Viewing the 'My November Wedding!! Ouch on $$, fun on planning!' Category
I'm back & I'm MARRIED!! The wedding was wonderful. There were a few tiny snafoos that ended up making the memory books but all in all it was perfect. I have not heard anything other than compliments from the guests so I guess we dun good.
Of course it ended up more expensive than I counted on. I'm in a dispute with the caterer who charged me $50 per person when we agreed on $30 per person...arg.
And I spent money on things I never ended up using...but live and learn.
So I will be posting wedding numbers later today. Now I'm going to get started READING!! I feel like I have missed a years worth of information...new president, auto industry...and I don't even know what else!
Poor Baseball boy-
One of his very close friends from high school just called to say he will not be attending our destination wedding in GA in 3 weeks because he is broke.
This is not unusual. This has been the mantra that I have been hearing the last few months. The price of gas for planes, hotel rooms, food...it adds up. I understand.
HOWEVER, this guy should be coming. He makes almost 100k a year and lived in his parents basement for years saving while he worked. A few years ago he bought a townhouse for 400k.
And his story continues like every overextended American. He called talking about how he bought the place with no money down, the arm just reset,yada yada.
Poor boy. He drives a BMW. And he cant afford to fly down because he just took his GF to south Florida and lost almost a thousand dollars gambling....
So all those financial things combined with our wedding in a few weeks and all those associated costs...he just cant come.
Now here is the kicker- We sent a Save the Date to him a YEAR AND A HALF ago. And BB has been dating me almost 9 years...so it's not like this wedding was in danger of being canceled. Then we sent him a detailed letter explaining transportation options, hotel options ext. in July. Then he received the invitation last month.
BB was in a close knit high school group of 4 guys...1 canceled because he has arranged to go on vacation with his GF to Disney the same weekend???...and now this. So 2 guys will be there- which seems worse somehow- that the richest guy of the group is bailing here.
And financially this sucks for BB and me. We pre-booked an entire 25 room bed and breakfast for the wedding for the whole weekend to ensure that our guests would all stay in the same place, and it would be cozy and romantic for everyone. Well the inn charges $200-$250 per room a night (plus tax)- but BB and I know none of our friends can afford that- so we told everyone the inn costs $100 a night and we plan to cover the rest of the cost. We paid 12k to the inn anticipating $4400 back (each room generates $200 back minus the bridal party that we are covering in full). Now people are dropping like flies and we are covering the full cost of the empty rooms. 5 empty rooms and counting....
I cant help it. I am ANGRY. I feel like I am stuck paying for this guy because he chose to be irresponsible with money and lives a lavish life. He promised us he was coming- we counted on it and now we're stuck paying...kind of like the Great American Bailout on a personal scale.
And to think that everyone is Sooo excited when they are invited and you cut friends off the invitation list because there is no room...and now I have 1 friend from high school who is not speaking to me because she was not invited, and now we have about 20 people who are not coming!!Grrr...
Wedding planning is not fun anymore
Sorry just had to vent
Last night I got a message from my wedding planner marked "final notice." "Uh-oh, what's this?" I thought. Turns out she has been emailing me for 2 MONTHS to get my final payment for her services and I never got a single email.
I had assumed the final payment was due on the day of the wedding-guess not.
Oddly enough I explained to her I did not get any of the emails and she attached about 4 emails she had sent me that never came through. I had once emailed her with a question and never got a response-she did email me a response that never went through! (And here I had been thinking she was a stinky planner.)
So of course she wants her $500 payment immediately. I have $214 in the bank right now. She wont take CC, but says I can paypal her. Sounds good to me.
I open the invoice- she is charging me an EXTRA $125 in late fees! It was my responsibility to get her payment- so I assumed I have no argueing power and pay it. Then she wants an extra 3% of the total $625 payment for paypal fees! Jeez. Cant I catch a break? I was already thinking she is definately NOT WORTH her 1k price...now she's nearly $1200.
I just wish she had called me. Maybe after the second email got no response. She has my number.
And I have been so good paying vendors IN FULL when I can just so I don't need to worry about payment dates.
Lesson learned. These vendors want you to be late so they can charge like crazy. So today I went ahead and emailed the location site asking when they need their 6k. I knew it was 1 month before the wedding but had been waiting to get an email from them before I volunteered my credit card. Now I learned. But the lady was nice and told me to pay her when I arrive in town for the wedding.
Stupid overpriced wedding. I'm really over it. I really hope it is great because at this point I am just writing check after check and seeing nothing but a bunch of expensive promises.
Well, American financial crisis aside, I am trying to just live life and be smart as I do it.
EBay is doing pretty well. BB's video game sold for more than we expected...but a new person to eBay with poor feedback won it 2 days ago- and has not paid for it. Disappointing. It's such a hassle to file an unpaid claim.
All other low priced items have bids on them. No expensive items have bids on them. Not much surprise there.
My camera battery ran out of charge...and I left the battery charger in Texas, so I ordered another off eBay...auction ends in another day. So my eBay listings are on hold till it arrives.
That's about it. I have spent the last 2 days working on a spreadsheet to detail exactly the cost of this wedding...it's just excessive. Frustrating. I really wish I had never agreed to this thing. I know people 'say' you can 'cut' but...
Since it's an out of town wedding, we are paying for many things that in town weddings don't pay for- like hotels and transportation. And every vendor charges 'extra' fees like 'service charges', 'save the date' ex...so if you cut back on the amount or type of service you want, it's really only taking a small percentage off the bill. I cut back my flowers by 50% and it only eliminated $150 off a $600 bill. Frustrating. I don’t want to talk about it. I am so ashamed of myself for spending this much money but feel stuck.
I try to be optimistic and think maybe it's because I am just writing checks, checks, and checks and have nothing to show for it. Maybe the day after our wedding I will say it was all worth it. Maybe. I hope.
Ok, I'm gonna lay it out. It's all going out on the table for everyone to gasp and tell me I am way overspending on this wedding. I know I'm overspending! I'm just not sure where! (Except the hair and makeup~ thats just ridiculous but it was the best option I could find).
*sigh* I dont like doing this. I really have entered a scary territory where the numbers are higher than I imagined they could ever be.
If you tend to have a queezy stomach, or have high blood pressure- turn away. Go read someone elses blog. This wont be pretty.
Reception location and lodging~ $7600
Wedding planner $1,000
Ceremony location $405
Horse Carriage $200
violinist at ceremony $150
Hair & makeup $560 (3 bridesmaids and me)
Invitations and STD (+ stamps!)$115
Wedding rings $1200
Reception Band $1000
Guest transportation (rent 2 15person vans) $800
Need to get:
mens shirt to go with suit
mens shoes to go with suit
my wedding shoes
Rehersal dinner dress
groomsmans gift (1)
tipping and taxes
Altogether, over 1 yr of my GROSS annual income is going to be poured into this destination city in one weekend. And they say destination weddings are cheaper than at home weddings. I beg to differ.
I GOTTA cut, just not sure where yet. I hand made invitations (and it's still expensive!) I am making flower bouquets for extended family that need flowers, and I wouldnt feel right cutting things like food or transportation because that affects the guests who are all paying $$ to fly in for the wedding.
Today is wedding planning day. And rather than asking soon-to be-brides questions on wedding websites about some of my concerns, I am turning to you, a mix of recently married, non-married and seasoned married veterans to help me with some budget concerns.
1. I need to hire a bartender with a liquor license. I contacted one man who explains that he can provide a bartender for $25 hr who will pick up the alcohal, take it to the reception, set it up, serve, dismantal and clean up, returning unused bottles to the company. The price for the alcohal is only a dollar or two above store prices. But I must plan to pay for the bartender to spend 2-3 hrs for the running around plus the serving time.
~ I'm thinking the cheaper way to go is for ME to buy alchohal, have my wedding planner set it up, and just pay the bartender to come, serve and leave. Right? Or is buying/setting up myself a huge hassle? The man made it sound like it's standard to request the bartender to pick up/drop off the alcohal.
2. Wedding hairstyles. I have called several salons. The CHEAPEST I can find is $80 an updo (and there is a total of 4 people plus me). Plus the cost of $50 pp makeup. To get by as cheaply as I can, should I forgo the bridal hair trial? I have very long hair, but I want a pretty standard half updo. I dont live in the city, so I have never used their services, they were recommended to me by my photographer.
And why is the BRIDES hair $25 more than the rest of the parties? And why is a bridal party hair updo $30 more than a normal updo?
~ I know you will suggest not telling them it's for a wedding, but really, how do you get away with that? 5 women walk into a salon early in the morning needing formal updos...even if no one mentions the word 'wedding' on the day of the wedding, I still think the salon will flat out ask me why we are getting updos.
~Tipping. I know I have to tip. I guess this is a vent. Why am I tipping for a service I have written into a contract will be provided and I will pay the contracted price?
3. Bridal party gifts. I dont want to give gifts because I am paying for their and their dates hotel rooms @ $200 a night (2 nights). I am considering paying for their hair/makeup too. (I probably will). So how can I graciously explain to them the high costs of this and not have them expect 'something' as a bridal party gift?
I know they would understand and be grateful if they knew the prices of this stuff, but I dont know how to tell them without going into price details and sounding tacky or whiny.
4. Wedding insurance~ worth it or not? Have not looked into it because, well who uses it?
hmmm...thats it for now.
June 21/ $32 spent for overpriced Mexican lunch for Baseball boy and myself
June 22/$40 spent for Baseball boys monthly clubhouse dues.
So...I have been planning this wedding for well over a year now, and as a fellow bride, I love sneeking peeks at other people's wedding budget details. It's fascinating to see other people's priorities, it's a great feeling when you realize you got a deal over someone else, and it's fun to judge and just think "what is she thinking?!"
Wedding background...it's a destination wedding to be held in historic Savannah, GA. the wedding will be small, and all guests are staying for the weekend. Very few of my friends or family have been to Savannah, so everyones excited to see this infamous city. I myself live out of state (FL and currently, temporarily, MN), so planning it has been a fun challenge.
So...here are my details so far...
1. Reception location and guest lodging for the weekend $12,000. We rented a B&B for the weekend but will be charging guests a discount rate of $100 a night (this place charges $200 a night), so we hope to recoup about $4400. So once all is said and done it will be $7600.
2. Wedding planner $1,000. Our location requires we have a wedding planner, so I hired a woman for day of services.
3. Ceremony location $400 (getting married in a park, includes a required police officer)
4.My dress! $1400 including taxes and alterations
5. Reception music $1,000 for a 2 person jazz band
6. Grooms outfit $600 (we bought him a grey pinstripe suit)
7. Invitations $90 (ebay)
8. Save the dates $9.00 (postcards)
9. JOP $150.00
10.wedding rings $1200
11. photographer $700 (craigslist)
total so far....$14,149.00
horse carriage (my favorite part)
maybe if theres room in the budget:
transportation to/from airport
arrange a trolly tour of city the night before the wedding
parents in law will be paying for: rehersal dinner
I originally had a $14,000 wedding budget, but well, paying for the location just ate that all up! So the budget jumped to 20k max. I refuse to go over 20k, hope to keep it around 18k.
I am paying for everything but the rehersal dinner myself, and am unclear how I will pay for it. I had $14k in savings that I have accumulated over the 4 yrs we were engaged (I dragged my feet partially for financial reasons, also for family reasons), but that money is long gone, and I think? I will put the remainder on a credit card and pay it off with the wedding money we get???
I know it's terrible. That is an evil, evil plan.
But I justify it as I do have the $$ in the bank if we dont clear 4-5k in gifts to pay off the card. I just REALLY, REALLY dont want to touch the savings because its earmarked for retirement, and I have a seperate savings account from my at home business but that is earmarked for a downpayment on a home. And if I dip into either account, I am afraid it will cause a downward spiral where I keep dipping into those savings. If I see a growing cc balance, I will cut myself off. If I skim a couple grand off savings and theres plenty more...I am afraid my wedding will get huge and gorgeous and out of control.
So thats it. judge, shake your head. I know 20 yrs from now I will tell future brides not to spend this kind of money on their wedding. I actually already kind of regret creating such a lavish wedding, but I cant scrimp out now, so I am just trying to convince myself that at least there will be no regrets later.
I am torn between being aghast at the $$ being spent, and being super excited for how cool the weekend will turn out.