Goin’ to the chapel and we’re….gonna get ma-a-a-arried.

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Have you heard the latest?! The average New York City wedding is $50,000. $50,000!!! That’s DOLLARS, not pesos. 

Are you kidding me?! That’s what I have to work with?! Hahahahahaha…..Yea, RIGHT!

So Andrew and I have been engaged for 7 whole months now and what a LONG journey it has been! (And continues being)

Honestly I feel like it will never get here! Those that are married say, “Don’t worry Cristina, it will get here faster than you know!”, but for those of us that are waiting and counting down the days to enter into this great Vocation, IT FEELS LIKE IT TAKES FOREVER. At times I feel like a prisoner counting down the days until she is released. I realize that there is no comparison, but I do know that in my vocation I will find true freedom from my past, no longer being who I am and was, but will take on a NEW identity. I will be totally and completely Andrew’s and he will be mine. We shall become ONE!

*SIGH!* I realize that I have a lifetime of healing to do (We all do, really) because my pass still haunts me today (See Psalm 51:3) but through my vocation, the Lord will bring through this healing. From my wedding day on, I will no longer go alone but with a life-long companion whose job is to lay down his life daily for me!

So back to weddings and New York City. Having a wedding in NYC isn’t easy and weddings average here from about $30,000- 70,000!!!

Check out these statistics!

THIS IS NUTS!  I could pay off my student loans with that kind of money!

I have so much to vent about with my experience these past 7months in reference to the superficiality and vanity that I have encountered in planning our wedding! (Remember, Andrew and I are doing ALL of this ourselves!)

So Andrew and I sat down to talk about our PRIORITIES and to budget everything. Above all, we desire a simple yet fun wedding. Nothing overly fancy or expensive….we couldn’t even afford that! We came up with a budget of $10,000. Thats TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS. (Go back to that last link really quick and look at what they said was the cheapest wedding budget!)

As Catholics, we realized that our priority is and SHOULD BE the Sacrament and the detail to our mass (the cultural-catholic traditions, the readings, the sacred music, the celebrating priests, etc)

The rest doesn’t matter!!! (But, of course it does, right?!)

At our engagement time, I promised the Lord that would not be a bridezilla!

Sadly, I must admit that I had one moment of a near-breakdown. Let’s just say there were unneeded tears and I even became a bit snappy towards Andrew in reference to our rehearsal dinner…. but Andrew slapped me into reality. (not literally, of course)

The Lord constantly reminds me of what my heart truly desires….to enter into my vocation and into this Sacrament! As much as I have this “dream wedding” in mind, my real DREAM wedding is being married to Andrew!

What do you guys think? Any suggestions or words-of-wisdom? Please let us know what you think!

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5 responses »

  1. My engagement, unlike the people you speak of, went by slow as molasses! The only fast part is the last 2 or 3 weeks because there is so much going on. I can’t really give you advice, because it seems like you’re managing way better than I did. I had at least one meltdown, probably two…mostly about the price of things (it is disgusting, even in Va.). I also had a slight bridezilla moment when I got to my reception and all of my wedding party were eating and drinking instead of in line ready to be announced (like I had instructed). Thankfully only my dear mother witnessed that moment :-) but still….it doesn’t really matter in hindsight. I got to marry my best friend! The Mass was over! I shouldn’t have cared about anything else at that point….just be happy to be married. I guess my advice would be: no matter what, no matter if every, single detail goes wrong…even if no one shows up….or you have to get married in sweatpants…you will still get to marry Andrew! And he gets to marry you! That makes everything else irrelevant.

  2. Twin! All I can say is yes I wanted everything to be perfect too and yes the enemy even uses this glorious occasion to attack through people and circumstances BUT God is greater! Continue putting it in His hands daily! Ive seen so many wedding shows with weddings more beautiful than I could have imagined but Christ wasn’t glorified at all. What made my wedding beautiful was not my dress, hair or make up but glorifying Christ in every detail and in doing that, He made everything beautiful and perfect! After the day was over I had so many regrets about forgetting to do this and that but I looked over and saw the man of my dreams, the man God made and saved just for me. I then focused on our mission ahead of us and how I could serve my husband as a daughter of the Most High. God will take care of it all! Don’t worry (Phil 4:6) but trust! And do NOT limit Him! He will do wonders with your wedding and marriage. During this time of waiting start preparing to be a proverbs 31 wife to your future husband. I love you! Don’t be so hard on yourself, we all have our moments but always take it back to the Problem Solver, our Lord and Savior! He hasn’t let you down ever! He is faithful and will always be. God bless you and Andrew through this wonderful time of preparing for oneness!

  3. Cristina and Andrew, I absolutely love your posts! Miesha is right – now matter what happens that day, you are marrying your best friend and person God has chosen for you to become “one” with…and that’s the most important part of the day – the sacrament of matrimony. Everything else is fluff! :-) I have to kind of laugh … I have been married 22 years and my wedding and honeymoon cost less than $2,500! Be encouraged, sweetheart – yes, this time will fly by! So think about what you were doing in early May — I believe you had a retreat you and Andrew did…that wasn’t that long ago, right? That’s how long until your wedding day – it is going to FLY by. Remember my favorite prayer, “Mama Mary, take over!” Let it go and entrust it all to her to help you finalize and prepare you for your wedding. She will lead you to her Son, Jesus, as you let her intercede to help you finish it! I love you both very much and cannot wait to see this Blessed Union! May Mother Mary enshroud you both under her mantle of protection and grace during this time. Fiat! :-)

  4. I know what you are going through. I live in Jacksonville, Florida and my wedding was roughly 10,000 dollars too. We didn’t have anything very fancy. The most important part was the Mass. We had a sung Extraordinary form Mass with Gregorian Chant, a full choir, a cellist, a violinist, and an organist. We were lucky that we knew everyone in the choir and the musicians. They played for free. Our photographer was a free lance journalist. He mostly photos high school football games but occasionally on the side he would do weddings. His pics were nice and they turned out well. He was only $300. Granted, I would have wanted some thing a bit more artistic (although he did take some lovely pictures) but I still have some good pictures of my wedding thanks to him.

    As for as the flowers, we only used them for the bouquets and boutonnieres and corsages. In addition, I opted for a simple bouquet arrangement. What really saved a lot of money was having the reception at a restaurant, called Dave and Busters. I don’t know if you have one in NYC, but Dave and Busters is basically an adult Chuckie Cheese. They mostly do corporate events so they have an auditorium/ballroom set aside for such occasions which is a good thing since the rest of the place is a restaurant/video arcade. The food was good and the price of everything was all included so it really helped to save on money.

    My dress was from a local boutique. The original price plus tax was about $827. With alterations, roughly a thousand. In addition I got a veil and a tiara. Those together was roughly $350. So, my entire dress, etc was about 1300-1400 dollars. I’m not sure if you will be able to get a dress for that amount of money in NYC since the prices there are very expensive. If you haven’t found a dress yet, you might want to shop elsewhere than NYC. Maybe some place in NJ or outside of NYC but still in NY.

    I know how frustrating it is to have a nice but simple wedding that focuses on Our Lord and this beautiful sacrament without getting caught up in all the fluffy stuff. Another piece of advice I would give is to find bargains on the internet, especially invitations and favors (if you are doing those). As for as the DJ, I did book him online but sadly, the DJ got into a nasty car wreck on his way to the wedding reception. Thankfully he didn’t die. I am also glad that I had decided to get a wedding coordinator since she not only set up the reception room but she came through with another DJ (her brother who happened to have the day off) in time.

    I don’t advise making stuff on your own. I had thought about having the bridesmaid dresses made so my mom spent a ton of money on material, etc only for it to be a total disaster. We decided to go to David’s Bridal and found three dresses that were on sale. The sizes, although not perfect, wouldn’t be much to alter. Even though they weren’t in the color burgundy (which is what I wanted, they were red instead) that I liked, they still worked out well and all three bridesmaids looked very pretty in them. As for as the flower girl dresses, I had a nightmare with those since I ordered them online. In hindsight, I probably should have just picked two out at David’s bridal.

    It is true that the time will fly by very fast. It will also get more hectic closer to crunch time however, try to relax. This is just the beginning. Interesting that you are having your wedding in October. That is when I had mine, October 11th to be exact and a friend of mine is getting married in October 22nd this year (I’m a bridesmaid in that one). That wedding will be in Detroit. God bless you and if you need any more advice ( I would be happy to give it) you can always e-mail me or find me on Facebook.

  5. Greg and I got married on Memorial Day, which is a Monday. It was amazing to see how many expenses were slashed because of the day we picked.
    I tried to zero in on the three things I wanted to splurge on and worked out ways to avoid splurging too much!
    1. flowers- One of Greg’s family friends is a florist. She gave us a great deal and did an amazing job.
    2. photographs- I knew a wonderful photographer and asked only for digital copies and told him we were tight on $. He brought down the price for us.
    3. cake- I am not a huge fan of wedding cakes… they are usually too sweet for me! So, I went with the cake was provided by the venue (showed them pics of cakes I liked) and made sure to ask for half the sugar in the frosting. It was wonderful!

    DIY’s that worked for me:

    Veil – I made my own veil. It took a little practice, but the effort and material were nothing compared to what I would have spent.

    Favors – I have seen favors done tastefully and inexpensively many times (cd mix with songs from the wedding, chocolate kisses, honey jars). I decided on peach tea and honey (we’re from GA, what do you expect ;)
    I bought large bags of loose peach tea off ebay. I got lucky on honey b/c Greg’s family had tons of local honey. I bought little tin containers (although small paper bags would have sufficed) and glass jars at wholesale price online.

    Centerpieces – I bought out the dollar store candles and glass candle holders :) I filled the holders with play sand (from my little siblings’ sandbox) and table salt to stabilize the candles. Mason jars were used for vases (the florist did the flowers, but I’ve found all sorts of vases at Goodwill and Salvation Army).

    Let me know if you have any questions, or need any links :)
    We’re praying for you guys!!! Good luck and God Bless!
    Toni

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