Monday, August 16, 2010

An Introduction

So I started toying with creating a wedding blog  after reading A Practical Wedding, a wonderful blog. I'd thought of starting a website in the past, but I hadn't really thought of a blog. But now that I was introduced to that, I thought 'I could do it that way'.

By 'it' I mean actually help brides on a budget with ideas and stuff. Now, I don't mean a wedding that has a budget--only the insanely rich don't do budgets of some kind. I mean a wedding of around $5K or less. If you live in an urban area, 10K and less would probably count.  And of course, some ideas might help people with larger budgets. But the focus is on less expensive, more valuable weddings.

photo by Aleksandr Kutsayev

It seems to me when the WIC (Wedding Industrial Complex) approaches the subject of budget weddings, they mean less than $50K. Which is ridiculous. Now, I'm not trying to judge or condemn anyone who spends more than $10K. It's just I'm sick of looking at wedding sites for budget brides which have a budget of three times more than I could possibly spend and they're like 'we barely/didn't do it'. It's discouraging. And when I find inexpensive wedding sites that have real inexpensive weddings, they are often for only like 30 people, or take place on a Friday or Sunday, or something. Those are legitimate ways to save money, of course. And I will be referring to them. Of course, like Meg of A Practical Wedding, I do NOT want this blog to be about money alone, but about value. But more on that later.

What about the bride that wants to have a wedding on a Saturday with like 100 guests? Is she doomed to going beyond her budget?

I say not necessarily. And I want to make a resource for those brides, as well as the others.
Now, unlike other people out there, I'm not engaged or married. You might go, 'then what do you know?' Well, I've been engaged before. And I've helped out friends and families with their weddings. And my younger sister actually just got engaged a week ago. That's what prompted me to look at wedding sites again with fervor, which I hadn't done for two years, since I was planning a wedding that never happened.
And with the recession, also, I realized the number of brides in the category I described above has probably doubled.

So... here I am. I thought about not starting this blog until I was engaged, in some future date, but thinking about those brides who might NEED a blog like this made me realize that since I have ideas, and love researching and sharing ideas, and just really have a desire to help people get a 'practical' start to their lives, why not start now? And, on the plus side for me, when I do get around to having a wedding, I'll already have all this organized, and plus I hope many awesome brides out there will comment and contribute.

Me, at my home.

Just to tell you a little about me, my name is Pamela Monahan and I am 24. I do have a boyfriend, Ryan, who is AMAZING, but we've only been together a little while, and I told him we had to be together for at least a year before we'd get engaged. He knows I like to think about marriage and weddings (he does too actually, well at least the marriage part) so me having this blog won't pressure him or anything. He'll probably enjoy reading it and even post occasionally.

I live in Spartanburg county, South Carolina, which is not an urban area. I actually live in a rural area, and Spartanburg, the city, only has a population of 39,673, though it's estimated the city's urbanized population is more like 250,000. (I am also near Greenville, Greer, and Simpsonville.) NOT that is is a local blog, per se, but I want to tell you where I am, since it effects a lot.  Most of the most useful blogs I have found are located NOWHERE NEAR me, so maybe other local brides are having the same problem. I am not, however, southern since I and my entire family are originally from New Jersey. Still, this is for brides nationwide, perhaps internationally. Ryan actually lives in Gurgaon, India.

My family is one of the main reason I like weddings and marriage things. My parents will have been married for 30 years in a month and a half. Happily, I should add. They still greet each other with a kiss. My grandparents that are still living, my mom's parents, have been married for 55 years. My parents four siblings are all married, ranging from I think 25 years to ten years or so?  My dad's sister has been married for 36 years. My dad's brother is the only one not married, but he's a widower, and currently has been in a relationship for about a decade now.  My older sister has been married for four years, and as I said above my younger sister just got engaged.  I've also got two happily married first cousins (most of my cousins are younger than me, so I'm sure that number will raise as time goes on).

In addition, I have many friends who are married of different generations, ranging from 36 years to 2 years.  I believe in marriage and it is affirmed all around me.

However, I have noticed that unfortunately, especially in our generation, many people have have given up hope when it comes to marriage. It is said that half of my generation has divorced parents. So if there is so few cases of divorce in my family (only two cases), how much more there must be in other families to come to average like that? (To give you hope though, it is a fact that the rate of divorce is actually in decline!)
So my primary focus in this blog is the budget issue-- that inexpensive doesn't mean tacky, though it doesn't mean airbrushed WIC 'wedding porn' either.  Just like a beautiful woman doesn't equal a fashion model. But my secondary focus is the sanctity of marriage, upholding what is important, without belittling anyone's desire to have a beautiful wedding.

On that note, please look at my preliminary rules. I'm sure these will change since this is the first post, but I've been on too many catty bridal sites not to start with some sort of order in place. Comments are encouraged, desired, and enjoyed... but anything rude, disrespectful, etc will be deleted promptly.
Please enjoy this blog and feel at home here. :)