The past days my social media newsfeed has been flooded with wedding photos of friends and colleagues. I was invited in two actually but they fell on my birthday weekend so I had to send my regrets. This weekend my husband would for the first time be a principal sponsor in a wedding and I tease him since the day we knew about it. “Pang ninong ka na!”
All these December weddings remind us of our own and since we would be celebrating our 6th anniversary a few weeks from now (in January 2017), I feel like sharing with you one of my life’s most expensive este most exciting and memorable milestone. Actually, back in 2010, at the time we were preparing for our wedding, I planned to do a chronicle about it with the title (now hashtag) Big Day Plunge but I got so busy and overwhelmed that time so I never really wrote about my wedding. Here is my chance.
Weddings are not only a wonderful celebration of the (sacred) union of two people in love with each other, weddings mean spending hard-earned money too (at least in our case). Next to our house equity and NZ trip, our wedding was the next most expensive thing we ever spent on. The first question people would ask me is how much have we spent on our wedding. For six years, I was a little shy of admitting how tight my wedding budget was so I never really answer this question directly or honestly. But today, I’ll reveal the cost of our wedding. But, first I really do not have a “dream wedding”. I don’t know why I just do not have one. I would love a beach wedding, though but that has to be done for our renewal of vows (should there be one) because the hubby requires the wedding to be in a church. I would love to have a backyard wedding too just like the one in the movie Gerry Maguire but we only had a townhouse, no backyard.
We’ve been engaged for so long. Remember he had proposed to me early in our relationship? But, we decided to finally do it in January 2011 only in October of 2010, basically giving ourselves 3 months of preparation. Also, I want a wedding in January, fits a brand new life. But, the Holiday season and husband’s official trip abroad took a big chunk of our time or most of the days in December so saying I became too stress about it is an understated description. I was frantic. Good thing that the pre-cana seminar we attended reminded us that more than the wedding, we should be preparing for our marriage with God. After the pre-can seminar, I changed my focus. I let all the wedding pressures slip through my shoulders.
How much did I spend on my wedding? I decided to cut our wedding budget as I realized I do not want to start our marriage with empty or almost empty pockets and savings. Our total wedding expenses ranged from 150k to 200k excluding prenuptial photo shoot. Thankfully, at that time it was not yet a trend or must-do, unlike now. Honestly, I would have loved to look back at one but the only problem is that both my husband and I do not know how not to laugh at each other once the photographer starts clicking his/her camera. During the wedding, our photographers must have hated us for commanding them to stop already because we’re already tired and starving. We complained of the many shots they took. One-third (1/3) of our total wedding expenses went to food for 60 persons only. We may not have invited everyone we (and our parents) hoped we invited but we were glad to prioritize people who we both know. We think it’s weird if I invited someone who is a stranger to him, meaning I would have to introduce them at the wedding for the first time and vice versa. Some couples want to splurge on wedding rings, bridal gowns or photographers, and videographers. It’s perfectly okay. Clearly, my husband and I just wanted the best food for the guests and we’re glad they had a nice lunch (according to them, I hope they’re telling the truth!).
Regarding the stress-free motto, a little trivia. Ever since I lifted my worries to God and focused on our soon marriage, I suddenly had a feather-light feeling. I gave the church our wedding permits one day before the actual date. Oh diba, talagang meant to be. The supplier of our flowers came in very late. So late that we left home without it. The supplier just followed us in the church. Everyone was looking for their flowers and corsages and everyone who knew about the no-show of the supplier at home showed tension until I told them to relax and everything would be okay. I was so ready to walk down the aisle and marry the man I love with or without a bouquet. It was God’s sweet bonus that He allowed me to march with my lovely tulips.
I had lovely angels in my entourage. All my nieces and nephews, except one who was already in the awkward stage. Later, we found out nagtampo pala si Kuya VJ! Hehe. We only had two pairs of second sponsors, our siblings. We could actually add more but time hindered us from meeting them all up for the dress fitting. So, we had to stick with family members na lang, even for the mass lectors and offerors.
If given the chance, would I change anything in my wedding? My wedding gown cost 5k from a seamstress recommended by a friend. I loved her creation, it’s just that I wished it was not haltered simply because it was not my personality. Except that, my wedding gown which I have never worn again is perfect for me. I wish we invited more, as in 10 or 20 more than the 60 pax since there was so much food leftover kasi may 20% buffer pala ang mga caterers and most people do not know have the courtesy to reply to RSVPs and then do not show up too. That’s all I can say about it. Read and ASK about the contract with suppliers and no I am not talking about our flower supplier. He’s just late that’s all. We did not know that our contract with the photographers only included a 50-page wedding book and that they would not give us the soft copies. (It was not in the contract per se but a silent and UNFAIR policy on their part). My husband said that’s what I get for a 25k contract. Okay, I get it but what kind of a policy is that? I was so angered and insisted that they give me the soft copies instead of the wedding book. That’s what happened. Also, I wish I ate light breakfast because my mood was affected by my hunger. During the latter part of the church photo shoots, I could no longer hide my irritation. I could no longer flash a genuine smile. At the reception, I wanted to skip to serving the lunch already. I was not able to untie my hair and change into my supposed to be a 2nd gown. All because I was already too HANGRY. I wished we paid the venue and caterer in advance instead of paying them after the event in our gowns. Hehe. We could have done. Maybe, we find it hard to spend lang talaga so we tried to hold on to our money. Haha I wished I had a plenty of beauty rest and left for a week-long honeymoon right after the wedding. I only had two days off before and after the wedding. I think that would be all.
Some couples spend a million or more during their wedding and it’s okay. If we had a million too just for the wedding, meaning we still have more millions as our savings, I would have gladly spend it all too for my wedding AND a coordinator. No way, I’d survive spending a million for my wedding without someone helping me or us. Or, maybe half million only, I’d still keep the other half for an Amanpulo honeymoon. Hehe I guess, in the world of weddings, to each his own. Just be happy and don’t forget to gear up for a God-centered and lovely marriage.
To all the newlyweds of December 2016, congratulations and best wishes!