Tag Archives: Budget

But It’s For The Wedding!

How many times have you heard that?  Maybe it’s come out of your mouth a time or two as you plan(ned) your wedding to your significant other.  “Oh, yeah, I guess it’s a little expensive, but it’s for the wedding!  It’s totally worth it!”  Sure, those shoes or the hair clips or the dress or the something-or-other that you just have to have in that moment could seem justified by the fact that (hopefully) your wedding is a once in a lifetime event… unless you want to renew your vows, of course.  It should be a big deal and filled with people and events that make you happy.

But you’ll notice that I didn’t say “things that make you happy.”  Why?  Because it’s way too easy to get swept up in the wedding world’s push to get brides and grooms to buy everything they could possibly want/need/didn’t know they had to have for their wedding days.  For example, shoes tend to be a huge deal for brides.  I was one of them.  I had blue shoes in my heart from the minute I picked out our wedding color scheme (yeah… I chose it… I kind of told Mr. Library that this was my choice for the most part when he told me pink and blue don’t go…).  I hunted high and low for awesome blue shoes, and finally, when I was least expecting it, I found them!  They were gorgeous!  They were unique!

And they were on sale for $30, which was a blessing because (1) I didn’t have to pay a lot for them and (2) they hurt… a LOT… so I quickly changed into flip flops as soon as I got off the bridge after the ceremony.

But what if I had paid hundreds of dollars for them?  Would I have been so quick to change out of them?  Probably, only because of the level of pain my feet were in, but I would have felt bad that I hadn’t worn them all night.  They were on for about 45 minutes before I took them off and never looked back.  No one cared that I wore flip flops under the dress, and I’m pretty sure no one besides my bridesmaids, my mom, Mr. Library, and my cousin who asked about my shoes even knew.  It wasn’t a big deal.  I got the lovely shots with my shoes at the hotel, I got to feel pretty during the ceremony (though what my feet looked like was the last thing on my mind), and I got to have some comfortable shoes after.  Grand total?  $32.50.  I am honestly appalled at what some people pay for shoes for their weddings, all in hopes that they will have “the perfect day.”  If your shoes or your dress is the single factor in what makes your day perfect, that’s a little sad.  What about the intangibles of the day?  What about the look on the groom/other bride’s face when his/her partner comes down the aisle?  What about the way friends and family congratulate you after the ceremony?  What about the way people’s voices crack when they talk to you about their own wedding days?  What about the hilarious dance moves your friends and families display at the reception?  I bet they don’t cost as much as those shoes and you’ll remember them a lot more.

Now, I’m not posting this because I think that all wedding consumerism is evil.  I fell into it myself from time to time, but I want to give any bridal readers out there a chance to really look at what you are buying.  Is it super necessary?  Do you have a plan for it after your wedding?  Do you want it because you really really want it, or because a wedding blog or magazine told you it was “so in right now”?  Don’t just throw it in your cart.  Think about it.  Where does it rank on your list of priorities for your wedding or other large event?  Your wallet may thank you for those extra couple thoughts.

Just something to think about!


Look Mom, I’m on TV!

I admit it.  When Mr. Library and I initally starting looking over wedding services, we both agreed that we didn’t need videography.  It was just another expense that was a little ridiculous and serevely overpriced in our area.  Mom Library just wasn’t feeling it either when I talked it over with her.  Couldn’t pictures just do the same, only not move?  Being on a small-ish budget, it made sense just to chop it off and focus on other things.

Then I found WeddingBee Pro and all of the wonders it had to offer in the way of showing us what wedding videography was really all about.  I felt like Charlie Brown in his Christmas special when Linus tells him the story of Jesus’ birth.  You mean there is actually something beyond the hype?  It can matter and make a difference in how you remember your wedding?  Yes, Ms. Library, there is a wedding videographer.

Thus, the hunt began.  Knowing full well that I was probably barking up the wrong tree, I went about the search a little hesitantly.  Who on earth could we find to be a videographer on a super tight budget?  I didn’t want to strap our parents with anything else to pay for, I knew Mom Library just wouldn’t hear of it and Dad Library would feel the need to find another part time job to cover the cost, and Mr. Library and I don’t have a ton of cash to spare.  Sure, we’re completely willing to eat most of the cost for it, but some of the totals that we came up with were (to put it nicely) scary!

What is a budget-strapped bride to do?  Consult her Bridal Bargains book of course!


I cannot say enough positive things about this book, which is why it will probably have its own post later, and it came in handy again.  I looked into ideas on how to score an inexpensive videographer and came up with the thought of searching local colleges for media studies majors and professors.  Mr. Library then thought of friends we knew who had majored in the same field, and then we came up with a few names.  I facebook messaged one person (let’s call him N) and asked if he would be willing to think about working with us.  N had gone to high school with Mr. Library and me, and had even inducted us into the National Honor Society when we were sophomores.  I asked him for a quote and held my breath.

Well, it was worth a shot.  The quote, even with a friend discount, was a bit higher (about $200 higher) than we had anticipated spending, but N had mentioned that he could hash things over again if we needed.  Um, yes please!  So I put Mr. Library in charge of negotiations.  And now we wait.

Any ideas of how to find an inexpensive videographer?  Did you find anything that you wish you could include but not have the budget?

That’s Money Honey

I am totally addicted to this Lady GaGa’s song now.  Ahhh love it!  But that’s not what this post is about.  It’s all about the money.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of these?

Ugh.  Everyone’s favorite topic when it comes to wedding planning.  The groaning, the saving, the endless questions of “I want this, but can I afford this?”, and the feeling of embarassment when you bring it up to the parents and the in-laws.  Ahhh money.  Got to love it.

Mr. Library and I were seniors in college when he proposed, so money wasn’t exactly handy, which was fine since we decided to wait to get married until we both were out of graduate school.  No problem, right?  That’s two years to save money!

Yeah, funny story…  When Mr. Library asked Dad Library for my hand (he’s so cute that way!), Dad Library’s wheels started turning.  A wedding.  That’s going to mean expensive.  He then decided, much to my dismay, to go out and get a second part-time job to start saving up.  Did I want him to?  No.  Did he think he had to because he’s a dad and wants to provide for his first daughter’s wedding?  Yes.  There was just no arguing with him.  He was determined that he would pay whatever we needed, within reason. I suffer from severe guilt when my parents spend a lot of money on me (and by a lot, I mean more than $20), so this was pretty upsetting.  I didn’t want to stress my dad out and this was our wedding; we should pay something!  It’s only being responsible!

FMIL Library and FFIL Library weren’t as upfront about their wedding expenditures.  They were more than willing to help pay, but the portion of the whole bill was still up for debate.  If I wasn’t going to be allowed to help pay for the wedding portion (Dad and Mom Library had given up on paying for the honeymoon, so at least we could pay for that on our own), I wanted my parents to have a bit of help.  Mr. Library agreed, since we would be splitting the guest list between families.

One awkward group/family dinner later, we had both families at least on similar pages.  Did we set a concrete budget?  Wait… were we supposed to?  Oops… our bad.  Both sets of parents agreed that we would be fine with what we had as a hypothetical map, so we went with it.  A bargain hunter at heart, I had prided myself on planning this wedding on a super budget.  I’ll do breakdowns of each component later, but trust me; I have tried tried tried.  And maybe splurged a little, but that was from my own money.

How did you decide on your wedding?  Have you found it a little awkward talking about money with your parents or in-laws?

What Rhymes with Free?

Save the Dates!  Well, okay, not really, but hey, they were practically free anyway!  I know people like to go to wedding printers who specialize in wedding invitations, but I wanted to go down a cheaper road.  After a few Google searches, I came across VistaPrint.

Business printing?  Why one earth did you do that, you may ask?  Well, think about it this way.  Because they don’t specialize in weddings only, the markup is really low.  The word “wedding” does present an additional price tag.  They also make these in bulk, which keeps individual costs low.  The products are great quality and they run specials all of the time, especially if you sign up for email offers.

My 100 Save the Dates were on special when I ordered them, and with 140 return mailing address labels, the grand total came up to (drum roll please!):  $9.46.  Yep, you read that correctly.  $9.46!  I could hardly believe it.  The patterns were pretty, they matched almost exactly to what we had picked out from a more expensive catalog, and the price… well, I couldn’t beat it if I tried.

Save the Date

I would really encourage people to check out this website if you are looking for something not so expensive.  It has really saved me a bunch!

Let Them Eat (Haute) Cake!

As stated previously, I have the bad habit of picking out really expensive things and wanting them with a passion.  First it was all of the dresses I picked out of magazines, then the shoes (Manolo Blahniks in Something Blue… yum!), then the idea of having a photo booth at the reception.  When it came time for the cake design, why break the chain?

Thankfully, I was blessed enough to stumble upon a listing for a fabulous baker.  I believe that her sister is Sarah @ Parrott Design Studio on WeddingBee Pro.  I don’t exactly remember how or when I came across her cake website, but it was early in the process and I knew nothing about what our cake should look like or how expensive it would be.  I mean, come on, how expensive could one slice of cake be?!

Expensive.  Period.  The local bakers in Bethel, near our reception and ceremony locales, were asking nearly $4.50 a slice.  Would their cakes be works of art?  Probably.  Would we go broke paying for that work of art?  Absolutely.  Hoping for some sort of miracle, I branched out and started looking at bakers outside of our area.  It would be more of a hassle to get the cake to the reception, but if it would save a few hundred dollars, it was worth it.  Mr. Library and I can be creative problem solvers when we want to.

After coming across our baker’s website and scheduling a tasting with her (I have never seen Mr. Library so excited about a wedding errand before!), I received my copy of Modern Bride in the mail.  This became my ultimate inspiration:

Dream Wedding Cake

Wedding Cake Inspiration

Mr. Library and I wanted to have a topper instead of flowers, but how gorgeous is this design?!  I took the idea with me to the tasting, and Jessica, Mr. Library and I worked together to come up with a variation on the picture.  I’m not really one to just copy someone else’s idea.  I need to have it be something original.

Flavor options were up next.  Mr. Library and I had agreed that it wasn’t likely we would totally agree on one wedding cake flavor.  He is very plain (chocolate cake with white frosting) and I am more along the lines of fruity flavors with exciting add-ins.  We landed on a decision to take turns determining the layers and we would agree on the top.  It turned out not to be a problem at all.  The cake was soooooo delicious (I have never eaten so many cupcakes in my life) and seemed to go with every filling we tried.  In the end, we came out with the top and the bottom layer being red velvet with buttercreme and raspberry filling, the next layer being strawberry cake with lemon buttercreme filling, the third layer being German chocolate cake with the appropriate filling, and the top being lemon cake with raspberry filling. We were stuffed, and we were happy.

Unfortunately, FMIL Library decided that her side of the family would whine and potentially fight over who got which kind of cake (what kinds of family members are we inviting to this occassion?!), so she wanted to go with one flavor of cake.  While I try my hardest not to be a bridezilla, I had to say “Oh heck no” to that verdict.  This was our wedding cake, not hers, and if people were going to be picky, they should hurry to the cake table before everything is gone.  We decided not to add a new flavor to the top layer since it only fed six people (our baker makes us a new cake for our anniversary so it still tastes good), so lemon with raspberry went.

How did you pick out your cake?