Thursday, February 17, 2011

Planning to Begin to Plan: Part the First

. . . .  or How to Create a Wedding Budget.

Wes and I made the decision to have a wedding and committed ourselves to not spending more than $2000.00.  We felt pretty good about that decision until we did a little more number crunching.

That's when we got real.  Really real . . . and slashed the budget to a little under $1,200.00.

That's how much we can realistically save and afford to spend within the time frame leading up to the wedding.   Part of that is because Wes is a full time graduate student right now and I work part time as a retail slave while trying to get into a program of my own.  Wes has a mortgage and child support; I have student loans, some minor credit card debt, and a busted Macbook in need of repair.  We are also saving for things we would like to have in the not too distant future.  All of those financial responsibilities are prioritized over saving for the wedding.

We could spend more on the wedding, but why?

I liken this to the decision I had to make in Lane Bryant the other day--because shopping analogies always make everything better.  Bras there, and my plus-sized busty girls will tell you, are almost always buy one, get one half off.  I bought one bra because I only needed one and had to seriously check myself not to get two just to get fifty percent off.  Because . . . I only needed one and more would have just been more.  More product and more money than was necessary.

More for our wedding would just be more.

First, pick out the things that are most important to you.  Then identify the things that would just be more for the sake of more.  The getting married part is number one for us.  That means we want a beautiful, meaningful ceremony with the people we love and who genuinely love us in attendance.  A big wedding and reception with all the really gorgeous and exciting bells and whistles would just be more.    

We approached each budget category with the same kind of perspective and rather ruthlessly slashed it down.  What we absolutely loved and needed would stay . . . and then only if it could be done in a financially responsible way.  The rest would have to go.

The wedding is one day and we want to have that day, just not at the expense of the rest of our lives.

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