I’ve been dreaming about a $10,000 wedding, well my dreams were crushed when we actually laid out our wedding budget (including every little detail). I think it’s definitely possible to have a $10,000 wedding if you have a smaller guest list, a free venue or backyard to use for your ceremony/reception, or perhaps live in a city more affordable than ours! We have around 120 people on our guest list, needed a bigger venue and wanted to get married closer to home, which doubled the dream budget.
Well this lead to some serious money guilt. Anyone else ever feel this? I talk about living your best life on a budget and here I am about to spend a lot of money on our wedding. The idea of having a more expensive wedding made me feel like a DIY Frugalista Fraud. I thought I’d be letting myself and others down by not having the cheapest wedding on record. Lol. To be honest when we did our first budget I cried. (Poor Mark, he’s a champ!) I cried at the amount of money we’d be spending on one day, on the disillusion that we could have a budget wedding and that I couldn’t figure out a way to have a super low budget wedding. (Believe me I tried!) Although I want to celebrate with all our friends and family there I couldn’t get over the amount. I literally have a $400 wedding dress budget as I planned on renting one, not because that was my dream, but what I felt I had to do to keep the budget down.
We chatted about the budget at length and what Mark made me see was that we can afford our wedding, it’s within our means, and we won’t go into debt to throw this amazing love celebration. I’ve realized that is the most important and in alignment with the life we are leading. Our wedding budget might be too high for one bride or too low for another, but it works for us. The take away isn’t that our wedding is more expensive than I’d first imagined but rather we won’t go into debt, our budget works for us and although we can afford it we are still making smart choices. My parents also generously gave us some money they saved up for our special day, which has been a huge help.
After I cried (on and off for a few weeks about the budget, it’s the truth) I had a wonderful friend call me and we talked about it, the guilt I felt, the anxiety, the disappointment, but then he made me think about what we wanted our wedding to be about. We came up with three words we wanted to associate our wedding with, (yes I made Mark talk about his feelings and the energy we wanted to bring to our wedding) and to recognize what was important to us. He also said something that changed it all, Tijana this isn’t your first wedding, this is your only wedding (insert ugly cry), you’ve waited for Mark and want to celebrate the love you have for each other with those you care about most. Yup. I’ve waited a lifetime for this wonderful, kind-hearted, strong, smart and hilarious man, and I can’t wait to share this moment with those we hold dear because at the end of the day moments are worth more than money.
Here we are three months after getting engaged (I’ve stopped crying about the budget), I have a long list of DIY’s (definitely a money saver), I’m on several wedding boards (wonderful items for sale and great insight from other brides), a budget around $20,000 (calculating items we can sell afterwards) and have shifted my ideas of what’s important when it comes to our love celebration. To be honest I think we are doing pretty good, considering the Canadian average for a wedding is around $32,000…I guess we are having a somewhat budget wedding. I’ll take it!
All words by Tijana Popovic of A Plentiful Life and photos by Stacie Carr Photography