After the excitement of our engagement wore off a bit we started to think about what we wanted in our wedding and how we were going to afford it. With Matt in school earning a small stipend plus my part time work while I finished school I didn’t think we would have enough for a traditional wedding, and to be honest I didn’t want to spend thousands of dollars on one day. I am a practical person, and as much as I wanted to celebrate with our friends and family, I really kind of wanted to elope, or at least have a very small celebration. That way we could save our money for the honeymoon or a home!
When discussing our plan I explained to Matt that I didn’t have a lot of money saved and that I would have to start paying off my student debt shortly. I also did not want to go into debt for this wedding so my initial budget (using only “my” money) was around $4000! I was imagining a small ceremony at a park with a simple personal reception at a nice restaurant with about 30 or 40 people. While Matt had similar feelings he also felt more obligation to his family. As an only child with a somewhat large family (kind of an oxymoron) he wanted to include everyone and make his family happy. I understood this but I also knew that I couldn’t contribute more than a couple thousand dollars for this big family wedding, so I was feeling pretty stressed about money.
Thankfully, Matt is a better saver than me and therefore had more to contribute. Also, his family has generously decided to contribute the majority of our budget, plus pay for the rehearsal dinner (woo hoo!). Along with what my family can give we were able to come up with this $10,000 budget for 100 guests. Spending that much on one day still makes me a little nauseous but I am gradually coming to terms with it
Now on to the good stuff: what kind of wedding did we want? A fun one of course! To me that meant forgoing some wedding traditions and keeping it casual and comfortable. I didn’t want to be in a hotel or banquet hall and we knew we wanted to be wed in the great outdoors. We decided we didn’t want a formal affair and we both liked the rustic vintage look I was seeing on weddings featured in the bridal magazines and blogs. I dreamed of holding our reception in a barn with lots of dancing and laughing and twinkle lights. I didn’t want to pick “colors” in the traditional sense so I just went with a natural color scheme of blush pink, peach, greens, grays, cream, browns etc. Think pastel inspiration, like this!
Inspiration board by the inspired bride
We decided on an uneven wedding party; 6 on his side 5 on mine, and they can wear what they like! One of the groomsmen is our officiant so it kinda evens out, and I have one brides “man” (props to Danny!). We planned on DIY-ing large parts of the wedding to save money and on reusing and recycling stuff to be eco-friendly. This includes a photo-booth, flowers, music, guestbook bench, programs, gifts and invitations. Of course we couldn’t do it all without our awesome and talented friends and family!
Now we just have to put it together, right?