This post is sponsored by 360ACCESS on behalf of Manulife Financial. The opinions are my own.
In 2011, I got married. I never really thought I would get married – I never had dreams of my wedding, the dress or the reception. But then I met James and he made me realize maybe I did want to get married. Well to be perfectly honest with you I really just wanted to get engaged. He was the one who wanted to get married, and I love him so I said yes :).
At the time, I was in my second last year of university and he was working at a newspaper. We had a few pennies to rub together but not enough to pay for a wedding.
It was important to me that we have a wedding that we could afford. I had/have student loan debt and I did not want to add to our burden by having an extravagant wedding we could not afford.
We started the wedding planning the exact opposite way I believe most do.
I took a jar and put it on our tv stand. The location is very important as I wanted is to be able to see it and be reminded of it every day. I then ripped some paper from one of my notebooks, wrote Wedding Jar on the paper and taped it to the jar.
It wasn’t fancy, and to be frank it was very ugly but it was one of the most important jars I have ever had. Every time we had loose change it went in the jar. I took a second job at a baseball stadium and the tips I made went straight in the jar. James also started a second job delivering pizza and his wages – yep, you guessed it went into the jar.We saved this way for about 18 months.
When money collected in the jar we would take it and deposit it into a savings account we dubbed the wedding account. We made sure to open the account in a bank that was not our primary banking institution to discourage us from spending it on anything non-wedding related.
Every time a substantial amount collected – between $500 – $1000 we would allocate that money to something for the wedding. For example, we wanted a small wedding of 30 people. Our dinner cost us $900. Once $900 was saved it would be earmarked for the dinner. This way we knew where the money was going.
In the grand scheme of things, our wedding was very low budget – $5000. But it was the wedding we wanted and all of our guests has a great time. The little touches that made it ours did not cost a lot but made our wedding.
If you are planning for your wedding I would strongly encourage you to adopt the wedding jar approach. I have been to a few wedding since mine and the financial stress the bride and groom were under was palatable. Do not be stressed about money on your wedding day. It is a day for joy and love.
If you have planned a wedding how did you budget? If you were given a do-over what would you change?
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