Saturday, August 16, 2008

#350: "newbie mistakes" series, post #3: spending 'with benefits'.

we're not having an october wedding. fiance pointed out that it's only fair to our out-of-towners to give them enough notice to be able to join us. and...i agree. so that means we're going to host an april 2009 wedding. which means i have 8 months to plan. drag.

maybe it's because i've been compiling ideas for over a year now. or maybe i'm just totally impatient. or maybe it's because i prefer to make fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants decisions and not think about things for too long. {case in point, i bought my wedding dress at the sample sale. and no, it's not the margherita. but yes, it sure is an amy kuschel design. lord. did i just f*ck up our $10k budget. perhaps. but that's an entry for another day.} but i'm kind of feeling like LET'S GO GO GO GO GO GO GO! and...8 months just...sounds almost close to forever.

getting to the point, today's post is neutral to the actual decision i made in buying my wedding dress and centers more around the misstep in how i paid for it.

fiance and i have always known that we would be paying for our own wedding. we're both children of standard middle-class families and whilst we would appreciate (and accept) any monetary gifts from our parents, we do not want to be dependent on nor expect any financial help from our families to throw our bash.

and though the wedding industry would have you believe otherwise, spending $10,000 on one day to jumpstart the rest of your a lot. but, regardless of whether you're spending $10,000 or $800,000...and especially if you're funding it should absolutely make it work for you.

oh hello mileage-earning credit cards.

from southwest

the mistake i made? being ill-prepared to make wedding purchases.

you see, i bought my wedding dress myself. fiance and i had never discussed how we would make our wedding purchases. well i guess it's because we're still 8 months out...and uh, also because neither of us in our wildest dreams thought i'd go to my first sample sale and come out with my wedding dress. eh, but i did.

so with the understanding that wedding purchases are going to pop up (sometimes unexpectedly) in the upcoming months, we agreed to the following action plan. i don't have a mileage card. but he does. so he's going to get a second card in my name asap so we could wholly take advantage of the mileage benefits. this makes sense to us because 1) it'll make the purchases easy to keep track of and 2) the benefits will be piled onto one card instead of being split between the two of us which will hopefully end up in more rewards.

mo' money mo' mileage.


haliwood said...

Hello! You might be planning a dress post, and in that case - just ignore this! If not though, can you fill me in on the Margherita? It's a favourite of mine. Price at the sample sale? Why you didn't buy it? Thanks!

Kelly said...

I was engaged for about 8 months also (just got married last week). It went by really fast.

{amy lynn} said...

oh good grief. girl..i did the same %$#$%#$ thing. i walked right in to the sample sale trap. spent $600 over my initial budget for the dress.. makes me a little sick when i think about it, so i try it on every chance i get-melts away the buyers remorse. also it's a freakin' vera wang luxe (worth $7000 new). i paid a heck of a lot less for it. and i bet you that i may break even if i decide or need to sell it after the wedding day.
( )


i have 9 months to go...and it feels like it's dragging...i know how you feel.. but isn't it the most exciting thing that's happened in a long time? .. the being engaged and planning and all...after the big're married. so, i say celebrate every. day. you. can.

best of wishes.

Meg said...

Or cash! I gotta pitch the cash option. We're doing a long engagement partially to make sure we can pay cash for everything.

Ten Thousand Only said...

haliwood: i didn't get to try on the margherita at the sample sale...either they didn't have it available or it was sold by the time it was my appointment. booooo.

amy lynn: sample sale trap? how come no one ever told me about 'THE TRAP'?...i feel another newbie mistake post coming up.

meg: i hear you. we have the cash and will be paying the card off every month. that way, we'll still reap the mileage benefits whilst remaining interest free. high five?

Anonymous said...

I spent only one day looking at dresses and after the third dress decided that if I didn't feel like I was playing dress up, the dress was a contender. When I tried my dress on - it was just the one!
As far as using a credit card to pay for - using a millage credit card is fine as long as you pay it off. You don't want to make a newbie mistake of going into credit card debt before the I Do's! Be wise when you swipe and stay in your limit and try not to make decisions based on emotions. (Easier said than done when it comes to our weddings right!)
I understand the go go go feeling. I think the looking at stuff before the ring helps creep in the scene of urgency. It will pass - I promise.

Teana said...

that's my plan for paying for the wedding. saving up the cash now so we have a reserve of money to use for the bills when it's time to spend, spend, spend. at least i'll know i won't be able to overspend.

at least, i better not!

Rachel said...

I was so excited when I first came across your blog. I too was obsessed with weddings, budget weddings especially...and not yet engaged! Well, I got engaged two months ago and wanted to get married right away this fall, but for various reasons we need to wait until next fall. Now I have FOURTEEN months left! It feels like forever! I am a procrastinator at heart and love the idea of throwing a wedding together in only 2-3 months.
I'm excited to hear about your dress and hope that you can stay close to your $10,000 budget!

Un Poquito De Todo... said...

I L-O-V-E my Southwest CC! I fly so often to N.Cali that I have earned at least 2 roundtrip tickets a year.

your blog is wonderful!

Anonymous said...

Love, love, love your blog. 8 months seems like forever (that's how long we had, too) but it flies by and its soooo fun to be engaged! We had juts started to get used to saying "fiance/e" and now husband/wife feels weird! You'll be grateful in the end that you had time to consider your options instead of making a call based on a countdown. And you'll reduce your stress by taking it one task at a time instead of having multiple balls in the air constantly. Congratulations and best of luck!

mouse said...

Another newbie mistake is paying cash. Yes, yes, yes, have cash on hand, don't go into debt....but using your card is a big plus if you run into a dishonest vendor.

Having your credit card co fight on your behalf is a heckuva lot more effective then the BBB or even small claims.

I also felt like I overpaid for my dress, but it was a limited run, all raw silk and set me back less than $600. I guess everyone's budget is different. Enjoy having an amazingly pretty dress.

amber {daisy chain} said...

yay! you got a dress, that's so much fun, can't wait for the post on that (hopefully your fiance keeps his word!).

Janet said...

What day did you pick in April? I'm getting married on April 25 and have been engaged since March 14. It's totally dragging on and sometimes I forget that I have a wedding to plan for. I was all gung-ho in the beginning but then you've got a huge time gap to deal with. If you try to do a lot in advance then people call you a bridezilla and if you take it easy then you're a procrastinator. Regardless, I am very happy to be engaged and realize it's something to enjoy because it will never happen again. I just wish it was April 25th already!

Also, one word of advice for your payment method. Airlines are charging out the wazoo for everything and that includes airline miles. It's harder to use the ones that you have and they charge a fee for everything. Try Discover that gives you cash back and consistently offers low rates. It's what I have and cash talks more than miles. Good luck!

janet - roses or ranunculus said...

we just got the american express starwood credit card for wedding purchase and for our move. if we are spending all this money, we might as well squeeze out a nice vacation right!

exciting about your wedding dress! I got mine on craigslist :)

WedInWinter said...

You are a crazy woman after my own heart! I just got engaged a few weeks ago and I was ready, willing, and able to make it happen this December. He was not so gung-ho. He wants to take the "safe" approach and spend some time saving more money so we can do it right. I know he's right, but that now means I have 16 MONTHS to plan... I will be an insane person before next December comes around!

WedInWinter said...

You are crazy women after my own heart! I just got engaged a few weeks ago and I was completely ready to do it this December. Fiancee wasn't having it. He's right - this way we'll have time to save more money and do it all right. But that means I have to wait 16 MONTHS! I WILL go crazy!