The 4 Keys to Having a "Practical" Wedding:
- That you have a honest wedding. That your wedding budget (whatever it is) reflects who you are, and what you feel you can afford to spend. That when you think of your wedding budget you don't feel ill and wonder, "oh dear god, how are we ever going to pay off this party?" I mean, in my experience *any* wedding budget will make you feel ill now and then, but most of the time it should make you feel confident like, "Hey, it feels like a lot of money, but we're spending smart, and we can do this thing." Amen, sister! So glad we nixed the $20k budget!
- That you tried to spend less then you can afford. At the end of the day, it's nice to know that you have a little in the bank in case of an emergency, and you didn't blow it all on one day. (I'm aware that this is not always possible. In my most broke days a marriage license would have felt like more then I could afford!) Yes! I'm a deal-hunter! This is sooo me. We're paying for the wedding and honeymoon in cash, and will still have a savings! Yes!
- That you have a laid back wedding where you care more about having a wedding that reflects who you are then meeting some arbitrary criteria, whether they are set by a wedding magazine or a blog. Hey, us again! We're on a roll! Haven't I tried (though I've slipped at times) to focus on WHY we're getting married, not HOW?
- But there is one thing that I care about most of all: I think how you spend your money is more important than how much you spend. When I look back at what we've spent our money on, the decisions I feel the best about are the ones where we put our money towards things we believe in. I don't feel best about the affordable wine we bought at Bevmo (though I think it was a smart choice), instead I feel the best about the wine that we bought on sale from Meeker - our favorite funky, low brow, small, local winery. When we bought Meeker wine, we helped support a business that we want to thrive in a difficult economic environment, and I feel great about that. I've tried to look at our wedding budget as money we are going to spend regardless, and tried to allocate it to people, businesses, and local artists that we want to thrive. Hmmm, if I stretch it, this one might be us, too. Though we're not having an all out eco-friendly, locally-grown wedding, we are doing our best to make conscious decisions about how and where we spend our money.
It's funny, because I was planning on posting something thoughtful today, anyway, that this showed up on my Google Reader. It's one of the few wedding blogs that doesn't just churn out pictures of over-priced (but gorgeous) weddings that focus on the invitations, the bridal dress, the venue, etc.
This weekend, I had a "Eureka" moment. Tom and I had a fairly laid back weekend, and the only "wedding" moment was when we tried on our wedding rings (which was a pretty spectacular moment, by the way!). The rest was all wedding-free, and it was so nice returning back to who we are as a couple, as opposed to Tom and Beth, the groom and bride. It's so very easy to get caught up in the plans, the budget, the etiquette rules, and the details, that we forget to relax and enjoy ourselves. :)
So, as March begins to come to a close and we head into "the crazy months," I plan on making a concerted effort to keep my head screwed on straight and my stress to a minimum. The "Will it matter in 10 minutes? 10 days? 10 years?" question will be one I ask myself more often.
Any maybe, just maybe, I'll remain practical until August.