I’m getting married! Now that the initial shock and awe has settled, it’s time to start planning. My fiancé, Paul, and I decided on April 9, 2016 as the big day and for those of you with a calendar handy, you’ll see that that’s not too far away. So take a deep breath and journey with me as I plan my wedding in less than three months.


The infamous Instagram announcement post.

I come from a family of wedding/party planners so when the news of my engagement broke, they all went into full planning mode with ideas they’d been harboring over the years. But there’s a catch. My goal is to keep everything under $5,000 so to do that, I need to calculate how many people that budget can accommodate, the amount of food, a venue, dress, decor, etc. Now get ready to do some math.

Prices for a venue vary based on location, day of the week, number of people attending and a host of other reasons. Paul and I love the outdoors — our first date was a picnic in the park — so we figured we’d have the ceremony outside. I have a venue in mind so I’m setting aside half of the budget for a place where we can have the ceremony and reception.

For my dress, I figured I could hit up some trunk shows and off-the-rack sales and find something reasonably priced. I’m shooting for $400 on the dress.

Now the remaining aspects of the wedding will be handled by various, gracious family members of my future husband and mine. My church brother will be the photographer, my cousin will DJ, Paul’s mother will be buying his custom-made suit, my father-in-law will tend the bar, and my mother and another of my cousins will buy all of the decor pieces and decorate. All of this, which was priced for me, came out to $600. That puts me at $3,500 which leaves $1,500 for food, stationery and any other miscellaneous things. I signed up for a free WedTexts account that I will use to keep track of everyone by sending them reminders about important deadlines and events.

These numbers will probably change throughout the course of planning but we will try to stick with the ultimate goal. Stay tuned and see exactly how we execute our budgeted wedding in less than three months.
First up: the perfect guest list