Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget

Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget

by Todd Outcalt


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781402217883
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Publication date: 05/01/2009
Pages: 256
Sales rank: 1,251,901
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Todd Outcalt is a United Methodist pastor and author of seventeen books, including the perennial bestseller Before You Say "I Do" and The Best Things in Life are Free. He has also written for many bridal magazines including Brides, For the Bride, Bridal Guide and Perfect Wedding Guide. He has been happily married for 23 years and has counseled hundreds of couples both individually and in his pre-marital workshops.

Read an Excerpt

Excerpt from Part 1: The Beautiful "Debt-Free" Wedding Philosophy

Every couple is going to have a wedding philosophy—a standard operating procedure that will inform how they prepare for the wedding, and how they save and spend to make the wedding a reality. Understanding and self-awareness are vital, but it is also important for couples to agree on their ultimate goal. Is the goal of the wedding to create a beautiful experience no matter what the financial cost?

Or is the goal of the wedding to create a beautiful experience on a budget the couple can afford?

These are key questions, and they strike at the heart of what this book is about. In the following section, we'll explore the philosophy behind a beautiful debt-free wedding. Once a couple understands where they are going, and why, it will be much easier to actually get there.

Chapter One: What's in a Wedding

No doubt, your ideas and concepts about weddings have been shaped by weddings you have seen on television, personally witnessed, or participated in. Perhaps you have dreams of a fairy-tale wedding like the televised spectacle of Princess Diana and Prince Charles—probably the most celebrated and widely viewed wedding in history. Or perhaps you particularly loved a certain aspect of a family member's wedding. Or maybe you served as a bridesmaid, flower girl, or reception helper—and these experiences have informed your questions, observations, and dreams for your own matrimony.

Weddings have a way of taking on a larger-than-life aura. But then, weddings are special and do contain elements of the human and divine, the highest callings of our passions and convictions, and also demanding the most of our commitment and love. Weddings are meant, by their very nature, to be one-of-a-kind occasions. And they should be. A wedding is not only an event, but also an opportunity to offer the best of yourself to the one you love, and to your guests!

Perhaps, as you have set out to plan your wedding, you have found yourself feeling at once excited and overwhelmed, both joyous and horrified. These feelings, however, are natural. Big events have a way of consuming our thoughts, our emotions, and our time. And because weddings have that special element of love and family involved—not

to mention God, tradition, and societal expectations—we can easily feel taxed and overwhelmed by the demands. To many brides a wedding can seem like a mountain—a gigantic object that looms in the horizon of every waking hour. But then, even mountains can be scaled—as long as we are willing to take one step at a time.

Dollars and Sense

Think about how most couples plan their special day. They usually begin with a no-holds-barred philosophy, or (heaven forbid) a credit card approach to financing the wedding. Charge it! has become the latest fad in wedding planning, but couples who finance their weddings on plastic can quickly discover that their marriage is in bigger trouble than their bank account.

Banks have even gotten into the act and have parlayed the wedding craze into a billion-dollar industry. Now couples can sign up for specially designed "wedding loans" that can help them to finance the wedding of their dreams, only to discover later that they cannot

afford a loan for a house, a car, or an education. In short, their wedding loan has upended their ability to create a life together.

We'll return to these concerns later in more detail, but suffice it to say that if a couple wants to go into wedding debt it's easy to do… and there are many people and institutions that are eager to help them do it!

When it comes to the dollars in your wedding, you're going to want to have some sense (not cents) about it. You'll want to have a tightly knit plan that can help you emerge on the other side of the ceremony without having to mortgage your life.

Over the years, I have counseled hundreds of couples on their way to the altar. I've seen the best and worst in weddings and marriages. But there are some observations that have held true over time.

I have noted that weddings, like most everything else in life, tend to have trends, fads, and changes that are not unlike the changes we see in clothing styles, cars, or the desire for the latest electronic gadgets. A hundred years ago, when our great-grandparents and grandparents were getting married, ceremonies were generally quaint, simple, and brief. There were no five-thousand-seat auditoriums, no large reception halls, no catering services eager to meet the demand for three-course meals and decadent desserts. Many weddings in this day took place in living rooms or on lawns.

In our parents' day, ceremonies had moved from the living room to the church, but it was not uncommon for couples to travel to an exotic location to get married or to elope. The large reception halls and banquet facilities had yet to come into being, and most weddings had a punch and cake reception.

Twenty-five years ago, when my wife and I got married (and all of our friends were also getting married it seemed) weddings tended to be quick, family-friendly affairs, still followed by a punch and cake reception. Some couples even opened their gifts at the reception and personally thanked their guests at that time. Larger weddings tended to include dancing and/or dinner, but those were rarer.

Table of Contents



Part 1— The Beautiful "Debt -Free" Wedding

Chapter One—What's in a Wedding?

Chapter Two— Understanding the Beautiful "Debt-Free" Wedding Philosophy

Chapter Three—Making Your List, Checking It Twice

Chapter Four—Popping the Questions

Part 2— Putting the Philosophy into Practice: Saving Wisely

Chapter Five—Planning to Save

Part 3— Putin g the Philosophy into Practice: Spending Wisely

Chapter Six—The Rings

Chapter Seven—Counseling

Chapter Eight—Wedding Stationery and More

Chapter Nine—Bridal Gowns

Chapter Ten—Bridal Accessories

Chapter Eleven—The Rehearsal Dinner

Chapter Twelve—Ceremony and Reception Venues

Chapter Thirteen—Music

Chapter Fourteen—The Officiant

Chapter Fifteen—Flowers

Chapter Sixteen—Wedding and Reception Decorations

Chapter Seventeen—Catering

Chapter Eighteen—Beverages/Wine

Chapter Nineteen—The Cake

Chapter Twenty—Photography and Videography

Chapter Twenty-One—For the Groom

Chapter Twenty-Two—Transportation

Chapter Twenty-Three—Gifts and Favors

Chapter Twenty-Four—Miscellaneous

Chapter Twenty-Five—The Everything-for-Free Wedding!

Chapter Twenty-Six—Bankrolling the Honeymoon

Chapter Twenty-Seven—The Bottom Line

Chapter Twenty-Eight—Web Directory

About the Author

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Your Beautiful Wedding on Any Budget 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Initially I was surprised to see a male author writing a book about weddings, but when I read it was from the same author (a pastor) who wrote the 'Before You Say I Do' workbooks, I knew it would have some great details. A little slow moving at first as he tackles a few relational items, and a little repetition here and there, but he mentions websites and so many ideas for each aspect of planning a debt free wedding, I found it very very helpful, especially seeing the breakdown for sticking to a certain budget and what percentage should go to each category to stay within your budget! Brides and parent's of brides will enjoy the savings ideas inside whether it's a lavish or a backyard affair. Now if only the book was debt free!