Budget Bride Blues

A couple of weeks ago, Jessica shared BuzzFeed’s comical post about the 39 Stages of Being a Bride. It was hilarious! I laughed so hard for the things I’d felt and the things I just knew were on the horizon. To be honest, I’d been a little all over the place, but was a firm Stage 6 Bride–“a slight unease sets in.”

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media.giphy.com

I’d already been bombarded with a ton of questions, received a ton of unsolicited advice, and started to feel the pressure of planning a budget wedding on a timeline many have pointed out is “short” (lol).

According to BuzzFeed’s list, I’d merely just begun. In the weeks that have passed since I read the article, I’ve reached many more stages in the cycle of being a bride and I’m certain to repeat some of the stages several times over until we make a firm decisions about the big things.

Venue and catering will have the biggest impact on our budget, and as a result, they’ve been the hardest choices to make. In our search, there has always been something–too many restrictions, logistical problems, or hidden fees. Along with that, I’ve sought quotes from a number of different caterers, and it’s surprising the number of businesses who don’t follow-up or follow-through. Although, I am glad to know these things upfront.

After thinking we’d found THE venue about 5 times, I decided to temporarily put the venue search on hold to try other things like dresses for a pick-me-up. At least that way, I could figure out what I like and what might work for the type of venues we’ve been considering. I visited two stores and was surprised by what I encountered–the primary agents in both stores were rude. In one store, I witnessed the manager accost her sales associate for the dress she’d pulled for me while I was wearing it. And in the other store, I was told I needed to be more “realistic” about my budget for a dress.  Thankfully, I know better. The dress shopping experience wasn’t what I was hoping for in terms of a lift, but I did accomplish my goal of figuring out what I want in a dress.

I got back into vendor shopping and gathering catering quotes for the venue we both seemed to like. It was quite the dance as the venue had a number of restrictions on vendors and caterers. I charged on, hopeful that we’d found the one (for the last time). I hadn’t been happy with most of the vendors on the approved list, but I loved the venue and just wanted everything to work. Well, all of those hoops were beginning to add up financially and I was beginning to feel the budget bride blues. I cut the budget of everything else because–did I mention?–I really loved the venue. I had finally almost reconciled the budget to fit our goal of $15k, and then it happened…Sherrod said the words, “It’s not gonna work, Babe,” and then I lost it a little.

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In a flash, I’d moved to stage 23. Literally, I said, “Forget it. Either we cut the list or we pay a little more…we have to make this work. There isn’t anything else.”

Sherrod did the responsible thing. He didn’t argue with me; he left me to my thoughts. While there, I realized that my words were so eerily similar to BuzzFeed’s spoof that I could only laugh about it. I let go of all the frustrations that built up while walking down a dead end road and went back to my previous searches for a venue hoping to find something I’d overlooked, and guess what…?!

shaelit.com

shaelit.com

I found it!!! We’re in the contracting phase and I don’t want to jinx anything by saying too much too soon. It does mean a date change, but we’re both really happy with the change. A full write-up on the venue is coming.

I’m sure this won’t be the last time I feel blue about something relating to wedding planning, but it’s all about remembering my purpose. In this process, I’ve learned to listen to my gut…and Sherrod :). If it doesn’t feel right for one, it’s probably not right for either of us. I was feeling blue a short while ago, but this is how I feel now:

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reactiongifs.com

Editor’s note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more pandemic wedding resources here

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