Life in Mascara: HOW HUSBAND AND I PAYED FOR OUR WEDDING WITHOUT GOING INTO DEBT

Thursday, April 7, 2016

HOW HUSBAND AND I PAYED FOR OUR WEDDING WITHOUT GOING INTO DEBT


With our wedding come and gone many people have asked me if I am glad I am no longer planning a wedding. While my initial reaction is to say yes, there is also a void where all things wedding used to live. Husband and I were engaged for two months prior to our civil wedding in our home where I even did all the cooking. From that moment forward, I began to plan our Church wedding that was a year and a half later. Why did we wait so long? Let me fill you in.

Husband and I knew from the start that we would be paying for our own wedding. There was no magical bank account set up by either family at some point for us for this day. Both of our parents are retired and live their days filled with their hobbies as it should be. Husband and I also came from previous long relationships where husband had also been married. It just seemed 'not right' to expect all these frills and financial support from parents as if we were both in our early 20's and just starting out our lives. So when we set the date to our first wedding, we also went ahead and set the date for our second wedding. That way we knew just how much time we had to save and plan. And primarily, we knew we did not want to get into debt for our wedding. We wanted to enjoy our day and not have to worry of the bills looming over head. So we had the most important conversation in wedding planning that you will ever have: BUDGET.

Husband and I agreed on how much we were willing to spend on the wedding. The conversations actually went with him giving me a figure and me laughing and saying I can beat that! I like coming in under budget. It's the admin in me. I just can't help it. Anyways, we agreed and I began with the wedding timeline. I made a list of all the things that would need to be purchased down to dress socks for my boys. You have to be as detailed as possibly because everything costs money and you have to factor everything into your budget. In this list I also included all the things that I did NOT want for our wedding such as a sign in book. I promise I will remember if you were at my wedding or not. I just didn't see a point to it. By eliminating things that were not important for us to have, we were able to save some money and redirect it to things that we did want to have, like a candy buffet for my sweet tooth. 

Early on husband and I got a credit card that we used solely for points. We paid it off in full at the end of every month and were able to redeem points to pay off some of the items that we had purchased. Points quickly add up when you use it for all of your everyday purchases including the big ticket items that go with a wedding. I only recommend this if you and your fiance are very good with money. It can be really easy to get caught in the 'charge it' game and then end up more in debt than you started out to be. 

As the wedding planning got into full swing, we started having people offer to pay for something or to help with the rehearsal dinner since we hosted it at our house. We graciously accepted. If it came from the bottom of their heart and they were in a position where they could help us financially then we saw it as a generous gift. There is nothing wrong with accepting them so long as you don't start to nitpick the item. For example, we had our great friends place the lasso on us during the ceremony. This is a Mexican tradition that meant a lot to me. They agreed and offered to pay for it as well. I told them not to worry that I could get it but they insisted citing that as per tradition, they should. I thanked them and accepted their help. All she asked me was if I wanted it to have gold or silver details. I said silver and that was that. Had I asked for pricey details to this piece, in my opinion, that would not have been in good taste and could have possibly put our friends in an awkward financial situation.

Another way that we spread our money over this time was with the bigger ticket items such as the venue, the cake, and the music. They all allowed for multiple payments to be done leading to full payment the day before the wedding. We took full advantage of that and made sure to plan for those due dates. 

We were on our way to paying for our wedding when two months prior husband lost his job. I wont go into details here but if you have ever been in this position you know how difficult it can be. Especially if you are the bread winner of the family and have children. We went into full admin financial mode. We got our finances in order and made cuts to our lives where we needed to. We knew it was temporary but they needed to be done. 

Next up, how to continue paying for the wedding without the primary income. This is where our situation is unique. Husbands' bonus came in March. A week after our wedding to be exact. We knew the amount, we knew it was coming, we just needed to get there. We took a second credit card that had 0% interest for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers. We transferred whatever balance we had on our original card that we would pay in full every month and charged all the final wedding items on that card. We didn't know how long husband would be out of a job so we wanted to be sure we could handle all the household bills on my salary all while waiting for his March bonus. Again I do not recommend the credit card game unless you are financial savvy. In this case, we really had our hands tied just as our finances were tied up in other places. 

Our wedding came and went and I am happy to report that we were close to $2000 under budget. It was perfect, intimate, and most importantly, didn't break the bank. We didn't want to start our married life under the burden of debt. We danced away knowing full well that in a week the money would come in and would pay off the remaining balance to the wedding that we had so carefully planned and saved for. Now we can sit back and enjoy all the fun pictures that were taken that day. 

If you are in the middle of planning your wedding or just getting started, I urge you to make sure that you give yourself ample time to accommodate for all the expenses. Make lists. Make lots of them. Especially of things that you do NOT want. You may not even know you want/do not want them until you get to this point but again it will make you realize what you are willing to spend your hard worked money on and what not. 

Items Gifted:
Wedding Dress
Veil
Invites
Lasso
Bible
Rosary
Cake Toppers
Photo Booth
An hour at the venue.
The initial venue deposit.
Candy bar decor
Signage for gift table, candy bar, and our table.
Food and drink for rehearsal dinner

14 comments:

  1. Great tips! I have so many friends planning weddings right now and they say the cost is insane! Definitely good to have a budget in mind and stick to it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The cost is ridiculous if you ask me and that is why having and sticking to a budget is the most important thing. Also deciding what it is that YOU want and not what you feel like you HAVE to have.

      Delete
  2. Weddings are just ridic. I am planning mine now and I cannot get over how expensive even just invitations are!!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No doubt! I was very fortunate my best friend made ours. Have you thought about making yours yourself?

      Delete
  3. This is great advice. Marriage is such a hot topic between my boyfriend and I that I've already started saving and plotting on how we will afford a wedding. While I have a number in my head, I figure I'll leave the real discussion til he actually proposes. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah...you might want to do that lol! But good for you for starting the saving process.

      Delete
  4. awesome tips! It's so smart of you guys to plan your wedding this way :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. I definitely found some aspects of wedding planning overwhelming, but setting a budget helped ease that stress. I agree it's so nice to have people in your life who care enough to offer to pay for parts and if they truly want to as a gift, then it's totally fine to let them. Our best friends who were also our maid of honor and best man offered to host our rehearsal dinner in their yard since we did a low-key bbq style rehearsal and they also offered to pay for our flowers. It was such a sweet and treasured gift!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That was so sweet of them! When my friends started to offer to bring a dish for our rehearsal dinner I was hesitant at first but then I thought you know what we need all the help we can get so yes thank you very much!

      Delete
  6. Way to go you guys, managing the wedding costs and dealing with a job loss in the meantime, that's tough!
    My parents paid for our wedding, and I was just as determined to go "under budget", as if it were my own money--they offered us a budget of $3000, and we came in at $2,300. My husband paid for his own suit and shoes otherwise we would have been a little closer to the budget. It helped that we could get my grandparents' church for ceremony and reception for just the $200 janitorial fee--and it's a really beautiful, older church, and I was very happy with the venue. We made our own food, my grandma is very experienced at hosting dinners for 100+ so the food went off without a hitch. And my grandpa rented us a chocolate fountain because he'd never been at an event with a chocolate fountain and he really, really wanted one. :P It was truly a 'family wedding' and I'm grateful for the family who gave it to us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good for you guys! And I bet all those frill and dills that people often fuss about were not even missed. I love the idea of the chocolate fountain for your Grandpa and in general. It just makes it fun!

      Delete
  7. Hahahaha I needed these tips a year ago, even with good intentions and lots of DIY for our wedding it still got out of hand. Great advice and great post!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you. But at least now you can pass on what you learned to friends and family who are getting married.

      Delete