Big Wedding, Small Budget

Making Wedding Spending Meaningful

on February 9, 2012

I’ve talked about money and budget a lot on the blog recently. Or maybe not…maybe I just think about a lot. Anyway, that is reflective of where we are in wedding planning right now. We’re almost ready to book the venue and caterer (stay tuned!), and to look for a photographer. I crunch the wedding budget numbers All. The. Time (more later on how I’m beating that back!).

Recently, there was a post on the Offbeat Bride Tribe regarding feeling conflicted about wedding spending. I stopped reading the thread when I realized that most of the writers have much smaller budgets than we do. Now, I know that this blog is all about throwing a wedding on a budget. And we are. But a large guest list is a large guest list; there’s just no way around that.

Even with our aimed-for budget being considerably lower than the national average (and our guest list higher), we are spending what feels like a lot of money. More money than I’ve ever spent all at once on just one thing. So I totally understand why the tribe members had conflicted feelings. I do to.

What could I do with the money we are spending on this wedding? I could pay off my car with less. I could take my dream trip to Africa for less. Oh wait—I could do both of those things with our wedding budget. I could be extremely charitable and help people who have actual needs, like food and shelter, rather than my want of throwing a big party.

But. Weddings are important. It’s really important to me to have the people I love in one place, celebrating. So, spend the money we shall. But not blindly.

Meg pointed out this truth over on APW: your wedding is probably the only chance you will ever have to put so much money into the local economy, and to dictate how it is spent. The money we spend on our wedding will not be just thrown away on “one day.” It will provide us with a really great day, an important day, a day to remember. But more than that, we are choosing to spend our money (for the most part) on local businesses that we believe in.

So, my engagement ring? Found on That expensive venue I’ve talked about? It’s a farm built by the current owner’s grandfather. Our caterer? The owner of a small, local Italian restaurant where we had our first date (True story: the next night, my parents ate there and got the total scoop from the servers!). Our invitations? Hopefully designed by an independent artist.

When I remind myself of the way that our spending reflects our values, I feel better. When I remind myself that we are using the wedding to support independent, smaller businesses, I feel great. The truth is, in this economy, even our small wedding budget can mean something.


One response to “Making Wedding Spending Meaningful

  1. omgbex says:

    Yes!! So important to remember. It sounds like you’re being super mindful about your spending.


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