On June 4 I became engaged to my best friend, Chuck Anderson, and we set a tentative date of May 13 – or 20 – 2011. We are in the process of moving to Raleigh, N.C. from Long Island so my top priority is not our color scheme, but where we are going to live.
We did bang out a guest list that totals about 155 people, but I’m sure the number will increase once I get a final copy from my future mother-in-law. We have a little bit of financial help from my parents, but the bulk of our $15,000 budget is coming out of our own pockets.
Why such a small budget you ask?
Well, for a few reasons.
The first being the lack of copious amounts of disposable income. My new job is Raleigh is just barely enough to pay the bills without help from my finance who is currently unemployed. Like millions of New Yorkers he’s had a tough time finding work so our savings are nil. We anticipate that he’ll find something, anything, once we’re down in Raleigh, but in this economy you can’t be too sure. Whatever savings we have will pay for groceries.
The second is that we feel that money could be put to better use. For argument’s sake, let’s say Chuck and I both had awesome jobs that provided us the funds necessary to throw a $60,000 wedding. Neither of us really understands why people spend that much on what amounts to a five-hour party. I get it, it’s your day, best day of your life, bla bla bla, but in reality, you’re throwing a party. I know you hate to think about it like that, but it’s true. Get over it. We would rather spend that money on a house than on 100 pounds of food that won’t get eaten and then thrown in the garbage.
The third is we’re just not those people. Chuck and I are the definition of easy-going and laid-back. We’re not ones for glitz and glamour. Why spend the best day of your life worrying about fluffy gowns, uncomfortable tuxes and if the napkins match the tablecloths? Even if we had the money, our wedding wouldn’t be any fancier, we’d just have better food.
In our case, $15,000 is the top of our budget. Our real budget is $12,000 and that’s what we’re shooting for. It’ll be less stressful to accept we’ll go over if we just prepare for it now.
Anyone who lives on Long Island or has gotten married on Long Island knows that $15,000 isn’t much and even the cheapest traditional weddings cost double that. We could probably get more bang for our buck down in North Carolina, but asking my New York-based family to make the trip would be a financial burden that many couldn’t endure. It’s more important to me to have them with me than to save money.
On top of our tiny budget, we’ll also have the added challenge of planning a wedding from 550 miles away. I know people do this all the time, but they usually have the help of a wedding coordinator, a person that is not in our budget. Trips back to Long Island will be limited so when we are up north, a lot will be crammed into a short period of time.
How will we be able to do all this? Not quite sure. I guess you’ll just have to keep reading to figure it out.