My husband Dan and I have always been the type to live within our means. If we can't afford it, we simply don't buy it. We don't rely on credit cards to get by, and we have made a lot of sacrifices in the name of staying debt-free. Overall, this strategy has worked out fairly well for us. We own our vehicles and our home in full, and how many people in their early to mid-30's can say the same?
Dan and I have been married for almost 5 years now. We're incredibly happy together, but there is one rather large regret I have held into throughout our marriage. Our wedding itself, or lack thereof. When we got married, we didn't have the money for a lavish ceremony or huge reception. As a matter of fact, we got married at the minister's home with only 3 other people in attendance. While it was a definite step above a courthouse marriage, it still wasn't the wedding I had always dreamed of.
I am a woman, so of course I wanted the white dress, the flowers, the decorations and to be surrounded by family and friends. But weddings can be insanely expensive, and at the time, we simply couldn't afford it. So we settled for a smaller, more intimate ceremony. Yes, it was nice. But not the wedding of my dreams at all.
So now, 2 more kids and a home later, we are starting to save for a vow renewal ceremony. We regret not having a better wedding, and now that we live in Ohio, we have a lot more family around. We plan to do something on the more casual side, but this time I will get to wear the dress, carry the bouquet, and have loved ones surrounding us. For a reception, we're planning on a party, BBQ style. Nothing super-fancy, but it will be nice to have the wedding I have always wanted and get to reaffirm my vows to my husband. He's a great one, after all!
This will be an event we will have to budget and save for over a long period of time. We need to ensure we save and do things wisely, continuing to live within our means. Thankfully, I have found a lot of great budgeting tips and tricks at Genworth Financial. They have resources not only for saving for major life changes and events, but for choosing the right life insurance, too. This is something that, as married people and parents, we need to get on as soon as possible! (I just hate facing my own mortality, so I have been avoiding the discussion.)
I found this great article, Five Budget-Friendly Wedding Tips, that has a few great ideas on how to save for a wedding without breaking the bank. I will be referencing this article a lot as we start planning our own ceremony.
Here are just a couple of ideas I got from the article:
Think Outside the (Dress) Box: A wedding dress sold in a bridal shop will likely cost a lot more than a beautiful gown you might find at a department store, so keep an open mind when you go shopping. Consider checking out different types of stores (like a prom dress shop) to find the perfect gown for you. And on this occasion, a hand me down carries with it sentimental value that you can't put a price tag on. Find out if the mother of the bride or groom has a gown that she would be willing to lend you for the occasion. That will not only cut your costs but also add some meaning to the moment. Finally, in lieu of renting or buying a tuxedo, consider opting for a great new suit for the groom that he can wear again.
Be Creative: Simple party invitations with a postcard for responses will probably run much less than an elaborate wedding invitation with multiple layers and inserts. To add a personal touch, consider designing and printing your own invitations.
Have Fun With Your Choices: Catering is usually a big ticket item, so this is a great place to search for cutbacks. Consider choices that will make your party unique and enjoyable for you and your guests. A buffet meal, for example, not only promotes opportunities for socializing, but it will also cost less than a sit-down dinner because the caterer does not have to hire wait staff. Don’t feel compelled to have a wedding cake, either, since they can be costly. Some couples opt for a tower of cupcakes or other fun and affordable alternatives.
Did you pay for your own wedding ceremony? How did you budget for it? Do you have any money savings tips or tricks to share? I'd love to hear them!
***Disclosure: Information sourced from Genworth Financial. All opinions are my own.***
PR Friendly Mama!
I'm Brandy, a happily married, proud Mom of 3 amazing kids. If you're interested in building a working relationship, please feel free to e-mail me at: NewlyCrunchyMamaOf3@gmail.com
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