Wednesday, March 9, 2011

My 3 G Wedding

How we did it for 3 Grand - starting from day 1 [and you can too!]
I need to begin by explaining we did a two part Wedding; Our vows at the end of a 5k 'Mud Run' with our pastors, friends & family, and 2 weeks later had a Reception.

This is only the beginning of a whole array 
of advice I want to offer for anyone heading down the planning-a-Wedding route, because it's not an                
easy one, and even though we had a budget Wedding, it still took a lot of                 
organization, communication, and most importantly vision. Single handedly, my opinion is that even before setting a budget, pinpoint your definitely's vs. can live without's to Establish Priorities. [For us, we decided early on we want all of our family there, no if's and or buts - so this helped us set up a flow chart per say of where we'd have to place most of our money to hold the quantity of family members combined [about 150]  Budgets spiral out of monetary control when you haven't established what you can't live without on your special day. That way, when the B word comes up [B..B..BU..budget] you'll have an easy time setting maximum & minimum amounts you'll spend in each category. For example; to bring home our picnic theme, we spent an amount you might not have on having bottled, Mexican Coca Cola -> It's made with real cane sugar!
For us, we're together an active couple, and the idea to do a run with vows, came purely from a compulsive suggestion that turned reality. We went from there. I didn't necessarily have a theme so stuck in my head that I would become Bridezilla over not attaining it, but I had a general idea of what I wanted as far as colors go - something that contrasts. So once I established this, I decided an Indoor Picnic Theme [I quickly came to this decision due to the complicated dynamics of an Outdoor Picnic - Spiders, Bees, Ants OH MY!] 

Once you've established your Vision, Priorities [Of what you can't live without] and Theme, we're ready to move on. 

There's a small disclaimer here - and that is, we wouldn't have been capable of having our Wedding come together perfectly without the help of many people - who were able to get involved once we had plans established. So many people fixate on the stresses of the budget, the costs per head, oh you name it - but you need to realize family & friends usually want to be part of having your big day come together.       


Once we had our plans together, purchased a white erase board that was up at my house, where we literally had everything up – all the details, finances & gaps. With this openness with our families & close friends, they were able to come alongside us & help where we needed it. (They explained to us it was a much greater joy to be part of our Wedding Day & helping it come together, than handing up some gift knowing they could have contributed) That’s one of the most important things I’ll tell you.

Big areas we saved money

1.      Coupons. There’s major art retail stores that have majorly great discounts; some up to 40%. Stock up, and use them weekly to purchase big items. For example, at our venue we couldn’t have candles, so we purchased a ‘Unity Sand Kit’ vs. having Unity Candles. It was around 55 originally, but was knocked down to right over 20.
2.      Are invitations worth making? It’s still a debate in my mind. We got a killer deal. My husband & I hit the discount section looking for invitations we liked, and found some – that were being discontinued so there was only 1 box. So what we did was call other stores in the same branch, and voila! Found our box. Why did we go through that trouble? Because those invitations were normally about 50 dollars a box, and we got them for 10. Our total cost for invitations was right under 50; for the invitations, the envelopes we purchased to match, the embellishments and stamps. However, my poor, then fiancĂ©, was on Invitation duty because he had more free time while completing his internship. The bad catch: it took him almost 25 hours to deal with templates, persnickety printers & what not. So you really need to do the math. Invitations start at usually around 300, so maybe you’re more template savvy & this would be an easy thing.

3.      We didn’t pay for a Wedding website, and don’t you dare either. There’s far too many free ones, only a 1 minute search on google away. I highly suggest having this. We had many issues with the invitations & people not receiving, that we had to keep a website due to all the mishaps. Plus, it’s real fun to update & so much easier than telling all your family & friends individually when things change.
4.      Our theme. Is where we saved the most money. With our vows being at a Mud Run, we almost naturally slipped into thinking ‘Picnic’ theme – and it couldn’t have been more perfect! We started hitting stores after Valentine’s Day for clearance decorations; hearts, red, white – all things along those lines made it into our baskets. This is why I really emphasize establishing a theme and/or color scheme, because you’ll then be able to

03/16/11 - Still working on! Thank you for your patience!

See you guys soon! - BCB

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