Wedding Bell Woes

So many things can happen when planning a wedding. In my case, most of those things are costly and exhausting. Often times as brides, we begin the wedding planning process prematurely which hardly gives us any time to think about what we actually want to do. We look through these lavish bridal books pointing out the things we want without taking the cost into consideration. This post is a cautionary tale to all my newly engaged ladies out there. I'm going to share a few of my tips in hopes that you take the easier route. 

Let the Engagement sink in!

When we got engaged we came up with wedding date within 2-3 days. DO NOT do that! Enjoy being engaged for at least 2-3 months before every considering a date. You've already got the guy, he's not going anywhere or else he wouldn't have proposed in the first place. Benefits of waiting to pick a date is having an additional few months to save some money and think of a realistic budget. Also, take this time to create a bunch of Pinterest boards. Play with your color pallets and give yourself permission to change your mind before you invite other people into your thoughts.

Create a REALISTIC Budget!

Originally I gave our wedding a $20,000 budget. The reason I did that was because I looked online and saw that that was the average price that weddings were going for. That was so silly of me. I literally went with the crowd. I didn't look within our finances to assess an actual budget that made since for us. After finding ways to cut cost, our new budget is $10,000 and much more realistic for two millennials newly enrolled in grad school and saving up for a this little BIG thing we like to call "Adulting". Creating a realistic budget is certainly do-able. We're still able to have our wedding reception at the same venue but we just got more realistic with the add ons. Just get creative. Think outside the box.

Think with your Head not your Heart!

I got so carried away with my "dream wedding". I literally planned the entire thing and brainwashed myself that that was exactly how it needed to go. Relax!! The wedding is not the end all be all. I'm just now starting to wrap my head around that and remove my heart from it. After all, your heart belongs with your fianc-bae anyway.

Do NOT make any deposits until you are 100% SURE!! READ your CONTRACTS!!

Exhaust all of your options with every single vendor. Look for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd options. Get as many quotes as you can. Also read every single word on your contracts. We ended stuck with a lousy photo & video package because the price appeared to be right. After reading through the contract and finding all the stipulations, we ended up feeling manipulated into a contract that we know for a fact we would not have signed had we actually read it. PLEASE read the contracts.

Cheapest is not always best!

We picked that photo & video package because it was cheap. Because the cost is low financially, that doesn't mean its low on stress. Sometimes we forget that stress comes with a fee also. Those fees include head aches, constant thinking, and the feeling of being over whelmed. Paying an additional $200 to a vendor thats 10 times more reliable says you more mentally and trust me, its worth it.

Everyone does not need a seat at your Wedding.

Think about all the people you literally can not get married without. Invite those people only!! I made the mistake of telling everyone I was getting married and promising all of them an invite. If you haven't spoken to them in the past year, they can see the highlights of the wedding on Facebook like they do with the rest of your life. That seems harsh but its reality.

Consider the Courthouse or Eloping!

Weddings are what you want them to be. Just about every week, Joe and I constantly say that we should have drove to Vegas and got married. Just because other people around you are spending huge stacks of cash on their wedding, doesn't mean that you have to too. Marriage is the start of your life long union and who wants to start their life together swarmed in debt? You can always consider a courthouse ceremony and a nice reception or a courthouse wedding and a private dinner at your favorite restaurant. There are also great options for eloping now a days. There are a few great cities right outside of your town or even super affordable Groupons to some really nice Islands. 

Expect the Unexpected and Plan for that!

Be prepared for anything. We're having ceremony in the park and everyone I just know with all of my heart that it won't rain, God might have other plans. We've contacted a tenting company just in case. I encourage you to think about all the things that can possibly go wrong that are in your control and create a few alternatives. Keep in mind, I said that are in YOUR CONTROL. Some things are just out of your control and thats something you have to remember.

Take all the help you can get!

Last but certainly not least. Take all the help you can get. Originally we were planning this thing all alone. We didn't ask for nor did we want any help. That was a big mistake. Your family is there to help and there's nothing wrong with that. If they offer a helping hand, why not take it? Put your pride aside and make it a family affair. That gives you more vendor options and possibly a larger budget. 

Hopefully these tips are helpful for you during your planning process. I sure wish I didn't have to learn them the hard way. Happy Planning!! Be blessed and stay stress free!!

Jennifer Lewis