Okay, I know it’s been like forever since I’ve written a blog post. However, I’ve been planning a wedding and getting ready to become a wife! Whoa, I feel the gravity in even writing that sentence.
Anyway, I thought I’d share some of the ways we are keeping things simple and the costs low but also doing it on a non-budget (Don’t worry I did save for this; I’m just not counting every penny!!).
Also, if you prefer to do a budget (I usually do) check out this awesome blog post by my friend, Andrea.
What Matters Most
Take a look at the theme picture of this post and that will clue you in on what matters most. The reality is that it’s all about joining two lives into one. It’s a lifetime commitment and the most important part is the bride, the groom, and the pastor or officiant. Family is a close second but everything else is fluff!
The party and the celebration can be a fun part of it. However, my take is to focus on the main reason and the other stuff will come together.
We are being counseled by pastors in all things pre-marital. It’s been fun, challenging, thought-provoking, hard at times, filled with gravity, and oh so worth it. We have good pastors bringing up tough topics for us to consider. We’ve had some conflicts in these sessions and/or even after these sessions.
You know what? Conflict is a part of life and the bigger thing is to learn how to work through it lovingly. Always focus on the mend when there is a rift. We are getting better at it.
No doubt, we’ve decided we want to spend the rest of our lives together so we are willing to put in the work.
Keeping it Simple
Neither of us wanted to spend lavish money on a big reception. Although, we did want to have a celebration with family and friends. The best part about it is that we planned our wedding one afternoon on a walk. We kept bouncing ideas off of one another and voila, we had our wedding details planned.
The ceremony is the most important to us so we are basically doing a flip. Since the ceremony is what matters most to us, that is the longest part. We are doing some unique things that I cannot reveal just yet but this has been literally the most fun part about planning the event.
Since we are inviting a bunch of people to get together for our ceremony, we decided to include the second most important thing, cake! We are just having a simple reception of cake, coffee, and sparkling lemonade. Oh, and a bride/groom dance but that’s it.
Here’s where things can get expensive but they don’t have to! I bought my dress for under $200 online at this website. I paid the extra $20 to submit my measurements and have it custom-sized. It fits perfectly (unless I lose more weight which is a good problem to have). I love it and it’s exactly what I was hoping for!
My matron of honor and junior bridesmaid both got their dresses for under $30 at Dillard’s and JCPenney. I knew what colors I wanted and then it was an open game to find some dresses on sale that would work. Simple. Easy. Frugal.
Now Tom’s suit was another story. We took one walk into Ticknor’s and were sold on a fabulous suit for him & his best man. It cost more than my dress but what guy couldn’t use a good suit! He’ll be wearing it again; me probably not on the dress.
One piece of advice on Ticknor’s…just don’t let them sell you the $200+ pair of jeans.
The decorations are another area that could add up real quick.
I have a lovely friend who is gifted at decorating and she happens to be retired. I decided to ask for her assistance in this department. She was thrilled to help and is blessing me so greatly with her skills at making the tableware pretty. Here is the one place I was going to set a budget. Although, quite amazingly she is gifting me with much of it. Whoa!
I was all set to make our bouquets and floral arrangements for our wedding. But…I have a good friend who does weddings and is hooking me up with his florist for a super-duper friend and family discount. Whoa x2!
The thing is on all of this is, to look to trade and barter with friends who are skilled. Everyone loves a trade!
P.S. making floral arrangements is fairly easy if you are looking to cut corners. I made some for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary ♥.
Check out that good looking family celebrating my parent’s 50th ↓↓↓
So this is a fun story. We hired my friend’s daughter who is in high school because she is a budding photographer and did my photos for my blog (see three pics below).
Anyway, we wanted to give her a chance at growing her skill and because she’s inexperienced we were able to settle on a price that doesn’t break my bank but still blesses her.
Then another surprise came to us in this department. Our pastor’s wife offered her photography services as a gift. Whoa x3! We found a way to meld the two as she will be mentoring our young budding photographer. Win-win!
Now we’ll never tell where we are going cus we want some privacy 😉
But, I can tell you that we decided we didn’t need to go far to “get away”. We did splurge two nights on a very special and costly place but then the rest of our trip is at an Air BnB house in a very remote area. No flying necessary.
One thing to keep in mind here is that when you don’t travel far, you can splurge a little more on a fancy hotel. I learned that trick from my boss.
Happily Ever After…
So we are not yet living together and are kind of old-fashioned in all things surrounding marriage.
Anyway, my fiancé is renting a house currently and I’m renting an apartment. We are opting to have him move into my apartment after we get married. The reasons are:
- We love the area by my apartment
- Close to both of our jobs
- In between our parents
- Close to biking/hiking
- Close to some ski resorts
- We can save beaucoup money for a future house
We also figured what better year to do tiny living than the honeymoon year ♥♥♥
Sidebar: did you know that fiancé is the male version and fiancée is the female version? I just learned that myself 😉
My final summation is simple. Focus on what matters most and then build from there. Save money – as soon as we started courting we both started saving. Additionally, lean on people in your own community and find ways to trade and barter for services. Lastly, take a chance on novices because it’s nice to give newbies a chance to shine!