Survival of the Wedding Planner
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Our wedding day was everything I wanted even though it turned out totally different than how I planned it in my head immediately after getting engaged. Binge watching Say Yes to the Dress or Four Weddings was always one of my favorite things to do. Almost every girl has played out her dream wedding in her head over and over again. No one ever tells you that getting married is the quickest way to go broke before you can even start your life with your significant other.
Everyone has asked me how I did it all and when I tell them that it all came up to about $950, they're amazed. I looked into all the fancy dresses that you find on those posh websites and my bank account was like, "see what you're not gonna do is spend a down payment for a car on a dress that you're only gonna wear once. Let's bring it back to reality sis." The most important thing to remember is why you're getting married. You're doing it all to bond yourself to the one you love for the rest of your life. It's not even about the faces sitting in the crowd. If you fail to realize that, then you probably shouldn't be getting married at all (sorry not sorry).
There was no way in hell I was going to hire a wedding planner. When you say wedding, people see dollar signs and will try to rob your ass any way that they can. They think that just because you're getting married, that automatically means you have bands to blow on the whole thing. I knew that the venue itself was going to take up a big portion of the cost if we decided to get married somewhere besides the hotel where Thomas worked because he could get the space for free as an employee. But since August 5th (exactly 1 year from when we got engaged) was already reserved and the only available date that they had was somewhere between the 21st and the 30th, we had to scrap that plan completely. Eventually, we ended up finding the rose garden in Ritter Park. The roses wouldn't be in bloom until the middle of May, but the area was still breathtaking. It caught me by surprise how much I loved it (I had always been totally against the idea of an outside wedding, especially in August. I'm probably the youngest person you'll ever meet that has hot flashes). But it gave me the opportunity to put together our programs on fans for $30.
The rose garden with the grounds for 12 hours was only $250. Thanks to my aunts and mother in law, we didn't even have to worry about decorations (still obsessed with my fan bouquet and my wedding broom). The dress I picked out was everything I pictured in my head, but I was going to have to order it online until a lady that knew my mom was selling the EXACT same dress in my EXACT same size for $150. The tuxedos were only $90 a piece (that included all pieces of the suits and shoes) from a place called Skeffington's. My bridesmaids paid for their own black desses in their own styles. My hair was only $20 and I wore a pair of my granny's clip on earrings (something old and blue). With the luck that I have, my shoes broke while I was getting my dress on, so I had to grab my moms (something borrowed). And I found the most beautiful hair clip at Walmart for like $3 (something new).
For our invitations, I only spent $20 to print them off at a photo kiosk with our picture on them. Our cake was $150 with 2 flavors and free delivery (shout out to Holly Pops in Hurricane) and our photographer only charged us $150 and we ended up with 1000+ pictures from getting ready to the reception. My cousin was our DJ (the photographers let us use a speaker they had for free and we only played 3 songs which helped me break down the order of the ceremony. Versace on the Floor by Bruno Mars, the instrumental of course, Turning Page by Sleeping at Last, the wedding song from Breaking Dawn, and Lullaby by The Cure, the wedding song from AHS: Hotel).
Food was nothing because my mom could sling together a lasagna in a heart beat, Thomas could throw down when it came to BBQ ribs, and my paw paw could make the biggest and best chicken casserole you'd ever taste.
Would I do it again? HELL NO. ALL OF US ALMOST DIED. Just because I kept in mind that I was marrying my best friend doesn't mean that I didn't almost have a stroke from planning my own wedding. It was the happiest and most sleep deprived day of my life apart from giving birth. But I can happily say that I made an $950 wedding look like something from a dream. I blew myself away.