Alicia, our guest bride blogger, is back on the Modern Wedding blog for installment 3. Her big decisions over the last few weeks have been about the wedding budget! Something we can all relate to.
In my last post I was 'bloganising' over the hard decision of selecting our guest list. We felt as though we were caught in a tug of war; wanting to invite everyone versus sticking to a wedding budget.
Prior to becoming engaged our focus was to save a deposit to purchase our own little piece of Aussie real estate. We were getting pretty close. However, with our wedding on the horizon, it has become apparent very quickly that much of our savings will need to go toward the wedding.
Not wanting to give up on my Pinterest inspired 'dream home' just yet, I decided to set myself a challenge of a 'wedding on a budget' so I could try to have it all. This was ok in theory because as a long-term poor student I had always pictured myself having a simple barefoot wedding. However, the problem is that that poor student is long gone and I, somewhere along the way, have developed a weakness for fine things!
Added to this, fiancé and I LOVE to entertain, and so in our wedding planning we have pictured lots of friends, a festive bridal party, a big fun car, stunning photos, a venue with a view, fabulous entertainment, a gastronomic dinner, wedding-night luxury and, here comes the piÃ¨ce de résistance, a honeymoon in Europe!
So you see the problem! Other people I have spoken to about this have recommended many ways to manage a tight wedding budget, however, many of these advice givers have also admitted to spending up big on other things for their wedding!
What I have found is that the budget decisions all come down to identifying what is most important to us. This week, fiancé and I realised that friends and family are the biggest thing for us. We have lived in multiple cities and have met, bonded, relied on and kept in touch with lots of people.
We were sad and torn by the idea of having to select only a few of these friends (and how do you choose?) and we also wanted our own parents to be able to share their proud day of seeing their son/daughter marrying their soul mate.
We decided that the memory of having all our favourite people with us on our wedding day is more important than the $5,000 or $10,000 we'd save toward our future home. It may seem frivolous and it may not be the same justified decision for other people. No one is right or wrong. Some, like my sister included, may make a vastly different decision (like getting married in a registry). Others may not have to worry about it.
So last week we said 'To hell with it, let's invite everyone!" And you know what, it felt GREAT. We sent out a bunch of save-the-date messages and were hit with a flurry of excited replies... questions about accommodation and hens parties flooded in, and everyone was really excited. And for those who don't give a toss, well they won't come anyway.
In the end, like all apparent dilemmas in life, our guest list and wedding budget challenge has helped us to frame what is most important to us: family, friends and experience over possessions. It feels so good to do what's right for us.
So here's a snippet of our budget and some 'wedding on a budget' ideas:
Things we're DIY-ing: Invitations, bonbonnieres and reception décor. We've also decided to go with a garden venue that needs no further embellishment.
Things we're keeping simple: The cake, reception package, my dress, shoes (no 'Choos' for me!) and jewellery.
Things we're laying on thick: Guest list, bridal party, photographer, reception venue, live music, wedding night luxury and, ahem...the right lingerie to round out the day. 😉
What about you? How are you setting out your wedding budget and are you going to go extravagant on some things and compromise on others? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.
Modern Wedding has an online wedding budget planner which might help you too. All the best with your budgeting!
About Alicia: Alicia is a water scientist by day and a blogger/jogger/home cooker by night. She is madly in love with her fiancé Shane, Pinterest and her fitness program. Check out her Pinterest board and lifestyle blog.
Alicia is guest blogging for the Modern Wedding blog leading up to her wedding day. She resides in Manly, Sydney, and is a Victorian country girl at heart. Swing by Modern Wedding Facebook or Twitter and ask Alicia a question.