In the spirit of loving friends, famliy, fun & self-deprecating humor, we are pleased to introduce a new series to our Gay Wedding Fodder readers: It’s My Wedding And I Can Cry If I Want To. Several couples have expressed an interest in sharing the stories of their wedding journies with Gay Wedding Fodder and we are pleased to share this space with them. Each is in a different place in the wedding planning process but all love to weave a good yarn and all are happy to share with us their trials & tribulations, inspirations & tips, and tears of joy and tears of disappointment or dismay. Perhaps you’ll recognize a bit of your relationship in these intallments?
Nothing can spoil the mood like the big, bad “B Word”: BUDGET!
Michele: When Carey and I started to plan our wedding and began discussing our expectations of the day, our views were slightly different. OK, they were COMPLETELY different. Hey, I am a girl that grew up in Los Angeles, where keeping up with the Jones’ is the norm. Carey grew up in small town Utah – a world away from the image obsessed culture of LA. So, when it came to discussing our wedding budget, things definitely got a little tense.
Carey: We both wanted a nice wedding, but Michele’s definition of “nice” came to about $35,000 and mine came to about $5,000! When we first started planning, Michele had all sorts of ideas: a limo to drive us to the wedding, extravagant attire, expensive flowers, gourmet food, and lots more. Once I added up the price tags for all of these items, Michele saw that her version of a nice wedding would take us years, not months, to pay off. On the flip side, I also came to realize that $5,000 wasn’t going to get us very far and that we would not be able to incorporate the things we each wanted on our special day.
M: So we sat down and created two lists each – a “Wish List” and a “Deal Breaker List”. The Wish Lists contained things we really wanted for the wedding. The Deal Breaker Lists contained the things that were most important to us and not negotiable. When we broke the lists down like this, we realized there weren’t as many things on our Deal Breaker Lists as we first would have thought. It was a great way to get down to what really mattered to each of us.
C: We compared our lists, weeded out the “Wishes” that were breaking our budget, and discussed ways to fit in the “Deal Breakers”. We also started to investigate alternate means of getting the things we really wanted. Let’s face it, weddings are outrageously expensive and you have to think outside of the box if you are on a budget. Some examples of how we avoided high price tags on important items: we booked a photographer for half of the going rate because she is a college student still finishing her degree at the local university, but her portfolio is amazing and her work has been featured in several magazines. We compromised on an off-beat wedding site that has an old western saloon on one end of the property (ugh!), but has a separate beautiful outdoor courtyard and large white party tent on the other side (yay!). The site has an all inclusive package that includes our food, alcohol and a wedding coordinator – all for less than half of what the other locations were charging just to rent their site!
M: By doing a little digging and giving up some of our original ideas of what a “perfect wedding” should look like, we have been able to save ourselves thousands of dollars. The best part is that our wedding now feels like us, rather than some ideal of what a wedding should be or should cost. And the best part is that neither of us feels like we gave anything up, because our wedding feels perfect to us.
C: The best advice we can give couples out there is communicate, communicate, communicate. Even if it’s hard at first, get everything out on the table. Then, narrow down what really matters. You will find that a lot of the “Wish List” items fall to the way side when you look at the bigger picture.
While one of you may have to loosen the purse strings a little and the other may have to tone it down a bit, but the B Word doesn’t have to be a bad word if you work together!
To get the basics on Michele & Carey, check out their first blog in the series.
Editor’s Note: Would you and your partner like to participate in our Blog Serial, It’s My Wedding & I Can Cry If I Want To? Learn more about the series and contact Kathryn.