There is a great fun in preparing for a wedding when one is a bridesmaid: the buying of accessories without pulling money from my own wallet.
When Matt's sister first got engaged, Matt and I sat down and created an estimated expenses list - dress for me, dresses for the girls, tux for Matt, a wedding gift, the bachelorette party, etc. Then we divided that number by the number of months until the wedding, rounded up, and started saving. I told Matt, "We're going to need to budget money for me for shoes." I assured him through his protests that brides have shoe requirements.
Normally if I wanted to buy, say, a shall for a formal event, I'd have to fork over the money from either my free spending money or my clothing budget. (We budget allowances for ourselves for non-essential purchases). But when the bride orders a shall? The wedding budget pays for it. Matching tights for the girls? The wedding budget. "Matt, I have to get a pedicure. Your sister wants all the bridesmaids to get mani-pedis the day before the wedding." The wedding budget.
Obviously it's not a total free for all; I mean, if we only budget $30 for shoes, I can't sashay around the store pretending I'm Julia Roberts from Pretty Woman. But that pair of $30 shoes feels free to me. 'Cause my personal wallet will be $30 heavier.
Amongst the feelings of delight and freedom I get with a little guilt-free "cha-ching" of a cash register ringing up my purchase, is a wonderful feeling of security and love for my husband. All this "make a budget, stick with a budget" stuff? Totally Matt. He makes serious, detailed budgets, and keeps them constantly up-to-date. Ever since I met him. He had budgets for his car, his entertainment money, his savings. He budgeted Prom, for crying out loud. We had no wedding expenses to cover after we walked down the aisle. Christmas never goes on a credit card. It's almost always a lot of hard work to stay in budget, and it often means making frustrating sacrifices (one car, remember?). We don't have much, but what we do have is carefully tracked. But it has it upsides. It's a wonderful feeling, the security that comes with having a husband who excels at providing.
We're celebrating seven years of marriage on Saturday. Usually we try to do something new and different on our anniversary, and this year we were hoping to go on a for-real hike. A couple of miles, varied terrain, stopping for a picnic. Something we haven't done since we had kids almost four years ago. But dreary weather has closed up all outdoorsy options and there is just so much going on right now that we decided to enjoy something low-key instead. A board game store (we got addicted last year), a movie where we'll spring for *gasp* movie theater popcorn! A romantic dinner at the Cheesecake Factory, picking up the kids and getting them settled in bed, then a night of gaming with our new game.
I'm really, really looking forward to it all. In the comfort of knowing we can afford it.
The Bride Who Is About to Be with the Bride Who Was seven years ago. I made all the girls buy new shalls too. Silver sparkly ones.