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Just some random thoughts for Monday… I'm thinking that E & I will either have to A: Scrap all the plans we've made so far regarding the wedding and just do the church thing or B: Move our date. I don't like option B. May 2 is OUR DAY. It's been OUR DAY for the last 9 months. Our wedding day can't change now. I'm attached. So that solves that.

We don't have the money to have the wedding we'd wanted. We don't want our marriage to begin by adding to our pile of debt. It seems like the only way to make this wedding happen is to make changes.

Paying $1,000 to rent a facility without getting anything but the space was STUPID. Don't make this mistake. If you're paying to rent a place- make sure you are getting something out of it. The rentals for our 175 guests are going to cost $2,000. That's 3 grand right there, and that doesn't even include things to eat off of or with which to eat, not to mention people to serve the food. Blargh! Considering E & I have about $5,000 in the wedding fund at the moment, it just doesn't seem smart to shell out more than half of it for rentals. I'm thinking we need to find a new place to hold the reception… and FAST. We are 3 1/2 months from the wedding. Talk about insanity.

I know some of you are probably thinking 175 is alot of guests. And it is. But that's something we didn't want to negotiate. If it comes down to it, we will have the wedding at my parents' church and find somewhere to have the reception that actually includes the things I would otherwise have to sell an internal organ on the black market to afford. Seriously people, money doesn't grow on trees.

Good news- I have my first dress fitting next Wednesday! Dena is busy making my dress and I get to try on the hollow shell of what's to come on the 21st. I hope that the dress' rough stage doesn't totally freak me out- but I know that seeing it come together is going to be so very exciting!

I am so glad to be done with moving. It is such a pain in the arse! I hope that once E & I have a place to live once we're married, we will stay there for a very long time. Even the thought of moving again in the next few months makes me gag.

In case you were wondering, I LOVE my new job. I am so very blessed to be working with someone as positive and upbeat as Evin. She is an absolute joy to be around. I have to tell you, I pray every day that her attitude rubs off on me! And I think it will.

I checked my Twitter today and was surprised to see that I have over 200 followers! I can't believe people want to know what I'm doing. It's kinda creepy, but then again, I love it. Are you stalking me? Because that would be awesome.

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About Jessica

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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  • OMG, i had similar thoughts this weekend. We calculated our Credit card debt which is closer to the 6 digit mark than the 5 digits (sadly), and then we started budgeting for wedding stuff… i’m also renting a venue to save money… for 200-250 people. Based on a 250 people guest list, we’re looking at close to 20k for reception costs… and we were aiming for 10-15k… It was really frustrating! I’m a bit stressed too, but i just keep reminding myself, even at 15-20k for a 250 person wedding reception, we’re still saving over 10k in just food/alcohol by doing it this way… That only helps me feel a little better…

    Good luck… and keep us posted! I feel like i’m right there with you on this one! 🙂

    PS. Glad you love the job!


  • we had this realization a little while ago, and have actually cut everything in the budget down to $3K for around 165 guests. think i’m crazy? we’re not skimping, actually, but rather have quite the source of creative inspiration, as well as a great way of looking at things in perpsective: do we even need that thing? will anyone remember that this was there? who will this tradition matter to? and so on. as an artist and dreamer, there have been a few elements of pretty that are being sacrificed, but we’re making up for them in completely original ways that i truly am excited about. in fact, our wedding is just three weeks after yours, and also in nashville, so our deadlines for full-creative-swing are rather similar. if you wanna talk particulars about spending less to make it mean more, feel free to stalk back. 😉

    also, about your job….that is so awesome! what exactly is in your job description?

  • Jessica

    I understand completely. It’s incredibly possible that we may be having to postpone ours, as much as it kills me. Not due to money, but some other things that have come up. So I feel your frustration.

  • I’m there too… We have decided to rework our wedding plans, and everything is still out in the open, but even our simple celebration will not cut it anymore…
    That being said, I’m never bored reading you, and I think you’re doing the right thing by trying to be reasonable. There are ways to work things out, even if it is by having the ceremony followed by like, tea and cakes at 2 in the afternoon at a nice cafe somewhere. I’m just saying this randomly, but there are ways to have some kind of a reception without it being very “traditional” and expensive. I hope you find “your” way.
    And I’m happy to learn that your new job is so great…

  • I really recommend doing your reception at a restaurant. I am not sure what your options out there are, but our site fee is $500 and it includes all the tables, chairs, plates, linens, etc. All in all the reception will cost about $5,000 for EVERYTHING. (about 100 people) It really is the way to go, at least for us anyways. 🙂 And I am also all for a champagne and cake reception. The wedding day really is all about having your friends and family get together to celebrate your marriage, and it doesn’t have to involve dinner and dancing to make it special 🙂
    Good luck with everything!!!

  • Amy

    Wow. Um that’s alot. I can understand why you would change it. Really. Our wedding.. (which does have signifiacntly fewer numbers although it was at 200 a month or 2 ago) is for 50 people. Our venues are free. I got a great deal on letterpress ($450 for 50 2 color invites that are stunning!!). I have been DIYing most of, since I am into graphic design (but not like heavily into). And for our Italian style sit down family dinner is going to cost something like $500. So, our budget totals out to $8200. (Our photographer is most of our budget at $3200, but she is amazing.)

    I feel your pain. I have shed tears over our budget because I refuse to go completely into debt for this thing.

    If you ever wanna talk about wedding plans just let me know. And I have a fun surprise to post on my blog in about a month that I think you will love!

  • Shamika

    Hey, why dont you revisit your brunch idea. It is really affordable! You can do it at a local hotel (marriot) or even golf coures. I am having my wedding this August at the Hilton Garden Inn in Ohio with a similar budget as yours and things are working out. (I am so with you)

    I am so happy to see that things are working out for you and you are enjoying your new position. I must say, you are good at what you do. I always visit your blog!

  • Lindel


    Glad your happy with your new job! On the budget wedding thing, I know you are in the wedding industry and have sifted through tonnes and tonnes of ideas but like others have suggested a brunch or a restaurant reception can be a way cheaper option. I have always fantasised about having a morning or afternoon tea picnic wedding complete with lawn games, lots of cakes and pastries, and a signature punch. The only other alcohol would maybe be a beer and a champagne. Keep it simple with food that is easy to eat with fingers so no plates or cutlery is needed just super cute monogramed napkins. You can decorate simply with ribbons and Martha Stewart style pompoms in trees, small flowers tucked into the grass and jars of simple blooms. A big basket full of games with instructions and handmade picnic blankets out of thrift shop sheets/table cloths with a few tables and chairs scattered around for older people. Weather can be a problem with such events so somewhere indoor/outdoor is a must.

  • Marianne

    I’m so glad your new job is going well!

    I think that a lot of brides are feeling how you are – trying to re-evaluate the priorities and budgets. It’s tricky, and it stinks, but I think you are right not to add to your debt.

    There are so many creative ways you can pull this off, so try not to stress too much.

  • Hi! I’ve been reading your blog for awhile, but never commented. I’m glad that you are loving your job, that’s great news! But I just wanted to say good luck with making your decisions, it sound incredibly difficult. But at the end, just remember that you will be married, and everything will be ok. Whatever you decide I’m sure your wedding will turn out perfectly and be amazing! 🙂

  • Autumn

    I know how crushing it must be to re-evaluate everything after you’ve been planning, but I can’t say how much I admire you for sticking to your guns and not going into massive, foolish debt to finance “one perfect day.” It will be great no matter how it works out (and I heartily second all the ideas above about a cake and punch reception, or brunch, or a backyard bbq reception). Your friends and loved ones will surround you and you will be married, and THAT, not food or flowers or “details”, will make it a wonderful day.

    Good luck, I know you have some challenges ahead but you will make it. I’m all for keeping your date, you’re ready to be married, just be like Tim Gunn and MAKE IT WORK!

  • I totally hear you on the budget cruch!! My fiance and I decided that we were not willing to spend most of our budget on a boring old sit-down dinner, so we are having an evening cermeony that will be immediately followed by cocktails, hor d’oeuvres, speeches, dancing, and general wedding shenanigans. Not having a dinner has saved us a fortune- we don’t need to rent as many tables, linens, don’t have to do a seating plan, don’t have to do place cards…. and after all the weddings I’ve been to, I can honestly say that part I hate the most is the sit down dinner- so slow, the food is never that great (too many palates to please), and it just feels like they are trying to keep us busy until someone gets around to speeches. I feel really great about the cocktail party approach, instead! A lot more social, too.

  • I don’t like choice ‘B’ either. Stick to your guns on YOUR date. Remember to tap into your resources…this will definitely give you the wedding of your dreams.
    …remember, you ARE the ‘BUDGET SAVVY BRIDE’.

    CONGRATS! on your new job:D

    P.S.:: You have been nominated.
    Follow the link to see::

  • Ashley

    alright, this is completely unrelated to your post, but i HAVE to tel you something. do you remember a few months ago (probably as far back as july) when you posted about north carolina photography firm “evoke” that was giving away a free wedding? well, that post was: a. the first time i ever saw your blog, and enough to keep me coming back regularly since, and; b. too good to not even try out for. well… you aren’t going to believe me if i just told you, so please check out her blog today: and see how the contest is coming.

    let’ just say i am about to owe you roughly three thousand dollars worth of gratitude.

    lastly, if you haven’t left nashville by may 23 (i know yours is three weeks prior), you’re welcome to come out and see what you’re responsible for. ; )

  • Ashley

    gosh darn it. i left about 25 typos in that comment. please forgive me. i even misspelled the link to our wedding website! whoops.

  • Cakes By Shara

    Have you thought about renting your cake and backing it up with sheet cakes from Sam’s or publx? I have two 5 tier wedding cakes that can be changed to fit your colors that will rent for $250.00. I also have two that rent for $150.00 and three that rent for $300.00. If you want to see the cakes look at or I am running a $25.00 off special on these cakes if booked before March 1st 2009. My real cake starts at $4.00 a slice as well.
    Churches are great options for renting, mom and pop catering is a good way to get food or cake punch and nuts. You can also have people from the church bring in veggie trays and cheese trays many people love doing this because they feel like they are helping. I have seen couples make it on a 5000k budget talk to lavish. She had friends that I did a cake for that had that same budget and the wedding was beautiful. It can be done, I admire you for sticking with your budget and not going into huge amounts of debt. I also admire your witness to the Lord through your blog.
    Kind regards,
    Shara Lunn

  • Lindel

    Just wanted to say a huge yes to the cake and punch reception. It can probably be done on church grounds and with all the catering/rental money you would be saving you could splurge on a couple of really fabulous gâteaux and assorted cakes and set up a sumptuous buffet with your candy options scattered through and some gorgeous simple blooms.

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