Love & Elbow Grease

While in the process of planning our wedding and purchasing our first home, my soon-to-be husband and I found ourselves hemorrhaging money.  We work hard and are in a good place financially, but we both come from hard-working blue collar families and the price attached to a lot of the things we were looking for was pretty tough to swallow.  I appreciate luxury but am practical to the core, so “keeping up with the Jones’,” at costs that make no sense, was something I have no interest in.  Some examples can be found below:

The wedding venue:  We looked at a few places but we (mostly he, actually) fell in LOVE with the venue where we ultimately booked our wedding ceremony and reception.  It was unique, rustic and beautiful.  They only do weddings on Saturdays and Sundays, and had very little Saturday availability.  So, the fact that we would have had to wait an additional 5 months PLUS spend 10 grand more for a Saturday wedding made the choice to do a Sunday in March (gotta love an off-season “bargain”!) fairly easy.

The wedding extras:  Being blown off by a florist after telling her I didn’t want to spend more than 3K on flowers (newsflash:  flowers DIE!!!).  $275 for a BELT.  Thousands of dollars on photo and video- some packages only including one photographer! 125 bucks for the stupid rustic card-box I fell in love with on Etsy?! 1100 dollars for up-lighting?!?!  Everything wedding seems to be impractical and over-the-top.  We prioritized and did splurge in some areas, because it is hard not to get carried away with certain details for your wedding.  However, we were shocked to find out that booking our venue would not be the most taxing part of the wedding planning process, and decided that we would not spend needlessly outside of the things that we thought mattered (food, drinks, music and photography!).

The house:  We had a long house-hunting process.  8 months of looking at houses, putting in offers, and enduring bidding wars.  We were some of the lucky ones who entered the real estate market just as it was shifting from a buyer’s to a seller’s- every single house we bid on had multiple offers, and each sold for over asking price.  We actually offered 10K over asking on a house and ended up being outbid by 35K!  It was stressful, and seemingly endless, until we finally found our little home near the park that is absolutely perfect for us!  I’ll be posting a lot more on our house in later posts, but it’s a modest home in a great neighborhood that was the perfect balance of “move-in-ready” and “room for improvement”.  We experienced a lot of sticker shock at what we could get for our money in such a desirable area, but in the end didn’t let ourselves get caught up in the stress and made a decision that made sense from both an investment and lifestyle standpoint.

The moral of the story is, especially in this day & age where everything gets posted on social media and people have something to say/judge about every nuance of life,  it’s easy to get caught up in things that really don’t matter.  I’ve decided to start documenting some of the projects we’re taking on to build the life we’ve always dreamed of together, without completely breaking the bank.  Feel free to share in our journey! We believe that we can do it with lots of love… and a little elbow grease. 


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