Setting a budget has been one of the more frustrating exercises of wedding planning. Even though I knew weddings were expensive, I sat in denial for a few days about the fact that we could potentially spend the equivalent of a new car or down payment on a house on our wedding day. (Granted, it's a pretty important one-day event, but still.) Luckily, both my parents and my fiancé's mom have offered to help. But, they are by no means able to foot the entire bill — nor would we expect them to do so. (Learn how to broach the money talk with your parents, here.)
So, we still have to come up with a pretty penny to pay for everything by next fall. Thankfully, in addition to the amount that my fiancé Gray and I are putting aside each month, I happened upon an unexpected source of income. Just prior to our engagement, I got the opportunity to apply for an adjunct teaching position at our local community college. Teaching has always been something I wanted to do, so I jumped at the chance to teach an Intro to Journalism class.
When I first spoke with the college, I wasn’t even thinking about Gray’s and my eventual wedding. I was simply excited for the opportunity to teach and expand my resume a little bit. But post engagement, I realized that unless one of us drained our savings or we took on a lot of credit card debt, we would definitely come up short in the wedding finance department. Personally, we were against both of those options.
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If you want a wedding with more than 100 guests, the costs definitely start to add up. Yes, there are certainly ways to save money — like considering non-floral centerpieces or buying your dress for under $1,000 — but if you want decent food and an open bar, there’s only so much you can do to limit those costs. (Check out five budget-friendly alternatives to an open bar, here.)
So, this extra job opportunity has been a godsend in the personal finance department. And Gray has also talked about trying to pick up some freelance work to make paying for our wedding a little easier. I admit to having my worries though. For example, even though my editors approved me taking on this second source of income (I'm a political journalist), what happens if news breaks at the same time I have to be in the classroom and I need to cover something? And what if it ends up being too stressful that I simply can’t handle both jobs without burying my head in my pillow and crying every night? Those are real concerns, but ones I’m going to have to face head-on.
I’m genuinely excited about this new opportunity, which makes me more determined to handle the stress and complications that may come with it. And knowing that this extra money is crucial to our wedding planning gives me all the more motivation to work even harder. We are scheduled to begin looking at wedding venues this coming weekend. My first day on my second job is August 26. Wish me luck!
Tell us: How are you saving up for your wedding? Do you have any tips or recommendations for other brides? If so, we'd love to hear them!
Kathleen Haughney, a native of Pittsburgh, and her fiancé, Gray, work as journalists in Tallahassee, FL. The couple met in November 2010 and were engaged this past Memorial Day. They are currently planning a 50's/60's beach themed wedding that will take place in Florida's Space Coast.