A blog about spending wisely in your twenties, with advice on everything from cooking to saving money on gas; how to teach yourself to save money instead of spending it, traveling without breaking the bank, and much more.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Vegas Will Probably Begin To Look Good Soon

Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I got engaged on Friday and I'm in the "OHMIGOD I'm going get married!!!" phase. Luckily, I knew it was coming (though he still managed to surprise me with the proposal). I set aside a little money and a ton of bookmooch points for when I finally had a ring on my finger. I've got about 11 books and 2 planners now - all for less than $20. The initial "ohmigod I need books!" phase could have easily run me more than $100 had I just waltzed into Borders and bought out the Wedding section.

Now, of course, it's time to start figuring out how on earth we're going to have a big wedding in Southern California without going into debt. Folks have suggested to me that I could have "something, small. Wouldn't that be cute and inexpensive?" To that all I can say is "Have you met me?" - I'm not really the small wedding type. So over the next year I'm going to have to figure out how to balance the scale of the wedding with the size of our budget. Yikes.

We've already determined that our biggest priority is Not Cutting the Guest List. And I know for a fact that I won't be spending $1000+ on my gown alone (it frightens me that people do this!), though how I'm going to go about keeping those expenses low I'm not sure yet. We're lucky that we've got six (2 from him, 4 from me) supportive parents who will be helping us offset some of the costs, and I've got my obsessively organized younger sister as the Maid of Honor - no need for an overly particular wedding consultant with her around! Still, most of the expenses will be covered by Fiance & I. Yikes.


Devin said...

If you need any help, just let me know. I was there too! Congrats!!


Hay congrats! But you don't need 8 people to pay for a wedding. Plan things out, find a nice (but inexpensive) place to have the ceremony, then another nice (also inexpensive) place to have the reception. My fiancee and I are doing exactly that, inviting close family to the ceremony, then everyone else to the reception.

We think that too many people go hog wild and invite tons of family and friends, putting the whole thing on their 28% interest rate credit card or taking out of their 401k to finance what amounts to a party for everyone else.

She's bought a single book on the subject and concluded that it's mostly common sense stuff. Literally the only thing she took away from the book was a timeline for sending out notices and invitations.

Our plan: ceremony guests get a nice dinner (food will KILL you; people were quoting us $50/plate), reception guests get desserts and the like. Luckily we live by a gorgeous mountain range with lots of scenery, so we get to have an Arizona sunset ceremony. :)

Margaret said...

Well no one in my family (or his) is exactly rich, and certainly no one will be charging anything that won't be paid off in their next billing cycle.

It's very important to both of us that we include everyone we'd like included, without having to cut. If that means we have to compromise a bit on venue, or have an afternoon tea instead of dinner, that's what we'll do.

The party aspect of it is a big deal to us, nearly all of my family lives on the east coast (my mother and her husband are even further away, in England), and this will be the first time I've seen my grandparents, aunts, and some uncles in YEARS, and also quite possibly the last time I'll see them for a while after. Because my family lives so far away, my friends here ARE my family in a way- so we want them at the ceremony and reception.

The biggest obstacle we face is that nearly EVERYTHING in Southern California (we live in Orange County/Greater LA) is insanely expensive. Even state/city parks are liekly to run us $2500-$5000 for only 150 people.

It's going to be a crazy balancing act, pulling off throwing the big party we want to throw without going into debt. But not going into debt is just as important as including everyone.

It's a fine line, to be sure.


Howie said...

Know exactly what you mean -- my family's on the east coast, her family's in the frozen tundras of the North, but we're in sunny Arizona. :) We're not rich by any stretch of the imagination but we live within our means and put 10% of our away every month. We're not frugal. She says we're "comfortable".

Ouch wrt the $5k park fees -- we're planning on the whole shebang coming in at $5-7k. Here the parks are $50, maybe you should change your venue to Arizona :)

We had planned on having the ceremony at an arboretum but their rules are starting to be reminiscent of Germany in the early 1940s :( A California beach wedding would be kickass though.

klm said...

Actually, given how much cheaper the state park is in Arizona, you could help pay the expenses of some family members with the difference between there and the SoCal sites!

Howie: unless you know somebody with oceanfront property, no beach wedding. Beaches are state, regional or county parks, so you are back to that $5000 cost! Not to say you couldn't have a stealth wedding: everyone just show up. Parking could be difficult!

story girl said...

Congratulations and best wishes! I actually just wrote a post on frugal weddings, but if you want to go for super inexpensive, the best place to start is figuring out where and what you want to eat, since that's the biggest budget chunk.

Dresses are cheaper at warehouse stores (like David's Bridal), and even those have sales, so watch for commercials. Sign up for lots of wedding freebies - there's a free subscription to Bridal Guide out there somewhere. Opt for a DJ instead of a band or, if you're cutting deeper, rent equipment and get a friend to do it. Friends of mine even hired their high school students to "cater" their reception in the basement of their church, which was so nice and special, and extremely inexpensive.

I'm sure I have more tips, and I will try to keep piping in over the next few months as you plan!