That Ugly Horrible Word

 I’ve talked about not being able to afford the dress I want or the venu I fell in love with but I haven’t talked about the budget yet.I was really hoping to get through this whole process without bring it up. I hate talking about budgets, especially when I don’t have the money I would like to. I think it’s an ugly, horrible word that shouldn’t be spoken but I don’t think I’ll have a choice. A wedding revolves around the budget. Raoul and I managed to avoid wedding stress and arguing until the budget came into discussion.

Since I was laid off from my high paying job early on in our relationship I knew our wedding would be a “budget wedding”. I’m not one to be concerned with my own budget and during my research I just searched for best prices as I’m a thrifty shopper. I never thought to start saving or make a plan how to pay for all of this. When we started getting serious about wedding talk I played around with a budget in wedding wire adding the things that were most important to me, like pictures, videography and favors. I was at $9,000. Ouch. The numbers were higher than expected mainly because I had to have Super 8 video and I wanted to spend money on the guests transportation to and from the wedding site (since they were going all the way to The Bahamas). Raoul took one look and dismissed it as I was not really serious.

We didn’t talk much about the budget till I had come home with the ring and I persisted. Once I got into his mind I discovered he wanted a $2,000 wedding. I understood his reasons for wanting to focus on the marriage and not the wedding. He had no idea I had spent about $1,000 on things I had been collecting, but it was important to me to be able to pay the rent when we got home. We also had to consider we would be paying a couple thousand to move him to the states and get him residency. I tried tweaking the budget to $4,000 to compromise. I was unhappy. I felt like I was losing my dreams. After three weeks of arguing discussing how much we would spend we settled on $3,000 for the wedding (I added another $1,000 to that because I knew my mother and grandmother would help out). I still wasn’t happy with this number but I was determined to make it work. I was still able to have my beloved shopping trips to the thrift stores to get goodies to use for the wedding and splurge on supplies for DIY ideas I found online. Then it came time to start making car payments for the first time in my adult life. Ouch. I was depressed for a few days because I knew this was life changing (aka killing my shopping sprees)

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Once again Raoul helped adjust my thinking. He helped me to appreciate that as a designer I was used to dealing with 8 and 10 million dollar budgets and I also had budgets that were $100,000 and for my clients I learned to make it appear it was million dollar project. He showed me the opportunity to do it again.  I don’t plan for my wedding to look like it was thrown together with little money and I hope by doing that I can help other women feel they can have a beautiful dream wedding even if they don’t have the finances. I was one of those women who got frustrated seeing everything she can’t have and feels like their wedding isn’t “good enough”. The “good enough” is relative. If it wasn’t for all the wedding porn I’ve filled my head with over the past year I think I would be a much happier and less stressed girl right now.  Like real porn, it starts with a little viewing and then you’re addicted looking at images any chance you can get, neglecting responsibilities. And like real porn once those images get in your head, the damage is already done because you can’t get them out – and your reality is not good enough.

Another bad influence in my poor little head is: my family. They want the best for me and want me to marry someone who can give me my dream wedding. I’ve learned to be careful what I share with Ra what they say because it only causes big problems in our relationship. I know they mean well but I fell in love with a guy that doesn’t have much money and that’s ok for me. I don’t think it means our marriage is doomed I think it means we will have problems like everyone else. They don’t want me to go into the situation knowing that it’s going to be hard. With him moving here and having to get a green card, then find a job I know that it’s going to be stressful. Do they expect me to sit around and wait for a sugar daddy? I’m honestly envious of people who can afford to have a $10,000 wedding right now, but I don’t think they will have better weddings or marriages than the couple with the $100 wedding.

I found this wonderful website called The Budget Savvy Bride and after a Saturday afternoon of browsing (positive and realistic wedding porn) I felt much better. I saw beautiful weddings for $6,000 and less and I was ready to tackle this challenge. You can search by the budget and find great inspiration. So two events for $4,000, and I feel if I focus on our love and not glitz it’s possible. I want an event that feels like family and friends supporting and celebrating the love we have between us. So the goal is to simplify and rely on the people who love us to be friendors to help make our wedding meaningful and memorable. Did talking about the budget cause arguments between you and your fiancé or you and your family?

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