Tag Archives: Wedding budget

Saturday Morning Hustle: Links we Loved this Week

pic 9-6-14

1. Supposedly this cactus rock art is a craft project for the children, but rules were made to be broken, right? (www.craftberrybush.com)

2. When chilly fall nights actually start arriving, Netflix’s new fall lineup will be here to save the day. (www.stylecaster.com)

3. Maybe I’m a little bit out of touch (I mean I do write a blog about being on a budget), but I can’t believe these numbers represent the least expensive places to get married in the United States. (www.blog.theknot.com)

4. A person’s name is likely correlated with his success across multiple areas of life. How does yours measure up? (www.businessinsider.com)

5. The best time to buy your airline ticket for the holidays is… (www.apartmenttherapy.com)

What links were at the top of your list this week? We’d love to hear about them :)

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 Brittany & Sam

photo credits: instagram, www.ymcaerie.org

Wedding Planning on a Budget: Shifting Your Perspective

wedding perspective

Photo Credit: www.theknot.com

Prior to getting engaged, my then-boyfriend and I were completely on the same page when it came to what we valued about our future wedding. There of course, were a few minor exceptions–like my firm belief that a “pretty dress” was a high priority while he was lacking interest on that subject, but in short, we were both 100% dedicated to keeping our list of wedding wants/needs simple.  We knew we wanted something small. We were in definite agreement that we wanted our nuptials to be fun for us and all of our guests, and we were firm in our desire not to spend a small fortune.

Something strange happens when you get engaged…people start asking you questions TONS and TONS of questions. And in my case, people started asking me before I started asking myself…which sent me into a two week period of coo-coo-ka-choo during which I kept wondering…what have I gotten myself into? And if my fiancé would have started to think the same thing when the overwhelming questions took me to a place I had so recently promised I’d never go to, I wouldn’t have been able to blame him.

When you get engaged, well-intentioned people will start drilling you with questions almost as fast as you slip that ring on your finger.

In less than two weeks the expectations that society has for a “wedding” today took my recently engaged mantra from “Yipeee look at my ring! We are going to get murrrrrried!” to “Oh my beezus, I have to plan this wedding that includes a, b, c, d, x, y, and z and cost me what?!?!”  But it was a simple comment from my fiancé that helped me flip the switch back to sanity:

“You didn’t care about this stuff at all before. Why would you care about it now? I didn’t think that was what we wanted.

Zing! That statement made me remember that all of these things people were asking me about that were stressing me out, didn’t matter to me at all. I had completely lost myself in the concerns of others, and I think that is very disconcerting.  But this is what I see happen over and over in the wedding industry. I see it when I’m reading blogs or articles online, when I encounter other couples at pre-wedding events, and when I’m talking to my friends/family about wedding planning experiences of each other and others we know—past, present and future.

In addition to a loss of perspective on what’s truly important, one of the biggest downfalls of planning your wedding based on the values of others rather than what is valuable to you as a couple, is that you will spend more money…on a bunch of crap you don’t even care about.

Shifting your perspective from “We must do X because that is what is always done” to “We are going to skip X and focus on A,B, and C because that is what is important for us” will decrease your budget because you simply won’t spend money on things that are unimportant(ahem—no floral centerpieces at my wedding), and it will also increase the amount of fun you have while planning. My fiancé and I have been shocked by how much we’ve enjoyed the planning process so far, but part of that enjoyment comes from the fact that we simply don’t mess with things that don’t matter.

Shift the perspective


Prioritize, Prioritize, Prioritize – If you start to feel overwhelmed or stressed, ask yourself if what you are worried about even matters to you. If it doesn’t carry much weight in the value of your wedding, just nix it from your to-do list and your budget.

Common Sense – Use it or lose it. If you tend to get sucked in to the crazy wedding hoopla, make sure you have a close friend or family member that can reality check you fast so you can start using your common sense again.

Listen to your Fiancé – Yes, I realize that if my wedding was 100% planned by my fiancé it would probably take place in a courthouse with a reception at a water park to follow; however, men tend to be more realistic than us ladies, and their rational is rarely affected by wedding magazines, pinterest, instagram, and countless chick flicks. I’m guessing if you are marrying him, he can be trusted to help you when you are losing perspective :)

Stay True to You – Create a wedding that is true to you and your relationship. If certain “fancies” aren’t your style, you don’t need to force it. As a matter of fact, you can simply cut it out of your wedding day and your budget.

Attitude is Everything – Just like any other event in your life, your attitude plays a huge role in your wedding experience. View that food tasting as an opportunity not a chore, and it will definitely be a more enjoyable experience.

Invest in What’s Important – Every wedding situation is unique. For example, if you are getting married and holding your reception at an outdoor venue you might not have to spend much on décor but may need to invest in space heaters to keep guests warm in the evening hours. If you don’t care much about wowing your guests with beautiful invitations—DON’T INVEST IN THEM! If it’s not important to you, you should not be spending your money on it.

Spend Time, but Don’t Waste It – Whenever you are planning an event, you will have to dedicate time to your cause. If you eliminate aspects/costs that you don’t place much value on from the get-go, you won’t have to waste time thinking about them or adding them to your list of wedding decisions and expenses.

Because we maintain a healthy perspective on wedding planning and what we value in our wedding day for both ourselves and our guests, we are just as happy and excited as the day we got engaged!

Because we maintain a healthy perspective on wedding planning and what we value in our wedding day for both ourselves and our guests, we are just as happy and excited as the day we got engaged!

You can also read our posts about Wedding Budgeting 101: A Guide for Beginners and Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue within your Budget. For information about gaining control over your finances check out our Getting Started section at the top of our page.

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Wedding Budget 101: A Step-by-Step Guide to Wedding Budgets for the Financially Unprepared Bride-to-Be


Shortly after the New Year, I found a sparkly piece of jewelry in the bottom of a box of Junior Mints, so I decided to ditch my boyfriend and have been chillin’ with my fiancé ever since. Now, if I were one of those girls that has been tossing coins into a savings fund for my dream wedding ever since the first time I watched a chick flick at a slumber party—well, quite frankly, this post wouldn’t even exist. Alas, I am not that girl, and on the day I put on my pretty ring, I had zero dollars and cents dedicated to the cause of everlasting love. So after about a week of staring at the ring and reminding myself it was mine, I had to come back to reality and make a plan.

Here is how a completely financially unprepared Bride-to-Be can create a personalized budget and payment plan suitable for a paid in full, aisle-walking day of I Do’s

Phase 1: Have some fun—with your eyes wide open

Our Venue is one of our top priorities, so when making our budget--it got first dibs

During Phase 1 we realized that an outdoor wedding was a huge part of our personal wedding style and that played a large role in the creation of our wedding budget.

  • Get a Sense of your own Personal Style – Without considering costs, I started looking at videos and pictures from weddings to get ideas of what I like and would actually go for in real life. I didn’t think about money in detail at this point but was getting an idea of wedding costs with a broad perspective. And most importantly, if I started to look at prices that stressed me out or overwhelmed me, I shut it down.
  • Talk to your Friends and Family – I would be LOST, without the help of my friends and family. A really great part of getting engaged is being able to experience the unending heaps of help from anyone who has previously gone through that experience. I have been welcoming the  unsolicited and requested help of friends and family for nearly two months now, and it is still one of the most helpful and my most favorite parts of planning—and it played a HUGE role in developing my wedding budget.
  • Research Budgets—After my time spent in newly engaged La-La land helped me figure out what I was looking for visually and experientially, I knew I needed to do some research about how to manage this feat financially.  Sample wedding budgets are EVERYWHERE and they come in all shapes in sizes—literally, Dr. Seuss could write a book about them. One of my main focuses when perusing wedding budgets (I collected them online and from super awesome friends) was to make sure I didn’t accidentally forget about anything or anyone :)

Below are 3 online Wedding Budgets that I found helpful enough to Pin and keep around:




Phase 2: Start Stacking Bills on Bills on Bills

  • Pick a Price you are Comfortable Paying—This is a very personal step, and it was a big decision for my fiancé and I because we want to make sure our wedding encompasses all that we want to share with our family and friends, but we would both probably get bald spots if we were spending more money than we felt was necessary.  Everyone is different, but having a specific target number is very important when planning a financially responsible wedding.
  • Find your Cash Flow—Traditions often play a role in who pays for what at weddings, so it is important that you have an honest conversation with your family members about your own family’s stance on wedding funding. And if you know you are personally paying for all or some of it, make sure you know how much money you will need. Your total need and timeline will dictate the rate at which you should save money so you are well-prepared for all wedding-related expenses.

Phase 3: Digging into Details

  • Prioritize—Determine the most crucial and (likely) expensive aspects your wedding day, and start your budget there. Once you have the big points—ceremony location, reception location, food, etc.—nailed down, then you can branch out to the aspects that might be lower on your wedding totem pole and start delegating your funds accordingly.
  • Finalize (with flexibility) the Remaining Details of your Wedding Budget—At this point, you have done the research. You know what you like, what you truly need to make a wedding happen, and how much money is going to be available for you do to it. This is the time to create your own personalized budget. I took all the information I learned/gathered from super-super detailed wedding budgets and lists I found online and combined it with the wedding budget info I got from AH-MAZING friends and put together a simple personalized 23 item wedding budget on Excel that includes what I know I will need, estimated costs, and actual costs. You can click on the picture below to download the simple spreadsheet for yourself :)
This is a screen shot of my  end product: A simplified budget that includes every piece I need and need to pay for. There is a link to get the Excel Spreadsheet below.

This is a screen shot of my end product: A simplified budget that includes every piece I need and need to pay for…and please look away from typo on “estimated”–I totally meant to save space by leaving that “a” out of the word.  Click on the picture to download the Excel Spreadsheet version for yourself.

Hopefully this post is helpful to any lucky ladies who have recently acquired fiances–Congratulations and Good Luck!! What are your wedding budget secrets?

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♥ Brittany