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So, yesterday I was told we’re going to have pay cuts.  But you know what?  Take it!  No qualms here.  If taking a reduction in pay (which is contingent on the economy and will be reversed when good time are back) helps preserve my job and those of my co-workers, I’ll gladly give it up.  <Digging in my purse> Hell, do they take donations?  Seriously, I work for a good company.

Last month, Bug got his pay slashed too.  But, we have jobs!  And, being that we’re in Detroit, we’re lucky – And, we know it.

I have to tell you all this:  In times of reassurance, I feel for my ring. (Usually, I do this incognito and use my left thumb.)  Well, yesterday I did this during the meeting and I got butterflies in my stomach – the good kind.  Why?  Because, he and I,.. we’re in this together.  No matter what happens with the economy or with ANYTHING, we’ll get through it and we’ll have each other.  And, it could be that my ring has special powers!

I hope all of you are faring well!


<Huff> And so does the economy.  Really, who wants to plan a wedding while we’re in the bowels of an economic crisis?  Bug and I both work in the auto industry and – I don’t have to tell you – times, they are a tough in the Motor City.  Hell – they’re tough every where! 

I go through spurts of worry.  I take a look at our budget and think how can we shave things here and there?  Or, I wonder if I should start stuffing money in the mattress?  Or, hmm, can we just reschedule this shin dig?

When it comes down to it, you can shave the budget.  And, there are a lot of things you can do yourself (DIY).  Articles come out all the time on how to shave our wedding budgets.  Like this, or this or this.  (check out my previous posts.)


Flowers – Snip, snip.  I cut that budget in half!  But I found a super amazing florist for a super fabulous price!  (I’ll talk more about her later!) We’re borrowing vases from a friend and using all the great goodie love Greektown Casino Hotel provides (votives, hurricane vases, centerpiece mirrors and more).  I wish I could DIY flowers, but I can’t imagine being stressed about it.  When stressed, I break out in this splotchy red rash.  Seriously, not pretty.  So, not going that route.  But I am getting a l’il creative here and there.

Cake – Mmmm, cake.  But really, my caboose could do without it!  On second thought, the cake can be downsized… Hello sheetcake… they’ll never know!

Shoes – Goodbye Cynthia Rowley.  So sad, really,  But, I’ll bedazzle a less pricey version of you.

Save-the-date – Not everyone’s getting one.  Anyway, it’s not necessary.  Besides, I’s broke!

Invitations – Hello card stock, good-bye 800 inserts.  Printer, please by my friend?! (And, I’m on the lookout for some coupons…)

Dress Alterations – Why can’t I sew?  I’ll have to shop around since I don’t want my alterations to cost 1/3 of the price I paid for the dress.  For real people!

Hair – Anyone who knows me… knows my hair is what it is.  So, assistance is necessary.

Make-up – Same as above.  Why can’t I be more girlie?

Linens – This is my mom’s special DIY project.  I promise to tell you more about it later.  She’s collecting JoAnn Fabric coupons from all of her pals.  You go MOM!  We’re selling those beaut’s after the wedding.

Card box – Yet another one of my mom’s special DIY projects.  She called it and I let her have it!  I’ll have to take a picy-pic when she’s done.  I’m sure it’ll eventually be on Craigslist.

Themed rooms – We still have lots of times for those arts and craft projects.  Also, again utilizing all the Greektown Casino Hotel has to offer!

Jewelry– My mom is in the vintage jewerly biz, so we’ll be perusing estate sales.  (Killer prices)

Getting in shape – $H!T!  I better get on that. 

So I know, even if the economy wasn’t in shambles, I’d still be on a tight budget.  Anyway, those are just my random wedding thoughts as I try to shave the budget and fare this economic downturn…  If you have any other suggestions, I’m game!

Sadly, the economic crunch is taking its toll in Metro Detroit.  Unfinished construction projects seem to be the latest sign of the times.  Whether you live in Oakland, Macomb, Wayne County or elsewhere, you can find abandoned cranes, steel frames and piles of concrete littering the landscape, and serving as a constant reminder that the Michigan economy is in a severe financial rut.


The Bloomfield Park Retail Project – a new upscale retail and office complex in Bloomfield Twp. over near Telegraph and Square Lake Road has been “suspended idefinitely.”  And, yesterday, Beaumont Hospitals announced a reorganization plan that entails 500 layoffs, reductions in pay and the slow of construction projects at their Royal Oak and Troy locations.  Beaumont also is postponing plans for a medical center in Commerce Twp. and is scrapping plans for a medical center in Novi.


According to Crain’s Detroit Business, Novi-based Trinity Health System has halted plans to expand St. Joseph Mercy Saline Hospital in Saline, and also are suspending plans to build another hospital in Livingston County because of the poor economic conditions in Michigan.


And, the latest news is that Greektown Casino and Hotel – the locale of my 2009 wedding reception – may not get the cash to finish construction on its 400-room hotel and conference space.  Local news outlets report Greektown needs a mere $22.3 million to open in February 2009.  Greektown has about 12 weddings slated for 2009 – mine being one of them.  But, I’m not worried and I’ll tell you why in a later post.


Michigan is not alone    

While I was perusing the net to see how Michigan is being impacted by the credit crunch, I came across an article in the Wall Street Journal stating the MGM Mirage is suspending construction on their $11 billion CityCenter project on the Las Vegas Strip.  And, an upscale residential high rise in Dallas has been abandoned due to the lack of funds.  It doesn’t stop there – from California to Florida construction projects have been halted, suspended or abandoned leaving an eye sore for the passerby’s and a daily reminder that this economy is hurting.

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…    

According to the Wedding Report, the national average cost of a wedding in 2008 is right around $29,000.  And the Michigan Business Directory states couples will spend $26,120 for their wedding in Michigan -which doesn’t even include costs for the honeymoon, engagement ring, bridal consultant or wedding planner!  Ouch! 

Traditionally, brides and grooms have relied on their parents to pay for their weddings.  But these days, most couples are paying for the big day themselves.  And, if you’re lucky (and fortunate), you get some financial help from the parents.  Kenny and I are the latter – our parents our thankfully chipping in. 

But still, how do you it?  Two key factors to not going into debt is 1) budget and 2) time.  One of the reasons we both like the idea of a 14-month engagement is it gives us time to pay for our wedding as we go.  One thing we both decided is that we do NOT want to go into debt for a wedding.  We’re not starting off our marriage in the RED. 

We’ve had a lot of people ask us about the total cost of our wedding.  And, yes, we’re on a budget and it’s below the industry average.  A budget was the FIRST thing we discussed.  Obviously, your vendor choices will ultimately determine the price of your wedding.  And, while we splurged in some areas, (I splurged on the photography and he on the ceremony site) we’re scaling back in other areas.  For us, it’s balancing priorities against the wants and knowing when to splurge and when to save. 

And, there a several ways to cut costs when it comes to the wedding:

  • No  wedding planner or consultant for us.  We’re researching and coordinating everything our selves.  (And it’s something we’re having fun doing together – especially scouting reception sites.)
  • Flowers – less is more.  And we’re going with seasonal blooms. And, Walmart does wedding arrangements now. Definitely worth checking out. 
  • The cake – it will look dazzling, but will it be edible?  The sheet cake’s in back!
  • Limo – it’s included with our reception contract!
  • Invites – Not ordering out, but making them myself.
  • Veil and bridal accessories – don’t mind if they’re used!
  • Dress – You can actually have a local seamstress make the designer dresses for significantly less.  Oh, and no strings attached!  I will be selling that bad boy on Craiglist. 
  • Making the guest gifts myself.
  • Take advantage of the bridal shows.  Tons of discounts!  But watch out for the spammers!

Check out some of some of these links on creative ways to save $$:
When to splurge and when to save on your wedding
10 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs 
Tough economy: Brides making choices about dream weddings
Getting Guests To Pay For Your Honeymoon
Downsizing Your Wedding
Paying For Your Wedding Day

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Email me if you have a question or if you'd like to submit your real Metro Detroit wedding or other inspiration ideas.

Married September 19, 2009

About Me

I love my guy. I love my town. I could have a torrid affair with every cake, cookie and cupcake I come across. I love sharing a good bottle wine with good people! And, I truly enjoy blogging about wedding finds. Which is why...

Change is Coming!
When planning my wedding I loved researching and stalking out Metro Detroit venues, vendors and other finds. Now that I'm married, I'd like to turn this blog into a Metro Detroit Wedding resource for all of you. So, change is coming soon!

Please share great venue, vendor and other finds with my by emailing me!

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