I don’t know about you all, but I feel like this wedding has taken over the holidays this year! While I keep joking that the 60 degree weather in Houston is hindering my Christmas spirit, I also know that the wedding has been a huge distraction. It just seems like every time I try to enjoy some thing this holiday season–from visiting family, to shopping for presents, to mailing Christmas cards–the wedding is always a factor! I know this post isn’t necessarily about money-saving ideas, but they are all responses to trying to save money for our wedding! Here are some thoughts on how wedding planning took over the holidays.
I used Black Friday to buy wedding items instead of gifts
Much like Brittany , I took advantage of the many Black Friday discounts for wedding related items this year, instead of buying presents for friends and family like in past years. We got my fiancé’s suit at 2 am during a Macy’s doorbuster; ordered our invitations and inserts during Vistaprint’s 40% off sale, and bought a lot of stuff using the extra Michael’s coupons. We actually decided to drastically cut back on gift giving this year, at our parents insistence, so there weren’t many gifts to buy–but there is always something for the wedding!
Holiday Weekends means more time for crafting (when I can find non-seasonal decor!)
Instead of relaxing or traveling during holiday weekends, I tried to knock off some of my DIY projects for the wedding. I am doing most of the wedding decor on my own, but usually don’t feel up to it very much after working and commuting all day. To make up for some of my lazy evenings, I tried to get a huge chunk done over the long Thanksgiving weekend and hope to do the same during the upcoming Christmas weekend. I think I spent a full day just working on the pearls for my bridesmaids’ bouquets last month, so hopefully I can finish at least one this weekend. HOWEVER, the craft store closest to my house has been taken over by seasonal decor! I was horrified when I walked into Michael’s back in September and saw that half the store was taken over by harvest items and I could no longer find the items I wanted! I used to get so excited when seasonal décor showed up this year, I’m just waiting for it to pass, so I can go back being able to find something that doesn’t scream “Christmas!” when I want to work on the wedding decor. The only exception is that I am excited to grab some of the neutral items—like pearl garland and plain red ribbon that are labeled Christmas after the holiday when they will be 70%!
Writing Christmas cards and making presents was not fun
I had so much to do for the wedding, that I felt like I just had more to add to my to do list. Our Save the Dates just went out in November and our invitations will go out in February, so addressing Christmas cards was an annoying, tedious task. I usually love writing Christmas cards and write personal letters to everyone. This year, I was dreading another piece of mail I had to send everyone and decided to order photo cards using an engagement picture, so I didn’t even have spend the extra time writing anything extra. I also seriously scaled back the DIY gifts this year, because I couldn’t imagine taking on any more projects! The only bright side was that I already had everyone’s up-to-date address on a handy spreadsheet, so I finished addressing Christmas cards in no time when I finally got around to them.
I’m not going home for the holidays
The biggest change this year is that we will not be visiting our families for the holidays (with the exception of Kyle’s mom, who also lives in Houston). Although we would have loved to visit the rest of our families for Thanksgiving and/or Christmas, the money we would have spent on plane tickets is a huge portion of our wedding budget, so we decided to stay put for this year. My family is obviously disappointed and I have even gotten a few guilt trips, but at the end of the day, being able to buy plane tickets to travel for our wedding is a little more important this year.
What about you? Do you feel like your wedding is taking over the holidays or are you managing things better than I am?
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.