I do love the idea of a fall wedding. The temperature is just right, not too hot, not too cold and the leaves and flowers are so beautiful.
Of course, I would probably have to be married indoors, since the last thing I need during the wedding is for me to be gasping with an asthma attack and then spending my wedding night in the ER. Hmmm, how romantic.
Other than that, Star and I think a fall wedding would be great. So, this fall it is. Specifically, October, since our favorite holiday is already in there. One problem. It’s May. (Ok, by the time this is up, it will be June, but when we made the decision, it was May, so let’s go with that)
Many people will say five months is not nearly enough time to plan a wedding. But then, none of them are major couponers.
“What does that have to do with it?”, you may ask. Organizing. You can’t spend very little money with coupons if you can’t organize and make specific plans really fast so you don’t miss the deals. The same will probably go for wedding planning too.
Five months? Pffft. Plenty of time. So, let’s get down to it.
Ok, so here’s our very first wedding planning problem. I don’t know how to do it. I have never planned one. I don’t have that many female friends, and those I have were either married when I became friends with them or still single. So, I never got to help anyone plan or been a bridesmaid. I haven’t even been to that many weddings, only three come to mind. A friends’, a colleagues’, and my cousins’.
But there is help. I’ve always been a big reader and will always hit the books to learn anything that interests me. (Why I wasn’t sorted into Ravenclaw, I’ll never know) So, off I went to the bookstore to spend about 300 bucks for books all about how to plan a wedding.
Sorry about that, I couldn’t even type that last sentence without laughing my butt off. What kind of frugal blogger do you think I am? Hello, Fairfax County public library! There are many, many wedding planning books out there, and the library had a lot of them. I love the library. Like I said, I am a reader, and any way to get free books is a win. I really don’t know why more people don’t use the library, it’s there, and it’s free. And it has a whole lot of stuff. Books, movies, CD’s. No, I don’t work for the library or anything, I’m just one of those people who love to extol the virtues of it. I do host some of my couponing classes there, but that’s different.
Ok, rant over, back to topic. Wedding books. I have no idea how many wedding planning books brides tend to buy, but I’m going to guess that it’s at least 2 or 3, probably more. I got 16. Not all at once, but that is the total so far. Some are general wedding planning, a couple are specifically about Jewish weddings, a couple are collections of passages, readings, etc. that can be said during the ceremony. I also got several DIY books just about wedding crafts. I’m sure some of them can be made Potter-ish. All in all, 16 books. At an average of 20 bucks each, I just saved $320. Not bad for the beginning of my planning quest. My library allows for several renewals if there are no holds on it, so in total, I can keep each book for about 3 ½ months. Since the wedding is only 5 months away, I better have all the planning done by then, or else I’m knee deep.
So, in my living room, there is now a large stack of books, all with either the word bride or wedding in the title. On to the next part of planning, making a binder.
You can’t plan a coupon shopping trip without a good binder to organize, and the same for a wedding.
I already have a bunch of binders for several reasons lying around the apartment. Most of them I find on clearance at stores or at garage sales of recent grads, or wherever. I feel they are infinitely useful, so when I see one really cheap I pick it up. Most of the ones I have are already in use, so to get a large one for the main planning, I combined some of Star’s autograph collection together and took one.
Next, I hit the dollar store and bought some notebooks, folders, and divider tabs. That’s really it, that’s all you need.
Now, it’s best to put your binder into sections to make finding things easier. To help you out, my sections included: welcome brunch and rehearsal dinner, venue, catering, dress and beauty plan, men’s attire, flower plan, wedding and grooms cake, photographer, DJ, Bridesmaids and groomsman’s needs, guest list, seating chart, and registry.
Now the tabs you need might be slightly different, and that’s fine. It’s your wedding, and you need to make your own plan to make it your day. But with folders and some paper in each section, you can keep all your notes for your needs together, including information sheets when comparing vendors and receipts after you’ve made your deposit.
For all the wedding websites I was using, I used the same email and password, which was different from passwords I usually use. I wrote the password on the inside of the binder and kept a list of websites I was using in the front pocket. This would also help Star, so he can grab the binder and help with the planning too if he got an idea or something he wanted to add. Mostly he’s coming up with DIY ideas (he’s also pretty crafty) and anything he wants to do is helpful. I am determined to have a lovely wedding, but I am also very determined NOT to become a bridezilla and it’s his day too, so why shouldn’t he help plan?
I also printed out a timeline checklist from TheKnot.com at the front and added a small pouch with pens, paper clips, etc. so everything would be together. And now you’ve got a great help in keeping your wedding planning from driving you insane. Or at least keeping your insanity to a minimum. Of course, you probably didn’t have to keep your head while convincing your groom that the groomsman wearing Jedi robes and the bridesmaids wearing Starfleet uniforms was not a good idea. (I really didn’t want an inter-fandom barfight at the reception).
I did make a second smaller binder to hold all my DIY notes and stuff, just because I was running out of room in my larger one, and that seemed like it was going to be the largest section.
So, now I have many books and a binder to help with planning. Great, now all I need is time to do it. Well, here is where fate stepped in.
Newsworthy levels of pollen (literally), my history of severe asthma, and bronchitis at the same time become a perfect storm of attack on my lungs. Suddenly, I’m stuck in a hospital bed on oxygen (again) for 5 days. 5 days with absolutely nothing to do. With a bunch of wedding planning books, my laptop, my planning binder, and a bunch of nurses who went wild when they realized I was planning a wedding and kept coming in to help and give me advice. I was probably the most attended to patient on the floor, never left alone for a second.
5 months? Not needed. I’ll probably have this done by the end of the month. Maybe. Hopefully. Ok, probably not, especially since we need all the time for actually making all the DIY crafts. But it’s a good start.