Many are asking about why I call my girlfriend of seven years as “wife” where in fact, we are not yet married in a church, not even submitted ourselves to a civil ceremony yet. Well, not many of our friends know that for three years already we have been in a live-in relationship set up. For practicality reasons, both of us agreed that this idea of sensibly living together can make us a better tandem. For a while though, we grappled with the so called adjustment period wherein the two of us, from time to time, wish to go back to being unattached after some misunderstandings that inevitably come our way. But for such a span of time, we had already outgrown each of our immaturities, learned how to bend with our mood swings and instinctively grasped each other’s emotional needs.
Being in this stage, of having to live with someone who you thought can be a companion for the rest of your life, realistically prepares the both of us into a much more complex pact called marriage. Our three years of companionship showed a wider picture on where we are heading as an amateur couple. And thus we decided to pursue what’s next and make everything legal and outright in the eyes of God and other people.
We understood that we are coming from an ordinary family and that we can’t get any monetary support if in case we plan of having ourselves wed in the church. Thus, for those three years, we patiently saved a small chunk of our earnings every payday for us to pull out a decent wedding, our dream wedding. Simple, solemn and as my partner call it, magical. Yes, she dreamed of walking down the aisle with the soloist singing our favorite song. It is her dream and I’m bound to make it happen… with lesser cost.
January of last year we started on our plan and by that time I started taking extra workloads and slowed down a bit after finally hitting the target. Budgeted weddings, I believe, need an ample time of planning and earning. As much as possible, we want to spend less and spend only on the things that really matter. The big challenge is to make it memorable and beautiful with a very tight budget and how are we going to do that was the big question.
I believe that both of us are having the ingenuity and the skill to make everything happen. On my part, having so many creative and talented friends who are very much willing to rally and offer support, becomes a blessing in disguise. Well, we need not hire a professional singer/soloist to sing at our wedding. A cousin who does some gigs as a hobby generously crossed out her timetable for us. A best friend who had just launched her pastry business volunteered to bake our wedding cake, not to mention the super friendly price. My guy best buddy from the middle school that has the gift of gab would be our event host. A quintessential shutterbug, who considers our wedding as her debut in the business of photography, painstakingly got the best shots out of our crazy face during our pre-nup session and hopefully more of it on our wedding day. And last but not the least, our event organizer who happens to be my partner at work and my confidante as well, who made our life easier starting from the planning stage, to envisioning our dream wedding theme and in dealing with other wedding suppliers.
And on my fiancée’s part, having the skill on budgeting that resorted her to make as many “DIY” she can think of for our wedding reception, helped her visualize the semi-rustic theme she wants on our big day. She ordered me and my younger siblings to do some carpentry for the wooden signposts and little chalkboards. She also made some bottles with candles to hang on trees since we are having an outdoor reception and some other props which I believe were done artistically.
Well, that doesn’t end with that. Part of the biggest chunk of the budget should go for the food and that’s reasonable as you don’t want your visitors to enjoy the beauty of the reception while starving because of the insufficient or distasteful menu you have prepared or the caterer has prepared. Because of the financial realities at hand, my partner and I can’t turn a blind eye on the menu lists and packages offered by the wedding suppliers we have talked to. Aside from the truth that the price hurts, both of us don’t buy the idea of having a high end menu as our visitors are the plain and simple folks who like classic Filipino foods served during fiestas. So we agreed to the idea of self-catering our wedding and hire a specialist for the wedding set up instead, which would be responsible for overall venue arrangements. My uncle, my mother and our future “Ninang” would do the cooking as they are good at it. And not to stress them with hassle of the task, we told them to delegate it to some idle relatives and just supervise when that special day comes.
We also don’t plan to buy hog meat in the market. We bought piglets instead and let a relative took care of it and paid them with piglets too for the effort. Now, they are ready for the big day. It really helped us save a lot. Thanks for the bizarre ideas.
We also don’t want to go overboard or allot big budget for the wedding invitations. We have 8 pairs of principal sponsors and some of them are partners in real life while for the other members of the entourage are my brothers and my partner’s sisters. Principal sponsors are the ones to be given the invitation for our siblings live with us and others live nearby. They are one text away. We also have “fruit infused vinegar” for our token to the principal sponsors. It is something unique and not used often for wedding giveaways. Hopefully they will appreciate it amid the cheap price. It’s the thought that counts, anyway. However, we gave in to the idea of having a photo booth for our visitors since we treasure moments captured on the lens. The price hurts our pockets, though.
We owe a debt of gratitude to those generous sponsors who never had second thoughts of providing us what we need. Big thanks to my wife’s sister who gifted us our wedding band, a big deduction on our expenses. Thanks also to my aunt and uncle who lent us the bridesmaids’ dresses. We are also grateful to the bridesmaids who are fine with the idea of shouldering the make- up costs and same to the groomsmen who are okay to spend on rentals for the tux. However, we are not final yet on the bridal car we are going to rent. It’s a bit pricey for a short time service. Same with the fresh flowers for the church’s aisle, still we can’t decide with our vendor’s package. Some say that it is already cheap and reasonable, but for us the price is still steep. Spell CHEAPSKATE. Hahaha. Anyway, there might be some generous sponsors who are willing to share their car might as well with the flowers. We’d be very delighted to accommodate it. Hehehe.
Our wedding is 888 hours to go as of this writing. We envisioned a private, simple and solemn gathering. We have been successful by keeping it secret with our respective workmates as we don’t want some people whining why they are not invited. But hey, I’m making it public today. Still, I want our dear family and relatives, close friends, cherished classmates and some few chosen guests to witness our event as they are the people that matters to us. It is very select, I must say.
We knew that come our wedding day, there will be a glitch to remember and that’s part of the experience. We’ll be glad to have a hearty laugh at it, anyway.