On November 9th, I got engaged to the love of my life.
We're 30 something year old ADULTS, and happen to be living together already, and so we decided to get married this coming summer.
Cue the chorus of "Oh my goodness, that's so fast!"
Cue my eyerolls.
It's EIGHT MONTHS PEOPLE. Let's get it together. We're planning a party, not inventing the cure for cancer.
Anyway, while this process has been lovely, and exciting, and fun, I've now hit the point where everything is apparently one thousand dollars (and up).
Lights for your wedding? So people can see? One thousand dollars. A shuttle bus to take guests back and forth from their hotel to the reception? One thousand dollars. Get married in a church? One thousand dollars. GLASSES that you have to rent because neither your caterer nor your reception hall will give you actual glasses, NOT PLASTIC? One thousand dollars.
So yes, I'm a having a lot of fun planning my wedding. But I'm also losing patience with hidden fees, and people not being upfront about how much their services cost right away. I'm losing patience with salespeople that do not have the skills to be pleasant on the phone and cordial in an email with customers who are about to spend some serious cash.
The last straw was this week. Hotels in the area where we are getting married price gouge. Plain and simple. They know people get married in the vineyards a couple of towns over, and they triple their prices.
We were all set to book a certain hotel, and I asked the sales rep at this hotel to send me a different contract for a smaller room block, and she gave me a hard time. See, this hotel would charge us for the rooms we didn't use, and then resell the rooms that we've already paid for to strangers. And that just didn't sit too well with me. So, we asked for a different contract, so that we would be minimizing our potential losses.
She didn't want to rewrite the contract, she didn't want to answer my additional questions, and she spoke to me like I was a child.
So, now my fiancé and I will be taking our business elsewhere - to a hotel that's equal in price, and far exceeds them in hospitality.
Planning a wedding shouldn't feel like redoing a graduate degree. It shouldn't be difficult. It shouldn't be stressful. It shouldn't keep you up at night.
So, my fellow brides to be - hear me when I say, remember what you want. Remember to take care of your wallet. Remember that the vendors work FOR YOU, and if they aren't treating you the way you expect, move on.
It's so easy to get swept up in the costs, and the details, and get sucked into the abyss that is Pinterest.
But, put down the phone, and the magazines, and take a deep breath.
Focus on what you want.
Focus on what matters most to you - tune out the chatter that tells you what you "should" do, and you do what's best for you and your fiancé.
Don't be afraid to ask people for input on how to make it affordable - chances are that people are going to want to help you celebrate you and your beloved - and let them if that makes your heart happy and your life easier. It's ok. That's what family and friends are for!
Remember that a wedding doesn't have to cost a hundred thousand dollars (nor should it, in my opinion). Trust your gut. Stand up for your wallet. Remember that they're price gouging everything - and it may take a little more work to get the price you need and want.
I know I said it before, but I'm saying it again - remember that the vendors are working FOR YOU - so, if you don't like what they have to offer, move on.
It's one day. It's a really beautiful, magical, wonderful day, but it's just a day. And it doesn't need to break your bank account. And it shouldn't break your bank account.
It should be a celebration of you and your spouse, a day that honors the loved ones you have, and the start to the most important thing about your wedding - your marriage. Cause at the end of the day, that's what matters. You and your spouse, and the life you're starting together. Enjoy the mayhem of the planning, but don't let it take away from the joy of the season that you find yourselves in.