The Benjamins

Be Very Afraid With Halloween right around the corner, I thought I would dedicate this blog to my most terrifying wedding subject: the budget. With many close friends getting married before me it was not uncommon to hear that their families provided the wedding budget. However, with my stepdad recovering from unemployment my family isn't in a position to throw thousands of dollars into a wedding. (To be honest, my parents probably never even planned on my being married so this whole ordeal must just be a whirlwind for them!)  Kristian and I acknowledged that our families probably wouldn't be able to cover the bulk of the expenses so we volunteered to pay for the wedding. It is a task we knew would be difficult, but as soon as planning started, it began to feel closer to impossible. The list of things we needed-- catering, photography, invitations, venue-- it all felt endless. Not only endless but exorbitant! Ten thousand dollars for food, two thousand dollars for pictures, well I could stop right there, I know my budget does! After the initial shock though I pulled myself together and found my inner coupon clipper. I found that there are so many ways to save on wedding costs it almost feels like cheating.

Conquer the Fear

After our engagement so many people volunteered their time, money, and resources to help us with wedding tasks. At first I smiled and nodded and politely listened to their ideas. Then I would explain how I didn't really know what I wanted and how I'm more of a hands on type anyway. This lasted for a couple of months. Then the whirlwind known as life begin to swirl and I felt all of my lists begging to be looked at and my ideas acted upon. That's when I learned how to say yes. Yes Aunt Ray, I would love for you to be the photographer. Yes Lisa, please be the brains behind my invitations. Yes Jamie, I do need you to e-mail the bridesmaids. Yes, yes, yes! At first "yes" felt a little unnatural. Then I reminded myself of all those dollar signs and the unnatural soon became familiar. It's amazing how much money can be saved just by taking people up on their offers. It is equally as amazing how genuinely excited those people are to help. So, rule number one of adhering to the budget, say yes to the people who want to help you! After conquering my fear of losing control, and letting other people into the wedding planning process, it became a little easier to think of other out-of-the-box ways to save money. I canceled my caterer and decided to ask my family to cater instead. Rather then spending four thousand dollars on food my budget allows, I can choose food I actually like, and can pronounce! Why didn't I think of this in the first place? I suppose one fear conquering act leads to another, which leads to a little more money in my bank account.

Although the budget can be a little terrifying at first, getting a handle on it is a must. Whether your budget is one thousand dollars or one hundred thousand dollars, there is a limit, and rules always apply. Breaking the bank isn't necessary and as we acknowledge our budget we can expand our savings. I have yet to reach the end of my budget cutting tips so stay tuned! Who knows what corners I will learn how to cut during our time away.