Well, it turns out, she said yes! And, I am getting married.

So, in the search for valuable insight about weddings, my fiancé, Kelly, and I have found a plethora of resources. Advice columns, blog sites, even entire magazines are packed with everything from planning and the “hottest trends” to what we “need” on our special day and staying within a budget. But, is that what this is all about?  Does it REALLY matter if we use this kind of plate over the other?  Or, that we just saved $200 on a certain type of beverage container?  Are we ACTUALLY gaining a better experience and saving money going the DIY route? 

What is it we are doing, again? 

Oh yeah! We’re getting married!

Although planning, budgeting and reducing stress is important, the true point is love.  With a wedding almost a year away, I don’t want to focus on stressing out about a budget or what linens to get.  Or, even what I am wearing and how much it will cost.  I want to be in love with my soon-to-be wife.

Now that it is two months since our engagement (and after we got done running in the rain to Chariots of Fire, yelling in excitement about how much fun we were adamant about having during this period of our lives), we’ve gotten back down to reality and to wedding planning. But, to ensure our love stays the focal point over the next year, here are a few small things we plan to keep as priorities:

Communication.  If you haven’t experienced it yet, talking about the intimate details of your personal finances with a loved one feels so refreshing!  Even though Kelly and I have piles of student debt, simply talking about it and writing everything out together is a relief.  And kind of fun.  Or, well, sometimes funny? Either way, we are much more focused on our goals now that we have a joint budget to work towards them together. And, yes, sometimes laugh about.  (RE: Did we seriously spend $200 on tacos and pizza last month?)

Cleaning.  Oh man, I am not a huge cleaner.  Thankfully, Kelly is. And she goes nuts when the house isn’t clean.  So we do it together. And that’s great! It takes time, but this way we end up going through our older stuff to evaluate what we truly need to keep and where we can make room for the new things coming our way.  We may be able to sell the items in our “junk pile” for extra funds for our wedding and travel budgets!  But, that’s not the only reason I enjoy it.

Being thrifty.  Remember what I was just saying about cleaning? I also like cleaning because we often find little treasures.  Yup! I’m talking about all of our gift cards, special restaurant deals and freebies we have been shoving into random spots and neglecting to use. Do you realize how many potential amazing dates we’ve formulated? Well, it’s a lot. Pair this with coupons through websites and you get the gist. After all, we still want to have fun, right!?

But, this is just the beginning.  As we get closer to the big day, follow our journey as I update our experiences, successes and fallbacks through this “Staying In Love” blog series.