Thursday, August 12, 2010

Budget, Part 2-- My Heart Speaks Up In Defense of Our Wedding

 Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2011*

As luck would have it, I didn't have to wait long to speak with Mr. Marmalade after my outburst.  Funny how things work out that way.  Sure, I didn't want to waste the little time we had to speak by going over our wedding, but it couldn't be avoided.  So, he figuratively talked me off a ledge from thousands of miles away.  I hung up the phone and tried to process the conversation, which only got me started again; the room began spinning a little, my heart skipped a beat, my brow furrowed (worst habit ever, please please let me break that habit soon).  

So I talked to some married friends at work.  Then I talked to BM Cuz.  And when the workday was over, I went over to my aunt's house, and I talked/cried it out with her.

Everyone had the same general conclusion.  "You need to have the wedding you are planning.  You aren't going overboard.  It's okay to spend money on this.  You will tighten your belts again and again, but you will never regret spending money on your wedding."

 Chardonnay Grapes, Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2010*

So, we are not eloping.  And here's are my conclusions:

1.  When it comes to almost everything related to our wedding, I used the word "our."  But when it came to my doubts about spending, I used the word "me."  This "me-fest" had to go.  It's our wedding.  If we decided to spend money on OUR wedding, what right do I have to say no on my own?  We chose to have a wedding, so any change in plans had to be decided together.

2.  A big wedding is something he wanted from the start, more than I did.  He wanted to have a day for us to share with our friends and family.  He was looking forward to it.  He deserved it. So why couldn't that be enough for me?  I think, deep down, once I got past all the panic, the thought of a big wedding grew on me, and I wanted it too.

3.  Our wedding day is bigger than us.  We will celebrate our union.  What I didn't take the time to think about was how our families felt about it.  Contrary to my pessimistic part I, this mattered a lot.  Our families deserved this just as much as we did.

4.  We aren't going crazy and spending ourselves into debt.  Weddings are expensive.  There are few that have planned or have been part of a wedding in the past few years that would argue that.  We set the budget, and I've stuck to it.  I had to accept it for what it is and stop being such a cheapskate.  

Truth be told, I hate spending money.  It makes me nervous, but it was time to get over it and stick to our plan.

5.  The toughest realization (the one that still hurts), was that our dream wedding venue and our "dream" wedding, wasn't in the cards for us.  There were way too many factors that go into planning a wedding at a venue that is not "all inclusive."  My aversions to what I considered to be a "wedding factory" got the best of me, and I was wrong.  I needed to keep things simple and consolidate as many vendors as possible so that in the event that Mr. M's plans changed, I'd be able to take it in stride.  And to be honest, more than the money or anything--the thought of changing our date and losing our deposits (or worse losing our vendors) kept me up at night.  I'd spent way too long worrying about the worst case scenario.  

So with a very heavy heart, I had to let go of our seaside vineyard.  

Saltwater Farm Vineyard - August 2010*

There were still plenty of changes to come for us. But letting go of our original plan was the right thing to do. I don't know how I would have made it through our long engagement without that piece of mind.  

And with that, we were back to the drawing board!

Did you have to make a major change to your wedding plans?  What kind of change did you make, and do you feel it was the right choice in the end?

*All images in this post belong to me.  


  1. I remember having a lot of these thoughts, too, when I was planning our wedding. I thought - why spend so much on just one day? Do I really deserve this kind of thing? I kicked myself a lot through the process, but when the day came, and we had a great time with our families, it was worth every penny. Some things I would have liked to plan better and not left to the last minute, but overall I don't regret a thing. Sure, we could have done less and saved up for a house or whatnot, but in the end it's just money. We decided to spend it on celebrating our families and our future.

    If you're getting concerned about money, think about things in terms of your overall vision - what kind of day do you want to have? What things stand out in your mind? What kind of fades to the background? Maybe you can cut some corners here and there by enlisting the help of friends. I had my best friend (and maid of honor) make the invitations - she is a talented graphic designer and also had access to quality printing equipment at work. We had an invitation-assembling sweatshop and I taught myself calligraphy by addressing the envelopes myself. My mom made my dress and the bridesmaid dresses. I recruited my crafty buddies to help make wedding favors and place cards. You'd be surprised what your friends and family can do/help with when you ask.

    On that note, accept help graciously where it is offered. Your family wants to see you happy on this day, so why not let them help out? And every little bit helps. We planned our wedding on our own as well, but after my husband broke his collarbone six months before the wedding (and we had to push everything back so he'd be healed in time to get fitted for his kilt) our families both pitched in and helped to make sure we had the kind of day we had worked for.

    I know I'm just some random stranger on the internet, but I just wanted to let you know you're not alone in your feelings and that you do deserve to have a happy and beautiful day. :)

  2. @eviebits - Thanks so much. It helps me feel a little more sane to know that I am not the only person who has struggled with this part of the wedding plans. I'm definitely planning on doing a ton of DIY, I have confidence in my skills (finally get to use my art degree, woohoo!), and my friends and family. Wish me luck!