My next savings goal… My Wedding Fund!

Thanks for all the kind words on my emergency fund progress! A few of you asked what my plans are after my emergency fund is at $10,000. I’m so excited for this next saving goal because it is…

MY WEDDING FUND!!!!

Before I go on, I’d like to say a few things. I am NOT engaged and have no clue when that may happen, if it is going to happen at all. J and I have talked about it some, and both agree that we are happy with our relationship and are in no rush to get hitched. But if things continue to go well, marriage is in our future; we’re not just hanging out for kicks. He’s also made it very clear if he were ever to propose, he wants it to be a complete surprise (which sounds like fun to me!). I have zero expectations and trust that he will know when the timing is right.

With that said, I still plan to save for my wedding. I’ve talked about this before, but it’s very important to me that I pay for my wedding–or at least 90% of it. Originally I said I wanted to save $5,000. But I came up with an estimate/budget based on what I would like, (J–if you are reading this, please don’t freak out), and it turns out I may need to save slightly more to have some wiggle room. So my saving goal is now $8,000 but my wedding budget goal is still $5,000. I read somewhere that people spend at least 20% more than what they originally budget (maybe it was 35%?), so hopefully $3,000 will handle that overage.

Now you may be thinking $5,000 is ridiculously cheap for a wedding budget, and it really is, especially since I envision a pretty lovely affair. If I happen to save more, then I could go a tiny bit more extravagant, but right now I am confident that with the help and creativity of some talented friends and family, a $5,000 wedding is entirely possible. I am not interested in my family, J’s family, or myself to go into debt over a wedding. This should be the happiest day of my life, and I am pretty sure paying it off for months or years to come would only sour such a special day. (Also, this budget is intended for just the wedding, not engagement festivities, bachelor/bachlorette weekends, rehearsal dinner or a honeymoon. How those will be paid for is still TBD but not a concern.)

If I happen to get engaged tomorrow with a measly $26 in my wedding fund, that is completely fine. I’d still have half a year to save for such an event. And if it’s three years before I am engaged, then I’ll have plenty of time to save $8,000 and then some. I should have a fully-funded emergency fund in November 2010, should reach my $5,000 goal by July 2011, and my saving goal of $8,000 by November 2011. I’m not trying to plan away my life… but whether it’s a terrible emergency or a terrific excited, I’d like to be prepared.  And that’s why I save. :)

Any questions? Do any other non-engaged girls have a wedding fund? What is your wedding budget goal?

(photo credit: Style me Pretty is one of my favorite wedding inspiration websites! If you are looking for lovely ideas, check it out.)

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  • I am definitely in the same boat! I just set up a wedding budget even though the earliest I might get married is spring 2012 (and I’m not engaged yet). My boyfriend is in an MBA program and will be finishing up around then. I set my budget at $12,000, so we’ll see how that goes. I just think that having my family pay for my wedding is an old fashioned idea. I’d rather my parents save for their retirement. My boyfriend and I have great jobs so it makes sense we would pay for it ourselves. If we get any surprise additional money from family or friends, then it can go to more booze at the reception, honeymoon, whatever!

  • This is an awesome idea! I have been thinking of doing the same because one day, whenever that big day comes (when its hopefully a surprise too!) I don’t want to be stuck with no money to spend when this is suppose to be such a monumental day in my life!

    I’m glad that I also found someone else who shares this view! Guess I will start my fund now that I have a fellow proactive wedding saver :) haha Watch for a blog post about this- I’ll be sure to link your post as my inspiration!

  • I have one! There’s only $200 in it though HA!

    I am not engaged, and since the boyfriend just enrolled in new program, it will be probably be another 1-2 years before we even think about it (he insists we both be employed, which is probably a good idea!).

    I think our wedding will be about $10,000 — I’m hoping my partner will at least pay for half of that lol so my goal is $5000 but if I have extra time I will throw some more money in there.

    I’m really opposed to having a super-extravagant wedding. I read “One Perfect Day” and just became so disenchanted with bridal glamour & excess. It’s going to be hard for me to even spend $10,000 on it, because all I can think is: imagine how much return $10,000 can generate in savings or the stock market.

  • You’re right that a $5,000 wedding is totally doable! I’m convinced that, if we had more time between our engagement and wedding, we would have been able to meet my $5,000 budget goal. As it turned out, we went up to $6,200, but I still consider that a success.

  • I’ve been thinking about starting one and it’s good to hear that non-engaged women out there have wedding funds. It always amazes me how much I have to spend just to be a bridesmaid, so it makes sense to save to be the bride.

  • This is such an awesome idea! I think $5000 is totally doable, if you choose the right dress and venue.

    We spent a lot on my wedding (mostly my parents and Mike) and while it didn’t put us in debt, I feel it set us back in terms of debt repayment. And I had no idea how much everything cost and I was so surprised that tiny things like centerpieces, ring bearer pillows could cost so much.

  • Sounds like a good plan! I never had to think about it because I met and married Husband in just under four months when we were very young (and yes, people said it wouldn’t last…12 years on and I’m still laughing over that one) so it was very low budget but also very lovely. More than one person has said it was the nicest wedding they have been to so I totally agree that you can have a gorgeous day without spending a ridiculous amount.

  • As part of Jordan and I merging the majority of our money – we started a something for later fund. In my head – this is potentially a wedding fund. In his head it’s probably a new BBQ fund or something lol…

    i’m just happy we’re saving for some sort of joint ‘something’ goal

  • One of my favorite things about personal finance bloggers is how realistic they are with a wedding budget. It’s all about the people and the feeling of that day – WHO CARES about designer stemware? Have you ever been to younghouselove.com? There’s a post there about their super-affordable homemade wedding and it looked beautiful.

  • I look forward to saving for my wedding. I’m not engaged either, but I think it’s important for me to make a very large contribution. After all, my fiancé to be will purchase a ring that will probably equal or exceed the cost of that day.

    $5000 is such a good amount for a wedding budget to me. Its kinda hard to avoid the high cost of food and that one thing you refuse to skimp on. In my case it’ll probably be photography. Its one day and it’s not my marriage (much more important)…it’s my wedding. Besides…I’m all for splurging like crazy on the honeymoon instead. :D

  • I did, but I called it a “car fund”, even though i was pretty sure it was for a wedding! :) Depending on location (ie, what part of the country you are having it in), $5k is probably reasonable, though certainly you’ll have to be creative! Good luck with your next savings goal!

    And you know what the best thing is about spending money on your wedding? You only have to do it once, then you never ever have to do it again!

  • Wish I would have read this a few years back. I am now engaged trying to pay for everything with my day to day paycheck and its no easy task. As much as I always said I dont want a wedding I just want a really nice dinner with friends and family- once I got engaged 1 month ago everything changed. I now feel the pressure and the stress of being mature and smart with my money. So far in the last month I have managed to put away a measly 500- I will be getting married in a year and im 4500 dlls short of my goal. talk about stress!!!! Well good luck to you and good thinking!!!