This post has been a while coming but I just wasn’t sure what I wanted to say because really, we have not set a firm budget yet. We have budget ideas, budget goals, but we really haven’t finalized how much it is that we’re willing to spend on this shindig yet. The problem? I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place… otherwise known as my mother and my fiance.
When we first got engaged, I asked B how he felt about a $10,000 wedding. I wasn’t planning on any help from our parents and that was about what I figured we could save in a year… plus the idea of spending more than that just seemed ridiculous. I mean, $10,000 is a LOT of money. It’s a quarter at OSU. It’s half a new car. It’s several really nice vacations. It’s BIG. And our wedding? While being important and one-in-a-lifetime… is a day. It’s ONE day, after which we will have to deal with the aftermath of the decisions we made on that day regarding spending. B was not thrilled with this amount but said if it was what I needed, then he supported me. Easy enough, right? Not so much.
I went to theknot.com and used their budgeting tool to see what that meant… because I kind of thought we could throw a pretty kick-ass wedding on $10,000. Ohhhhhh how naive I was. Things add up! A thousand here for rehearsal dinner, a thousand there for venue fee, a few thousand for food(!!), and on and on. Suddenly I got very scared that we were not going to be able to do this. We started to look at venues and there was just no. way.
It was then my mom swooped in and told me that her and my father had planned to give us somewhere in the neighborhood of $5,000-7,000 for the wedding. I felt terrible accepting money from them, but she assured me that it would be an insult to my father not to take the money, and that they truly were happy to do it. It was at this point, though, that the thought processes of those involved began to diverge:
me- awesome! With 5-7K being given to us, maybe we can increase our budget just a bit and not have to live so tightly this year! woohoo!
my mom- 10K from them + 7K from us = 17k… yea for almost 20K budget
b- 7K from them means 3k from us— muuuuuch more like it.
Yea um… we had a problem. My mom thinks that we should still put in 10K to have a “nice” wedding… by which she means having all the normal wedding stuff. Believe it or not, 10-12K does not leave room for luxuries like a cake, real flowers, honeymoon, rings, or any “extras” like out of town bags. B thinks that spending more than 10K of ANYONE’s money on a wedding is obscene (it was at this point he explained to me the difference between spending money on tangible things that keep their value like my ring vs. things that are one-time and gone with no value after the fact, like a wedding. I made my argument that memories are tangible, but he was skeptical). My MOH has weighed in to say that if spending an extra 5K of our money is going to make the next year of my life planning easier, then it is just plain worth it.
And me? I am torn! I see everyone’s points. I want the nice wedding. I want a nice wedding ring and a honeymoon, I want an open bar (beer/wine only at least), I want a nice photographer… I do not want to spend the next 50 years of my life regretting cheaping out on my one and only wedding. But on the other hand… 17K on a wedding? REALLY??? The idea of that amount of money makes me want to cry because there are soo many other things we could do with it.
Solution? Ignore the issue. I’ve put a hiatus on budget talk until after we’re in the new house for a month or two and see how much we’re really able to save. I’m leaning towards just spending the money and not looking back. Yes, it is a lot of money but it isn’t more than WE had planned to spend initially and this is the only time we’ll ever get to do this. Add to that the fact that I have a job where my income *should* grow exponentially and B has a very solid/stable job with growth potential…. I’m just not sure the money will matter to us in the long run. Especially since we’ve already bought a house.
But…. the guilt. The excess. The fiance. This story doesn’t have an ending right now… but I hope whatever we decide in the months to come I deem it a happy ending.