After writing several posts, I realized that I completely neglected to introduce myself! First off, I’m really excited to be writing for The Budget Savvy Bride; I really feel strongly about not having a wedding that will cause our little family of three (I have a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship) to start our life together in debt, and I hope that some of my posts can get people to realize that you can have a great time without spending buckets of cash.
My fiancé and I grew up together, we met in a Kenpo Karate class when we were in fifth grade, and started becoming close during middle school. We went to senior prom together in May of 2003, and that was really when our best-friendship started; we were best friends for 8 years before he asked me to be his girlfriend. Surprisingly, despite the time that it took him to ask me that, it took him all of 15 months to ask me to be his wife. He told me he knew on our 2nd date. We thought it would special to get married almost exactly 10 years since we first really got close. It also gave us 2 years to plan a wedding, which I was very happy about because I would hate for my wedding planning process to be stressful due to a time crunch.
We decided early on that our two highest priorities would be that we’re surrounded by people that we like, know, and love and that everyone who attends has a great time! Not surprisingly, my mom wasn’t thrilled with the fact that we weren’t willing to invite 300 or more of her friends and distant relatives that we don’t know.
Deciding who we wanted to be with us on our special day was easy. We sent out enough Save the Date cards for 122 guests to come; a lot were families, so as far as stamped, addressed, and delivered cards went, we sent out less than 50. Since I hate the idea of sending out tiered invitations, because I’d hate for a guest to find out that they were our second or third choice to come, we decided that if 100 of the people can come that’s great, if only 50 can come, that’s great too. We weren’t going to send out additional invitations no matter what.
Choosing how to get everyone to have a great time on a budget? That was the trickier part! We thought about all the things we like to do together to have fun; watching movies, playing board games, going to museums, riding carnival rides and playing arcade games.
Then we tried translating each of those into a wedding theme; movies were out, because slapstick comedy and goofy budget musicals don’t exactly translate into love. Board games? We thought about it, and realized that it could too easily look tacky. Museums were thrown out the second I started looking up how much it would cost to have a wedding & reception at any of the local museums… between $3000 and $6,000 minimum just for the space, and that sometimes wasn’t even for the whole day? No thank you!
That left us at a carnival themed wedding; I thought about having a bounce house, a caricature artist, photo booths, cotton candy, fried dough, and carnival games. It sounded awesome, and we could easily inject some romance and love into this theme.
I’m looking forward to this wedding almost as much as I’m looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.
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 resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.