Long Story Short(ened)

I met my future husband at my (our) place of work in April of last year. After some pretty intense coaxing, I got him to date me and in April of THIS year, he asked me to marry him. 🙂 🙂 🙂 We got engaged out by the Adler Planetarium in Chicago – the same spot he first asked me to be his girlfriend. It was perfect! Not a lot of fuss, nobody watching, just us and our beautiful city skyline watching in the background.

About 5 minutes after he popped the question.

After an impromptu engagement party, I got straight to planning. Much to my dismay, I just as quickly discovered how expensive a wedding really is. It doesn’t matter how simple you are willing to go (I’m pretty willing), it is NOT CHEAP. Since I have a mountain of college debt, our budget became our top priority…well, second in the priority line after becoming husband and wife, that is. 😉

Here are the things we are not willing to budge on:

  • must be in Chicago, not the suburbs – the city has played a big role in our relationship
  • must have family present (you’ll see why this will be one of our biggest financial challenges later)
  • must have an open bar
  • must have a blast!

Everything else is flexible.

I know that I can come in at (or under) our budget of $8,000 for a lovely, unique May 7, 2011 ceremony & reception. Hopefully, with enough crafting and bargain-hunting, I can even fit the honeymoon in for that amount! ::crosses fingers::

Being that I have only 10 months and some change to figure this out…. LET’S PLAN!


  1. 10000dollarwedding says:

    Good luck! There are some great venues in Chi that are affordable if you plan it right, but yeah, agreed with Hollie, it is an EXPENSIVE city to be married in. You can definitely do it! Looking forward to the journey!

  2. Mallory says:

    I’m having my wedding at Kitchen Chicago a year after you. Are you having both the ceremony and reception there? How many tables are you able to fit? I’m currently facing the “How am I going to fit everybody?” dilemma.

  3. budget brides. chicago. says:

    Hey Mallory!
    Sorry for the late response. Ceremony & reception will be in the same spot. I am not having a sit-down dinner, so I don’t have to worry as much about fitting a million tables in there. I will have seating for 150 for the ceremony – fits nicely to the back of the room with proper aisles. I will have 12 cocktail tables and 12 4-person round tables already assembled and dressed, ready to go in the kitchen area. I am going to hire a day-of coordinator to help the transition go smoothly. They will release the guests to the back of the room for apps/cocktails row by row and remove the chairs as they leave (hold for the ones that go around the 4-person ones). The chairs will hang out in the kitchen unseen during the reception. I’m going to have the benches set up around as well for additional seating and some extra chairs/tables in the loft area to create a “lounge” vibe up there.

    Let me know how many you are expecting. I can show you my floorplans I have drawn up from when I was going to have a full dinner. 🙂 (email me – budgetbrideschi@gmail.com)

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