Before even having a clue about who I was getting married to, I knew for a fact that I would have issues planning a wedding. While a pretty big chunk of the girl population has been deciding the colors and ideas for a long, long time, this area is just not something I am all that particular about. I've gotten girlier over the past few years, at an all-time high right now, but I still don't have tons of wedding fantasies to fulfill. The place, the flowers, the food, and the dress were all completely new ventures to me when I found myself looking down at Darin on his knee holding a ring this past December!
Over these past two months of starting the planning business, I've found that I have a reallystingy perspective on wedding spending. A big part of it is that my parents are the big benefactors, and I don't like the thought of trying to waste all their money, but I also see the average cost for something in a wedding and it just freaks me out! I begin comparing the cost to buying things like gas, furniture, rent, and the like. I am my dad's daughter -- usually, practicality wins.
This far along in the process, though, I've found that there are definitely ways to cut back on what you have to pay to throw a good party. I'm excited to share some of the ways I've been pleasantly surprised in what we have saved!
- The dress: I don't want to give too much away, to minimize the chances of Darin accidentally seeing what it looks like somehow. But I looked in two places that I didn't expect -- thrift shops and department stores -- and came away with a dress that I really, really love for only $65. I liked it even more than more expensive ones I was eyeing at regular bridal salons. (I'm looking at YOU, David's!) It needs slight altering, but even with that cost eventually added in, it's a steal for a pretty dress that gets only one day to shine. I also got a veil on sale at Hobby Lobby for $6 and shoes for $25. During the reception, I'm changing into TOMs that Darin bought me for my birthday last year. I think it'll all look great!
- The venue: This was a pure blessing for us. My parents asked the church that I belong to in Orlando about renting the building for the wedding. They are in the process of building a new church location in Baldwin Park, and don't have a sanctuary completed yet, but the core building is done and has a big lobby with windows and other space for a reception. I am lucky to belong to a church that doesn't have some ancient cathedral and a more intimate community, or else it would be way less likely that we would be able to use the facility for $0. Period. Insane. I am so very grateful for this blessing that we have!
- The stationery: Of all the DIY opportunities a wedding provides, the save-the-dates and invitations were the part I was most excited about. I love design, and the idea of being completely in control of what everything looks like. No one can mess it up but me, and I am paying nothing for my own services! Haha. I ran my idea past a few trustworthy friends who have some graphic design experience, and went ahead and printed them out. I used JoAnn cardstock that was $4.99 for 50 sheets, which printed 2 cards each, and printed them on my little HP in my apartment with ink I already had. Using super cute Dollar Tree envelopes that were $1 for 50 and a stamp I got on sale to decorate, I paid about $15 for all the supplies, minus postage. I need to repent of some pride issues about this, as you can see... I am a little too pleased with myself.
Instagram quality, but you get the picture!
Not much else is set in stone yet, although I have all kinds of crazy decoration ideas on Pinterest that may make an appearance. :) I'm excited to keep adding to this list though!
I just want to encourage people out there that there is hope not to go into debt for a wedding. It should be more about the lifetime that comes after that one day, while still having a good time getting married nonetheless!