I Don’t Have a Boyfriend, but I’m Planning My Wedding

Hi Everyone! I’m so very excited to announce that I am officially a mom! :) I had the twins just a few days ago, and I can’t wait to share all the details with you very, very soon! They are amazing, and the hubs and I are so in love with them. Since we are super preoccupied staring at our two beautiful children, I’ve lined up some amazing fellow bloggers to share posts with you in the upcoming weeks. I’ll still be around and checking in for sure, but until then, I hope you enjoy!

Today’s post is by the very talented Michelle Jackson of the Shop My Close Project blog. Michelle is a Perrier devotee, lover of travel, and enjoys a good meal. She began writing The Shop My Closet Project as a way to give herself a voice in a life that left her without a voice for too long.

Take it away, Michelle!

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planning my weddingI have decided that I am over dating after a long and dedicated dating life.

I’m now preparing to meet The One, and what better way to prepare for that then getting a good idea of how much my future wedding will cost?

Now you could call me crazy or crazy like a fox!  But I thought it would be a fun and interesting project to undertake.

What started out as a secret Pinterest wedding board has spun out of control and is now a full-blown wedding…minus the groom!

Look, I have to know what I’m saving for, and I thought that I could approach this whole thing from personal finance bloggers perspective-so I did. My friends thought I was cray, but I needed to know what I was getting into so I began pinning. Then, I started estimating the costs.

By doing this I created a clearer vision of what I want, what my priorities are, and what I need to think about in terms of cutting overall costs. By the way, did I mention my taste in general leans towards the expensive?

French Country Chic

The type of wedding I want is French Country chic.

Think a long wooden table with short floral table decorations and a family style meal. Out in the country somewhere in a barn that doesn’t smell like poo. There will be a d.j. and one of my friends will do the photography as she’s a wedding photographer. I also would like a double decker bus so that we don’t have to worry about drinking and driving. Open bar is a must! I also would like a photo booth. I’ve thrown several events with photo booths and they are so much fun!! I want a small wedding; think no more than 40 or 50 people.  I also have a number of friends who live overseas, and I would like to cover their housing costs while Stateside.

I must admit that the dress has me thrown but that’s probably because I’m still single and haven’t met The One yet. That being said, I was able to put together a simple excel spreadsheet, and honestly my estimated costs are just about to hit the norm for U.S. weddings.

I was trying to avoid spending the norm.  I think $28,000 dollars on a wedding is a lot of money, but this will probably be one of the biggest personal events that I throw in my life.

In my current job, one of my duties is to run events for our clients. It is amazing how not having enough food and poor quality food can affect the mood of an event pretty quickly. I have gone to a wedding where there wasn’t enough food (it was around 5:00 p.m. or 6:00 p.m. when we sat down to eat and they had finger foods) and people ended up going into town and ordering dinner. That’s not going to be me.

Now I totally understand that my guy might not like French Country Chic, and he might not want a small wedding, but it doesn’t hurt to have an idea of what we might be dealing with.

My Budget Mock Up

Mani/Pedi

$50

Flower Girl Dress

$75

Ring Bearer Suit

$75

Postage for Thank you’s etc.

$100

Officiant

$150

Invites

$175

Maid of Honor Gift

$250

Best man gift

$250

Outfit for Mother of the Bride

$300

Hair*Might splash out for a weave

$500

Outfits for Mother of the Groom/Father

$500

Photo Booth

$700

Cake and Cupcakes

$750

D.J.

$750

Photographer

$1,000

Suit

$1,000

Decorations

$1,000

Dress

$1,600

Accommodation for out of town guests

$2,000

Venue

$2,750

Food/Booze

$3,500

Total

$16,055

Wedding Favors ???
Honeymoon: Spain/Portugal/Morocco

$8,750

2 months
Total:

$24,805

I’m really glad that I sat down and thought about what I want and how I envision my wedding. It’s clear that my priorities are the following: food, friends, booze, and a long honeymoon.

By the way, when I meet The One I will not be mentioning this. I don’t want him to think I’m nuts.

For you ladies and gentlemen out there reading this post, did you think about your wedding before meeting The One? Did you take time to price things out? Am I off in my estimations or are there things that you paid for that surprised you?

Editor’s note: I really like how Michelle thought of everything, even down to postage costs! Those are the little things that sneak up on you! Also, I’m glad I got married during the pre-Pinterest days because there are way too many amazing ideas on there. I bet my wedding would have cost twice a much had I had access to all that inspiration!!

How To Get Your Wedding Sponsored & Save Lots of Money

get your wedding sponsoredThe following is a guest post by the talented Nell Casey. Nell is a freelance writer and blogger living in Australia. Nell writes about personal finance at The Million Dollar Diva.

We all know that weddings are expensive. The average cost of a wedding in the US is close to $30,000! In order to pay for this, many couples either take on debt, save like crazy to pay for a dream wedding, or cut costs by restricting the number of guests and going DIY on the whole thing.

But enterprising couples have found a way to spend a minimal amount of money and still have the frothy white wedding they desire.

This Wedding Was Brought to You By…

Rather than pay for their wedding, some couples are opting to get some or the whole thing sponsored by businesses and brands. This may seem like a crazy idea, but the trend for sponsored weddings is growing. When the local junior football team can get sponsored by Hooters, why not brand your big day?

How to Get Your Wedding Sponsored

The first thing you need to do is work out what elements of your wedding you want sponsored. Consider that you will probably have more luck getting specific parts of the wedding sponsored by relevant businesses – say the catering, photography or flowers – than having the whole thing paid for by one company.

You might be wondering why a business would even be interested in sponsoring a wedding when they can get paid to do the same thing. And it’s true that popular businesses are probably not going to want to sponsor you because they’ve already got enough work on their own.

However, new businesses and businesses looking to break into the wedding market are a perfect target for sponsorship opportunities. They probably don’t have a big marketing budget, but are still looking for a way to gain exposure for their services. If your sponsorship opportunity is targeted enough and can provide them with greater exposure than traditional advertising, then the only cost to them is their time and materials.

You Scratch My Back, I’ll Scratch Yours

Just like any other sponsorship arrangement, businesses that sponsor a wedding want to know that they will get a good return on their dollar. The best way to attract sponsors is to put together an advertising package. This package should outline the exposure or other benefits that the sponsor will receive, what the cost will be, and the expected benefits for them. Remember that the sponsorship arrangement needs to benefit both you and the sponsor for it to work.

The sort of exposure you might provide for the sponsor could include having their logo or business card sent out with the invitations; having their logo on the Order of Ceremony or incorporated into the table decorations, and arranging for the MC to acknowledge them during the speeches.

You’ll also have more luck getting sponsored if you can gain attention for them beyond the day itself. I recommend that you start a blog about your wedding and work on getting plenty of readers and followers before you even start approaching potential sponsors. You need to demonstrate that you are savvy with social media and online marketing and can get maximum exposure.

You should also find a way to make your wedding unique in some. Do you have an interesting story about how you got together? What about any difficulties that you have had to overcome in your lives or relationship? Can you get married in a unique location or incorporate an interesting theme? Local newspapers love covering this sort of thing, and you can use this potential media exposure get sponsors.

Don’t Let it Get Over the Top

Just make sure that your desire for a free wedding doesn’t overshadow the point of the whole day. When every guest is forced to wear a Tom’s Plumbing baseball cap and the bridesmaids dresses are Wendy’s aprons, then you’ve probably gone too far.

Remember that you want your wedding to be memorable for the right reasons, and a giant, floating Duff Beer blimp isn’t most people’s idea of wedding chic.

Have you ever considered getting a wedding or party sponsored?

Photo: FreeDigitalPhotos