Wedding Budgeting from a Personal Perspective: Part 2By: Vicki Korchagin
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Hello everyone. Continuing Vicki's Wedding Budgeting articles, we have the second installment where she shares with us more of her experiences as she plans a great wedding and does it while balancing the budget. Don't forget to read the first article if you haven't done so already. Enjoy!
We got engaged in May and wanted to get married as soon as was practically possible. So, we first decided to decide on a date, in the hopes that it would help other things to fall in line as well. We knew there was a lot to plan, and at first, we were overwhelmed. While there are web sites like The Knot and indiebride to help you deal with specific questions, there's really nothing to tell you exactly where to start planning your wedding.
We started on several fronts: the date, location, and type. My parents made some suggestions, but at that point, I decided I wanted to do everything on my own. Bad move. After a week, I saw so stressed out, I couldn't think straight. That's when I asked my mom to help me. We decided right away we wouldn't have a wedding planner, because, to us, that was just a retarded idea. Why have a wedding planner when you have people that are willing to help you? Pool your resources and use as many as you can, for as many different things as you can. Dan's mom and my mom were more than willing to do anything we needed, so we saw no need to spend money.
First, we set a date, which made it easier to look for locations that were available, as well as tell our bridal party where and when it would be. Doing a wedding is kind of like solving a jigsaw puzzle...you just need to let the pieces fall into place. Once you know one thing, you can assemble the rest. We were both lucky and unlucky in that we had several limitations: First, Dan's cousin's wedding would be on August 31, which, by general rules of etiquette, meant that ours had to be later. Then, we knew that my aunt was coming from Russia, and that her visa to America expired in March. That left us with a time frame of September to March. I also know that it was cheaper to have weddings in the off-season, which lasts from approximately late October to March. I also didn't want to have it when it was too too cold. This left us with October. We decided on October 4th, which was still warm enough and gave us the option of possibly obtaining some discounts. This gave us 5 months to plan.
Once we had that nailed down, we began our search for venues. My parents had first suggested a reception at a Russian restaurant, which is not only known for HUGE AMOUNTS of food, but for entertainment as well. At first, I balked, wanting to eschew the typical Russian wedding. I looked at "American" locations in Philadelphia, the area where we decided to have the wedding because most of my relatives, with the exception of me and my parents, and all of Dan's family, live.