Before setting a budget, it is really important to have an idea of what it is for.
Like many other people, I never really thought it was essential to get married in order to be in a stable and committed relationship.
We were, and I was pretty happy with what we had.
Consequently, I had never really thought about what kind of party I would like to have if we did get married.
So the first thing we did after deciding to get married was to sit down and decide how we wanted to go about it.
Let me stress that none of us had a clue so our first decision was “we need to do some research”.
Pretty typical response in our household given that we are both researchers…
The reality is, if you don’t know what you’re purchasing, how can you set a realistic budget on it?
I was responsible for “resources” and “filtering”. Google being our best friend, I quickly found tons of sites to peruse and get some ideas from.
Some of my favourites were:
This last one was a most valuable resource in that it reminded me of the importance of being ourselves and doing what we were comfortable with.
Overwhelming is the word. I got to a point that it got too much to see one pretty thing after another. I had to step back and look at it more objectively.
Soon it became obvious that there was a pattern in those weddings, a set of stages people seemed to go through.
While on their own some of those stages or details seemed fine to us, all together were too much.
Much of it didn’t speak to us neither as individuals, nor as part of a culture.
And suddenly we were aware that we were not just thinking about ourselves, but our families and friends. We realized that for us it was important that they felt comfortable.
That ended up being our premises: make it comfortable for us and for those that love us enough to travel around the world to share the moment.
From there we were able to set out our essentials and budget for them.
Did we need a big venue? No. There’s a limit to how many people can be in a room before it becomes too impersonal. So our limit was 50. Great, that was perfect for one of our favourite food places!
Did we need a massive cake with a over-the-top design? No. But we needed those cake toppers!!
Did we have to do it in a specific place? Not really. For us, people make the place and moment. The Town Hall it was then (luckily, Brighton Town Hall is lovely too).
Did we need to hire cars? No. We don’t like cars. Plus, the favourite food place mentioned above was just around the corner from the Town Hall! How handy! We could all walk together!
Did we need tons of stationary? No, bad for the environment and plenty of online resources.
Did we want champagne? No, please no! Prosecco is so much better and our friends/families agree!
Bottom line, there is so much that is unnecessary in a wedding. And somehow we can get caught in the idea that it is essential. Take your time. Do your research and find out what kind of party you want to have, for you and for those around you.
Do you want flowers? Find out how many arrangements you actually need and how much they would usually cost. Budget for what you need. The “wedding tax” is difficult to avoid but it is not impossible!
And as a piece of advice? Think carefully about the ideals you might have had when you were a little person. Think about who you are right now and remember you’re doing this with someone else. You might have had an idea in the past but how important is it? If you make it your dream party you might find that others won’t feel part of it…
On post II of this series I will go into the details of how we avoided the “wedding tax” in many instances and how we found our perfect vendours.
Thanks for reading