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Once my fiancé, TJ, and I were engaged, to say I dove head first into wedding planning would probably make him roll his eyes. As a matter of fact, I already had a date planned before our engagement weekend was over. I believe he’s even told me, he thought I was going to be crazy about everything when I started talking about a date immediately. Luckily for him, I knew we had 2 years to plan (since May 16, 2015 was the date, no budging), he was in law school and his plate would be full, and I wanted to make this process fun, not exhausting. After all, I get to marry my best friend, and he chose to spend his life with me – how lucky am I?!?

When I first started researching weddings, everything I read told me how important it was to set a budget early and figure out what was most important to both of us. Being that TJ and I are pretty good with budgets (truth be told, TJ is good with budgets, I just follow along with that budget!), I wasn’t too concerned. However, once I started pricing venues, catering, flowers, etc. I realized how critical a well-planned budget would be to the planning process. Creating our budget has been immensely beneficial to our planning and to my sanity!Planning Advice

 

 

We are both from middle-class families who cannot pay for the entire wedding themselves, but both families agreed to help as much as they could. We are so thankful for both of them, as I know we could not have our ideal wedding without their support! After comparing prices and looking at different options for vendors, we decided we didn’t want to exceed $15,000. Our families plan to contribute where they can, but overall we felt as though spending over $15K would be too much.

From there, we needed to decide what was most important to us. We wanted to keep things logistically simple, along with having people get the southern feel, so finding a venue was at the top of our list. However, food and dessert/cake was at the top of our list of priorities, as well. We’ve been to numerous weddings, and what we both remember are the food and desserts at the memorable ones (not to mention our usual date nights include eating out or going for dessert)!

 

Cruises are the best place to experience and indulge all things food & dessert
Cruises are the best place to experience and indulge in all things food & dessert

The least important item for us was having an open bar. We do not drink, but also respect people like to have beer and wine with dinner, and it helps in getting everyone to the dance floor. Thankfully, our venue allows us to bring our own alcohol that our caterers will then serve, so we are providing beer & wine, which we have found is saving us an abundance of money. We also didn’t want any “over the top” decorations, so we have decided on DIY table numbers, centerpieces, signage, and other decorations.


In later posts, I will elaborate in further detail about each of our vendors and how we chose them, but we are beyond excited to work with all of them to make our day special.

 

What did you and your fiancé deem as “most important”?

What do you remember most at the weddings you’ve attended?

Natasha

 

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About Natasha

I'm Natasha, a self-proclaimed northerner turned southern belle; I have embraced the southern culture like it is my own (y'all is a word!). I am a retired collegiate athlete (#penguinnation), momma to the cutest maltese puppy, lover of all things Duke (including my job!), amateur chef & baker, sports enthusiast, and lucky enough to be marrying my best friend.

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