December 17, 2008

B to the U to the D to the G to the E to the T

If you can't figure out what I was trying to spell out, it's the most dreaded word in wedding planning: BUDGET. The word is sometimes used to describe weddings that are not as expensive as others as well as a financial plan for the wedding. In the wedding world, you often hear planning "on a budget" or "budget" weddings. Our wedding is somewhere in between. :)

Honestly, do you know anyone who can just spend without consequences? I don't. So aren't we all really on a budget to some extent? I am sure that there are many people who do not have to worry about prices, but I would venture to say that most of us are NOT included in that group.

Sadly, I did not luck out in the "I'm going to have an inexpensive wedding" lottery because:

1. I live in New York City. You know, the whole bride's hometown thing, right? Well unfortunately my hometown is one of the most expensive cities in the United States (if not THE most expensive). For a variety of reasons, we are having the wedding here. Yes, I know we can have a destination wedding, but New York has a place in our hearts and for many reasons it's also a practical place for us to have the wedding (i.e, travel ease for many guests many of whom are international, living and planning in the same place as the wedding and well...we like it here). I know it's expensive. Please don't remind me. Sigh...

2. As much as I'd like this to be the case, I don't really have any friends to hook me up with free services. I am amazed at blog posts about how people who have friends who are designers, caterers, photographers, tailors, etc. I love my friends, but they don't have skills like that. :) Also I am not sure I would want them to do some of the things related to the wedding. I just want them to show up and enjoy the day with me. Maybe a few will help me get ready.

3. DIY - As you read in my introductory post, I just don't craft. Like for real...I was always one of the worst kids in arts and crafts class. I can't even draw a proper circle. Craft projects freak me out. I am amazed at all of you making your own pocket fold invitations, charms, special favors and stuff. I tip my hat off to you. I don't have the interest, patience or the creativity much less the time. I have a travel intensive job which requires me away from home and Mr. Swan at least two nights per week for six months out of the year (or right about now). At my last job I was lucky if I left before 7pm! The little time I have at home is filled with errands, blogging, planning, cleaning and making a feeble attempt at enjoying some free time (what is that concept, by the way?). In my pre-blog days, I even inspired a blog post about my DIY ambivalence.

Am I being bitter? Probably, but I am not a slave to the Wedding Industrial Complex (boo!) and to be honest, our wedding is STILL not coming cheap.

Mr. Swan and I have gone about our budget in the most practical way possible. If we don't think it's worth it, we won't have it. Period. I think Manolo for the Brides took a great approach to thinking about wedding budgets. We've picked what was most important to us and emphasized them in how much we've spent so far: venue/food/open bar and photography (at one point my dress was part of it but that's changed). We started with our venue/food and built our budget around that. I didn't feel the need to have the best of everything in every category much less have certain things at all. Favors? So far not planned. A guestbook? Possibly. If we weren't feeding people, I think our wedding expenses actually wouldn't be that bad ;) I LOVE food so a meal had to be involved in my wedding experience. Oh well!

Even within those important budget line items of venue/food and photography, we've made sure that we have gotten the most bang for our buck. How? A daytime wedding and a great photog with really fair pricing. Let's hope we keep on the right track.

Even after writing all of this, I am pretty jealous of this woman. A $5K wedding in NYC...I ain't mad at ya, girl!

What approach have you taken towards developing your budget?

1 comment:

Kadija Ferryman said...

Oh an you know I have you on the make up for the wedding my dear!!!