Thursday, September 25, 2008

#379: what's the point of having cake if you can't eat it too?

things i've been doing lately:

1) driving everyone nuts (though they're all too kind to tell me to my face). "we're getting hitched in april!" "oh wait, make that february!" "ahhh...ok, may!" "um...maybe november?" "uhhhhhh...back to february or may..."

self: please STFU.

2) getting (pushed) off track. i didn't think i'd do this when i earnestly began searching for a reception venue but most of the places i've contacted really aren't that far off the road-frequently-traveled-by-brides (ok, fine, i've only received an estimate from one place so far but still...it ceremoniously ripped my budget to shreds...). which means they're all rather expensive. which means i've also been...

3) driving myself nuts trying to hold tight to this budget whilst also clinging to the Big Vision with ALL SIGNS pointing to IMPOSSIBLE.

as a result, and to point out the obvious, the venue search has been an utter failure. meh, i should rephrase that. finding a venue that we like, that we think our guests would like, all the while sticking to my $10,000 goal...has been mindbendingly difficult and disappointing.

i feel like i've looked for so long for "unique venues" (read: venues not on the road-frequently-traveled-by-brides thus able to make friends with my budget) or at least unique ways in order to find unique venues. but over the past couple of months, i've somehow come full circle back to popular wedding venues...which translates to EXPENSIVE...which translates to WILL BREAK MY BUDGET AND TAKE MY ARMS AND LEGS. which is so far away from where i thought i'd be. which has been making me anxious about our budget.

what am i doing. i can't pull this off. aim for the stars and at least reach the moon? not so much, apparently.

and the fiance has even said to me on several occasions while witnessing the struggle:
hey...maybe TTO could stand for..."twenty thousand only"...? yeah? deal or no deal?

NO DEAL! HA HA HA! you're so silly!!!...

but seriously? i've allowed myself to wonder as of late...would it BE so wrong to break the ceiling juuuuust a little bit? like...by 100%?

but i don't want to! {cue 'cry me a river' here}

so...what am i doing wrong? and why do i constantly feel like my mind keeps battling itself? (as evidenced by the scarily-all-over-the-place-complete-with-multiple-voices episode you just read above...)

enter reader crafty beaver with her comment:
Seems to me that a lot of heartache comes NOT from trying to throw a great wedding and party on $10K (or whatever your personal number is), but from trying to throw the $50K wedding in all the pictures on $10K.

wait a minute. wait a minute. so what you're saying is...

i can't throw a $50k wedding for $10k.

man, why have i been driving myself nutso's when it's really that simple?

i can't have my cake and eat it too. unless i change the type of cake i want...in which case i may end up getting and eating the best cake of my freaking life. and now that i realize that and (key word coming up...) ACCEPT it...i'm feeling quite motivated again.

first step: to revisit my priorities. post to come shortly.

p.s. bloggers-you-love-to-read meg and guilty also gave me some juice with their recent posts.

p.p.s. um. i love all ya'll.

21 comments:

momentsofyes said...

This was a big revelation for me recently, too. Especially when I found out that the minimum at our favourite restaurant was $15 000 for the date we want. Which we could do, if we were naked, had no other vendors, and sold our first born. And a leg each. Letting go of the dream is HARD.

yaiAnn said...

Stick to your guns.. our goal is $10K too.. we're already pushing the ceiling, but we figure, if we can walk away only spending $15K, we'll still think we've accomplished a lot.. ESPECIALLY considering our guestlist is about 150-175 people.. and we're getting married in January. Trust me, I had my breakdown yesterday when a potential caterer told me that we'd have a hard time finding anyone to do our wedding with our food budget ($4-5K).. the told us that it would cost at least.. AT LEAST.. wait for it.. at least $15K! I just about almost died. But since then, I've received two other proposals that are almost half that. There's something out there for you. Shoot me an email if you want help brainstorming. I lived in LA for a few years. There's nothing wrong with having the same dream.. just a scaled down version of it.

Allie said...

It seems so obvious, but it's so true! I'm definitely guilty of the "I'm going to have a magazine spread-worthy wedding for a fraction of the price" mentality. I keep reminding myself to prioritize, prioritize, prioritize. Every time I sit down to review yet another vendor estimate, I have to remind myself that some things are more important than others, even when my heart says that everything's vital. ;)

yaiann, don't let the caterers get you down... I was told the same thing, repeatedly, until I found a caterer who worked with my $5k budget AND managed to incorporate everything I wanted. Just like you, I got estimates at $15k, $20k — more than our entire wedding budget. Yikes.

Becky said...

I agree...keep to your budget - you'll make it work - it just takes a little extra leg work. My FI and I are planning a $6k wedding in Massachusetts for 60 people. Because of our small wedding I actually ran into numerous road blocks from venues and vendors. At the beginning I was totally in love with everything to do with an outdoor wedding. I compromised on a lot of things and not all because of budget. One thing that kept coming up is that I wanted as little stress as possible in planning a wedding that already had to include a lot of DIY. Outdoors meant a lot of additional logistics and stressing every day about weather until the wedding so I pretty much threw that dream out the window. We got a charming reception room at a good cost and I'll be bringing the outdoors in with an earthy theme. I'd also love a wedding where we dance all night long but I just know our families aren't the partying type so we're going for a low key afternoon reception and I decided to get my "outdoors" with an after party at my parents house with my friends. The more I settle into these compromises I'm totally fine with them...someday I can hold that fabulous outdoor party but not at the cost of stress ruining our memorable day.

AmyJean said...

Girl, you can do this. Like you said, I think its always good to reevaluate, step back and reprioritize, but you have a goal and I really am rooting for you! I know that is not any kind of magic words, but just know you've got a big crowd full of people wanting to see you make this work!!!

Jennifer said...

I got married in May for under $2,500 and it rocked. The thing that helped me keep perspective? Remembering that it was the first day of the *rest* of our lives together. I let a lot of stuff go that, frankly, was never all that important to begin with.

NotQuiteaBride said...

Seriously, I'm proud of you for having confidence that you can do this. I firmly believe that if you let go of your original 10k budget, you won't be able to stop. You will continue to find more and more things you feel like you *need* when you just have to remember what the day is about in the first place. Not an expensive cake that is gone in an instant. Not expensive cocktail napkins, programs, flowers, ets. Those things are SO fleeting and NOONE usually even notices. You are marrying the love of your life. The day is going to be amazing with 10k or with 100$. I am sure it's difficult, but you can do it!!

Guilty Secret said...

Excellent post. Actually you just inspired me to write so I'll 'STFU' too... for now ;D

Heather from the bar said...

ha this post was awesome. I love that you answered your own question, and that you are newly inspired! We are throwing a $10,000 wedding too, and we have definitely had to compromise things. seated dinner turned into cocktail and appetizer lunch, and a lot of stuff will be DIY. It is possible, but you are right, we have to come to grips with not having a $50,000 wedding for $10,000. Instead, we have to look at it (lest we drive ourselves crazy) as having a great great party for $10,000.

Stephanie said...

crafty beaver is a smart lady. Looking for inspiration online is wonderful, but I often question what these weddings REALLY cost. The average wedding is supposedly in the $28,000 ballpark? I highly doubt it. Unless of course every bride has her grandmother's dress and friends or family with room enough to host a 100 people in their backyard. But even then, to tent a 100 person reception is between 2-4K.

It was like squeezing blood from a stone to find our venue at only $2,000. Is it perfect? No. Does it have more things I like than things I don't? Yes. At this point do I care if people think it leaves a bit to be desired? No. If their priority is not to witness the beginning of a happy marriage and then celebrate it without a care to what the centerpieces look like, they they can STFU.

Oh, and most of my friends who have kept to a small budget had luck with halls owned by the city, or community centers. It is usually only $100 an hour or less, as opposed to in the thousands.

Anonymous said...

While my budget will be more than yours, I think everyone here is right. If you have a goal to do this, believe that you can do it. I think we realize we can't and, to be honest, don't want it all when it comes to weddings. Think of the sense of accomplishment you'll feel. I knew going into this, that I did not want all of the wedding "stuff" out there. Just remember it's not about the stuff, it's ultimately about the marriage.

Good luck and know that we are rooting for you.

emilytormey said...

I am finding myself in almost the exactly same spot as you. I thought I had the perfect plan for a creative, inexpensive venue: an older, retired barn to underscore my autumn fruit harvest theme. But after searching for weeks and weeks, I can't find the right combination of price, location, and amenities. I even tried craigslist.
Letting go of the dream is TOUGH. I think sometimes what we really need is a reality check from a neutral third-party. I was stressing about logistically making a 45 minute drive from ceremony to a ranch reception work, til a coworker said it simply wasn't practical. I needed to hear it so I didn't feel like I was just giving up. I'll be following your blog now - it's nice to know I'm not the only one without the 50K budget that still (perhaps misguidedly) wants a magazine-worthy fete. Cheers to optimistic reality checks!

Heather said...

I'm struggling for 10-15K and it makes it difficult when you see how beautiful some of these weddings are and you're like I WANT THAT! But I think sometimes, even if you have to go down the road many have gone down before, you can make it unique to YOU and your guy and that's all that matters in the end.

We ended up at a country club that my organization has a few events at each year and at first I wasn't sure because it's been DONE, you know? But then I realized that by just making it look how WE want it to look and by doing what WE want to do, we make it ours. So we're doing a really simple cocktail reception and adding some things that are completely us.

I think you'll see that when you start to incorporate your tastes into the wedding, it automatically becomes unique :)

I have faith that you can and WILL work it out.

Amanda said...

It is easy to get caught up in all the wedding hype, I'm going through the same frustrations trying to plan on a budget. But it seems to be the secret is prioritizing...easier said than done!

Kyra said...

Have you looked into vacation rentals by owner at all? www.vrbo.com
I think you might be able to locate a big house/old mansion/open housing area that would work perfectly for your budget. I think you have to stick to your guts, I believe you can do it! Don't give up just yet! You have to give yourself a break for a little bit and then new thoughts and ideas will come to you. Don't lose the dream!

Anna K. A. said...

I agree- you can do this. I'm trying to do it too, stick to 10,000, maybe even UNDER?! That'd be exciting, right? It's hard and crazy and trying to make priorities can be rough stuff. I think ours is becoming more and more of a pitch-in sort of wedding. My friends are the band, a friend of my mother is making the cake, I'm meeting with a costumer who might make my dress.....for us, we've been trying to not think of it so much as "THE WEDDING - THE MOST IMPORTANT DAY OF YOUR LIFE" and instead - a party, a big party or a show. It's hard to pick what's important and it's hard to look at beautiful wonderful fancy pictures and realize that my guests might be eating...well....sandwiches? Maybe they won't be eating at all....


good luck.

backyardwedding said...

I'm been blogging about my 10k wedding here:
http://abackyardwedding.blogspot.com/
It's def. different than what you are doing, but it turned out beautifully. Might give you some ideas.

A said...

Stick to your guns. We spent $12k and had a great wedding and restaurant reception (80 guests). You can do it for $10k. I know you can. Just keep what's most important in mind.

Erin said...

Hey there, keep the $10k goal. That was ours and while we weren't able to stick to it exactly, we're less than $2k over and I'm really happy for the few things that put us over (pictures, dj) but choosing an affordable venue, beverages, food, etc. will only make your day more fun and stress free. Who wants an amazing wedding but tons of debt afterwards? In the end - no matter what - no day is worse going into debt for. Hang in there!!!!

Dubbs said...

i'm just glad this wasn't a 'i give up' post, coz i've been rooting for you forever! if only your wedding was a tad more north, i woulda been happy to do your flowers for free.

don't u give up on us!

Amy said...

Um.. so I feel you. The search for a Dj and a videographer for under $1200 is driving me insane (see post entitled "I want to chew my arm off"). SO I feel you. Fortunately, our venues are perfect and cheap in that we work here. So, yeah. Otherwise I feel you. Have you tried local colleges? Chapels... small donation. Dining Hall reserved for VIPS... small donation?