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I Don’t Have a Boyfriend, but I’m Planning My Wedding

  March 26

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Hi Everyone! I’m so very excited to announce that I am officially a mom! 🙂 I had the twins just a few days ago, and I can’t wait to share all the details with you very, very soon! They are amazing, and the hubs and I are so in love with them. Since we are super preoccupied staring at our two beautiful children, I’ve lined up some amazing fellow bloggers to share posts with you in the upcoming weeks. I’ll still be around and checking in for sure, but until then, I hope you enjoy!

Today’s post is by the very talented Michelle Jackson of the Shop My Close Project blog. Michelle is a Perrier devotee, lover of travel, and enjoys a good meal. She began writing The Shop My Closet Project as a way to give herself a voice in a life that left her without a voice for too long.

Take it away, Michelle!

**

planning my weddingI have decided that I am over dating after a long and dedicated dating life.

I’m now preparing to meet The One, and what better way to prepare for that then getting a good idea of how much my future wedding will cost?

Now you could call me crazy or crazy like a fox!  But I thought it would be a fun and interesting project to undertake.

What started out as a secret Pinterest wedding board has spun out of control and is now a full-blown wedding…minus the groom!

Look, I have to know what I’m saving for, and I thought that I could approach this whole thing from personal finance bloggers perspective-so I did. My friends thought I was cray, but I needed to know what I was getting into so I began pinning. Then, I started estimating the costs.

By doing this I created a clearer vision of what I want, what my priorities are, and what I need to think about in terms of cutting overall costs. By the way, did I mention my taste in general leans towards the expensive?

French Country Chic

The type of wedding I want is French Country chic.

Think a long wooden table with short floral table decorations and a family style meal. Out in the country somewhere in a barn that doesn’t smell like poo. There will be a d.j. and one of my friends will do the photography as she’s a wedding photographer. I also would like a double decker bus so that we don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Open bar is a must! I also would like a photo booth. I’ve thrown several events with photo booths and they are so much fun!! I want a small wedding; think no more than 40 or 50 people.  I also have a number of friends who live overseas, and I would like to cover their housing costs while Stateside.

I must admit that the dress has me thrown but that’s probably because I’m still single and haven’t met The One yet. That being said, I was able to put together a simple excel spreadsheet, and honestly my estimated costs are just about to hit the norm for U.S. weddings.

I was trying to avoid spending the norm.  I think $28,000 dollars on a wedding is a lot of money, but this will probably be one of the biggest personal events that I throw in my life.

In my current job, one of my duties is to run events for our clients. It is amazing how not having enough food and poor quality food can affect the mood of an event pretty quickly. I have gone to a wedding where there wasn’t enough food (it was around 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. when we sat down to eat and they had finger foods) and people ended up going into town and ordering dinner. That’s not going to be me.

Now I totally understand that my guy might not like French Country Chic, and he might not want a small wedding, but it doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what we might be dealing with.

My Budget Mock Up

Mani/Pedi

$50

Flower Girl Dress

$75

Ring Bearer Suit

$75

Postage for Thank you’s etc.

$100

Officiant

$150

Invites

$175

Maid of Honor Gift

$250

Best man gift

$250

Outfit for Mother of the Bride

$300

Hair*Might splash out for a weave

$500

Outfits for Mother of the Groom/Father

$500

Photo Booth

$700

Cake and Cupcakes

$750

D.J.

$750

Photographer

$1,000

Suit

$1,000

Decorations

$1,000

Dress

$1,600

Accommodation for out of town guests

$2,000

Venue

$2,750

Food/Booze

$3,500

Total

$16,055

Wedding Favors ???
Honeymoon: Spain/Portugal/Morocco

$8,750

2 months
Total:

$24,805

I’m really glad that I sat down and thought about what I want and how I envision my wedding. It’s clear that my priorities are the following: food, friends, booze, and a long honeymoon.

By the way, when I meet The One I will not be mentioning this. I don’t want him to think I’m nuts.

For you ladies and gentlemen out there reading this post, did you think about your wedding before meeting The One? Did you take time to price things out? Am I off in my estimations or are there things that you paid for that surprised you?

Editor’s note: I really like how Michelle thought of everything, even down to postage costs! Those are the little things that sneak up on you! Also, I’m glad I got married during the pre-Pinterest days because there are way too many amazing ideas on there. I bet my wedding would have cost twice a much had I had access to all that inspiration!!

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62 responses to “I Don’t Have a Boyfriend, but I’m Planning My Wedding

    1. I have to admit that I won’t be mentioning any of this to the future guy because I’m convinced he mitght think it’s crazy. I’m just happy that I have enough time to cut the expenses. I have expensive tastes!

  1. Congrats again Cat! Both are beautiful!

    Michelle, I think this is a great idea! Better to be prepared but also have wiggle room for what your future husband may want. I was surprised at how much say in “girly” stuff my husband wanted. I totally thought he’d be the “I’ll just ahow up” kind of guy but was very hands on and we had disagreements! I can’t say im surprised a pf blogger has every financial aspect if her life planned out well in advance 🙂

    1. I observed my bff’s and her fiance during their wedding planning and I was really impressed by how involved he was. I like knowing what I want-but I’m flexible!

    2. YAY for happy healthy babies and mom and dad too! Congrats!!

      That was my thought too… My hubby helped me plan everything. I too wanted super small and intimate. Not with my Italian husband and his parents with many siblings! We only had 10 FRIENDS at the wedding. The other 90 guests were immediate family!

    1. Stefanie, I also did this exercise because I knew that I have expensive tastes. So, I’m looking at the things that I could save money on because there is no way in hell I’m paying the national average for a wedding.

  2. I think most people don’t plan enough and then find themselves in over their head and spending more than they wanted, so it looks like you have a handle on that. It would be hilarious if you decided to scrap the whole thing and head to Vegas!

    Cat, congrats on the babies. So glad you’re all doing well!

  3. Kim, I have a friend who got married at the Star Trek Wedding chapel in Vegas and another who got married at the iconic chapel you always see on t.v.-You never know!

  4. Congrats on the babies! How exciting!

    Michelle, I think it’s great that you know what you are looking at in terms of total cost that way you can start saving now. I would hate to meet “the one” and have to put the wedding off because you had no idea what it would cost and don’t have enough saved. I also agree, maybe you should wait to tell him about the wedding until at least the 5-6 date, lol 🙂

    1. I don’t want to put a wedding off! So, I’m getting my ducks in a row. My friends tease me about it but I have two rules about this: I won’t mention this to any guy I’m dating! and I’ll be flexible about it. LOL.

  5. Huge congrats to you, Cat! Can’t wait to hear more. 🙂 Michelle, I think it’s SO smart that you are doing that, and I love the idea of a French Country Chic wedding – sounds beautiful! Some might consider it nuts to plan and save for a wedding before you’ve met the groom, but I’d call it smart financial planning, and I’d think a decent man would be totally awed by the fact that you’re being so responsible. It’s just like any other dream expense a person would plan or save for. Way to go!

    1. My secret Pinterest page is so fun to work on! The dresses are to die for and I found that I’M IN LOVE WITH but, it’s way over my budget. I had to calm down. The guy won’t know about this until I tell him a year into the marriage. I don’t want him to think I’m nuts.

  6. Wow, we could not be more different! haha! Well, I guess you’ve gone about things one way. I’m more likely to marry at the courthouse and throw a party. My Mom doesn’t like that idea, and she was told that if she wanted a wedding, it would be her job to plan the whole thing. I’d prefer just to show up. 😉

    Congrats Cat on the birth of the babies!

  7. So happy for you, Cat!

    Until I was in my cousin’s wedding party, I honestly thought weddings were a waste of money. I didn’t care for a big to-do. I still don’t, but it brought out a little romantic side in me, and now I would like to have a small wedding as well. I’m not engaged to my boyfriend yet, but I love hearing about the frugal weddings that have been happening in the PF world. It’s nice to plan ahead and have an idea of what you want! My coworker has been planning hers for a while now, and having invited 180 people, is going a little crazy.

    1. I love weddings-I just don’t like the crazy price tag. Luckily I’m not having a 3 day Hindu wedding like my friend did-IN MALAYSIA! She’s Australian Malaysian. That wedding was like a movie.But I digress, I just want 50-60 of my friends and family around for love, dancing, food, and fun. These cultural rituals are imporatant to me.

  8. Cat – congrats on becoming a new mommy! I’m so glad everything went smoothly and you delivered two special babies into this world. Can’t wait to “meet” them. Take care and enjoy your maternity leave!

    Michelle – I love this! I got married fairly young so I did not preplan my wedding but I don’t think your crazy at all. In all honestly, you’ll probably be very glad you did this pre-planning when you do find The One. I think people significantly underestimate the costs of weddings. Partly because sometimes, others take over your wedding too. 🙂 But knowing what you want makes it so much easier to stick to your guns and have your dream wedding at a price you can afford. And French Country Chic sounds gorgeous and very you!

  9. I have gotten a lot of teasing from my friends about this but I’m sticking to my guns! I was really happy to have a number in my head that’s attached to the services that I want. I may change my mind depending on what the groom wants (of course) no Bridezilla here! It’s just nice to know what I’m potentially going to pay.

  10. Michelle – you’re a genius for doing this.

    I knew exactly what I wanted for my wedding… classic, with a boho/naturey twist. My dream budget – 10k. Not very realistic. LOL. Great that you’re being realistic expense wise. My final wedding cost was very close to your budget amount. You’re right on track girl!

    1. I love that concept! I AM trying to cut the cost in a couple of places…just not the: food, booze, and taking care of family and friends.

  11. A 2 month honeymoon sounds just divine. Pretty reasonable budget, all things considered.

    And congratulations, Cat, on your new family members! I’m so happy for you!!!

  12. Haha, he’ll probably totally want a quickie wedding in Vegas 🙂

    I really dislike weddings, so I never cared to have one (ended up getting married in a courthouse), but I think it’s a great idea to financially prepare for one if that’s what you want. It is one of the largest expenses most people have in their lives, so having a plan in place instead of financing the whole thing is smart. Hope your dream dude loves your dream wedding as much as you do!

  13. Don’t jinx me-I’m so excited about this! Did I mention it’s going to be in a converted farmhouse? So cute! I love to throw a good party too. Hopefully my guy will humor me 🙂

  14. Cat-Congrats! I hope everyone arrived safe, happy and healthy.

    Michelle-I love it! I haven’t even thought about a wedding or a wedding budget because I’m still waiting on my ring (insert jeopardy music here). I know I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money on a wedding, so something small and simple would probably be just fine. My sister got married at my parents’ house on the lake and it was a really beautiful wedding. Simple decorations (fresh flowers), yummy food (lobster and blueberry pie), and good friends and family. I’d probably want to do something similar.

  15. Your sister’s wedding sounds fantastic! Was it in Maine or Mass? I would totally do lobster and pie. Sadly, we don’t have a house by the lake. But, you’re basically describing the wedding that I want. Am sending good vibes your was so that the bf figures it out. LOL!!

  16. Cat – OMG so exciting! Enjoy this wonderful time! Glad to hear that everyone is doing ok and that you made it so far in the pregnancy with twins!

    Michelle – great stuff! Kudos to you for being prepared. Most couples end up in debt from their wedding 🙁

  17. I’d up your photography budget, myself. It’s good to know what a reasonable (by reasonable, I think I mean realistic) total for a wedding will be, so you can save to get there over the long haul. If you were only engaged for a year, it would mean saving $2000 a month to be able to pay for your relatively modest wedding! YUCK.

  18. I am getting married in a couple of months (!!!!!) and I can confirm that some of those expenses are spot on. I wouldn’t be spending $250 for bridesmaids gifts, but we only have 2 bridesmaids/2 groomsman, and we will probably spend $50 each. Our photography budget is higher, but we aren’t having a photo booth (we did buy a cool old polaroid camera though, which we will use for people to take photos of themselves as our guest book).

  19. Congratulations Daisy! My bff gave me diamond earrings (yes I’m spoiled!) so that’s why the bridesmaid gifts are so high. I only want 1 or 2 bridesmaids-that’s all I can handle 🙂 I was guessing on a lot of these items so it’s nice to know that I was fairly close to the actual cost.

  20. I have been with my boyfriend for almost 15 years and I stopped saving for our wedding a long time ago. It’s just not going to happen so that’s that. With that being said my best friend met someone, moved in together, got married and had a baby all within a year. So you just never know. I think it’s great you are planning your wedding. It’s your day!

  21. You’re totally right about the fact that life is unpredictable. Maybe I end up eloping (I doubt this but anything is possible) If I manage to save a nice amount prior to that I might end up using the money for investments, buying another place, or a trip who knows. As I have yet to met “The One” it’s all speculation-but it’s a lot of fun!!

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