Saying “I Do” & “I Can Do Without”

Planning a wedding, you probably thought you would never say these phrases simultaneously, but welcome to the wedding planning game!

Having a wedding is a joyous celebration & honor in life! I am so happy and thankful we were able to celebrate our marriage and mark the beginning of our new lives together with a special event! However, with a wedding comes a lot of pressure, stress and expenses no one seems to ever mention… weddings happen every day, you get online and see picture perfect memories splattered everywhere… articles telling you the latest trends, what you “have to have”, how to have the [PERFECT] day… You’re inundated with ideas and imagery and you want to do everything you can to make sure your day measures up!

I hate to say I’m guilty of falling into the trap myself… while a wedding is a dream day, the reality of the situation is- it comes with a price tag & someone has to pay the tab. There are many choices you make to create the day of your choice & many ways to pay for it, but be prepared for lots of leg work to figure it all out. The wedding is a one day special occasion but the marriage itself is the real gift & celebration, so don’t get too caught up in the wedding stuff & let it affect your marriage down the line.

Dillon and I were responsible for planning and paying for our wedding. It was a struggle! Before- I thought you would excitedly call your friends & family, they would all sit in a circle around you & joyfully offer to help you come up with ideas, while money just appeared, vendors got booked & any idea that popped in your head was accomplished. LOL

What actually happened was— SO MANY EMAILS!!! The wedding industry likes to di$cu$$ price$ la$t and it required lots of emails, venue tours, phone calls… to even get access to that information! Every location has it’s own set of rules so you have to read the contracts to learn the limitations & expectations, then you have to tentatively plan the entire event with certain vendors & inquiry about their availability, etc. Dillon & I made a pact to pay in cash & not ruin our lives with the cost of a wedding so we had to be very thorough with our multiple inquires!

Some of the venue specific “wedding rules” I’ll never forget:

  • only 100% real flowers, no fake flowers allowed
  • can’t have an event without a wedding planner, specifically our wedding planner who is $9,500
  • food & drink minimum $15,000
  • you only have setup access for 1 hour before the event
  • if you run over the allotted time 15 minutes, you’re charged $1,000

etc, etc, etc… Needless to say, we didn’t sign any of those contracts! but after all the $aving & planning & researching, we officially decided on a wedding at White Pointe Gardens in Charleston, SC! Planning was in full swing for our August wedding! I was so thrilled to see things coming together! & then COVID.

One of the few advantages/positives of COVID was the impact on the juggernaut wedding industry… now came more flexibility, options and less rigidity & extreme advanced planning + availability. ~the wedding industry needed this shake up & I hope the more options continue! I believe people also needed this shake up, COVID made people realize how much they wanted to get married & move on with the wedding regardless of what they did or didn’t have… myself included!

Enter, the Horton Hotel and their new wedding packages… we got married May 15th 2021 & it was a wonderful day! I will treasure the memories! We had to make many compromises along the way, but the end result was the same and I want to make it known that you can have a fabulous wedding day without breaking the bank & having every single extra detail people may make you think you need…

THINGS THAT DIDN’T MAKE THE CUT @ OUR WEDDING:

  • Wedding Planner
  • Wedding DJ
  • Wedding Party
  • Grooms cake
  • Large reception dinner
  • Programs
  • Something blue… I accidentally forgot to pack it!
  • Cake tasting
  • More than 40 guests
  • Photo booth
  • Place cards
  • Table numbers
  • Seating chart
  • Lighting
  • Liquor
  • Rehearsal
  • Rehearsal dinner
  • Bridal luncheon
  • Bridal shower
  • Formal dances

Cutbacks were made due to either cost, COVID healthy & safety precautions, multiple reschedules, venue limitations, vendor availability, logistics… but the day still came together & we had a wonderful celebration! It can be done! I’m thrilled that we were able to get married, 100% pay for it & now we have the rest of our lives to look forward to! Sure, there are things I wish we could have done differently… but it all came together and we were pleased!

SPLURGES WE ARE HAPPY TO HAVE HAD:

  • VIDEOGRAPHY!!
  • Live music
  • Open bar- beer & wine
  • Wedding favors
  • Exit car & driver
  • All inclusive honeymoon

Over the next few weeks look out for new posts! I’ll be finally uploading our wedding photos
& I’ll be sure to break down the whole weekend’s festivities!

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