Tag Archives: wedding planning

Keeping calm in May and June and July, humming along under $69k!

Oh…hey, Bacon Payoff fans! I’m still alive and survived the last 3 harrowing months. Today I woke up and it’s August. Haven’t updated since May 14th and we are 2/3rds done with summer?! And I’ve probably lost all my readers as I haven’t even done my absolutely minimum of once-a-month financial updates.

Alas, May was spent trying to completely replan a wedding.


June was spent cramming in as much training as I could for my half-ironman triathlon.


And July…July was a surprise because we started house hunting locally on July 3rd, saw at least 20 houses inside and out…wrote up a first offer…negotiated over last weekend…and this past Monday (July 27), our offer was accepted!

buy a house

So, no blogging, BUT holy crap, a wedding was replanned, a half ironman was completed, and a house was bought! There was definitely a lot of “keeping calm” needed. ūüėČ

There really hasn’t been much that’s exciting about paying off the student loans, because my minimum payments are humming along on auto-pilot ($557 a month). This essentially brings my grand total down by a measly $337-ish every month (or $4044-ish per year), but when my 1-year work anniversary kicks in, my employer will be contributing $10,000 each March for the next 5 years. I even did a very rough¬†spreadsheet where if I keep kicking in $557/month during this time period, my loans will be down to only $347¬†TOTAL after that 5th and final $10k payment. Of course after the 3rd payment, my loans with the higher interest rate will have been wiped out, so I won’t¬†have to contribute the whole $557 per month–my minimum payment would be knocked down to $241 per month. That’s not until March of 2018, so I have some time before I re-configure that spreadsheet!

Of course, several months ago, I changed my subheading to “The Great Bacon Payoff…bringing home the bacon to (buy a house and then) stomp down the student loans” and I am as surprised as anybody that we are able to actually buy a house this soon after moving back to this area. More on the house later…we are hoping to close on August 31st and most of wedding planning should be getting done this month, so I hope life slows down just a little bit and I’d love to get back to blogging more!


In the meantime, here are the boring ole numbers for the past 3 months that I’ve neglected:

May update: $69,562.57 total as of 6/3/2015. (minus $323.35)

June update: $69,237.29 total as of 7/4/2015. (minus $325.28)

July update: $68,882.27 total as of 8/1/215. (minus $355.02)

Our budget has been pretty unusual because of all the circumstances, so I’m not going to nitpick or beat myself up. We’ve gotten so much done in terms of “big life stuff” and it is only getting better!

I hope everyone else is having an awesome and productive summer!

Redux: Living with the parentals?

So with the new job beginning in March, we looked at our housing options. It will be back in Mr. Bacon’s hometown, and his father lives only a couple miles from what will be my company’s headquarters (and later 5 miles away from¬†my new office, once it opens up). FFIL¬†Bacon (future-father-in-law!) also has a beach house about 1.5 hours away and intends to live there full-time during the summer with Mr. Bacon’s stepmom (though whether he does or not is to be seen! He is considered “semi-retired” and has been known to go back and forth some).

Anyway, FFIL Bacon has offered us up the main house to stay in, rent-free, provided Mr. Bacon mows the lawn (which he loves to do). We hemmed and hawed, as it would be nice to have our own place, but in the end finances won out, and we figured, even if we could last 3-4 months there, that would let us save up for the wedding fund!

Remember when I was hesitant about moving back in with the parentals? Back in October, I was thinking MY parentals (in California) and not HIS. So this will be an interesting twist! But we will do it as long as we can, and hopefully it works out and isn’t too awkward. Heck, if we can last through September (our wedding), we may even have enough to grow our down payment/housing fund!

That’s the plan for now. We don’t have a horrendous amount of stuff (we’ve only filled a studio, and then our current one-bedroom condo), so we’ll put our stuff in storage and see how long we can stick it out!

I said YES to the DRESS!

So…yes! I got my dress just last weekend! True to my last “getting hitched”¬†update, it was under my $500 budget. Unlike my very first (and uber na√Įve) “getting hitched” update, it was not under $150, nor was it a halter style top!

This was the 3rd wedding dressing shopping trip: first one was in Maryland with my Maid of Honor and a couple local girlfriends at David’s Bridal. I didn’t know what I wanted and was against the idea of strapless. But all the strappy ones looked weird.¬†On the same trip, MOH and I also stopped at this random dress shop in a mall, where I did try a halter-style dress, and it was also kind of weird. The second trip was in California with my mom and sister, and I started to realize that strapless¬† actually did¬†look the best on me! And I’ve been assured by many people that as long as it’s fitted correctly (tight enough!) in the torso, it will NOT slip down constantly (my main small-chested fear).

This last trip was in Delaware with a very good friend of me and Mr. Bacon. We originally planned to go to this great boutique that many of our Delaware friends had recommended, and we were impressed just booking the appointment! During the phone call, they ask¬†you several questions: how many people will be coming with you, what size dress do you wear, and what’s your budget? So my friend had made the phone call and it wasn’t until she was confirming the appointment a couple days before that she mentioned my budget. Well, turns out they could only offer “nontraditional dresses” for $500, as they started at $1200 to $1500! Whew…no thank you. We decided to book an appointment at David’s Bridal in Delaware instead.

It was a super busy Saturday morning, and I had to share my consultant Kim with another bride, but she was AMAZING. There were a few I had perused online and printed out, so Kim pulled out as many of the ones I liked that were in stock (3 or 4?).¬†I really wanted this one…because…OMG RUFFLES! Detachable train with RUFFLES!


It was discontinued from previous seasons and they had a size 6 (I’m between a 6 and an 8), it would’ve been on sale for $349 (down from $849!). Then Kim asked if I wanted to try on more…and I figured, why not! She was really attentive to what I liked and didn’t like, and what she thought would look good on me.

I ended up buying one that she picked out! It was a really close contest between mine and the ruffly-train dress…but this one actually made my chest look more substantial, and the top was so pretty! It was a size 8 and also discontinued, on clearance for $499 down from $799. I was sad to give up the ruffles in the back…but got some mini ruffle action in the front!


The dress just fit me better overall (you will have to wait til September for more pics, can’t spoil the surprise!) and I’ll only need minimal alterations (where the ruffly one would’ve needed more). One of the best parts (for us personal¬†finance geeks!) was that 5 hours later, I was checking out the dress on my phone and realized there was a $50 coupon I could’ve used. I called them back and they said to print out the coupon, and they would honor it.

Yes! So my dress was $449 (no sales tax, thanks Delaware!) and I got it with 10 months to go. Whoop whoop! Because it was discontinued, I¬†actually got to take it home (well, it’s at Georgia’s home for safekeeping, so Mr. Bacon doesn’t accidentally see it) instead of putting in an order and waiting another 6 to 12 weeks.

I did also just see that there were Black Friday crazy sales online (one week after I bought mine), and both of the dresses were an additional 50% off! But of course they only had sizes 0 and 14 left, so I think I did good. REALLY GOOD! ūüėÄ

Wedding update! 10 months to go!

Oh, no, I haven’t had a “getting hitched” update in over 3 months!

So much has happened already, even though I feel like we still have so much to do! I’m going to reiterate what we’ve already done, so I feel better:

1. Found a wedding venue. Cost: $0!

IMG_06552. We took our engagement photos! Cost: $0!

20140926 - jockev-9 20140926 - jockev-33 20140926 - jockev-42

Obviously, there are close-ups too, but I like to remain semi-incognito on this blog. ūüėČ The photographer is the fraternity brother and very close friend of my little brother, who did it gratis as a favor to my brother and to build up his portfolio. We did it when we were in California visiting my family, and he did say to consider him for the wedding as he was willing to travel. So we will definitely look into that as he gave us about 60 of his¬†best shots and they were all pretty darn awesome!

3. We constructed our personal wedding website through TheKnot.com and bought a custom URL. Cost: $19.99

4. We¬†decided on our guest list and capped it at 80 people. Remember originally I said 50? We’re hoping for only 60, and the property owners of our venue think 80 is reasonable. It’s still only 40 people for each of us, which is only 20 couples. Yikes! But we pared it down and got everybody’s addresses. Yes!

5. We designed the Save The Date cards through Vistaprint.com, bought 60 of them, plus 280 return address labels with a cute heart on it, and sent out 40 of them out already. Mom had given me craploads of stamps (huzzah!) when I was at home, which will help as stamps ain’t cheap!

The STD’s (save the dates, teehee) cost only $34.50 for 60 of them, printed front AND¬†back, with an upgraded type of a paper (premium white matte stock), and included the envelopes. I was impressed I could use a 25% off coupon, and that printing on the back of the cards was FREE, as were the envelopes! I was only going to buy 50 of them, but ended up getting 10 extra for like an additional $4. They’ll go good in scrapbooks, right?

The address labels were $13, and I know we’ll be using them for the invitations and thank you cards down the line. Then there was $9.99 shipping and handling. Not bad. I didn’t pay for expedited shipping and they came within 5 days anyway!

6. We found a cupcake¬†place! The best part of wedding planning, right? We want to do cupcakes and ice cream cake, and have tried 6 different “cupcakeries”. We live right by Georgetown Cupcake, which is amazing, but also amazingly expensive. We also tried two other cupcake places in town (Bethesda, MD area) and Mr. Bacon has a friend that also has her own cupcake side business. We totally wanted to love her cupcakes because they were soooo much cheaper¬†($17 per dozen vs. $32 at Georgetown!), but apparently after the 3rd cupcake place, we were becoming cupcake connoisseurs. ūüėÄ

Just yesterday, we did our first scouting trip to Easton with Mr. Bacon’s father and stepmom (more on this below) and tried two cupcake bakeries right in town. The one place that offered a complimentary tasting (5 free cupcakes!) actually ended up being the last place we tried, and the best! (Or at least, a close second to Georgetown Cupcake!) I know, we’ve probably already spent $80 just trying out all these cupcakes. ūüėČ Anyway, these ones had amazing flavors (we loved the cookies & cream, peanut butter chocolate, and pumpkin!), great cake texture, size, and proportion¬†of frosting vs. cake. They are $25/dozen and only 5 miles from our venue.

7. Wedding dress shopping is coming along! I mentioned in July I tried on dresses when Miss Maid of Honor was in town. We just went to David’s Bridal with a couple of my local girlfriends, so I could get an idea of what I liked. I still would like to pay $500 (maximum!) for a dress, and found a one-shoulder dress I loved for $499. Then I found out a local triathlete girl I am starting to train with just got married in the SAME DRESS earlier this year! Can’t do it! It’s not special any more!

Next I went dress shopping with my mom and sister when I was home in California in September. I found a couple dresses I liked, one of them is listed at $599 (or $534 online), but I will also be going next weekend in Delaware (in Mr. Bacon’s hometown). As you might know, there is no sales tax in Delaware! So hoping to find something there I love at a price I love. After two dress shopping experiences, I am getting an idea of what I like!

8. The scouting trip yesterday: well, we still need to find a caterer, look at hotels¬†and¬†a shuttle bus. We tried a BBQ place yesterday, but the area around our venue is super pricey. I thought a BBQ buffet would be fairly affordable, but it turns out that this particular restaurant caters through a company¬†called “Gourmet by the Bay”. Not so affordable-sounding! Mr. Bacon’s dad then wanted to see if booking a restaurant for the reception would be any easier or less expensive (this was before he saw the venue and how gorgeous it is!).

We ended up looking around, he wanted to look at places by the water (and today just confirmed he will help pay for the wedding, HOORAY!!!) and we ended up stopping by this super duper fancy schmancy place that has a $68,000 beverage and food MINIMUM. WHAT. THE. F….CK! I owe more than that in student loans! Anyway, it ended up being a bad weekend timing-wise to check out the town (it’s the one weekend each year that the little town has this huge waterfowl festival and all the main streets were closed off), but it seems like there’s a lot of internet research that can be done before the next trip. Now that we’ve got Mr. Bacon’s Dad on board, he is semi-retired and bored, and wants to help out with both¬†the planning and cost. Which is amazing!

Whew! Anyway, that’s enough of an update for now. I’ll check back in next month! December’s tasks include getting quotes on the food, hotels, and transportation!