Archive for the ‘Money Honey’ Category

After much planning, budgeting and stressing, we have decided that within our budget constraints, a Dallas wedding for under $5000 will probably not be possible (for some maybe, but not me). You see, there are certain things I will not compromise on. I want a certain look and style and the cheaper venues and vendors really will not facilitate what I want. Also FH is really concerned about the $5000 budget in the first place. I know it seems like a paltry amount of money, especially for a wedding – the most important day of your life, blah blah. I’m not diminishing it as that, I just am really looking forward to being married and buying our first house together and bringing children into our lives (God willing) with some financial security in place. So as much as I want a beautiful and meaningful wedding, I also want my FH to be happy and not resent me for being a brat about things that if I think about it, don’t really mean a lot in terms of our future happiness.

We also have the issue of guests, which made it really hard to keep costs at under $5000. At first, we thought 50 people would be fine but then we realized that we both have very large families with a good number of relatives living locally. We don’t want hurt feelings by inviting some and not others. I also just realized how the whirlwind of wedding talk and invitations goes. My mother was telling one of her cousins that I am getting married and then came the obligatory, “well send us an invitation”. I’m not mad at people basically inviting themselves but we just can’t afford 150 or even 100 guests. I don’t really have a problem saying no but I genuinely like a lot of my relatives and I’d rather have an intimate wedding that people expect not to be invited to, hence a destination wedding.

My first thoughts led me to research theBahamas and Sandals Royal Bahamian. Loved it but FH did not love the price tag. He suggested Hot Springs as we were going to take an anniversary trip there a year or two ago, but after pricing some venues it would not be much cheaper than Sandals so… My cousin Shayla (and Maid of Honor) suggested Vegas but I honestly couldn’t envision this. I definatley had preconceived notions. I sort of think of Vegas as a modern day “Solom and Gomorrah” and I would hate to burned to the ground just trying to get married. Kidding. But seriously, it really wasn’t my first choice and getting married somewhere with the nickname “Sin City” just doesn’t ring romantic to me.

I looked at all the resorts ( I didn’t realize there were so many) and priced rooms and wedding packages and I admit to being surprised about how nice some of the venues are. My favorite is the Mandalay Bay. Their chapel is by far my favorite “look”. Now, we are pricing packages and all that but I am getting so frustrated with my FH. He is really being a penny pincher and I want him to just relax and let me plan. He’s looking at Orbitz and getting excited about how inexpensive the packages are but I’m like, “it’s because the flights suck and you can’t chose from very many at all.” Expedia has been my best bet with finding packages that save money and offer several flight options. But FH is not satisfied and needs to do more research. I just want to hurry up and make a decision and book this stuff. We don’t have a nest egg and we are having to save and pay for the wedding as time goes on. My mom is helping but it’s not enough to sooth FH’s $ worries. ARGHH! I think FH has a different idea about how many guests would be at our destination wedding. I still want the whole wedding party and any close friends or family who can afford to come. He only wants his immediate family – meaning mom, dad, brother and brother’s wife. I guess we have some differences to work out, eh?

As for the budget, FH wants to try and keep it close to $3000. Ok, great but I feel like I am going to lose a lot of things I want. So what’s the difference, cheapo wedding here where I have to sacrifice things I want or cheapo wedding in Vegas where I have to do the same? Except by having a Vegas wedding we will save a good $2000. I am trying to be so compromising but I really am to the point of utter frustration and crying at the mere mention of the word wedding. And I hate to cry. I understand his need to not spend money that we don’t have yet so that’s why I feel like I can’t stand my ground. We really don’t have a lot of money. So should we just wait until we save the amount of money I think we need to have the kind of wedding I would really want? Is all the wedding hooplah really important to me? He’s been married before (divorced obviously – no children) but this would be my first and by GOD, my only wedding. How much should I compromise? I’m so frustrated and stressed and it’s driving me crazy. One day I’m happy and planning and blogging and dreaming and the next day I want to call the whole thing off and live in sin forever and just go back to being plain old girl friend.

Wow. That felt kind of good to vent like that. As soon as we actually make plans, I’ll post about it. Hopefully soon but we need to be pragmatic and frugal (two words that do not go with planning a wedding – or my personality). I’m really wishing FH was a girl right now!


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My mother works at Neiman’s.  Neiman’s had a sample sale.  My mother bought a dress she thought I may like at said sample sale.  I went over to her house and she reveals to me that she found a dress for me and to see if I like it.  I was not too excited as I’ve rarely trusted my mother’s taste for me.  Upon seeing the dress, I was like, “Ok, Mom, you did good.”  Upon trying it on, I thought she did really good.  She then told me how much she paid for the dress.  The dress cost (wait a minute – not divulging how ridiculously cheap it was but I will say that it was a double digit number) $$.  It is a shocking price and I would be a fool not to wear this gown as I’m sure its normal cost is in the thousands.  It is a Carmen Marc Valvo Couture gown sample from the Fall 2005 collection.  Here are pics from the runway show.



My dress is Ivory with Gold beading.  PERFECT.  I can’t post pics b/c FH reads this!  So, because of the surprising addition of this beautiful gown, I will be wearing two dresses.  I will make my ceremony dress (inspired by the Palazzo gown from my inspiration board) and wear this dress to my reception.  Thanx Mom!

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A Good Shoe Day

It has been my experience that when shopping, if you see something you like and can afford it – BUY IT!  There have been so many times that I debated on buying something I wanted and waited.  When I finally made the decision, it was too late.  Item no longer available.  This has happened several times in the last few months and it is extremely frustrating.  So today, I look at zappos, just doing some Internet window shopping and I see the cutest little flats by Nine West:


I was doing a search on green shoes, thinking perhaps I may want a pop of color under my dress.  When I saw these, I knew I had to have them (perfect grass green color) but I was less than enthused about the $72.95 price tag.  These would not be my main shoes just to put on at the reception after dancing a bit.  So, I went off to look for a deal.   Shoes365 had them for the same price…Amazon just had another posting from zappos…more of the same…more of the same…Then…Macy’s.  Yeah boyeee!!! Jackpot.  $34.50.   More my speed.  So I bought ’em.  And you know what, it feels good.  Also, I used MyPoints, which means I get 2 points for every dollar I spent.  It’s really a neat program and I’ve redeemed my points three times already for $25 dollar amounts each time.  The next time I redeem my points, I will use them for something wedding related.  See, it’s all working out.  Now I just need to get on the ball with finding the other dress fabric and my “real” shoes, which will most definitely be ivory now that my dress will be ivory.

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The Budget

Our budget is $5000.  This is what me and the beau both agreed on.  I am thinking I should be sneaky and save more.  After all, he has to buy my engagement ring which we are not including in the budget.  So, maybe it will be $5500. 

Now do you see why I am stressed?  That is not a lot of $ at all.  But you know what, while I wish I had a bit more to spend, I still think spending $20k on a wedding is rediculous  (Average cost of U.S. wedding, by the way).  I’d rather buy a car.  I refuse to go into debt at the start of my marriage.  My marriage will be way more important than the wedding. 

Conversely, I want a perfectly lovely wedding, so I think having and planning a “budget” wedding will be a great challenge.  I have a lot of Martha Stewart in me and I am very tenacious and determined.  I have already been greatly inspired by a blog I came across, Save For a Wedding.  They have a great vision and I am excited that they are being smart and resourceful about their wedding.  Here’s a little chart that I made as I was inspired by the afore mentioned blog:

I am also reading every thing wedding there is to read on the internet.  The first thing you are supposed to do is determine the budget so at least I was able to invlove the fiance in planning that.  I am really hopeful that together we can pull this off and that even he will will say what a good job we did making it a beautiful day. 

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