Wedding and Honeymoon on a Budget
One will agree that the economy is not great. It seems like the cost of everything just continues to rise while the old paycheck dwindles. What to do? Budget! It’s not always the most pleasant word but it is necessary in these times. Planning ahead for any big expenditure is wise and finding the best deals is a must. There are so many things that can wreck a budget: unexpected medical bills, car or home repair etc. So, other than those who win the lottery or strike oil in their back yards, how do the rest of us even begin to put away enough money to plan a descent wedding and honeymoon just short of going to the justice-of-the-peace and staying the night at Motel 6? Get creative and be willing to spend a little time and buy from merchants you wouldn’t normally consider. My husband I married in November of 2011. I had separated and divorced the previous year and had barely enough money to just start over. While my husband was one of the many displaced workers at the time. Because of this, extravagance was not an option but a girl wants a real wedding, ya know! So, I set off to find the best bargains I could. Many things were on the shopping list-rings, dress, suite for him, official to marry us, place to get married, lodging, license…you get the idea. eBay and Amazon were obviously the first places I went to start my search. Amazon had Titanium and Tungsten bands of all types ranging $15-$35 whereas other sites charge $125/ea or more. We bought 2 Tungsten comfort fit bands for $15 each with free shipping.
THE WEDDING GOWN
Next was my dress. We were considering an outdoor wedding, so I was willing to forgo the yards of satin and pearls, veil and long train of a more elegant setting for a simple design or maybe even a nice white sundress. For this purchase I went to eBay. If you are patient and diligent to examine the item descriptions for quality, you can find some really good buys. Many companies from China sell wedding gowns. Beware of sizing differences and possible lack of quality. Always check sizing charts on any site you shop and don’t go by your dress size alone as these may also vary. Take a measuring tape and measure your chest, waist and hips. Use these measurements to choose your proper dress size. If you see that a particular dress you want has you in between sizes, chose the next size up. I learned this by comparing the different sites and realize that my normal size 6 was a size 12 in wedding dress sizes on these sites. I found a beautiful dress on eBay being auctioned as a never worn discontinued model from a formal dress shop. I won the auction for $35 with free shipping. My husband found the perfect ivory dress shirt and dress pants at a resale shop for $6. What an awesome bargain!
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
I also went online to research different options for who would marry us. The obvious and cheapest would have been to let our ordained friend to marry us. The catch? He was ordained for Georgia and since living just minutes from the state line left us feeling we were in our own back yard, we were vying for a more magical setting. So, I kept looking. I found that there are many small companies across the country, which specialize solely in beautiful, intimate on-site weddings. These are actually a group of ordained people or officiants that offered different packages for wedding ceremonies. Some packages included photography with different size picture packs to choose from, a unity sand ceremony and/or a decorative arch with flowers. All came with ordained officiant, beautiful pre-written vows and several locations in which to choose. They also sign and send the certificate in to the state to be registered and have the license mailed to you. Since we really wanted a beach wedding we chose Notary on Time in Florida. We paid (http://www.notaryontime.com/) $149 for the basic package and got our license at the courthouse of the city in which we were to get married the day before costing $50.
OUR WEDDING PICTURES
The day of the wedding my husband set up our video camera on a tripod prior to the ceremony and turned it on as I approached. This way, we not only got a video of the entire ceremony but we were able to capture still pictures off of it as well. From those stills I put together a photo book with iPhoto for $40.
The last item on the to do list was where to stay. We had decided on South Beach as the location although hotel prices in that area are a bit pricey. I went to Priceline.com, entered the area, length of stay and type of room needed. Then I named my own price. I decided on an amount that I did not want to go over. I got a very nice room within 30 minutes of our wedding site for $83/night. That freed up money to allow for at least a couple of nice dinners. Then, considering it was centered around the heart of Miami, the entertainment was just walking the sidewalks in the evenings to take in all the night life.
Our day turned out amazing and we had the time of our lives as the new Mr. and Mrs. in South Beach without the black cloud of debt hanging over us. It was truly wonderful!
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© 2012 cammyshawn