Working on a book based on mine and other FBF weddings! Tips, DIY projects, professional services, ect. Officially started yesterday. It’s a bit daunting, but I’m excited as well! Here’s the intro I wrote. What do you guys think?
“One very cold December day in New York City a couple walked the streets enjoying the sites. They had both been there many times before, but this day was special. It was special because after 5 and half years in front of Rockefeller Center, he got down on one knee and held out a beautiful ring! This is the part where you say “awwwww”. Yes, this was a perfect moment that I will cherish forever. I was marrying my best friend! Of course, for years I knew that I would one day, but it was finally here and real.
We all know that most women have been planning their weddings in their heads since about the age of 10. I definitely fit that stereotype. Even though I’d only had the ring on my finger for about 24 hours, I couldn’t help it! Cue the immediate planning! I didn’t go crazy, just started planning the date. I knew it had to be a fall wedding. To me though, 10 months just couldn’t work. So, I gave myself a year and 10 months. October 22 would be the day.
Having been a wedding photographer for years (plus watching every wedding planning show available) I was pretty pre-paired. I knew the venues I liked, the dress designers I loved, the photographer who’s work I adored. Then I got a slap of reality. We just didn’t have that much money. We both had a small mountain of debt. We made enough to live on comfortably, but where would the extra thousands come from for a wedding?!
After discussing it with his parents we knew they would not be able to contribute much. My father could, but he was paying for my education and I didn’t want to ask for more. Thankfully he went ahead and sent me money anyway, but we’ll get to that later. So, we knew most of the finances would be on us. This changed a lot of our planning!
He comes from a large Italian family, and of course we wanted everyone there. We were looking at about 80 people in just family members. Then you add in our friends, 100 people easy. This all sounds very typical for a wedding. But, when looking at our tiny budget we could just tell it wasn’t going to work. This was the hardest decision to make, but we had to majorly cut the guest list. We went down to immediate family and close friends, about 30 people. We looked at many venues, and fell in love with one in particular. But, even with shaving every corner I couldn’t get the total budget below $5,000. Even $5,000 was a big chunk for us. It would mean slacking on our debt and even putting off a house. This just seemed insane to us. Finally we sat down and discussed it. We decided that we would rather invest in our future rather than one day.
It was settled. We were maxing our budget at $3,500. With a little help from family this was doable and would still give us a special day to remember! I remembered a wedding I shot the previous fall for a friend. It was her second marriage and they decided to go very small (about 20 people). They rented a cabin in the mountains and had the ceremony outside. Followed by a luncheon at a local restaurant. I suggested this to my fiancée. When we couldn’t find a venue that fit our budget, we decided to go this route as well. Once we finally decided on a course of action everything started to fall into place.
We had a beautiful wedding for $3,300 (under budget!). Along the way we also have had other friends planning small budget or DIY weddings that we’ve gotten to help with. Armed with all my wedding and general frugal knowledge I have been helping others along the way to a frugal but fabulous wedding! I would love to help you on your journey as well.
This book contains DIY projects, saving tips, menu samples, trusted companies, and much more! You will see real photos from real weddings to draw your inspiration from. I’m so excited to be helping you along the way on this amazing journey! Now, lets get to planning!”