I will admit that I had been planning our wedding (in my head) LONG before a proposal was in the works. A girl can dream, right? When it came down to thinking about where we would have the wedding there was no clear location. I am from South Carolina and SD is from Florida, but his family now lives in Georgia, and we now live in Mississippi. There was no central location for us. I never had the dream of getting married in my hometown or in a church. I knew I wanted something a bit different. So, on a vacation to Florida with his family, the subject of weddings came up, and I casually mentioned that I loved his Aunt and Uncle’s home. I thought it would be a perfect place for a small wedding. Little did I know, his Aunt would say yes right then and as soon as the ring was on the finger, the real planning began. We will be having a small family wedding in Alabama. A location central to no one in our family, so everyone will be traveling. However, I think this will be such a special place to say, “I DO” because every time we visit them, we can think back on our special day with our family and friends and just enjoy all of those memories. The home features a beautiful lake, and we will be having the ceremony on the dock! I cannot wait to share pictures of the day so you can see just how beautiful it is there!
When it comes down to picking your venue my advice would be to make sure it fits your personality and your budget. Also, make sure you feel special about the place and that you will not regret having your ceremony there one day. How did you go about picking your wedding venue?
You all remember my invitation fiasco with my dad? Well, now I’ve got another piece of paper decision to make.
Originally I said that I wanted to do ceremony programs and have these pretty fans with our pictures on it since our ceremony would be outside in September. Well, in true “I’m not even engaged yet” fashion I didn’t realize how much these sort of things cost. The deal I had with my parents was that they would pay for the big things (a.k.a. catering, dress, invitations, etc) and if we wanted any details we had to pay for that stuff ourselves. Which, in all honesty is nothing compared to what they are shelling out for our wedding. I tried to spread my purchases out so I wasn’t trying to buy everything at once, which I have done pretty well with but this one last purchase is one I’m still debating.
With under 40 days to go, I just can’t decide if it’s worth wasting the paper on a program. Our ceremony will be less than 30 minutes long and is not in the church. I’ve been to three weddings already this summer and none of them had programs. Yes, I’ve saved money by finding people on Etsy to design me printable items that I can do myself. The only part I was really looking forward to was having my bridal party and our parents formally mentioned on the program. I haven’t mentioned this to my parents because I really don’t want to start a war over something trivial, so I’m hoping everyone will be so busy the day-of that no one will notice.
So, do you think programs are worth the extra money and paper?
Have any of you ever thought about purchasing wedding insurance? I was just enlightened to this concept recently, and I must say that I’m a little stunned by it.
When we signed our ceremony venue contract, one of the pieces we had to agree to was that if there was any act of nature or God that made it impossible to have the wedding, we wouldn’t be having a wedding (in more or less words). However, we would not be responsible for any of the costs.
Our photographer even had us sign the same sort of contract. It all makes sense to me. There are some things that you cannot avoid, insure, or plan on. Take the Zombie Apocalypse, for example. If this so happens to occur on the day before your wedding, there’s a good chance that the money sunk into this event is gone forever. And good riddance – if I’m being chased by zombies, the last thing on my mind will be my ruined wedding. This goes to say for all natural disasters and acts of God that leave the situation just impossible.
Let me start out this post by saying this should not even be a question!
We finally booked our “real” honeymoon last week for January 2013 and I couldn’t be more pleased. Originally I looked up different places, got some ideas of prices for flights and all-inclusive resorts to see what we could afford. We had places we were dying to go to, but the price just wasn’t right (aka Bora Bora, Brazil, Maldives). Even though our parents are paying for the wedding, we still couldn’t justify spending 10K+ of our own money for one week’s vacation! I even know someone that financed their honeymoon to an expensive resort! Can you believe that?!
A friend of mine told me her mom was a travel agent and even though I trust her, I was still a little leery on the concept. My family doesn’t really travel much and when we did, we planned our own trips. So, I gave it a shot and gave her mom our information, what we were looking for and what kind of budget we had. We had a resort in mind, so I made it easier for her.
All the money we don't have right now...
Being a smart with money is essential to the wedding planning process. Trust me, if funds were unlimited, I would order everything I’ve pinned on Pinterest and more. And unfortunately, because funds are limited, the ring I painstakingly picked out had to be put on layaway. I swear that I am not one of “those girls” that picked out my own ring and told my fiance, “By the way, a ring is on hold, so be ready to propose at some point.” We did talk about marriage before we went ring shopping, and it is something we both really want. We had a vague budget in mind, and I had an idea of what I wanted, but to say we were prepared is probably inaccurate. So allow me to share with you how we muddled our way through making this rather astronomical purchase.
So I probably should have my girl card revoked for not knowing this one, but ladies, the diamond and the setting come separately. Every jewelry store we went to, we would pick out a few settings I liked, and the jeweler would say, “This is beautiful, it is white gold, with tiny diamonds here, and here. This costs around $3,000.” Ok, we think, $3,000 is something we can finance and pay off in a reasonable amount of time. Then she speaks again, “And over here we have the diamonds for the setting, this one is lovely and will run you about $3,000.” WHAT?! So the total cost is $6,000? You sneaky people you! The lesson learned here is, when you budget for a ring, keep in mind the cost diamond is usually separate from the cost of the setting, so have you budget and stick to it! Needless to say, we did not go with the $6,000 option. I want pretty things…but think of all we could do with that money!
I’m sure EVERY bud on here has come across this problem…. The dreaded +1 debate.
MG Bear and I had quite a hard time dwindling down the guest list to 130 people. We started out at 180 and managed to get down to about 135. If it were up to my parents and they had unlimited amounts of money, we would probably be inviting 200+ people. Unfortunately in the real world, it doesn’t really work that way.
One way we were able to cut down the list was to eliminate +1’s. People who didn’t have serious girlfriends/boyfriends or fiance’s at the time are unable to bring a date. They weren’t informed of this unless they asked. It’s a difficult situation especially when now, four months later, they are serious with someone. So, how to approach it? MG Bear doesn’t even know etiquette when it comes to this because when we first started dating he tried to tell me he was going to a wedding and would probably be able to bring me. I automatically said “Did your invitation say ‘MG Bear and Guest’?” and he tried to argue with me and say it didn’t matter. Men, I swear!
I guess we can call this “the calm before the storm” or just hope that no one gets upset about our decision. We are hoping we don’t have to make phone calls when someone RSVP’s that they are bringing a date when their invite is addressed to “Mr. So-and-So.” The planning for me has been too easy, so I’m waiting for something to stress me out
Has anyone had to deal with the +1 debate? If so, how did your guests react?
I spent $12 on a wood address stamp and it has turned out to be the best money I’ve spent on the wedding to date! We have used it for multiple things including the return address for the save the date cards, return address for our invitations and the address that the RSVP envelopes will go to. The process was SUPER easy (and obviously cheap). I first figured out what size I needed based on the size of the envelopes. I decided on a 2×2 inch square. I then simply used photoshop to design it. The website I used was thestampmaker.com. It’s so easy! Just upload the artwork, preview it, pay and viola! It was at my doorstep within 4 days. They are even on sale right now I believe! Check out ours (with our blurred out address…sorry, no creepers wanted).
The finished product!
Ok, I’ll just put it out there….I LOVE MY INVITATIONS!!!!!! And obviously, am so excited about them! A friend of mine did a stellar job designing them. She is insanely talented. Now, I have friends/family who read these so I don’t want to put everything out there but here is a little sample of the great work that she has done. My vision was that I wanted it to look like it was hand-painted on there. I want lots of flowers and color—and she did exactly that! Here is a sneak peak:
A sneak peak of our invitations! Aren't they pretty?!
One things that we saved a big chunk of money on was flowers. I made all of our wedding flowers in advance with silk flowers to not only save money but also reduce stress (and they don’t wilt!). We were pleased with how all of the flowers came out.
Yep, that’s right! I am GIVING AWAY my original unworn and unaltered wedding dress to one lucky bride! As in, it is FREE to you! Now that I am a newlywed, it is time to clear out some of my wedding stuff. My loss is your gain!
Sizing – I do not know the exact size of the dress. I do know that it fit me like a glove and I am a street size 2 so my best guess for measurements is the following:
Contest Prize – Up for grabs is this beautiful wedding gown by Davinci that was purchased for $250 at Filene’s Basement Running of the Brides! It is unworn, unaltered, and in perfect condition. This dress has since been discontinued but retail price was around $700.
Deadline - Friday, November 4, 2011 at midnight! I will ship it free of charge to any location in the U.S. on Saturday, November 5th!
How to Win:
Leave your comments below on why you want to win the dress giveaway!
For extra brownie points, Tweet “@WiredBride, I want to win your dress giveaway on @BridalBuds!”
****Best answer (chosen by me) wins! Good luck!