Monday, May 17, 2010

Ring Around a Shoe String 2.0

In our ongoing quest to save money, Brant shopped for wedding rings that were in the "less expensive than white gold" category. That was made easy by the fact that we did not feel compelled to have our rings match, and also by the abundance of such products on the market.

We visited our friends at MuCullen Jewelry to look at their steel and tungston rings. Brant's research revealed that titanium would be more than he wanted to spend. However, they pulled out a titanium ring and it look great (similar to the picture below), was very light weight, and was only $116! Perfect!

So not only have we taken care of both our rings, but we did so for less than $500! AND we stayed committed to shopping locally. (Depending on where we're at with the wedding budget closer to the wedding, we may buy a very small band for me to wear next to my diamond engagement band. As with all things related to the actual wedding, it's all about the budget!)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Another Win for Brant

Once again, Brant demonstrates his uncanny ability to go above and beyond, and to excel at everything he does. (Seriously, people. It's a lot of pressure. I'm just trying to keep up with the guy.)

We needed to stamp and address wedding invitations this last weekend. During my very stressful and exhausting first week at my new job last week, I breathlessly ordered him to find stamps, and with some demanding specifications. They had to be non-wedding-y, non-cheesy, no animals or Disney characters, no human faces. They could be flowers or art. No charitable causes. Nothing political.
God bless him. He went to three post offices -- after researching on the internet to find the best stamp -- in order to find these. And I'll be darned if they didn't match our awesome invitation design exactly. (Shout out once again to Frances MacLeod for the invitation design; see a few posts below.) Seriously. The USPS has never MADE stamps so perfect as these.
Thank you, Brant, for being the most loving, involved, engaged, present, helpful, thoughtful groom I've ever heard of. I STILL don't know what I did to deserve you.

By the way, the only way this relates to saving money is that we kept the invitation list so short, that postage wasn't very expensive. $72 to be exact. Not bad!

The Good, The Bad & The Thrifty

Well, it's two months until the wedding date. Brant and I are busy with a lot of things, but very little is related to wedding planning. So much of the "heavy lifting" planning is already done! (Hence, the lack of blog posts.)

In fact, I've told people (and I believe it's true) that if the wedding were this Saturday, it'd be messy, but it would get done. So, I suppose in that way, I'm grateful we have two more months to work out the minute details, so that it will not only "get done", but will take place with as little stress on everyone as possible. As a career event planner, my goal for this wedding is to have so many details in place by July 3rd that all of us just get to sail through the day, enjoying the moment and each other and the gifts the good Lord has given us.

Now. While we don't have much wedding planning to do right now, we DO have a lot of financial planning to do. I'm tempted to leave out the parts about how we've experienced stress regarding money and the wedding, but then, that wouldn't be real. The truth is that we've been tempted to choose debt several times throughout this process, and we struggle to continue choosing to proceed in such a way that we'll only pay cash. While that challenge is hard sometimes, we know the rewards and freedoms waiting for us on the other side of the wedding day will be worth it.

Of course, we continue to work toward income streams that will keep "flush" in our wedding fund. Brant is able to sock away a very healthy sum every two weeks thanks to his overload teaching and the online classes he teaches. (On the flip side, his teaching schedule is described well by the illustration below.)

We did have a garage sale. Well, actually my step-dad and aunt and uncle had a garage sale, and they let us include our stuff in it. This served two positive purposes: It helped us clean out more of our belongings in anticipation of joining households on July 3rd, and it netted us around $180. Every little bit counts!

I have a couple of lucrative house/dog-sitting gigs between now and July 3rd, and that's always double the fun because not only do I get paid, but my parents and I get a break from living with each other. Below is Callie Chenoweth, my most frequent customer. We loooooove each other. :)

As I've switched jobs (which means a change in health insurance coverage, which equals less take-home pay) and Brant was hit with a big tax bill and some other unexpected expenses...and as I pay the City of Wichita for a diversion on a speeding ticket I got so that it doesn't go on my record and cause my car insurance to go up...and while Brant and I dissect our budgets for the sake of our pre-marital counseling sessions (which, I might add, was such a joy because the Lord has blessed us with incredible "unity of spirit" on all matters financial)...we continue to work toward putting our trust in the Lord and listening for the right balance between spending on the wedding and spending on things that are probably more important in the long run. Like food. And friends. And towel racks for our future married master bathroom. (Because nothing says love....)