Why hello there Budget Savvy Brides! My name is Maureen Dolezal and I’m a 30-year old retail worker by day and a multifaceted designer and blogger by night. Now I’ve joined your ranks of engaged life and add wedding planning to my long list of things to do.
I live and work in Milwaukee with my fiance, Max Anderson. We bought our house a year ago and have been DIYing our way to the home of our dreams. I’m an outgoing, avid Packer football fan, artist, and culinary dabbler. If I have any other free time, I spend it with a beer snuggling with my dog Turk.
Max and I met in the spring of 2006. I had just moved to Milwaukee about two months prior and knew very few people in the area. I met a guy who was in the fraternity I was a sweetheart for back college. He invited me to join him and a few of his friends out for drinks. Max was among this group. It was a club and neither of us really liked the whole scene and started talking and making fun of the people there. We learned we lived right down the street from each other and he offered to take me home so I wouldn’t have to take a taxi. We saw each other a couple of times over the summer and started dating early in the fall.
After about five months of dating, we ended up breaking up for a year and a half while Max was interning at Interpol in Washington, D.C. and working for the U.S. Border Patrol in New Mexico. I like to think of this of the “self-exploration” point in our relationship. As soon as he returned in the summer of 2008, we began hanging out again and almost instantly dating again. Here we are four years later, engaged.
So how’d he pop the question? Max’s family owns a Wisconsin Northwoods cabin that we frequently visit. In early March, the two of us snuck away for a weekend together. It was unseasonably warm but the lake was still froze over. Since there wasn’t much else to do other than just hang out in the house, we ventured into the little town nearby to do a little bit of antiquing on the sunny afternoon. I knew something was up when he actually went with me antiquing. When we got back around 4PM and we cracked a couple of beers before we started dinner. He ran in the house to use the bathroom and brought out a book. He then walked me down to a swing down by the lake. He told me to read the first chapter in the book; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. He rewrote the book to tell the story of our relationship and in the center of the book was this cut out.
He said he chose the “Chamber of Secrets” because the book had its own secret, my blue diamond ring.
I have been sort of planning our wedding for a couple of years (common’ who doesn’t have wedding porn and now Pinterest?) and sort of took us to a venue visit the day after we got engaged…oops! Since the venue was available this October we decided we would just have a short engagement and start married life that much sooner! 😀
Our wedding will be at a B&B that has a barn for receptions. There are tons of gardens and a little pond. It is close to the cabin where we got engaged that means a lot to him and has the barn which reminds me of my childhood (small town farm girl here). We are expecting about 120 guests. Our estimated budget is $10,000, of course, we are shooting for way under that. I’m overjoyed to share all of our wedding planning story with all the budget brides out there!
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.