Carolina Man and I are now in the very preliminary stages of wedding planning, i.e. we're going to look at a venue, we're putting together a draft guest list, and we're generally thinking of what time of year we're going to plan for. Oh yeah, and we're piecing together a wedding budget. If you want to make yourself insane in a matter of minutes, start looking at how much weddings cost on average. You'll probably shit yourself and/or start crying.
Even as a newbie, I can say that there's a whole lot to putting together a wedding budget, and there's a helluva lot of unknowns when you haven't begun looking into all of the vendors you'll need. But, we do know approximately how much our venue will be per person, how much the ceremony will be, and for the rest of it, I just googled average costs of wedding shit and put the numbers into a spreadsheet. The amount I saw before my eyes was somewhat shocking. A preliminary estimation of our wedding was about $25K. *gulp*
And then I wasn't so shocked. Weddings are expensive, yo. We knew that going into this. It's about what we'd said we wanted to spend from the beginning, and it's an amount that we can afford to pay out of pocket, if we are able to save as we anticipate (and as he and I both have been saving since we first began our relationship). Yes, it's an awful lot to spend on "one day," but let's be clear here. Celebrations of life and love are important. And I feel as long as we aren't going into debt, nor are we using all of our savings, then we can feel guilt-free in our spending on a day where we'll gather with loved ones to celebrate the new stage of our relationship.
But you got to prioritize. Here are some of the things we care about:
- Beautiful, convenient location
- Meaningful, personal ceremony
- Looking good
- Delicious food
- Ease of use (i.e. having an all-inclusive package)
- Awesome pictures
- Unique honeymoon
- Having everyone we've ever known there (we're thinking 50-60 people)
- Favors (probably won't have them)
- Having a huge bridal party (probably will have a Best Man and a Best Woman because I hate the phrase"Maid of Honor")
- Having a theme
- Putting on a show for our guests
Yesterday I was still feeling nervous that our designated monthly savings wouldn't be enough to cover things. So, Carolina Man suggested we both commit to saving an extra $200 over what we said we would save each month. In a year, that gives us an extra $5K. And I don't think either of us will miss this as we both got raises this year.
I'm thankful for his calm attitude about all of this, and how on the same page we are about planning this event. And I feel good knowing that we're going to be able to afford the kind of wedding we both want.