Friday, October 3, 2008


I realized this week that I’m in wedding planning limbo. Somewhere between brides who plan weddings for $1,000 using 1970’s mugs from the Salvation Army as their stemware, and brides who spend $20,000 on their table linens alone.

The brides in the first category think it’s absolutely insane that I’m considering giving away vintage handkerchiefs at the ceremony. Isn’t the money better spent elsewhere? Why am I even thinking about such an inane detail?! The brides in the second category are probably scoffing at the fact that I’m not having hankies monogrammed for each individual guest.

Isn’t there something to be said for moderation? Why can’t I be fiscally conscious while still dreaming up personal little details? For me, the best part of the wedding planning has been using my budget as an inspiration.

For example, I could order an entire letterpress invitation suite, but I would have to cut half the guest list to pay for it. Instead, I’ve figured out a low-cost way to get the wedding stationery we want. The Mister and I designed the invitation, RSVP, and thank you cards. I put all the documents in one 8.5”x11” print-ready .pdf document. Soon, I’ll upload the document on the low-cost letterpress printer’s website. He’ll send me the letterpressed copies, and I’ll cut them myself (or have Kinkos do it). I’ll order more paper and envelopes from another high-quality, low-cost source. Then the Mister and I will assemble the invitations using the magical xyron machine. Lovely, custom letterpressed invitations at a fraction of the cost of ordering them. Yeah. That’s what I’m talkin’ about.

I don’t think any couple looks back on their big day and thinks, “I wish we’d spent more on the wedding.” But it’s easy to get dazzled by the wedding industry and start shelling out buckaroos like there’s not a recession comin’ down the pike.

I guess most brides in the planning stages see a budget as the most restrictive part of the wedding. I think it’s the most freeing! I’m very grateful to have some money to spend and that I get to use the right side of my brain to orchestrate the wedding we want within the amount we’ve got. It’s so much fun to stretch myself by trying out new creative roles: florist, stationer, makeup artiste!

Thrifty. Stylish. Personal. That’s what we’re going for. How ‘bout you?


Meg said...

Totally, totally agree. we're in that middle ground to. I feel blessed that we are having the party we are having (and we're spending what we feel we can afford) but we're somewhere between the people at work who have told me they consider a $50K wedding to be "cheap" (and no, they were not joking) and people online who sometimes act like a 15K wedding is CRAZY EXPENSIVE. Argh. Anyway, in my part of the net I try to create a space for all of us that are in between, but as the moderator of that space it can be a bit much. There are parts of my planning I'm uneasy about sharing, lest I get judged for spending "too much" while people in real life will judge me for spending too little. Exhausting, no?

Allison said...

Can you please share your letterpress service? I am planning to have our invites designed, and having them all on one sheet is a great idea! It's probably a little less wasteful, too.

And I'm totally with you on the budget nonsense. Our budget is $20K (and were hoping to come in a little under), but people love to guilt you on either side!

Jules said...

Sure! We plan to use I'm very excited about getting to use letterpress within our budget. Hooray!
What items are you doing yourself to save moolah but gain style?

Emilyalane said...

Where did you go? No recent posts. We notice and we miss you.