by Liz Lipke
First comes love, then comes marri- no, then comes a house. A roof is rather important, especially after having lived in five dormitories, moldy sinks and clogged shower stalls- long hair and jumbo sized shampoo should be forbidden in college. So the house comes first, then comes marri- no, wait, we are forgetting someone, or something rather important and furry. A house without a pet is just like a box with a present inside- still functional, serves a purpose, but where’s the love and excitement? So, we adopted the cat, sleeps all day and tilts her head while Mommy (that’s me) bangs her head against the laptop's glowing screen- a wedding costs HOW much? So let’s try again.
First comes love, then comes a house, then the optional cat, then saving enough to at least have a cake at her wedding, let alone pay living expenses and nourishment beyond ramen noodles would be nice- ok, after all this, then comes marriage? Whatever happened to the days when things were simpler, when it was truly first comes love, then comes marriage? Did those days ever truly exist? As I ogle at Martha Stewart wedding magazines, covers splashed with the pink and green fondants, yellow ribbons, and glistening champagne glasses, I come to wonder how anyone really does it all?
Glossy pages and glitzy flashing cameras brainwash us into dreaming about cream linens matching beautiful floral centerpieces- never do these daydreams come with an all expense, prepaid credit card do they? The average cost of a wedding in Frederick is between 18,000 and 30,000, the cost of at least two new cars, a semester's tuition or up to 30,000 pet adoptions (at 100 dollars each). That’s also a lot of wedding cake! Skip the music, just tap water please, Polaroid the whole thing, and 'let them eat cake!' should be our new motto.
If you don’t plan on spending your yearly salary on chocolate filled wedding cake, then maybe working out a real working budget is in order. I’ve been using WeddingWire for my virtual budget consulting. Despite the somewhat annoying reminders of “you were supposed to book X by now”, I find the layout of the site easy to use, the reviews of Frederick wedding sites very helpful, and of course, they have a discount promotional page. Did you know that some sites are offering half off booking specials this year? Or 10-20% off photographers? And who said there weren’t any coupons to be clipped for weddings?
My budget is much less that what any average wedding costs, and because of this, corners must be cut. Unfortunately, I’ve been discovering that there is only so much you can remove from the wedding equation:
1) guests must be fed and properly cooked food is preferable (and no, ordering Pizza Mias do not count, but imagine the savings…. At 5 bucks a pizza, your per person costs just got dramatically sliced!)
2) guests must be entertained in some manner- the sheer providence of alcohol is not a substitute
3) memories should be preserved- although professionals are important, why should I pay someone more than I make in two months time for one day? (I think I just figured out what I should do on the side to afford this wedding, photograph everyone else’s!)
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