Hi y’all. I’ve had a CRAZY fall/winter, between work, becoming an aunt, getting married, honeymooning, traveling for work, hosting/being hosted for the holidays. Plus I’ve been writing quite a bit for my side gig at Investopedia.com. You can check out some of my newer articles. I especially recommend the advice I give about retirement planning, grocery shopping tricks and probably the most important article I’ve ever written, about the horrors of payday loans. (Although if you are reading a personal finance blog you hopefully don’t have any payday loans, but I was so horrified by the industry that I want everyone to know how terrible they are!)
Ok so. I’m writing one more post about my wedding because
1. it was SO fun so who doesn’t want to hear about it?
2. I am at wedding age and would like to impart my wisdom to my friends who are planning too
3. I learned some lessons, and I’m never planning to get married again so someone might as well learn from my mistakes.
So here goes!
Lesson 1: DIY was not for me
I love crafting. I refinish furniture, I’ve just taken up sewing, I’m a terrible but earnest knitter. In the world of Pinterest, you’d think I would love DIY-ing my wedding. We basically came down to two venues- one that was cheaper but DIY heavy, and one that was pricier but did everything for us.
We chose the non-DIY wedding and I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH how incredible it was. Here’s why:
- We lived across the country from our venue. My mom and my pregnant sister would have been on the hook to deal with all the local coordination. I love them and I did not want them to spend as much time on MY wedding (aka, my responsibility) as I did. DIY= Do it YOURSELF, not asking other people to do things for you.
- It turns out that even though I love weddings and I loved my wedding, I don’t especially enjoy event planning. Coordinating schedules, keeping track of contracts, following through with vendors who don’t call you back for weeks at a time (it happened a lot)…to me that is BORING. I didn’t want to spend my time or energy doing it. Our venue did nearly everything for us.
- We didn’t have to decorate! We chose a gorgeous church for our wedding and an art museum for our reception. Like I thought I was going to DIY better than ACTUAL ARTISTS? Forget it. And one less thing to worry about!
- We didn’t have to worry about food or alcohol! While we did get sucked into the “you have to use our caterers with our venue” trap, it actually turned out to be just fine. Catering prices weren’t that far off from what was offered at the venue (plus I didn’t have to coordinate). Our venue only offered heavy hors d’oeuvres and we added on a pasta bar so that no one would be hungry- and it was great. Bonus: no one had to sit near anyone they didn’t like during a formal dinner.
- I priced out the two venues and our non-DIY one ended up being about $3k more than the DIY venue (that’s in total, including food and decorations and setup and renting equipment and lighting and linens and security and cleanup and liquor licenses and alcohol and bartenders all of these things that I just did not care about). You better believe that not having to worry about where to get glassware and who was picking it up and returning it was well worth $3k to me.
The two things we did DIY were the invitations and the flowers (more on the flowers later). The invitations were super cheap to make, I thought they were so cool and creative, but they took forever and I would never do it again. Here’s basically what I did:
Instructions: Buy “Mexican confetti” (which will arrive with leaves and sticks mixed into your giant, multi pound bag of confetti. Do not let the cat near the confetti bag.), glassine bags (which are literally those wax paper bags used to hold fast food cookies), envelopes and clear printable label paper. Print on the labels, cut them out, stick them on the glassine bags. Fill with confetti. Glue shut. Stuff envelopes, and TEN HOURS LATER you and your fiancé will have sent out 150 wedding invitations. The invitations cost me maybe $35 in supplies, but was it worth the time? Nope.
My advice? Send an evite.