“This Is Stressful. “
-any one who has ever planned, been to, watched or heard about a wedding.
Don’t get me wrong, I am excited to get married- who WOULDN’T be excited?!
A day designated to love!
A day all about you and someone who you totally dig!!!
Dresses and Pictures and Showers and Family and Friends and LOOOOOOOOVE!!!!!!
But there are so many things I didn’t think about, the first time I got married- Things I AM thinking about this round… Things I would like to share with you, because maybe you have thought the same things.
1. Where is all this money coming from???
My parents love me. And while I wouldn’t say the spoil me, I’m probably spoiled. My first wedding, they paid for everything. My dress, our destination wedding, a reception back home, food, the works. And then I got divorced, and they helped me pay for THAT. Kind of a backhanded thank you, but they understand me and love me and support me, which is the best thing on earth I could ask for.
THIS wedding, this time around, I find myself thinking a lot about money, when I didn’t really before. “WHO is paying for all this crap?! US?! Oh, well then, let’s re-think this a bit…” seems to be my mantra lately. I don’t want a trashy, discount bin wedding, where we decide our colors will be pink and red, since V-day just got done and that crap is CHEAP (but that’s an idea…) but when you actually have to pay for something, I think you appreciate it a lot more. Things like “what are we going to splurge on” and “do we really care if our flowers are REAL” start coming into conversation alot more 🙂
We hired a legit photographer. She’s awesome and gave us a great discount because we did engagement pics with her. **Swish!**
We hired someone to make us a cake. Could we have done it ourselves? Sure! Would we have been elbow deep in DIY madness, trying to get the fondant rolled out perfectly, the day before the wedding, instead of with family and friends? Yep. Which is why we hired someone.
Are we getting a DJ? Heck-to-the-no. We are going to be in my parents backyard, with 40-ish people. And we own basically every song ever written. We can get that covered and make an awesome playlist. Bam.
2. Reality Check!! When you pay for it yourself, it’s better.
If you could rent a time machine and go back 6 months and tell younger Courtney I just typed that, she would have smacked you in the face with a folding chair and called you a liar.
There was not a square inch of me that thought we would be able to pay for our own wedding- not in the time we had, at least. We got engaged in June 2013, Ben moved to Georgia in August 2013, I moved a few months later and we are getting married this April. In exactly a month, actually. We own 2 houses in Indiana (STILL.), are renting an apartment in a good neighborhood of Atlanta ($$$$) and when I moved down, I didn’t have a job. Yeah- that’s the situation we were looking at. Every time someone MENTIONED our wedding or honeymoon, I had a panic attack inside and said “I just can’t even think about a wedding right now. We have to pay our bills first, we have to tag our cars, and then think about…. blah blah blah”. Needless to say, stress.
But God was so, so good to us. I got hired on part-time at Ben’s work and we slowly were able to get caught up with our bills. And then I got a full-time job in January on TOP of my part-time job! The pay is awesome and so far, the job is too! Now, January to April doesn’t seem like enough time to save up all the money for our wedding… but we did.
We got our taxes (or as I call it, Federal Wedding Money) and every pay period, I calculate every bill we need to pay, our living expenses, including one date night per week and then shove all the rest of my money into the Wedding Fund so fast that it would make a nut-hoarding squirrel’s head spin. That money is GONE. Untouchable. Reserved. Quarantined.
I am SO proud of us. I’m proud of MYSELF! The sense of pride, every time I think about our flowers, our cake, my $99 dress I found at Goodwill that seriously fits me like it was made for me, the pride is overwhelming. I feel like an adult! And the best thing is, when we get back from our Honeymoon, we will not owe a penny on this wedding. We can start planning REAL life stuff, instead of paying off a party for years.
Now- we would have NEVER been able to afford a wedding if I hadn’t done these 2 VITAL things:
3. Scale that crap back. Seriously.
4. Don’t Read Wedding Magazines. And Pinterest is legal crack.
I feel like these go hand-in-hand… And I think this deserves an entire website designated for it.
Don’t read Wedding Magazines. Just don’t. If you need a specific idea, just google it.
Example: I didn’t have a “perfect, ideal dress” in my mind for my wedding. I hadn’t tried any on and I didn’t know what sort of dress would look best on my ‘ole bod. My friend gave me a bridal magazine and BAM, I had 26 dresses bookmarked to try on. Umm… 26? Seriously?
Another Example: I wanted a cute idea for displaying drinks at my wedding. So I looked up drink displays on Pinterest. 2 weeks later, Ben found me, passed out over my computer, with 5,000 pins of drink stations, 482 cute cat pictures (unrelated) also pinned, DOG FURNITURE! Yes, I want that too!!!, 8 empty coffee cups littering the ground around me, a stress headache and shingles.
Ok- that last example was a little exaggerated, but I feel like this is a slippery slope and I want you to understand the severity of the situation!
The bottom line—- Pouring over Wedding Magazines and Pinning until your fingers fall off doesn’t really inspire you. It DISAPPOINTS you.
I’ll give you a moment to absorb.
You know, I’m no saint, but in my nearly 30 years on this planet, I have learned a few things that are terrible for me:
-McDonald’s fries are awesome, but since they still look awesome on my car floor 3 years later, maybe they aren’t awesome to eat. Maybe.
-Some friends make you feel like crap about yourself. Boyfriends included. Ditch them. They are not worth a second more of your time.
–Reading romance novels make you unhappy with your own romance.
That last one is vital- it can be transposed to lots of other things in your life. Reading “Twilight” or “Shades of Gray” (or bridal magazines) may not change your brain like it does to some, but for a LOT of people out there, they read these things and it sinks deep into a little secret tunnel of your heart and brain and SUDDENLY, you are disappointed in your life. Every girl wants a champion, someone to potentially fight to the death for her- we WANT that! Every girl wants a huge, elaborate-yet-classy-and-understated wedding, a gorgeous dress, and 18 supermodel best friends who can stand next to you, laughing, making you look awesome and making your pictures look like a magazine cover. Duh!
But that’s not life. It’s not real.
If I chose my wedding party based on model stats- I know I wouldn’t make the cut, for sure! No part of my wedding would make the cut for a magazine, actually. And that’s ok. But the more I started reading the magazines, the less ok I got about it. I WANT fancy stuff! I deserve fancy stuff, right?! I want diamonds in the bases of my red rose centerpieces!!! BECAUSE I SAW A PICTURE AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL, THAT’S WHY!!! <– I have thought this and many other sad, sad thoughts.
So, my moral of the story? We scaled back. We changed our venue. We added a Kansas reception, so we could have a smaller number of people in Georgia. And the most IMPORTANT thing, I released my ideal image of what my wedding should look like. I said goodbye to matchy-matchy bridesmaid dresses and identical shoes. I decided that I didn’t need half the things I thought I needed. I gave myself time to become “ok” with the changes and then I decided I LOVED the changes! They are more me anyway! Why would I WANT a $4,000 dress? I’ve never spent more than $100 on a piece of clothing in my LIFE, why start now?! When people come to our wedding, or see pictures, I hope they see us, instead of pinterest, or “Brides” magazine, or whatever “it” list is “it” right now.
Our wedding will be awesome. Just like us. 🙂
Thoughts? Have you ever gotten bogged down in the pinter-world or had magazine lust to the extreme? I’d love to hear from you!
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