The last 2 months have been some of the single most stressful months of my adult life. I have been engaged since Saturday August 22nd at 9:00 pm. Beginning Monday, the 24th I was already contacting venues. We had an appointment scheduled for every single Tuesday night for immediately after I left work, some of which required me to leave early. After every single appointment Steve and I both wore the same expressions. Steve’s looked like he was afraid at any minute my emotions would take over and I would have an outburst of epic proportion. All the while he wants a wedding, so he wont dare say he was feeling the same dread that I was at that very moment. Where he saw an opportunity to go and look at another place, I saw fear and anger and frustration. I can’t even describe the terror and panic in my face after these appointments. These appointments were constant reminders of how much we don’t have. That’s not my typical train of thought because we have so much! We pay our bills. We have a roof over our head. We can buy groceries, healthy groceries. We can afford an occasional night out, within reason. God has blessed us many times over with having exactly what he need.
The cheapest venue we were able to find that fits our needs and provides the food and most of the basic things (linens, china, things like that) is going to cost us $9800. Did you just gasp? Because I stopped breathing for a minute when that number was handed to me. Were you one of the few that laughed and said, “Oh! That’s all?” If you were that person, let me save you some time. Stop reading. There is nothing of interest for you from this point forward. I can promise you that. For weeks I have been seeing numbers and dollar signs. Now, numbers alone are painful because I’m not a mathematician and I don’t enjoy numbers. I enjoy words. Not numbers. In fact, numbers make me break out into a cold sweat. When people would try to share in my enjoyment of finally being engaged to the right man, nay, the perfect man for me I started to anticipate and dread their next questions,
Enthusiastic friend: “When is the special date?”
Me: *Blank Stare* Insert me fumbling for something to say in panic.
Enthusiastic friend: “Where are you going to have it?”
Me: *Panic and cold sweat* “Uh, I don’t exactly know… But, but we’re looking at this place on Tuesday…”
That’s typically how it would go. When I would mention my anxiety to Steve, he would say it was because we hadn’t found the right place yet. Or we always have a friend of the family’s backyard. Finally last night I sat and made myself break down some concrete numbers (again with the numbers). I took the smallest quote we got and factored in what my parents are able to help with (God bless them!) so we had a final number that WE are responsible for. I added a cheap quote for a photographer and broke that out and added it into our other total. I made a list of what my monthly estimate doesn’t include. This list had things like postage for invites, the invites, DJ, flowers, dress, tuxes, gifts, etc. The monthly amount we would have to save in order to pay for all of this in cash in 12 months was $500.00 !!! That’s crazy. That’s another rent payment. Neither of us has an extra $500 a month. Life happens. Arrow has vet bills. Cars need repairs and maintenance. The holidays are around the corner. It’s just not likely.
Being that both Steve and myself are financially responsible (or at least we like to think we are) we agree that we will not put ourselves into debt to have a wedding. Neither of us has credit card debt but he is paying out-of-pocket for his school. I have student loans that are a manageable monthly payment, although it is still 20% of my take home income. There’s not a lot left for a giant party. Something had to be done. So last night when Steve got home I presented my case. And Our conversation got a little emotional but nothing that caused raised voices. We don’t typically communicate like that. After discussing the numbers and the cold hard facts Steve understood where I was coming from and why I have been so stressed.
The end result: We have decided to push our wedding back until 2017. Hopefully Fall of 2017. That seems like a long time… an overwhelmingly long time. I know. I thought the same thing. But looking at more than just squirreling away money into my savings and tax returns and other holidays and such, that gives us time to shop around for centerpiece decor. And use coupon codes and sale offers for things that normally people wouldn’t have a chance to wait around for. AND if we’re being very honest… all the women out there are thinking about David’s Bridal’s $99 dress sale. You know you were… I did. No judgment here! Shop away, bargain shoppers! I can’t even begin to describe the relief I feel this morning. It’s shocking to know I still have 24 months until I marry my best friend. But, in the end, I think this will keep us best friends. I can breathe again. I can laugh about my wedding and be light-hearted. I can reach under the table and hold Steve’s hand with love when our “enthusiastic friend” asks their question, instead of holding it with tension and panic.
Postponing our wedding is the best decision we have ever made for our relationship. Just because the wedding industry (I hate those guys, by the way!) has convinced young women of nothing but lies doesn’t mean it has to be right for you and yours, if it’s not. Make your wedding right for you.