|What is this doing on a wedding blog??|
In actuality, this post is about wedding expectations. I've talked about the fact that M and I set wedding goals, and a budget, but what I haven't talked about is how both of those are spiraling out of control, without us even spending a single dollar. I've known about this for a while, and watched our budget spreadsheet creep up a thousand dollars at a time as I try ourt different venues. But yesterday, I realized how truly insane it has become. My mom and I were emailing about wedding sites, and when I mentioned we were having trouble finding a location, she wrote, "Dad and I will talk tonight about your budget (I think it is too low)." I think my eyes bulged out of my head reading that.
It's a point of pride for M and I that were are paying for over half our wedding. Our parents graciously offered to chip in a certain amount (which ended up being the same amount, and roughly 1/4 of our budget) and since we are DINKs* we felt like we could cover the rest ourselves without going into debt or breaking the bank. Maybe this means we can't have our dream location or unlimited resources, but we felt confident we could pull off a classy, fun wedding on what felt like a larger-than-average budget. My previously mentioned sister, after all, held a wedding for 50 people on a shoe-string budget of $5000 - I could certainly plan a wedding for 125 with over 4 times that amount.
*Dual Income No Kids
But the longer I look, the more it seems that our "elaborate" budget is too low in the Northern Virginia area. We've debated cutting our guest list, but we are social people and (believe it or not) we love all 140 people that we're planning to invite. We've expanded our location and looked further out from NoVA, into Richmond or Charlottesville, but it seems like wedding-inflation has hit those areas as well. We've cut flowers to the bare minimum, my dress limit is $500, I'm looking into catering at $20 a person.... There isn't much left to cut, except our vision of the wedding. We never imagined having a Princess Di (or Chelsea Clinton) style wedding. We're pretty simple people and we know our limits. Still, we know want a seated dinner for the reception, with a cocktail hour and nice touches like a quality photographer and a DJ to keep people dancing. But whenever I browse sites like A Practical Wedding or 2000 Dollar Wedding it seems like the only budget-friendly option is to rent a park pavilion, have a pig roast, and throw a big party without the wedding industry's helping hand.
|From 2000 Dollar Wedding: Fun? Yes. Us? No.|
No answers to these questions yet, ladies (and gents?) but feel free to share your stories in the comments - how did you tackle your budget and avoid cost creep? What have you planned to make your wedding unique? Did you buck tradition completely to save money, or pay extra to have touches that made the wedding feel special?