Yeah, you read that right! 570 days left until our big day! It seems like a lot until I remember it was past 800 when we first set our date. Of course I’ve been panicking a bit thinking about how the wedding is next year and we still have a lot to get done. You see, I’m a worrier. Even though I wanted I long engagement to really enjoy the planning process, once in a while I still find myself worrying about things I really don’t have to worry about yet.
So to combat my panic, I decided to make a list of some of the things we still have to do for the wedding.
Buy the dress
The dress. It’s been on my mind a lot actually because I’m hoping to get my appointment scheduled at the bridal shop soon! I know some people thing buying a dress with a year and a half to go is too soon. But I don’t change my mind once I decide on things, so I know I’ll continue to love whatever dress I do get.
Book the DJ
My twin sis had THE BEST DJ at her wedding last year. Unfortunately, her wedding was out of town so I can’t use the same person. I do want someone who will have everyone on the dance floor all night just like hers, though. I read a bunch of reviews and got some recommendations, and I have 2 I want to contact. I constantly worry though that they will book up before I reach out to them. (Note to self – instead of stressing, just send them each an email!)
Refreshments for after the ceremony
The fiancé and I are still debating whether or not to serve some light refreshments and booze at the ceremony space. You see, we booked the most amazing venue for it – an old warehouse – and paid extra for the entire first floor of vintage pinball machines and to have the venue all day. We’ll only be having the ceremony there (probably around 3PM), and then the reception is at another place at 6PM. We want guests to feel like they can stay and enjoy the pinball machines and each others’ company until the reception. So I found a caterer in the area who can provide bartenders (we would provide the booze) and basically whatever foods/snacks we wanted. I have to see what their prices are though. If licenses for booze weren’t an issue we would honestly just provide it and have the guests serve themselves, but we need to have a licensed catering company on site if we have food and alcohol.
Blocking hotel rooms
I actually know that I want to get this taken care of over the summer. My mom already offered to visit some hotels near our reception venue with me, and since the wedding is downtown right at the start of hockey season (and right near the arena) we want to block rooms well in advance. We know we’ll have a good amount of out-of-towners, plus a lot of local family and friends have already told us that they will stay at a hotel too so they don’t have to worry about driving afterwards.
So that’s my list. It’s not inclusive, if it was the list would be never-ending! Are you planning a wedding? What’s currently at the top of your to-do list?
Your wedding budget (like mine) is tight. One of the benefits of a long engagement is having the ability to save up and maybe even make some extra money to put towards it. I decided recently that instead of using the money we already have saved, I’d rather pay my dress deposit with money saved specifically for that purpose.
The salon I plan on going to (and hope to find my dress at since they have all the designers I love) requires a 60% deposit. While I don’t want to spend a shit ton on my dress, I do know that lace dresses can be more pricey. So to be safe, I’m putting away $1800.00 for the deposit, which will be sufficient for a dress $3000.00 or less (I’m definitely shooting for less) (also-I think that math is correct. It wasn’t my strong suit in school).
If you have similar goals and enough time to save before you make your dress purchase (they can take months to come in!), here are some ideas to help you fill that piggy bank:
- Start doing something on the side that you’re good at. For me, that is house cleaning. I worked for a cleaning company in college and still use the techniques I learned there. I’m just going through word of mouth since I don’t want to become the next victim of an ax murderer, but if you are braver than me and have the services to offer, I say go for it and market like crazy (obviously if you don’t have to go into other peoples’ homes, the ax murderer thing isn’t an issue). Whatever you decide to do, make sure it will actually bring in some money. For house cleaning, the average rate in my area is $25 an hour. If I can do $100-$200 a week (like 2 full houses), that would be a nice chunk of cash.
- Control those booze purchases. Jacob and I LOVE beer. We normally get a 6-pack or 2 for the week. But those can be anywhere from $10-15 per pack, which adds up over the course of a few months. If you have a similar love for beer (or any type of alcohol really), consider cutting back completely. If completely is a bit much even for a few months, then stick to a budget (say, 1 6-pack a week, 1 bottle of wine a week, etc). We are so guilty of running to the store to try a new beer we saw on Instagram or Untappd, and all those random purchases add up.
- Save dollar bills and loose change. We’ve been doing this for about 6 months now and you’d be amazed by how much you end up saving. Every time I go grocery shopping or have cash on me, I make a point to empty $1 bills and coins into the jar. Another similar thing that works well for us – say you take out so much cash every week. Instead of planning to just donate your $1 bills and coins, immediately after withdrawing your money take $20.00 and put that into the jar.
- Eliminate impulse purchases. This goes hand in hand with not buying all the booze. Don’t buy that coffee and muffin. Don’t buy that chocolate bar at the check out counter. Even better, keep note of what you almost bought, and when you get home, donate that amount into your jar.
I’ve been implementing most of these tips with my fiance for a while now, and I’m starting house cleaning this week. I’m hoping to get enough money saved up for my dress deposit soon. My wedding isn’t until October 2018, but I want to go dress shopping!
So tell me: what do you do to save money? Does having a particular goal in mind help? Will you be trying any of my tips?