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Wedding Planning: Sacrifice, Compromise, and {Hidden Costs}

I’ve been planning my wedding since July of 2009, and I’ll be honest, it was REALLY easy up until now because I could just come up with ideas and get what I needed throw it in my “wedding closet” and forget about it.   That’s where the fun stops for most of us (if you let it).

Suddenly the major costs are coming forward and it is time to make the tough choices.  I tend to choose with my heart, and then regret with my head.  My fiance’ thinks with his heart but leads with his head (and wallet).  This is why we are a good fit.  Lucky for us, we are both grounded and come from good roots.  We have a keen sense of monetary responsibility (he’s just better at actually doing the responsible things) and we understand what may be nice, may not be reality.  At the same time, we understand that we only get married once.

Our first planning move was booking our venue.  We love our venue and couldn’t be more thrilled.  It was by far the nicest place we visited in our search, and while it was on the pricey end we decided that was a sacrifice we were willing to make.  We knew, roughly the dinner would be $20-$30 a plate (pretty average we thought) and open bar would be an hourly charge.  We were sold on the fun ideas and options included in the rehearsal dinner menu and figured we could ‘swing it’.  And then we sat down tonight with our budget in hand—SSSSSSSSSSSSSQQQQQQQQQQUUUUUUUUUUUEEEEEEEEEKKKKKKKKKKK—I’ve never hit the breaks so hard in my life!

What they don’t tell you is that you have a 19% service charge topped with a 6.5% tax on all food and beverage sold.

“WhATTT!” I said!

And of course my matter-of-fact, even-keel fiance’ simply says “that’s how they make money, there’s nothing we can do about it.”

Suddenly my 6 hour open bar is being reeled in and my dream Down Home Country buffet rehearsal dinner is headin’ back down South.

“It’s all about sacrifice and compromise,” he said.  “What is more important to you, treating your closest family and friends to a fantastic meal, or giving everyone else 10 drinks instead of five? They still are getting free drinks!”

I was so angry about these fees that we never accounted for while I’ve been engineering my weekend in my mind for over a year!

It all works out, we will have a great down-home meal for the rehearsal and we’ll have a kick-ass party the next day with open bar for a good portion of it–even if it’s not the whole thing.

“It’s about sacrifice and compromise Kaitlin,” I keep saying to myself.  I can’t help but feel my heart smile knowing that this significantly insignificant decision in my life is a precursor for the rest of our lives together.  “It’s about sacrifice and compromise Kaitlin.” And we are pretty damn good at it.

So I’m starting to see why people get “so stressed” about planning their wedding.  But it’s all about keeping sight on what really matters about the day.  Do your research, keep up with your homework, and READ THE FINE PRINT.  But for now, just reach for serenity…here’s a piece of mine:

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