Meet Ashley: A Cart Before the Horse Bride

Hi, fellow BSBs! I'm Ashley, and I hope to entertain you over the next few months with my stellar wit and occasionally self-deprecating humor. Come, experience my trials and tribulations of planning a New York City wedding on a decidedly un-NYC budget!

A few NY-centric things before I explain  why I am the cart before the horse bride:

1. My life is not, and never has been, like an episode of “Sex and the City.” It's a common misconception from people outside of the metro area. Having said that, my life is also very unlike an episode of “Girls.” (Yes, I watch that much HBO). Not like “Friends” either, although I do wish I had an apartment as big as Monica's. No one really does. At least no one who takes the subway every day.

2. No one I know calls New York City that. It's “New York,” or “the city” (which typically only refers to Manhattan, by the way). All other boroughs — Brooklyn, Queens and the like — are referred to by name, but are still a part of New York City. Long Island is “the Island.” So when I refer to New York or NY, know that I am speaking of the city in the state of the same name.

3. The average wedding in New York costs about $75,000 (thanks, Google). I love this city, and nearly everything about it, but I do not have that much money to spend on my wedding. And, really, even if I did, I wouldn't. I'm practical almost to a fault. I'll take a down payment on a fantastic Brooklyn brownstone over a $75k wedding, thanks. I've been to some phenomenal New York weddings that probably cost that and more. No doubt they were amazing and I was a little (or a lot) jealous. It's just not the best use of my time or money. It's all about preference.

Freebies for your wedding

Now, where were we? Ah yes… the cart before the horse. My most amazing/smart/clever/stunningly handsome fiancé, Matt, proposed on Christmas Day. We decided we wanted to get married on a date, in 2013, that was sentimental to us. We chose July 5th, because my lucky number is seven and his is five. We're cute like that. July 5th, though, meant that I had to move at warp speed — seven months to plan a wedding in the city where we met, where we fell in love, and that we truly love. Knowing that a lot of NY weddings happen after a year or more of planning, I started making lists on December 26th. No time to lose!

I started with the budget, looking into wedding venues, loosing track of large blocks of time on Pinterest… you know, the usual. Within a week or so, though, I found myself getting a little distracted. As in, I may have starting emailing creative geniuses I found on Etsy to create bridal party gifts. Before I have a venue for the bridal party to stand in. I'm THAT bride. The “oh, wouldn't it be amazing if I had yellow tulips in my bouquet because I loooove yellow tulips” chick who, as I mentioned, doesn't even have an aisle to walk down yet. I can check a good five things off my list that were scheduled for May right now. But where I'm going to host these 90 wedding guests? No idea.

Okay, so that's not true. I have an idea. Mostly. I've narrowed it down from a zillion places to, like, ten. It's progress! Onward!

Meet Ashley & Matt

(We love the Yankees. Like, a lot. Told you we're New Yorkers)

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

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