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    Posted February 9, 2009 by
    Alexandria, Virginia
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wedding jitters

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    Our wedding planning challenges



    My fiance, Nathan, and I got engaged in August 2008.  We were high school sweethearts and after nearly 8 years of being together, the idea of planning our wedding left me in a constant state of bliss and excitement. These feelings abruptly came to an end a few weeks after when Nathan faced job loss.  To our benefit, he quickly found a new job but the fall of the economy let to less work for Nathan which resulted in a decreased income.  Without the savings we planned to generate and contribute to the wedding, the idea of holding a traditional wedding with an estimated 130 people seemed impossible to achieve.



    We have a total of 10,000 dollars being put towards the wedding by family; the rest of the costs are up to us.  We considered waiting until the spring of 2010, but reception costs increase dramatically so we decided to stick with our October, 2009 date. 



    I purchased my wedding gown from a pre-owned wedding dress website for 1/2 the price.  I love the dress and it was a great decision.  My older sister is letting me borrow a number of items from her wedding, including veil accessories. 



    Because I'm still paying student loans, I'm using the Upromise tool for a lot of my wedding shopping.  I get 8% back for college loans if I get my save-the-dates through Shutterfly.  It doesn't have a direct effect on my wedding costs, but it helps save long term.



    I will be cutting the guest list and plan to have a after-wedding party for friends that I can't invite.  We considered waiting a few months after the wedding for the honeymoon, but we are still shopping around for deals and travel packages. 



    We are constantly researching new and creative ways to save money for our wedding.  My father enjoys gardening, so he will be planting more fall flowers and pumpkins to use as decorations for our fall reception, which will be taking place in a remodeled barn.



    We will also being using the internet as a communication tool.  We will communicate the details of our wedding via internet to as many people as possible to eliminate paper costs. 



    We try to view the wedding planning during these difficult times as a challenge. Though we will definitely be making some sacrificies, the meaning of the big day, as well as the memories are what is most important.  This is the first major challenge we've faced as a couple and we're working through it great.



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