Without getting too religious on you I have to say that I am a huge believer in prayer and I pray a lot. Wedding planning has now become a part of my daily prayers. I ask for guidance and wisdom in making choices that will fit our lives and our budget. I pray that everything will work out not only according to my vision, but also to the vision that is already planned for my life. And I pray that I don’t chicken out before this whole thing is over, LOL. Does that sound terrible? I'm still not 100% convinced that this wedding thing is for me but I’m trying! I keep having to reach out to my inner Disney princess for encouragement. I probably have the smallest budget in the world for a wedding as large as we are planning and if I don’t channel that inner princess I may very well throw in the towel and just go to the courthouse in a nice summer dress. White dresses are totally in right now… but seriously visiting the bible for just a second Matthew 7:7 says “Ask and it will be given to you,” so I do! It never hurts to ask; whether that is in prayer or in person.
Probably the best advice I have been given in this planning process was to reach out to those I know before jumping into the vendor pool. You will be seriously surprised to find out how many people want to be a part of your wedding and give whatever they can to help you out; everything from services, décor, food and other things that help your bottom line. So before scaring myself out of the wedding by vendor shopping and seeing just how expensive services like photographers and florists are, I posted on Facebook the simple question “Looking for Free/Cheap help with my wedding.” Within minutes my feed blew up! Right away my mom’s best friend (Jack The Florist) offered his services – all we have to pay for is the cost of flowers and he will do all the arrangements. Both my friends Francisca & Denis volunteered their photography skills as a gift to me – we just have to pay for prints, and we can do that in a variety of ways. Another friend, James, who is a Chef volunteered his skills – we will grocery shop and be his sous chefs, and he will help us with our Appetizer & Dessert Bar vision. My aunt Lidia has a farm (TJ’s Ranch) and is going to help us with some tree stumps for décor and fresh local honey for favors – we just have to get the jars and cute tags (on my d.i.y. list!). My good friend Jael who does custom invites and cards, offered to create a template, so we can just print the invites and doll them up. Using friends instead of vendors is going to save us so much money! We seriously have the best support group ever and that has allowed us to bring the budget down big time.
Not having to factor in such huge costs is a big relief and to be fair, it is probably 90% of the reason I believe we are going to be able to stick to such a small budget! $1,000 for about 100 people factors out to roughly $10 a person for food, favors & maybe drinks (that is still up for debate). I realize that every couple is different, and for some people, an amateur photographer and home made food may not be the best route, but those are things that we feel comfortable with and for us it works. Of course, just to play it safe we do have an extra $500 we can spend without breaking the bank, but I am confident that keeping my budget savvy skills and guidance in my prayers we can keep it to the $1,000.