a number on my wedding planning (too much stress!). Instead, the tactic I have taken is spend what we can afford, and break it up as best we can.
Thank goodness our parents want to help us on our big day, which is helping to control our cost, but when I am not avoiding the planning, I will tell you what I have been doing: secretly budgeting. I just told you I am not giving us a budget number to work with, but bear with me. I am buying the things I can afford to buy as I can afford them. Fortunately, the dress shop that I am buying my wedding dress from does a form of lay-away (yes, LAY-AWAY!). Half is due upfront, and then you make payments until you walk out the door with your dress. Payments you can afford no less, payments YOU decide on.
Next is the reception venue. I wanted a really cool location, until I visited said location and found out real quick that unless we wanted to spend another year or two budgeting, it wasn’t going to happen. However, my advice here: make use of your connections. My dad is a member of a group that rents out a hall, and thanks to his membership, we are getting an amazing discount. The hall isn’t what I initially imagined, but I got a sneak peak during a wedding reception, and it was perfect (add to that the discount and I’m SOLD!).
We also came up with an idea that should satisfy most everyone: a pasta bar, salad, and rolls. Not just spaghetti and meatballs (still wearing a nice dress!), but a variety of sauces, meats, and pasta. In my mind, I am not paying for a plate of food that the children attending will hate, and I don’t have to chase down RSVPs for food choice, AND it’s a tad cheaper than the other options.
I wish I could have written and told you about that awesome “wedding on a budget” I have planned, but just because you don’t have a spreadsheet with everything planned out, does not mean you can’t do it. You know what is important to you and your future spouse, make sure you have room to buy those things, and leave something more frivolous out. Above all else, make sure that your day is truly for the both of you to celebrate your love together with your families—it’s what a wedding is all about, after all.
Thank you to Katy Robinson for sharing her personal experience
with planning a wedding on a budget.