I got engaged to my fiance at the end of September 2013. We took a couple of weeks to a month off of anything wedding, just so that we could enjoy being engaged. It was great and the best decision we have made yet.
Now, we are trying to get things rolling! Our initial thought was to have a Fall 2015 wedding. This is because at the time of our engagement, five of my VERY good friends also got engaged. All of their weddings are going to be spread out through the summer/fall of 2014. I am going to be in 3 of the five weddings... and one of them is in California while I live in Oregon. 2014 is looking to be an expensive year without throwing my own wedding into the mix.
He really wants a small wedding. Heck, he would be satisfied if we went to the court house and Skyped the "ceremony". I may be the only female to have this experience, but I literally never pictured myself getting married. I never dreamed about the dress I would wear or the type of event I would have. So I literally had no idea what I wanted. I could picture a small wedding, but I have a lot of people in my life who have made a big impact that I would want to be there. I don't have much of an extended family beyond that. He has big extended family and less friends to invite. I really loathe the idea of being the center of attention for, like, 20 minutes with everyone staring at me. That actually sounds like my worst nightmare.
The roller coaster started when we started to explore venues. Every place I found online, I loved and could picture our day there. But they were CRAZY expensive. I could always pick them apart as to why they were imperfect. I had finally given up on that idea and we heavily researched a cruise wedding. This was the first idea that he LOVED and was excited about.
The more I researched, the less I loved the idea of a cruise wedding. They were still a lot of money and they just seemed chincey to me. No one wants to spend money and have your special day look like it's cheap, because it wasn't cheap. Also, I didn't want my guests to have to take a week off of work just for us. I looked into smaller cruises, but a majority of them were going to Ensenada, MX. After research, I discovered that the town is kinda gross. It has a lot of crime and children begging. That was not the experience I wanted for my guests. I want my guests to feel relaxed, not on edge because they have to watch for pick-pocketers.
My girlfriend and I had a heart to heart. She told me that I just need to try some non-traditional routes to find my venue and other vendors. She was right. I modified "the way" I was looking for a venue. Instead of using The Knot, I tried using Craigslist. Low and behold... it worked. I saw an ad for a small vineyard about 15 minutes away from my house. I went and checked it out. This place was a DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH. It was way less expensive, GORGEOUS, could handle a large quantity of people and had very few requirements of us. I was hooked. We both loved the entire feel of the venue. We were back on track for a larger in town wedding.
I called upon my mom to ask her connections to hook us up for our wedding. We were on track to spend more than we had initially planned for, but way less than the big name venues in town. We were so excited and started saving for our down payment on the venue. We both knew that we were going to have to pay for a majority of the wedding on our own, and we were ok with that. We were going to wait to have our wedding in the summer of 2015 and save up every penny for the perfect day!
That is until... we did our taxes. I just graduated school recently and got a first "real job". Well taxes weren't so kind to me. I entered a new tax bracket without the golden school tuition right off any longer. I basically have to take the entire down payment for our venue that we saved up and use it for taxes... Whomp, whomp, whomp!!
I was so DEPRESSED. It seemed like saving for a wedding would be impossible. Something would always come up and we would have to spend wedding money to take care of it. After an evening of whining about it, I jumped back online. I found this website and looked more strongly into a destination wedding. Needless to say that we both fell and in love with the simplicity and the savings.
We finally decided to get married in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico in February 2015. It's a little sooner than our summer 2015 plans, which is great! We would love to do it next month, but we have to save up for the trip. When we asked/announced it to our families, it turns out that they were all more willing to help with the cost of this idea than the traditional route... hmmmmm. But we will take it! We are now planning to spend about half of the money that we were originally planning on.
I could not be happier with this decision. Now the planning and saving begins! Hopefully more saving than planning... That is the point of a destination wedding! Stress free, baby!