According the count down at the top of our Target registry, there are 144 days til my November 8th wedding. Between now and then, I need to formally book the reception, finalize the guest list, hire a DJ, Hire a photographer, hire musicians, have premarital counselling, order flowers, order invitations, and do about 400 other things. My wedding budget is $10,000 absolute MAX and I am trying to spend less to save my parents the dough. That being said, I am planning on having 150 of our nearest and dearest friends and family to celebrate with us (Though keeping the number to 150 is proving difficult) and nothing affiliated with weddings is ever cheap so while $10,000 seems like an astronomically high number at first glance, it becomes a not-very-easy-to-attain goal very quickly.
There are books and websites and planners that tell you how much you should spend on what to get the most out of your budget. None of them seem to agree exactly, however. I’ve been tracking mine via theknot.com budget tracker and let me tell you, get the numbers back on certain items is a cause for concern and mental struggle, sometimes with no blatantly obvious solution.
Case in point: the dress. Per the knot, I was supposed to spend $650-$850 on it. Problem #1: There is no David’s Bridal, home of the $99 dress any where near here. Problem #2 I have good (read: quality) taste. Problem #3: Wedding gown alterations are expensive.
I decided yesterday that Mom and I would go shopping this afternoon. This came for a number of reasons: some dresses take a lot of time to come in so the sooner we order the better, and mom starts chemo on Tuesday. By the time she is feeling well enough to want to dress shop, we will be in Florida. So I decided tonight was the night and off we went to a bridal shop in Pocomoke called Scher’s, which carried a number of the designers I really like (Alfred Angelo, Casablanca, and Maggie Sottero). They also do all their alterations for free which is a HUGE savings as a hem on a wedding gown can run upwards of $200, much less having anything else adjusted.
First mistake: I never told them my budget, which in my head was right around $1000. And they put me in the most gorgeous dress ever. I’d post pictures and describe it in intimate details but it’s a surprise for the wedding day. I knew when I saw it on the hanger we were destined for more than a passing fling. It’s stunning, I look stunning in it. Done.
…except the bill ran up to $1450.00!!!!
Because we are less than 6 months out from the wedding, we have to pay a rush fee. Plus there is $80 some odd dollars in sales tax and the retail price of the dress is $1215.
Despite being over budget by $500 (or double the budget per the website), I couldn’t not get it. It would’ve been like walking away from Travis because he lives an hour and fifteen minutes away when I really wanted someone within 45 minutes–It’s a sacrifice but it’s worth it. Fortunately, I don’t have to anticipate another $200+ on top of that to do alterations but still. The extra $450 has to come out some where.
Right off the top, I took out the $2.00 a person champagne toast. We’ll give a five minute warning, inviting guests to make sure they have a beverage. Next, my flower bill gets slashed by a couple hundred by choosing to opt for less expensive alstroemerias in lieu of the roses I really wanted. I will skip the purple chair ties I had really wanted to rent to accent the chairs. I will contribute some money toward my gown. I will make my own veil. I’m considering doing paper flowers for the centerpieces (which has the bonus of being able to be resold after the wedding).
As I find myself mentally saying “but I wanted…” as I slash things from the budget, I remind myself what is really important about this wedding. I’ll give you a hint: it isn’t the flowers or the food or the table linens. It’s the fact that Travis and I will be married, proclaiming our love before God and our friends and family.
My dress is gorgeous and I’m glad I got it. It’s important to me. Having an excellent photographer to capture the day is important to me. I am INCREDIBLY blessed that the amazing woman who did my senior portraits will be doing our wedding and was able to work with our budget. Just you wait until I post our engagement photos because they are GORGEOUS!!!
I really can’t emphasize enough how awesome she is. Seriously.
…And I actually began this post last week so if anything is out of date… sorry?
Til next time…