First things first, I wanted to say how pleased I am to be able to share my story with you. I've been reading Budget Savvy Bride for a while now (even before I was engaged!), and a lot of my initial ideas about wedding planning came from Jess. I hope that my ideas can help someone out there and that we can all learn from each other. I do want to share that my wedding motto this entire time is to remember that I'm planning a “party.” I'm trying to not get caught up with things that essentially are not that important, and I'm just hoping everyone leaves the reception saying “Wow! What a great night!”
I'm twenty-five and a native Floridian. I have lived in the Tampa Bay area for most of my life, and I work and attend a university. I'm working on my Master's in Education for Instructional Technology, and I should be done the semester after the wedding. When I'm not working or studying, I love to hit the beach or watch a baseball game (Go Rays!). I enjoy trying out new bars & restaurants, and I am all about tasting different craft beers and wines.
He shares the same interests but is a total sports nerd. He is a sports reporter who spends his time reading, writing and playing sports. Together we go to concerts together and spend time with our two dogs. We share a house near the beach and try to spend our free time enjoying seafood and sunsets.
After two years of dating, he totally surprised me with a diamond ring while we were vacationing in the Florida Keys. I had “that feeling” that it was coming soon…but Valentine's Day passed…our two year anniversary passed…and our vacation was coming to a close. On our last night in the Keys, I had put the idea of becoming engaged out of my mind. We were getting ready for dinner, and I started pouring the remainder of our champagne into red Solo cups. I said we were going to “celebrate our last night of vacation,” because we had had a truly amazing time. I turned around and there it was—the ring. I was very shocked, said “yes” somewhere among the “really!?,” and didn't cry. Very surprising.
We knew immediately we wanted a beach wedding with a huge party. We are looking at a guest list of 100 on a budget of $5,000–$7,500. I'm splurging on hiring a planner (I can't handle any more stress with graduate school and a full time job!), great photography and even better entertainment. Our wedding will be in February next year, so our planning has kicked into high gear now!