This is a little humbling, because I never thought I would be the type of person to write this: My most memorable purchase in 2012 was definitely my wedding. It was dirt cheap by wedding industrial complex standards (around $13,000 all in), but still a large sum of money as far as my now-husband and I were concerned.
I kept track of actual and anticipated expenses throughout the planning process, but we actually never set a firm budget. A lot of people would say this is a bad idea, and they’re probably right, but it worked for us.
Basically, we just approached wedding planning with as much sanity and commitment to our honest preferences as we could. Luckily, we also have sane families, both of whom helped us a lot throughout the process. We paid for the wedding ourselves, which I’m really proud of. This also meant we had a strong incentive to only spend money on things that mattered the most to us. The wedding and the week leading up to it were even more fun than I had imagined. The sun shone, there was a big tent, everyone danced. The dearest people in the world to us were all there.
It’s easy to get worried, amidst the muck and mess of wedding planning, that the event you’re creating may not end up being, say, thirteen thousand total dollars worth of fun. I know I had that concern. What does that amount of fun even look or feel like? Might you regret spending all that money? I don’t feel any closer to quantifying it for anyone else, but for me it was completely worth it.
Courthouse affairs aside, I think it’s impossible to have a wedding without accidentally spending some money on a few things you ultimately don’t need or use and, being a worrier, that stressed me out a little at the time. Despite our best planning, some things did go wrong. Ultimately, none of it mattered.
Leda Marritz is the Creative Director at DeepRoot Green Infrastructure. She lives in San Francisco.