Dan and I went to seven – yes seven – weddings this summer….
I have been with the man of my dreams for four years now; we have a home and a dog, so we are practically married. We just don’t wear the rings, or have the signed marriage license. But I am 27, and Dan is 29 so as society has so kindly done for us, we are getting to the age where everyone is asking us, “When are you going to get married.” Dan always says three to five years, no matter when you ask. I always say we are in no rush to have kids, so why would there be a rush to get married. And that is the truth, we love each other, the house has already put us in a 30-year bond, and there is no rush- but there is that girly part of me that wants a wedding day and wants to put together a party to celebrate our love and so I went to Facebook and asked for advice. I just said to lay it out and tell me the good, the bad, the pretty and the ugly, and that I would make anything they tell me anonymous. So are you ready? Are you thinking you want to get married? Well take some of these tips from people who have already been through it. Here is the big fat list to help you out.
I wanted nothing to do with picking out my engagement ring.
If the woman picks out the ring it takes away from the surprise and fun.
We got his ring off Etsy for $30. After getting him sized and seeing what he liked at another jeweler, we ended up finding something he liked online for cheaper and we figured we could upgrade later.
At Shane Co. they have a sweet upgrade policy, but even after years and years of being married we have never upgraded.
Biggest thing to know for the guys is that the new, cool alternative metals (tungstun, cobalt, titantium, etc) will break if you drop them on a hard surface (tile, concrete, etc). The material is scratch resistant, but very fragile — and they can’t be resized…EVER. So if for whatever reason he ever needs a different size, you have to buy a brand new one. Be careful, because most jewelers will not tell you the truth about that.
We planned our wedding in five months and we wouldn’t change that for the world. Less time to change our mind.
From the time we got engaged to the date of our wedding will be 4 1/2 months and I’m SO thankful it’s short.
You have to enjoy the planning part. It should be exciting.
We got married out of state so we hired a wedding planner who would check out venues for us, and pretty much picked everything out for us perfectly.
A lot of things about the day you need to leave it up to the professionals as well. They do this for a living for a reason.
We chose October for our wedding because of the leaves changing colors, but also we didn’t want to get married during “wedding season.”
We chose a Thursday because on Fridays & Saturdays, the Venue we wanted holds two weddings a day and we wanted to pick a time and have it embed our day and not run into any other couples or feel rushed.
We picked our date because our boyfriend/girlfriend anniversary happened to be on a Saturday the year we were getting married. So our wedding anniversary is the same anniversary we celebrated as teenagers.
If you are planning an outdoor wedding, have a plan B. We planned every little detail and the weather the day of didn’t allow for us to do half the stuff on the list. That being said, our wedding was still perfect.
Get married in the off season. We chose a Friday in the off season, and is saved us $5,000 for the venue.
Our venue allows us to bring our own alcohol which saves tons and tons of money since they don’t have a liquor license but have a serving license.
Choosing a venue that is naturally beautiful saves money as well as you don’t have to spend as much on decorations.
Addressing the invites are a pain in the butt.
Invitations typically cost anywhere between $500-$2000…especially when you factor in the cost of postage.
No one will remember what your invite looked like, because it will most likely end up in the trash after the wedding.
Usually a one person invite assumes a plus one. While someone else said: The only time I think it is fair to invite a guest is if it is addressed that way, for example: George Smith & Guest or +1.
We needed to control our guest list a little bit more, so people who didn’t have an OBVIOUS significant other were not allocated a +1. Not to be super rude, but if I’m choosing between guests, I’m not allocating for a complete RANDOM stranger to be at my wedding.
The outer envelope is for the formal Mr. George Smith, the inner envelope would be George Smith & Judy Routh. That is where you add the “and guest”, or family, or just for the single guest.
For our ceremony we told everyone it was a no kids wedding.
We have nieces and nephews, really young cousins, etc., but we still wanted our wedding to be a kid free zone to hang out, party, drink and just enjoy. We have been to PLENTY of weddings that there a crying child during the ceremony. Yes they are a part of the family but there is a time and place for little ones. We were at the point we did not care if we offended someone by saying no kids. It is our day and we wanted it to be just adults.
RSVP card has a space for their names, and then underneath it says “We have reserved ____ seats for you at our wedding.” That way a family of five, whose RSVP card says “2” in that blank, can kind of get the picture that it’s not everyone.
Our dinner was plated and the food was $47 per person including booze, food, service, charges, tip, etc.
Most all inclusive places will cut/serve your cake for free – but make sure, because we went to places that charged $1/slice (OBNOXIOUS)
We had a tight RSVP list because it cost $60 per guest to attend the wedding.
We invited 135 people including ourselves. Take a second. If you have 135 guests, at $60 per person that is $8,100.
We spent about $20 on dessert for the entire wedding. No joke. We did root-beer floats. Everyone loved it.
We love this taco food truck and normally get full spending $10 for both of us, so we figured we would contact them for our wedding. The minute we told them it was for a wedding, the prices drastically changed and it was going to be around $30 per person. We said screw it and found somewhere cheaper and it actually only ended up costing $13 per person and it was awesome.
Gooooood luck budgeting. Costs go up depending on your guest list, the alterations on the dress, the veil, jewelry, gifts, details, craft projects, party favors.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING is included, obvious, or free.
You can barter/negotiate on everything. It’s exhausting, but because it’s a service, and people want your business, they have flexibility…so ask!
Before you even start/think about looking at venues, vendors, dates, etc. I would make a list of EVERYTHING that you can think of that goes into a wedding (venue, invitations, dress, alcohol, pictures, flowers, honeymoon, etc) and then I would rank the items on that list as to what actually matters to you. That way you can put the most priority on what actually matters — this seems like extreme common sense, but as far as budget is concerned too it helps you stay on track for the stuff you actually care about and not overspend on things that are lower on the list.
Party favors, or gifts for the guests is such a big expense.
We are giving our guests a photo booth for their ‘gift’
We don’t want our party favors to be anything edible. We want it to be something they can have forever.
The best party favor I ever received at a wedding was a Cuban cigar and pink flip flops to dance in that we could take home at the end of the night. Both from the same wedding.
We paid for the bulk of the wedding, and that made for a lot less family drama. We could make our own decisions, because it was our money.
All the drama comes from your family and guests.
Don’t get too carried away with Pintrest. Be original.
Don’t have a groom’s cake. There will be more than enough dessert.
We didn’t even have a cake. We don’t eat cake normally – so why would we invest money into one. We had a few family members who didn’t agree with us and said that we were breaking tradition, but it was our wedding and the best advice I can give is to make it your own.
Centerpieces don’t matter, people won’t remember them. They are expensive and just get thrown away afterwards.
I think centerpieces are fun and some people think they’re a hassle. We’re making all of ours because it’s fun and less expensive. Some florists can do full centerpieces as a convenience if you’re interested. I’ve had three friends do it and had a super positive experience and they felt like it was worth the cost.
Spend your money on good photography. That is what you have to remember the day for the rest of your life.
Make sure that if you go over 150 guests that you get two photographers
Thank you cards are a must. They are common courtesy.
According to etiquette you have three months to send them out.
As a guest, I would like to receive a thank you card just as a reassurance that you got the gift. This seems silly, but with all of those cards lying around one could get misplaced, or heaven forbid; stolen. So I think thank you cards should be a priority.
All I can say, is go with it.
Expect for 10 things to go wrong, because then you can’t be disappointed. If only seven things go wrong, it’s a win. You can’t expect the day to be perfect.
Enjoy the process. It is hard at times, but it is worth it in the end.
Do what you think you and your fiancé want. What really matters at the end of the day is that you are married to your best friend.