It’s Friday and there are only four hours until happy hour!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot wait!
I planned a surprise for Erik for Valentine’s Day and it’s happening tomorrow and I didn’t even ruin the surprise! Which is amazing. Because I’m awesome at planning surprises and terrible at not telling people the instant I plan them. I still have 24 hours I need to keep my mouth shut… pray for me.
Usually in my frugal Friday posts I post a deal, and although I’m gonna link you to this week’s Michael’s coupons including a 50% off one item coupon, I’m going to focus today’s post on some ways I stayed frugal while planning my wedding and whether or not I think it was worth it. (Here are those coupons by the way. Feel free to change the zip code to match a store near you.)
As you know if you have planned or are planning a wedding, those things are EXPENSIVE! Now some people have tight budgets because of their means, other people have tight budgets by choice. I fell into the “by choice” category for a few reasons. The most important reason for me is that I want a bigger house in a better school district before we start popping out bambinos. I’d rather leave more money in the bank to go towards said house than break the bank on a wedding and stay in our current house forever.
There were areas where I spent more, and then there are areas where I spent less. But I promise you this: no matter the vendor, you get what you pay for. The areas where I scrimped, I could tell on my wedding day and I can tell looking back. Some of them I wish I had done differently, but I know that I did it with our future house in mind, and I’ve accepted the choices I made. When you make your decisions, make sure that you will be OK with them looking back.
For instance, I was determined to pay as little as possible for music. For us that meant a DJ and I scoured the internet for someone who I thought would do a good job for a low price. Our DJ did mostly a good job, except for the part where he queued up the wrong song for our first dance and then couldn’t find our song so we had a few awkward seconds of “oh shit what do we do” until he located it. I’m sure accidents like that happen to everyone and we could have paid thousands for some crazy DJ whose name everyone would recognize and it still might have happened. But I couldn’t help thinking it was because I was getting what I paid for. After going to weddings after that featured live bands, I wish we had gotten some really cool 90’s cover band who could have serenaded us with Third Eye Blind and Dave Matthews all night.
When we were looking at venues, we wanted something all-inclusive because I didn’t have a wedding planner (mistake number 1, but I’ll get to that later). The venue we ended up selecting gave us an amazing price (like legit I still can’t believe we got that price), but they have more than one wedding a day. They told us that they stagger all the weddings so you’ll never be getting married at the same time as someone else. That sounded reasonable to me. That was until the wedding party from the ceremony that occurred before mine decided they wanted to take pictures on the beach right next to where my ceremony was taking place, and they wanted to jump up and down and scream at the top of their lungs while I was trying to read my vows. I never considered that. To get an exclusive venue probably would have cost more or would have required a much more intensive search to find something in the same price range.
I think in the beginning, I saw having a wedding planner as a luxury that I couldn’t afford. Now, I think they probably could have saved me money and saved me from a few of these issues. Let’s be honest, they’ve done this before. They know what to expect and what to consider. They have relationships with venues and florists and DJs that I don’t have and they can get prices that I can’t get. They know of more venues and maybe could have told me of a place where I could be the only wedding and not spend much more or could have recommended a band that wouldn’t destroy my budget. I had never gotten married before. I knew what I read on blogs and in wedding magazines, but I thought I knew better. I’m not trying to say you need a wedding planner, I’m just saying that as a bride, I would have appreciated having someone with experience to guide me. I never even called to see what a planner would cost or the different services they could have provided me.
I understand the need to budget. I really do. And I know that not everyone wants the same things out of their weddings. To some people, having photographs good enough to publish in a leading wedding magazine is a necessity, to others, that seems frivolous. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you are one of the majority of brides who don’t have a “sky’s the limit” budget, you really need to define your needs and remember that you always get what you pay for.