So, I just realized while I casually chat about my day to day personal finances, I haven’t said much about one of the biggest events of my life, my wedding!
I had this goal way before I started on the current goal of getting rid of my personal debt: to buck the current tradition of spending a $#!* ton of money on one day. If that’s people’s prerogative, more power to them, but I have way bigger goals in my immediate future, such as selling our current home and buying a new one and having children, both of which require some major $$$.
So, how am I accomplishing this?? The break down:
My Dress: The Most Important Purchase of the Wedding IMHO
I have to admit, I was kind of ready to toss down $1300 for a dress because it made my butt look awesome! My fiance says the first thing he noticed about my physique was my butt, and that’s the thing most people envy… I can be self-congratulatory about my assets from time to time, so indulge me.
Anyway, I digress.
There I was, really loving that dress, and decided to sleep on it. Later that night, I saw the shop was having a sample sale a week later and decided to check it out. I went, and many dresses were on sale from $99-$499. The one I loved wasn’t, but no matter. I grabbed five beautiful dresses that were already in my size (in other words, minimal alterations needed, another money saver) and tried them on. I quickly whittled down the choices from 5 dresses to 2, and re-tried on the 2 favorites. I chose the dress that made all of the other girls in the shop jealous. Originally: $1290. Sale Price: $499. 62% savings. Score!
Easy. Wearing Pearl earrings I already own, won a necklace that just happens to match them off of Facebook. Making my own veils (one traditional for the ceremony, the other a birdcage for the reception) which grand total are costing me less than $10. Why spend a few hundred on a simple accessory when you can make it uniquely you for a fraction of the price??? I bought the shoes full price, but they’re shoes I can wear anywhere, anytime, so I WILL be wearing them again, and regularly.
I put my foot down and refused to look at places that cost over a certain price point- fiance has some champagne tastes. And none of this ceremony one place, reception at another business- both portions are happening at the same property, which actually saves some money in and of itself. We found a place we love that was reasonably priced and put a deposit down. I scrutinized some math one night though and managed to get a couple hundred credited to the remainder. Double score!
Again, I’m perfectly capable of making certain things myself, including my bouquet. I can get 100 roses for $80 through a major retailer. I will enlist my sister-in-laws to help with boutonnieres and corsages for the big day too. Making all that myself will save me over $200+.
I put out an ad looking for a photog. I made my ad cool and original. He’s going to charge me half of what the cheapest photogs in my area charge, a quarter of the starting price of my favorite photographer in the area. I’ve had too many friends complain that they spent way too much money on the photographer to get crappy pictures, so I refuse to do the same.
This category is causing me the most trouble. I’ll get back to you. Some things I’m cutting to keep the cost down- cheap proteins (chicken instead of a steak for example) and none of this passed anything business, buffet all the way.
Vistaprint.com. I’ll be making my Save the Dates for free using their free postcard template and the invitations are actually really nice and inexpensive. Groupon or LivingSocial also runs a deal at the beginning of the year for $35 worth of Vistaprint products for $17 and if you spend over $75 it’s free shipping. I don’t need the invites until next year, so I can be patient and wait for the deal to (hopefully, fingers crossed!) come out again next year. I’ll be able to get my invites, RSVP cards and a couple of other goodies to make me look classy even if I’m being a total cheapskate for less than $80. I already bought thank you cards on sale at Target for $0.98 for a set of 25. 4 sets, after tax, $4.12.
Most people dole out a few hundred on the paper goods. I’m spending less than $80. Boom.
Another DIY task. Let’s just say I’ll be saving lots of Michael’s coupons. The centerpieces are super simple but gorgeous and since it won’t be a florist making them, I’ll save a few hundred dollars again in this category.
A professional one possibly for the cost of a few drinks and a dinner. This is not final though. If that falls through and I can’t find a lesser priced DJ, I may pull a card I have in my back pocket I’d rather not pull, but if it means saving a few hundred, I will…
I’m sure there are other details I haven’t thought of yet that will require careful financial planning. When all is said and done though, I’ll be coming in well below the $27,021 in average costs of a wedding and staying the happier for it!
And before anyone says it: Yes, we could just run off and get hitched at the courthouse and REALLY save. But that isn’t our style. We want a beautiful, traditional wedding day, and that’s that!