Guest post with Kate: wedding planning on a budget -- where to start


I'm just gonna say it-- summer wedding planning is competitive and expensive. It's probably pretty obvious why, but just in case it's not: it's because most people (especially in a city that experiences all four seasons with a vengeance) want a day with predictable and comfortable weather. Usually, the months of June through September give you the best shot at it in Chicago. Those are the months that wedding vendors are less likely to offer deals and more likely to raise their prices. Supply and demand, ya know?

Almost immediately after Robbie's proposal, my mom asked me if we picked a date. We hadn't (it was, after all, only the morning after) but the first date that we chose was March 26, 2016. That would give us 17 months to save and plan, and it would fall during a time of the year when weather should be tolerable. Seemed like a safe bet. Ultimately, we decided to change our date. A couple of factors went into this decision:

A. Initially, I was opposed to getting married in the winter. My reasoning for this was based solely on the fact that Robbie notoriously hates the cold
B. The factor that really pushed us to change the date was that seventeen months is a long time to think about and plan for one day. It seemed like we were putting our lives on hold until our wedding day. We wouldn't be able to go on any trips until our honeymoon and it didn't seem smart to finally start school back up in the midst of planning, while working 50+ hours a week. I know three months doesn't seem like a lot but it's the difference between getting married in 2015 and 2016. Once Robbie (shockingly) told me that a winter wedding was totally fine with him, we officially told everyone to save the date: December 5, 2015.

The good thing about getting married between November and March is that you're more likely find that vendors are willing to cut you a deal (which is very important for us since we'd like to do this as inexpensively as possible). In Chicago, these months are undisputedly dicey. The weather is all over the place. Are you a gambler? Turns out, I am. I'll take the questionable weather for a better deal.

Other things to take into consideration: holidays like Valentine's Day, Christmas, and New Years Eve can seriously spoil your winter wedding budget. Valentine's Day is a popular wedding day ($) and with Christmas and New Years Eve, you need to be prepared for the competition of not necessarily other weddings, but holiday parties.

If you have your heart set on a late-spring or summer wedding, have no fear! Consider having your wedding Sunday through Thursday or start your wedding earlier in the day--brunch reception, anyone?

There really are endless ways to cut costs any time of the year.

Tell me in the comments: what factors contributed to picking your date?

-- Guest blogger

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