What the hell is she talking about… I am sure you are thinking. No, I haven’t started turning out my friends for a profit.
The biggest part of being a self-saving princess is the ability to do things for yourself. This comes in many forms. The knowledge of how to fix something (or who to call to pay to fix something); understanding enough about your bills not to get in over your head… again…; but mostly, how to just plain get things done.
I am working on two major projects right now. The first – starting up a photography business from the ground up. Things are going well. But, my biggest concern is always how do I go about getting clients so they can see how awesome my work is…without looking like a self-promoting douchebag. It’s a fine, fine line, really. Promoting yourself (without being douchetastic) is really difficult. I’m still not sure how to do it right, but I just keep plugging along. (Check out my photo website at www.elizabethblessittphotography.com *cheese*) I absolutely love taking pictures of people and showing their personality off in those pictures. If you are looking for an awkward family photo – please, look elsewhere.
The second project I am working on is planning my wedding! I know. I didn’t really expect to be doing this… again… ever, really. But, that is the way things are working out, and I am thrilled. Personally, I would just say let’s elope and save the cash for something else, like a house or cool honeymoon. But, this is his first time to get married, and to be honest I WANT to share the experience with him. Unlike the frog, the knight is actually interested in what happens and making it a beautiful day for both of us, along with our family and friends.
But, then comes the other part. The “oh crap, we haven’t saved any money – how the hell do we afford this shit” part. That part is the one that makes my anxiety flare. Last time, I paid for my wedding entirely on student loans. Now, I am still paying those loans. I am also not stupid enough this time to want to go into more debt. Been there, done that, and the damn t-shirt is too small. So, how do you throw the wedding of your dreams on a shoestring budget? Especially when you live in the country’s 4th largest city.
Well, you plan. A lot. Let’s face it… details aren’t really my thing. So, my option is to partner with someone who IS detail oriented. In this case, that would be my obsessive-list-making-awesome sister and a good friend. Planning a wedding on any budget is stressful, but on no budget means careful preparations and a little (read: a lot) of luck. So, what is a princess to do? Save as much as you can. Cut out as much as you can. And just buy things as you can afford them.
One of my greatest tips: Layaway. Something that most of us have forgotten about. I remember being young when you would go into a clothing store, try on a bunch of clothes, and then put them on layaway and make payments until you could pay them off. Remember that little thing called Delayed Gratification? Probably, if you think back to the dusty recesses of your mind. Most of us have gotten caught up in the world of “if I can’t afford it, I will charge it!” But, my fellow princesses, let me tell you that leads to a world of hurt. But layaway… genius! I can still pay for it over time… but when I get my item – I own it outright WITH NO INTEREST!! We used this method for my engagement ring, and it worked like a charm. Awesome ring… no debt.
I also used this approach with my wedding dress. I found the perfect dress (no, I won’t post a picture because my honey is my number one fan!) the first day I went looking, but I didn’t really have the money to drop all at once. So, I asked about layaway. They were happy to oblige! This week, I will finish paying for the dress and it will be mine! No more worries about what I will wear to the wedding. That part will be taken care of. On to the next item!
We have also narrowed our wedding party down to 16 of our nearest and dearest friends. I know, I know, it sounds insane. But we really just have so many people in our lives that we wanted to stand with us during this happy event. We are so blessed to have wonderful friends and family members who have been so loving and supportive, both through my divorce, and also through our relationship together over the last year. (BTW we celebrated our one year anniversary yesterday – crazy!)
So, I will be blogging over the next few months about the joys (both happy and frustrating) of planning a wedding on a shoestring budget. I will also be starting/running a business while doing this.
My biggest frustration? Wedding photography. I wish I could shoot my own pictures. People who would do the job I want cost a fortune. The people whom I could afford – suck. *le sigh* What’s a girl to do??