Broke-Ass Tag: Kimberly

8/23

As soon as we started talking about getting married I knew funding the wedding was going to be an issue. We had no money saved up. None. What. So. Ever. Once we got engaged and I started crunching numbers and forecasting potential savings, it was confirmed. I was a Broke-Ass Bride. Immediately, I started thinking of creative alternatives to a traditional wedding that could help us keep costs down. I came up with various ideas, but my favorites were these two:

  • Afternoon reception – I figured serving brunch instead of dinner had to cut down on food costs. However, I vetoed this idea after I realized that my day would start crazy super early. Plus, I would probably end up feeling rushed, which would be no fun.
  • Cake and Punch reception – I really liked the idea of having a late-night wedding where only drinks and desserts were served. I imagined the most epic dessert tables on the planet, but my fiancé shot me down. It was important to him that we feed people, even if it meant he had to do all of the cooking.

Once we crossed off every idea, our only option was a traditional reception with dinner and dancing. Which was fine, it just meant we were going to have to cut costs in other ways.

I know what I want … Now, how do I get it?

Since I already had my wedding vision, once we decided on a traditional format I was ready to make the budget. First, I started by calculating how much money we could realistically save between now and summer 2019. Because I love to make lists and spreadsheets (I use Microsoft Excel like it’s crack) this was an enjoyable task for me.

I know, I’m weird.

Then I added in income tax refunds (I underestimated this amount because you never know what can happen). Then I deducted money for other things we saved for in a year, for example, Christmas shopping. Once the vortex of paper, spreadsheets, and formulas stopped swirling, and the dust settled; I unearthed our magic number. That number is …

Drum roll, please …

$12,000

Not the tiniest budget, but certainly not anywhere near the average cost of a wedding in Connecticut, which is over $40,000.

 

I took my budget and turned it into a chart. See, told ya I was weird.

How do I turn that number into a budget, without wanting to pull out my hair?

Next, I sat down with my binder, which contained a budget breakdown spreadsheet (BAB has one here, too). It was very helpful. I used the percentages under each heading to calculate how much of my budget to allocate to each item. For example, it said that 50% of my budget should go towards the reception which includes the site rental, food, alcohol, etc.

Once I went through the entire sheet, I started tweaking the numbers to suit my preferences and needs. For example, according to the planner, I should allocate $500 towards stationery, but since I decided that I was creating all of the stationery, I cut that amount to $200. Next, I started filling in some of the sub-categories within the budget plan. For example, under the Decorations heading I budgeted:

  • $500 for flowers
  • $300 for miscellaneous decorations
  • $200 for linens

I continued playing with the numbers until I was satisfied the money was allocated in the best way possible to make our wedding a reality.

This is a snippet of the budget that I put together.

Hallelujah! A budget has been born this day!

I suspect, that even though I have my budget plan, there will be plenty of changes to make as we continue to plan our wedding. Once I start figuring out all of the DIY projects I may find that I need less money for flowers and more money for general supplies. Or maybe I get a great deal on the catering, and I use the extra money to fatten up our photography package. One thing I know for sure is that we can’t go over our $12,000 bottom line, so whatever challenges come our way we’ll have to figure out how to overcome them without spending more money.

Not easy to do, but we’ll figure it out.

Y’all got to pray for me!

 

  • 8/7

    So, one thing I wanted to wrap my head around before I got into the nitty-gritty of wedding planning was my list of DIY projects. I wanted to give myself plenty of time to do a test run for each project so that I could determine if:

    1. I had the skills or could learn the skills needed to create the item. I consider myself a crafting veteran, but I haven’t done EVERYTHING.
    2. I had the time needed to create all of the items before the wedding without pulling out my hair from the stress.
    3. I will actually save money by doing it myself, or if the money and time would be better spent on buying it ready made.

    I’m lucky in that I have a lot of family and friends who have offered to help with my various projects. But of course, I don’t want to take advantage of their generosity. So, while I have the option of outsourcing various projects to my loved ones, I want to use that option sparingly. My wedding isn’t the center of their life, and I don’t want to stress them out with a million projects.

    I don’t have money, but what I do have are a very particular set of skills.

    So, with that said, I sat down with my wedding binder and wrote down everything that I could possibly DIY. I’m not going to do all of them, but I wanted to see what my options were. Once I wrote everything down, I started moving items into two buckets:

    1. DIY Projects – these are projects that I felt my fiancé or I could take on ourselves.
    2. Outsource To Family & Friends – these are projects that I have asked people to take charge of because it involves a skill set that they already possess.

    I love making lists, it’s a sickness.

    Putting my inner crafting goddess to work.

    I’ve always loved decorating for parties, from my mom’s 50th birthday to my daughter’s 1st birthday and everything in between. I love, love, LOVE it! Therefore, decorating for my wedding was a no-brainer. Immediately, I placed ceremony décor and centerpieces into the DIY projects bucket. Next, I added stationery to include: Save-The-Dates, Invitations, RSVP cards and Thank You cards. I made the invitations for my daughter’s baptism, and I felt with enough time, they wouldn’t be a problem. Then, I added the backdrop for the sweetheart table. I’ve made backdrops before, for personal use and work events, and I felt that making one for the wedding was doable. 

    Lastly, I stuck the selfie-station and the paper flowers in this bucket as well. I’m a little worried about making all of the paper flowers I need to decorate the ceremony and reception space. So, I might end up making some and buying some, or swap them for something else. We’ll see how the test run goes. As for the selfie-station, I haven’t decided what that will look like yet, so I have more work to do. However, I know I want to make it myself.

    Next at bat: my fiancé.

    I chose two projects that I had my heart set on, but doubted I could do them by myself. Since my fiancé is a whiz at building things, I asked him to build the ceremony aisle arches and door-frame ceremony entrance. I know you are probably asking yourself, what the hell are those? I wanted to give my ceremony aisle that wow factor, by adding some arches draped in fabric. Something you don’t see often. Since we plan on the ceremony being outside, I wanted to create the illusion of “entering” the ceremony space. Hence the doorframe.

    My blueprint for the ceremony aisle arch that my fiance is going to build.

    Outsourcing: No need for references.

    The first project I added to this bucket was the wedding cupcakes. At first, I was going to do them myself. I used to work in a grocery store bakery as a cake decorator so I knew I could make them. But, I was worried about the timing and being stressed on my wedding day. One of my bridesmaids was also a cake decorator, so when she offered to make them I said, hell yeah! She’s going to do a tasting and everything, just like going to a bakery. I can’t wait. 

    Next, I added the wedding signage to this bucket. My sister/ bridesmaid got a Cricut last year for Christmas, and it has upped her crafting game significantly. She doesn’t want to be “in charge” of the signage, but she can take the lead. Then, when she is busy, she can pull me in, which is just as good. If I had to do all of the signs by myself, I probably wouldn’t do half of them.  

    Finally, I added the ceremony canopy where we will stand while we say our vows. My future sister-in-law/ grooms-maid is going to knock out this project for us. She is also handy, like her brother, and I thought she would do a great job with it. We are going to tag team it, she’s going to make the frame, and I am going to make the drapes.

    My plan for the centerpieces, this is an early draft.

    Don’t rush me, I’m still thinking about it!

    Now, there are three projects I’m still mulling over, and I go back and forth on them:

    1. Flowers – I don’t want to make my bouquet, but I am unsure about doing the flower arrangements. If I can get some reasonable quotes, I would prefer to hire someone to take care of them, and not have that hanging over me. If I had more experience with flowers, I wouldn’t worry so much, but I seriously lack a green thumb.
    2. Favors – I want to have some type of edible favor, but I don’t want the stress of baking something in the days leading up to the wedding. That’s why I outsourced the cupcakes. I am mulling over the idea of using candy, and have to hit up Pinterest for some more ideas.
    3. Bridesmaid tank tops – I like the idea of my bridesmaids having matching tank tops on while we get ready the day of. I love those pictures and think it would be fun. However, I don’t know much about making them, and I haven’t researched ordering them, so they are still an unknown at this point.

    Commence with the crafting parties!

    Now that I have my list, I can start testing projects. My plan is to do a few each month so that I have time to come up with alternative ideas if needed. I would like to have a game plan in place by the New Year, so I can create a crafting timeline. I will make an offering to the crafting gods, in the hopes that they will bless this massive endevor. Luckily, nothing is set in stone and if some projects have to go, then they have to go.

    Wish me luck!

  • 7/24

    After I got engaged, I spent a lot of time day dreaming about what my wedding might look like. I imagined the ceremony decor, reception centerpieces, flowers, and so on, but I never imagined a theme. I always thought themes were for proms, birthdays, and holiday parties, but a wedding … not so much. Themes can be beautiful and fun … for someone else. I…

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    7/10

    Sweating for the wedding? I didn't know that was a thing. After I got engaged, and I started doing wedding research, I noticed a strange trend begin to emerge on my social media. First, my Facebook feed started filling up with ads for Sweating for the Wedding tank tops and workout gear. Then, the same thing started happening on Pinterest. I started to see workouts,…

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    6/13

    Hello fellow BABs! I'm back with Part 2 of my Ten Broke-Ass Bride Commandments. I know you have wedding planning and general badassery to get to; so let's get right into it. Ten Broke-Ass Bride Commandments 6. Thou Shalt Not Feel Guilty for Cutting your Guest List. The size of your guest list is what drives up the cost of your wedding; mo’ guests equals mo’ money…

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    5/31

    Hello my fellow BABs! Greetings from Connecticut! My name is Kimberly and I am a 36 year old Database and Office manager. In addition to being the lucky mom of a fabulous 18-month-old daughter, I am also the momma of a 14-year-old grumpy pug. My fiance, Antonio, and I are planning a romantic, garden themed wedding for (hopefully) 100 guests. Our wedding will be taking place…

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