Planning a wedding in a town beat down by the fledgling domestic auto industry, in a region where tens of thousands of people have or will lose their jobs, and in a state where the housing market continues to deteriorate, can be positively frightening.


I’ve lived in suburban Detroit my entire life.  Several members of my family have worked in the automotive industry all of their lives.  And – Kenny and I currently work in the auto industry.  If you live in the Metro Detroit area, it’s impossible to be unaffected by what’s going on at the automakers – especially, GM, Ford and Chrysler.  Not to mention the suppliers that supply parts and components to those companies.  Really, if you’re in the business of selling anything to any automotive company, you’re feeling the pain – From auto suppliers and paper supply vendors to local restaurants and hotel chains.  Throw in the Wall Street credit crunch and the collapse of global markets and you have a widespread economic crisis.  (Once again, I’m stating the obvious here!)


So, how do you plan a wedding in an economic downturn?  I’ll be honest, earlier this month I became really concerned with my wedding plans.  Some contracts were already signed and deposit checks cashed.  Would the fiancé and I both fare the changing automotive landscape?  How could we possibly accept money from our parents with their 401K’s plummeting?  How could we continue to plan and spend money on one day when I’d like to start shoving money in the mattress in case one of us loses our shirt? 


Panicking is not going to get you anywhere… But, rethinking your budget will ease the pain.  So, I took a deep breath and I called Kenny.  He was all for trimming the budget and renegotiating with some vendors, if that even was a possibility.  Well, it is.  I called-up one vendor and negotiated particulars, which helped save some dough.  And, if I want to further drive down the cost, I can make a proposal to their management.  I’m also working on sharing our ceremony location with another couple – which would shave off a nice chunk of change.  (Basically, we’d have an earlier ceremony time.)  


I started scrounging around (even more than I had) for the best possible deals.  And, there’s a lot out there… You can find great deals on the Knot Detroit Message Board, Craig’s List, eBay and from vendors who work out of their homes.  I’m even thinking about nixing flower arrangements for the tables and going with candles and rose petals…


I’m also cutting cost at home by clipping coupons, spending more frugally on groceries and other household needs and I’m no longer dining out with the gals.  (We’re dining in!)  And, one thing I did was open a new credit card that gives you 3 percent cash back rewards on all purchases.  I’ve been throwing all the wedding expenses on the card and earning cash rewards.  I’ve already earned $200.  The catch is you have to pay it off immediately – which I do.  (Already been through that credit card debt thing and I’m not goin’ back!)


The most important factor Kenny and I have is time.  We have time to investigate vendors and really think about what it is we want to do.  Not to mention, there’s a lot of time to figure out how to do things yourself that you would generally job out.  More to come on those crafty skills…