364 Days

22 Sep

My future husband proposed to me on July 3rd. It was amazing. It is now September 20th. It is 364 days until my wedding. My beautiful, glorious, super fun wedding…that has so far done nothing but stress me out super hard core. Which is weird, because I am a planner. I have people over, I throw back yard parties, I host Magic the Gathering drafts, etc, etc, etc. I love to plan events and I have always done a good job. But this? This is different. A wedding? Holy crap! It is the biggest, most important, most overwhelming thing I have ever tried to plan. And why is that? One word. One word only. MONEY.

I first intended to have a back yard-bbq-rustic-nerdy-classy-amazeballs shindig of a wedding…..for $5,000.00. Now, that might have been doable if the guest list was 50 people. But it isn’t. My groom and I have huge families, lots of extended family, lots of friends. So, the first round guest list was over 225 people. And once those numbers were entered into the budget spreadsheet (yes, THE BUDGET SPREADSHEET. We have one, it calculates stuff for us, it’s glorious and super helpful. I’ll link you to it in a later post, I promise!) the cost of the wedding had sky rocketed to over $15,000. This is the point where, over tacos and margaritas with my mother, I totally shut down. Right out of the gate, our first “wedding planning meeting” at our favorite Mexican joint, I sat stony faced while my mind exploded over the fact that my wedding was going to cost more than my Nissan Cube, and $10,000.00 more than I even had to spend on it.

So now what? What the heck do I do now? My back yard-bbq-rustic-nerdy-classy-amazeballs shindig was falling apart before it was even planned! Mom and I finished our tacos and margaritas and went home with a plan to trim the guest list and review our personal finances to see where we land. It took nearly four weeks to land that bird. During that time I cried, I drank wine, I cried into the wine, I had long talks with my groom, with mom, with my bridesmaids, and with myself. We looked at the budget to see what things we could cut out, we looked at our finances to see where we could squeeze out extra money, we looked at the guest list to see who could get axed without it being too big of a deal. After a time, Mom came up with more money. The groom came up with more money. The budget climbed higher and the guest list descended from the clouds and, while the guest list is still quite large, they have more or less met in the middle. Some unimportant things were cut from the budget entirely and more focus given to the things we do really care about. We settled on numerous DIY projects. We have friends and family who offered up various things and services because they love us and they are amazing. The guest list is 125-150. The budget now lands around $10k…which still freaks me out so much…but I’m dealing…as best I can.

The back yard-bbq-rustic-nerdy-classy-amazeballs shindig is going to happen. It is going to be, well, amazeballs! Now the challenges that lie ahead are all the “fun things”. The projects and the planning (because planning is fun!). Figuring out how to inject the rustic-classy with enough nerdiness to make it our own. Figuring out how to accomplish the back yard-bbq without it becoming too redneck. The dress. The music. The food and booze. The decor. And dealing with the pressure and the feelings of “selfishness vs gratefulness” I feel over the mass amounts of money being spent and things being gifted for this day. (ok, the pressure and feelings of selfishness are not the “fun things”, but dealing with it is no less important.)

I have 364 days. Wish me luck.

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