Well, we didn't quite make our December out-of-credit-card-debt goal, but we're very, very close, and it doesn't make me panic anymore to see our bill. I know we'll get there soon.
The next big thing on our list is to hold a wedding for just a few thousand dollars, which we should be able to pay for in cash. This shouldn't be difficult, as I'm a frugal girl. It's also made easy by the fact that we decided to have a small, immediate-family only ceremony and dinner, followed by cake at the local pub with a larger crowd. We hope to not offend any of our friends and family, but honestly, neither of us like to be the center of attention, and we're a long way for most of them anyway. Besides, the ceremony will be about 15 minutes long, including getting there. So we chose small.
We saved money in other ways too. I handmade the invitations, my dress is from etsy, as are our rings, and we're getting married outside in a park. The major costs are the dinner and the pub party.
As I said, I'm frugal. But I also believe that it is important to support your local economy. I could have had my wedding out of town, or catered by someone from the big city, but if I'm going to spend a bunch of money, I should do it here, with locally-owned businesses. So we're having our dinner at a local restaurant, and the chef is excited that we asked him to source his ingredients from local farmers where he can. This meets a lot of the goals we were hoping for: little waste, quality local food, and all we have to do is show up. Perfect.
We also chose to have our party at a local establishment. The pub is where we met, and it will be great to have cake (cupcakes, actually, made by a friend of ours for a reasonable price) with our loved ones and coworkers there.
My fiance's friends will be playing music for us. We met with a photographer who was excited to do our wedding at about a third of the going rate. Dear friends of ours offered to host a tea at their home the day after for our families (and are also helping us create the list of "what still needs to be done"–a list that I am sure will always have something on it). We'll pick a bouquet the morning of the wedding from the CSA farm where we are members. It is all coming together.
I never really had a wedding day that I had dreamed about since I was six (I didn't really know I ever wanted to be married until I met my soon-to-be husband). Because of that, it's easy for me to not spend a gazillion dollars on a single day. I think, "For $3000 we could have the fancy new couch/hideabed we've always wanted. Or a new mattress and then some. Or a $3000 emergency fund." And then I scale back, or find a less expensive way. But what we do spend will mostly end up right here in our own town. It's the way we try to live, and so it only makes sense that it is how we choose to spend the first day of the rest of our lives together.