As y’all know, my husband and I had a very quick and small civil ceremony before he left for Korea. That same weekend, we put down our deposit for our church wedding at my childhood church and reception space. The lucky thing about a year tour in Korea is that the date that he leaves is pretty definite, plus he will get a month of leave, so we were able to have a good sense of time (pretty awesome by military standards!).
The ceremony in the church will be called a “convalidation of marriage” or better known as a marriage blessing. I’m VERY excited about it because it will give my husband and I a chance to actually celebrate our marriage with our parents, my grandparents and all our nearest and dearest family and friends. Because everything went by so fast and not all of my friends and family could attend our courthouse shindig, this would be the perfect opportunity to include everyone. In my head, I’m also seeing this as a huge “welcome back from Korea” party!
Anyway, I’m not one that usually breaks the bank. I keep a pretty tight budget – living in NYC has done that to me along with my student loans, which I think I’ll be paying off for the next 30 years, I digress. A wedding budget nowadays isn’t so pretty. Based on my research, people, on average, spend more than $25K for a wedding. Granted, that includes people spending boku bucks – still, even $20K is WAAAAY above our price range.
Before my husband and I put down our deposits, we gave ourselves the goal to just spend $10K for our wedding. I’m pretty confident that we can stick to that budget. The Knot is a fabulouso resource for all brides and one of my favorite pages is the “wedding budget” page. You type in your budget and it allocates the amount from your budget that should be spent on different aspects of the wedding from the reception/venue rentals to dresses and headpieces. Of course, it gives you the ability to tailor the list to what you want on your special day too.
In my opinion, one thing that gets a little out of hand is the decorations and flowers. Things can get pricey and out of control quick! Don’t let that discourage you because with a little DIY, careful budgeting and compromise you can go a long way!
1. Recycle!: Centerpieces can be pricey. They have tall elaborate ones with crystals dangling from them or just detailed glass vases that could also be a pretty penny. If you buy it, you’ll be stuck with a ton of unwanted stuff or you can rent, but even renting can add up! That’s why I opted to recycle and use beer bottles as centerpieces. My husband and I like to enjoy a bottle of beer ever now and then other people drink beer, right? I have my friends and family saving their empty beer bottles to recycle for my wedding – and voila – a rustic and original(ish) idea for a centerpiece!
2. Shop online: I started out window shopping at Michaels, Jo-Ann’s Fabrics and other craft supply stores to get a sense of price for lace ribbon. I knew I wanted the beer bottles wrapped with lace. At the retail stores, I noticed the price would be around $3 dollars per yard. So, I began searching online to see if I can get a better deal and found YourWeddingCompany.com. They have a bunch of other goodies that are at a fraction of the retail price. I found the lace ribbon that was similar to what I saw at the retail stores for $1.25 per yard. Score!
3. Etsy can be a great resource too!: I have the beer bottles and lace set, but I wanted to add a burlap table runner too. I found that I could buy reams of burlap. If I did that though, I would need to spend time and effort to measure and cut the burlap myself. I googled “burlap table runner” and as I was shifting through the pages I found that there are several shop owners on Etsy offered that! For just around 7 bucks each, I can have a ready-to-use table runner! In addition to saving a very difficult task for me, I’m helping out a small-time shop owner with their business!
4. Use a grocery store’s floral department: Flowers are beautiful – and expensive! After researching, I found that going to an outside florist got to be costly. Instead, I went to my local grocery store’s florist department. From the start, the cost was a fraction of the price and I was even to work with them more to get it at a more reasonable rate for us.