The one where we do things bass-ackwards (and where I reveal I am slightly cray-cray)

Back on April Fool’s, when B playfully bum-rushed me (he always seems to do this when I yell out “Come at me, bro!” *shrug*), I thought it would be hilarious to jokingly say, “Stop, you’ll hurt the baby!”  I know this is bad karma humor, but I expected a look of horror and instead I got a look of something quite the opposite, so now it’s a running joke in the house for him to ask “How’s the baby??” and rub my belly.  Over time, baby talk led to more serious talks, and next thing I knew, we were checking out rings.

It was exciting to go to a jeweler to 1) discover what my ring size was and 2) get to see what I had in mind on my finger.  We figured I’d play a part in picking it out (simple, solitaire, thin band, round shaped (since it’s like the hug in xo!)), since he’s not much for romantic surprises and I’m a “control freak.”  Pretty sure that’s the clinical term, I have to check Web MD.

Weeks go by, and while we were hanging out one night he asks, “Do you want this type of metal or that for the ring?”  I don’t really have a mouth filter, so instead of answering, I blurted out, “Oh, you haven’t bought it yet?”  We both know my lack of patience, so he didn’t take it offensively and just laughed.  This is why I communicate better in writing, I think – I have a chance to edit.  But back to the story.

So what do I do while he’s taking five-ever to research rings?  I start scoping out venues and dates.  In my defense – we know we’re going to have it in SD, we both wanted beginning of 2014, and SD is a pretty popular area to get married both for locals and destination weddings.  We needed to get crackin’, and he agreed to give me reign since 1) see control freak reference above, 2) it’s not like I really had to arm wrestle for these duties, 3) he knows I want something simple and reasonable, and 4) he gets veto power.

We reached consensus with a date fairly quickly, due to my penchant for even numbers, his football-related fondness of the day in mind, and the proximity of my birthday so less dates for him to deal with.  In a week, I also figured out all the reasonably priced (and not so reasonably priced… seriously, how do people sleep at night with these outrageous prices?!  Well, probably on 1000 count sheets with those rates, but wowie zowie, things are expensive) venues around the area near our church, and even created a cost-per-person spreadsheet.  This weekend, we scouted the areas, and found a place that we mutually agreed upon.  It’s reasonably priced given the things we want in the package are allowable (we don’t meet with them to confirm until Friday), it’s on the water, and it has awesome views which both locals and out of towners will enjoy.

The drawback?  Reasonably priced, projected with our number of guests, is relative since it’s still the amount we had in mind for the total wedding budget (a number we threw out without any basis), so it makes for a mild heart attack.  After pricing out options, though, this is still the lowest cost-per-person with most places being double, it’s the most convenient since set-up, catering, and take-down will be taken care of, and I do admit I’m emotionally attached to the venue.  It’s nothing extravagant, but if we aren’t allowed some things once we meet with them on Friday, then I’m not going to commit to it.

This will play a part in my debt repayment, though my aim is to still be debt free, or as close to debt free, in 2013, and definitely no where near the start of where I was in 2013.  Though the reception might not be the most frugal, having a gathering of our absolute favorite family and friends is important, and considered money well spent.  We are thinking of every possible way to cut corners, though, which I’ll divulge in later posts.  I don’t know if it’ll be interesting to state monetary details, but I’m okay with it since it’s not like I haven’t already confessed a variety of things.

So yeah, that’s been the activity lately – I feel a little cray-cray planning all this stuff before getting engaged… actually, that’s not true – I really just feel cray-cray stating that I’ve already been planning before getting engaged.  It’s actually been fun stuff getting my geek on trying to find the best value for things, and it was fun scouting out areas together this weekend.  Our communication so far has been awesome and I hope it continues on (for, like, ever).


44 thoughts on “The one where we do things bass-ackwards (and where I reveal I am slightly cray-cray)

  1. The average wedding is over $20k. Try not to be a bridezilla and keep it down to at least half that or I may have a heart attack! Congrats on your backwards planning. My wife and I started planning our marriage within a few weeks of knowing each other and everything has worked out great since. Our wedding was less than $1000 and we had all of our friends and family there. Small reception at the house after with a few family members making food. Good times!

    • I definitely don’t intend on being a bridezilla… the cost, though, might be more than half, but I have some reasons which I’ll divulge later. Glad to know I wasn’t the only one who planned before engagement! 🙂

  2. Wow, congratulations on a big step ahead.

    While I moved much slower than Mr. Moneyseed, we also did it on the cheap. We rented part of a botanical garden ( out for a couple hours and invited less than 20 people.Later that year, we had a party at our home where we invited everyone else.

    On a related note, did you know diamonds are a massive scam? I know you didn’t mention them, but I think of this every time someone mentions engagement rings:

    • The garden looks beautiful! My parents (mom and stepdad) married in a similar place in AZ and it was gorgeous! As for the ring, we agreed to keep it simple since I work with my hands a lot, so no use in getting paranoid with the ring getting messed up.

  3. Congrats on the whole she-bang! You aren’t crazy at all, I think it’s normal to research and talk about these things ahead of time. I’d definitely plan it on the frugal side. My wife’s parents ended up spending a fortune despite our efforts to help them save…

    • Thank you, Jacob! Oh, that’s interesting that you two didn’t have a frugal wedding, though I do understand that when parents are involved it can lead to something quite different.

    • Oh good, I’m glad to hear I’m not the only one that plans before getting engaged! Can’t wait to hear about your planning, as well 🙂

  4. I think it’s cute that B is taking five-ever to pick out the perfect ring 😛 And I think it’s even cuter that you guys already picked out the venue! Can’t wait to start reading your wedding planning on a budget posts so I can have future ideas 😉

    • Oh girl, I don’t even think it’s so much him finding a perfect one but being a procrastinator. 😉 He’s been really involved with the planning, though, which is more important to me than the ring. Ooh, can’t wait to hear about YOUR planning in the future! 🙂

  5. I think you’re smart, not crazy. But maybe that’s because I’ve been planning my wedding in my head for a long time (yeah I even have been pricing out venues too). Weddings are expensive and dates book up quick, so I think it’s smart to think as much in advance as you can. Can’t wait to hear more about the planning.

    • Yay, it’s great to hear that I’m not the only one pricing out venues and researching before the engagement! I agree about dates being booked up – we’re planning for an off-season month, but when I looked at some calendars the spring and summer months were already booked for 2014.

  6. Very smart to plan now, Anna! And can I pre-congratulate you on your pre-engagement? 🙂 Our wedding and reception cost less than $1,000 and it was lovely and simple and perfect.

    Good luck with your wedding planning! Share lots of details!!!

    • Wow, really? Okay, I am impressed with a $1k wedding – care to share the details? I don’t think we’ll have nearly that low, but we’re trying to trim it up as much as possible!

  7. Exciting! You are not crazy…you just sound a little OCD, like me. I love even numbers! haha…congratulations on your pre-engagement and I look forward to hearing more details!

    • Hahaha, yeah, I guess I am a little OCD with some numbers and habits. Thank you for the congrats, I’ll definitely write more about it as things come up. How do you like your new gig?? 🙂

  8. Well this is not an area I can really relate to, 😦 but I will say to just try and relax and think about what is MOST important when it comes to your future together. The “perfect” spot is not going to make or break your relationship or marriage. 🙂 Sounds like you got a great guy so no matter what happens you always have that! Does that make sense?…I haven’t had coffee yet.

    • Haha, no worries, it made sense. Indeed, I’m not completely hung up on finding the perfect anything (especially since we discovered another place that also caught our attention), and our main focus is to keep this low so that we can focus on getting a house and family. Thanks for keeping me in check, Tonya 🙂

    • Thank you, Holly!! Haha, I definitely get you on the planner side, and I do think the early bird gets the worm when it comes to some wedding stuff!

  9. No problem with backwards planning. Our wedding was relatively cheap for the size, but my good buddy is actually getting married in the courthouse and then we are going to have a huge party at his house. That is where the money should be spent, the party!!

    • Grayson, great minds think alike! The church is actually pretty reasonably priced, but we definitely want a cool reception with our loved ones. We don’t get to see them often, so if they can all be in one area at one time, so down for that. 🙂

  10. I don’t think it’s crazy at all, though I am a crazy planner so I don’t know if that’s the most helpful. 😉 We got married in San Diego as well and I was just blown away by the costs some wanted. Thankfully my father in law had a budget set and we were frugal with it so we could have a nice day and not go crazy. We actually had a little bit leftover to throw at the honeymoon. Congrats!

    • Thank you, John – isn’t SD outrageous? There’s some cool spots, but they really mark it up for special events! Our family will help, too, which I’ll prattle on about later, but we’re both aware that we need to foot some of the bill. That’s great that you two did so frugally – it would be interesting to hear about it especially since you had it in SD!

  11. He hasn’t asked you yet?! Well congrats anyway. I would hate leaving the wedding planning to someone else. Id want to be kneedeep in the details to cut costs wherever possible. Good luck!

    • Totally agree w/ CR. Also a tip that I’ve heard to save on venue fees is to avoid using the word “wedding” because that automatically adds thousands of dollars. You’re supposed to say that you’re having a gathering of friends and family or something like that.

      • All the pricing lists I’ve seen have event/wedding synonymous. I did say event at first, but then they ask if it’s a wedding, anyway. I can’t lie very well, so I do admit to it.

    • Thanks – he’s definitely involved in the budget part, I did all the due diligence work with scouting out venues, caterers, etc. All the fun stuff in my book. 🙂

  12. Can I say how much I love the word cray-cray today? =)

    Congrats, and you are definitely not alone in the pre-planning. We knew we would elope (and had the basics of when and where) before I forced Mr. PoP to propose about a month before. I knew eloping would be enough of a heart attack for people, so I figured getting engaged a month earlier would be enough of a warning shot. =)

    As for costs, here are ours: ~$235 to elope on a boat + ~$800 for a catered housewarming party in our new house for friends and family a few months later

    • Wow on a boat must have been so much fun! I just gave B a ‘deadline’ of sorts, too, mostly so I can start sending out save the dates. LOL at warning shot 🙂

  13. Congratulations on your pending engagement. LOL! I love it!! I will say that our wedding was not thrifty. It was 23 years ago and my father paid for it and spared no expense. In my defense I was young and happy to play along. 🙂 Some people are able to create a beautiful wedding on the cheap while others spend a small fortune. I don’t judge but just say make it special to you and B on what you can comfortably afford to spend.

    • I definitely don’t intend getting into deep debt on just one day, so we’re keeping it as simple but maximizing our time with loved ones. I think our parents will pitch in, too, so I’m not young anymore but I’ll happily play along (though in my defense, they’re inviting the village, so I think it’s fair) 🙂

  14. Pingback: She Said/He Said: Engagement Rings | Girl Meets Debt

  15. haha, pre congrats then! It is a big deal so better plan for it. With careful planning it doesn’t have to be so expensive, and you can have more people around for the same price (or more time to realize that you don’t really want to invite uncle Bill).

    • Haha, indeed, the more we look at the guest list, the more we evaluate if we really want this person there or not. Sometimes, it feels like we have to because of politics (family and otherwise), but our budget is being taken into consideration first and foremost!

  16. Do what you wanna do! We took our sweet time after getting engaged and had a very small, casual, self-funded wedding. I think it’s tough to wade through all the expectations around weddings, but stick to your own path girl!

    • Expectations is definitely an understatement – both families are involved, and a bit more than I initially projected! It’s not bad, though, but there’s a lot of diplomatic conversations lately!

    • Oh cool, I grew up in OC! Wow, Jersey – is it because families are there? As soon as we have the venue down, I’m definitely providing details. Can’t wait to hear about your planning 🙂

  17. Hi Anna
    I had my entire wedding planned in under three months – and I started a month before the actual proposal! You’re no alone and planners will rule the world! Congratulations, Anna!

    • Glad to know I’m not the only pre-engagement planner out there, and I’m so impressed you did it in under 3 months! Thanks for stopping by, Lindsey 🙂

  18. First of all Congratulations~ Secondly, I’m sorry I’m so late in congratulating. I’ve been lazy and busy all at the same time.
    Wedding planning it exhausting and frustrating at times, but it was a lot of fun for me. I’m excited for you~

  19. Pingback: Wedding Dress on a Budget | Are Ya Gonna Eat That?

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