Friday, March 3, 2017

In case you haven't heard, I'M GETTING MARRIED!! Christopher proposed on February 22, 2017, and we are so excited to begin this new chapter of our life. If I'm being honest, I basically had the wedding planned before he even proposed. From vendors to my dress, I had it all down. Literally the day after he proposed, I was calling all of my previously chosen vendors and ordering, booking, and scheduling appointments. It took me three days and I had it made!

Over the weekend, my mom, dad, sister, and bestie are coming over and we are doing some wedding planning! My dress fitting is at noon on Saturday, and I am praying to God that it is my dream dress. I don't really have a whole lot of time, because *drum roll please* we are getting married in less than seven weeks! Yep, you read that right! Planning a wedding in a total of eight weeks, psh, no problemo for this girl. 

Now if you think I am crazy, go right ahead. I enjoy a little wedding planning adrenaline rush. haha! Besides, like I said, it was already planned--excel spreadsheets and all! But, now comes the fun part, the little finishing touches. I'm working on sending out invitations (which Chris designed!), making song playlists, picking out decor, and choosing the bridal party attire! My little diy wedding is going to be my dream come true. 

As we all know, weddings can't be all rainbows and butterflies...or can they? For me so far, everything has been pretty drama free (minus my hair disaster right before we got engaged! It was horrible!), but there is one thing that I've noticed as soon as we announced our engagement. People "invited" themselves to the wedding. Now if you're one of those people that said something, please don't take offense--I mean you can, but you shouldn't. You should probably just keep reading to understand where I'm coming from--trust me.

A wedding is one of the most sacred days of a person's life. They are committing their life to another soul, and they should choose who they do and do not invite. For me, it wasn't about choosing who I did not want to invite. It was about choosing who we really wanted at the wedding and who we felt made an everlasting impact on our relationship, and now, for our marriage. In the end, it turns out, we really just want our immediate families and some of our best friends, and there shouldn't be anything wrong with our decision. 

If you are thinking about having a small wedding or you want to know all of our reasoning of how we came to this decision, here's a little more detail on why.

1 // We wanted an intimate ceremony

I only want to be surrounded by people that I know are invested in supporting my marriage. We are both super close with our parents and siblings, and niece & nephews, and honestly, not really a whole lot of other people in our family. There are some extended family members that we talk to on occasion, but let's be real, Facebook doesn't count. Having an intimate ceremony with less that 75 people has been something that I know I have longed to have. Having a huge wedding never interested me. For me, I want to be able to spend time with every guest at my wedding and not feel rushed to do so.

2 // Less people, less money spent

As I'm sure you know, weddings are flipping expensive! To rent a venue alone in my area is 10k plus! I could never fathom spending that much money on just a venue. In fact, that's about all we want to spend for everything! (Side note: Leave a comment below if you would like a budget breakdown on how we're achieving that!) In the end, what we realized was, if we cut down the guest list, it cut down our budget. We don't have a lot of money, and I hate asking for money from people. We refused to spend above our means. You have no idea how many times we joked about having a quick courthouse wedding--okay maybe more so I did, but hey, there's nothing wrong with that. I know plenty of people that have and they've never regretted their decision to do so.

3 // We didn't want to enter a marriage thousands of dollars in debt

Kind of piggy-backing on the last point, if we were to have a huge wedding, it would have put us in some serious debt. Family can only help out financially to a certain limit, and we did not want to go a dollar over. Entering a marriage by adding thousands of dollars of debt on top of our student loans just did not make sense to us. We don't want to be paying off our debts until we're dead. That's not what life's about. So, by minimizing, we are eliminating further future debts. We want to prepare for our future, perhaps buy a house soon, and yes, eventually, be able to start a family. But, in order to do all of that, we cannot be up to our nose in debt.

4 // Timing

Remember how I said we are getting married in seven weeks? Well, there is no such thing as timing, because we're getting married next month, there essentially is no time. There was no way that we were expecting people to drop plans for our wedding day. In fact, the choice of our date, April 22, 2017, is kind of a funny story. At first, we wanted the 29th, but then one of my close friends was going to be away that weekend. Then we found out Chris' mom was going to be away at a conference, and that my sister was going to be in California speaking at a conference. So, we made a switcheroo to the 22nd, making our wedding even sooner on an already tight timeline.

5 // Our choice of venue

Our venue is literally my dream venue. A friend from church (I call her my church mom) lives on a beautiful farm, and I always joked about having my wedding in her barn. Well, every single venue from Philadelphia to Frederick was booked until basically the end of 2018. So, that is when Chris and I had the idea to get married so quickly, but only if we could get married in the barn, which is only cleared of hay from April to mid May. My friend and her hubby graciously accepted to be a part of our crazy adventure. But, with every venue, size is a factor. Since we are having the ceremony and reception in the barn, we really had to trim the guest list to assure that everyone would even have a place to sit. 

6 // We will get to spend time with our guests

I want to be able to enjoy my day with those that are there. So many of my friends that had weddings double the size of what ours will be, say they wish they had a smaller wedding. Since they had so many people they had to say hi to, chat and catch up with, that left them no time to enjoy their day, eat, or simply breathe for a moment. From what I've been told, I know that your wedding day is one of the fastest days of your life, and I want to be able to enjoy every second of it. 

7 // I wanted a diy wedding & to pick my vendors

A lot you guys know I'm super crafty. I love a good diy project. Give me a can of spray paint and my tool belt, and I'm ready to go. Having a diy wedding was something that I always wanted. Mainly because I'm super particular on how I want things to be, but hey, I know what I like. With vendors, if we were to get married anywhere else, the vendors would have been chosen for us, and they're super pricey! Some caterers were charging $150 per person! In the end, that would have given us no wiggle room to make our own bouquets, choose our caterer, or anything else for that matter. With other venues, we felt trapped, and we weren't impressed with them. Having a smaller wedding is giving us the freedom to be creative and for us to have the wedding and vendors we truly want. 

I know this is long, but I hope it helps if you are making the decision of whether to have a small wedding, or maybe you were reading just to understand where we are coming from in our decision process. But truly, my desire is that you understand our hearts and this gives you a little peace at mind.

Stay Classy.