Wedding Budget: The Dirty Details

13 Jul

Remember how I promised you that I would give you the details on my wedding budget 2 weeks ago?

Well, today I’m going to deliver.

If you forgot all about that post, go check it out over here really quick.

Budget… We’re on a tentative budget of about $15,000.  If we have to throw in a couple extra thousand dollars, that’s okay, but I refuse to pay more than $20,000 for one day.

Dress…  Someone said good luck finding a dress for $500.  I’d love to say I’m getting my dress for free from my good designer friend, but no such luck.  In fact, whoever left that comment was completely correct.  I went dress shopping on Friday and the cheapest dress I found was $1,100.  Epic fail.  I haven’t found a dress YET, but I now know that when I do, I’ll probably pay whatever because I’ll be madly in love with it.  Damn those crafty designers for making their dresses so dang beautiful.  I’m sure “the one” will have me wrapped around it’s little satin train no matter the price tag.  In case you didn’t see on twitter, below is the dress that I loved last week.  I loved it, but it’s not the one.  Close, but no cigar.

P7090251(sorry for the back shot, my photographer friend didn’t get a good front angle that I’m willing to share with you all.)

Save the Dates…  Yes, I’m getting them….found a great deal for business magnets on Vista Print (thanks for the tip, Victoria!).  I know they’re not necessary.  Worse things have happened.

Wedding Party Gifts… Let me emphasize that this is a Catholic wedding.  We give people titles for everything.  We aren’t comfortable leaving anyone out.  It’s just how we roll.  We’ll be getting gifts for 5 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 3 readers, 1 cantor, 1 priest, 1 flower girl, 2 ring bearers, 3-4 alter boys, among others.  I also would like to note that this doesn’t include the gifts we’ll be getting for our parents which we’re estimating to be about $750 in total.

Flowers…  I might have a good florist contact.  I think she can get me 6 bouquets and 6 boutonnieres at cost or close.  The only other flowers I’m doing are 2 pink Gerber Daisies in each center piece.  I’ve already priced the Gerbers at $90 total.  This is included in the decorating budget.  I refuse to spend a ton on flowers because they’re basically a waste of money in my humble opinion.  EXCEPT when Lloyd is giving them to me.  Then they are worth every penny. 😉

Reception Hall…  Booyah.  We finally tentatively booked one.  Our church is letting us use their hall or gym.  Our church is one year old so everything is super new and fancy and nice.  Score!   And it will be about $1,000 like I said.  (Double score for our church not forcing a caterer and drinks on us.  All the other reception sites I checked out charged ridiculous amounts per head for food and liquor.)

Ring Bearer/Flower Girl Outfits…  We’re doing this as a thank you since the parents are also in the wedding.  I feel bad making them spend so much on all their outfits.

Photographer…  Fail.  I can’t find one.  Wait, I actually found a PERFECT one that we met with last night.  She was sweet and excited about photography.  But…OH MY GOSH, girl talked our ear off for 90 straight minutes and completely overwhelmed us.  We left the meet-and-greet needing a beer and a cigarette and we don’t even smoke.  She was way too intense and if she stressed me out in 90 minutes, who knows how she’ll make me feel on my wedding day.  I am so disappointed because I really liked her other than that.  But, I can’t handle mega-talkers like that.  Especially ones that don’t let you get a word in edgewise.  Anyways, needless to say, I’m still looking for the perfect photog.  Frugal Dreamer, why can’t you live closer?!

Invitations… You guys are right.  I can’t get them for $200.  Probably gonna bump this to $500.  Which I am not so stoked about because I always immediately throw invites away, so they are a total waste of cash in my opinion.  Ah well, I’ll get over it.

Things To Add…  Stamp and alterations for my dress!  Thanks for those tips and GOOD CALL!

Excuse The Mess…

7 Jul

I’m doing some clean-up on the ‘ole blog here and somehow, someway, my very first blog post ever written in my entire life managed to find its way over to your feedreaders.  I’m going to go hide in a corner somewhere now.

Sorry for the confusion!!  And don’t judge the post.  I was young and dumb….oh wait, I wrote that like a year ago.

FYI: The Wedding Industry Is Out Of Control

28 Jun

This is what has accumulated on my nightstand over the past week:

P6280222One of my sweet, older co-workers has been fueling my new wedding hobby with magazines, books, and guides.  Bless her heart.

As I flip through the pages of Brides and Real Simple Weddings, I am thankful that I’m a bit more money-wise than most young brides (not to toot my own horn or anything…but it’s true.  Some girls I know would drop hundreds of bones on toilet paper embossed with their future last name if given the chance.). 

It’s pretty obvious that the wedding industry has turned into this untamed beast that prays on weak brides who are just happy-go-lucky in love.  Sure, us brides want a perfect, special, memorable wedding day, but I think things have gotten a little out of hand.

In the magazines, there is page after page of advertisements for personalized guest books, engraved cake stands, invitations accented with shades of watermelon pink and seawater green (or any shade your heart could ever desire), silk ring bearer pillows, customized wedding garters, and adorable party favors.

I actually asked someone the other day if I could just avoid the ring bearer pillow all together and just have my ring bearer walk the aisle empty-handed.  They looked at me in complete shock and said “but where would the rings go?”  I mean…do ring bearers actually carry the rings?  I really had no idea.  I guess I just like watching the confused kids walk sheepishly down the aisle.  That’s where the real fun is, right?

Don’t forget about the suit and armor us brides have to purchase:

  • gown
  • white shoes
  • garter
  • fancy under armor
  • tiara and/or other hair decor
  • veil
  • jewelry
  • something blue
  • make-up/hair

Yes, okay —  I want to be a bride for a day and wear the fabulous costume.  But after really listing out all the things I need to buy to pull off the part, it’s pretty overwhelming.

When did the wedding industry get so out of control?

The industry has become quite good at sucking you in and sweet-talking you into that $250 white gold cake cutter engraved with the date of your wedding day.

I think I’ll just use the cake cutter out of my mom’s kitchen drawer that we used for our birthday cakes as kids, thankyouverymuch. Looking at a cake cutter 20 years from now will not make me appreciate my wedding.  It will most likely just piss me off that I wasted that $250 because we’ll probably be trying to pay for little Lloyd’s college at that point.

In my parents’ wedding photos, things are completely different.  My mom wore a baby blue dress that looks nothing like a bridal gown for her wedding.  And she seems SO happy in the pictures.  I’m guessing she was probably so happy because she was marrying an awesome dude like my dad,  not because she was about to eat a heaping slice of sugar out of her $750 cake.

I’ve had to remind myself almost daily that all this wedding nonsense is just a bunch of BS.  I’m super excited for the big day, but I don’t want to forget the reason I’m here in the first place.  It’s so easy to forget that you’re vowing to love one person wholly and completely for the rest of your life instead of just planning some ridiculously expensive party.

I’m just trying to keep a healthy balance in the midst of this wedding madness.  I know I’ll be much happier in the end if I take a step back from all the tempting extras and just focus on marrying that super hot stud that proposed to me just over 4 weeks ago.

Carrie, CPA

24 Jun

I’m a CPA!


After all the hard work, long days, and sleepless nights, I FINALLY got a passing score for the last test this week!  (See more of my CPA journey here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.  The last one is my favorite.)

This is how it went down:

  • BEC Test: May 2009 – 80 (Pass)
  • AUD Test: August 2009 – 81 (Pass)
  • REG Test: March 2010 – 90 (Pass)
  • FAR Test: May 2010 – 80 (PASS and DONE!)

I honestly have no idea how I got that score on the FAR test.  All that praying really must have worked.  Yes, I worked my tail off, but that test was killer.  Oh well, who cares!  All that matters is that I passed!


So…are you done?  For the most part, yes.  I am done with the actual CPA Exam.  However, I still have to take an ethics exam (08/04/2010 update: Ethics exam, passed!) have a CPA vouch for my work experience, get my initial license form notarized, and send it off to the state board.  But, really, the hard part is O-V-E-R!

Was it worth it? Yes.

What now?  Losing the 8-10 pounds I put on during the CPA exam (actually only about 6 left to go until I’m back at my steady weight).  Enjoying my evenings and weekends.  Doing things I love that I had to put off during the year of the CPA.

Are you going to get a raise?  Not right away.  In my line of work, CPAs are few and far between so it should be …. helpful.

Can you call yourself a CPA?  Not technically.  To my friends and my blog readers, I can.  But I can’t use it professionally until all my admin stuff is completed.  This will take months.  I’ll probably be a full-fledged CPA with bells on sometime in October.

What did you learn?  Work your a$$ off.  When you think you’ve reached your limit, do more.

What’s your new project?  Setting up my new blog, wedding planning, leading a healthy/fit life, and enjoying my favorite peeps.

Wedding Budget

22 Jun

Drum roll please…. I present to you:

Draft Carrie & Lloyd Wedding Budget!

Disclaimer:  Most of these are estimates…but estimates I’ve researched.  I’ve estimated very high in most places.

love day budget

Leave your thoughts, reactions, complaints, and/or praises in the comments.   I’ll explain in more detail in a later post.  (This is the cliffhanger version of a blog post; is it working?)

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