More a rant/vent than anything, but here we go...
My FI & I are paying for our whole wedding ourselves. It's going to come out to between $30k and $40k, depending on factors such as if we get money from his family (they say they'll give us some or cover DJ or photog or something. I'm budgeting for $0), how many guests we invite (our guest list can fluctuate from 110 to 150 depending on our savings account at the time of the invitations), and a few other factors. That's a lot of money, as my family is quick to tell me, but a lot lower than what most of my friends and coworkers have spent, because the NYC metro is a brutal place to plan a wedding.
Before you ask, we did it the right way: we decided what our budget was based on our current savings + what we could save over 2 years (~$40k, including contingency), then made a guest list, built a full budget, and then found a venue that accommodates 110-200 people and fits that budget. We're aiming for $30k because we want to buy a house after, and any savings on the wedding will go directly into that.
On top of that, I'm getting a lot of side-eye from my family for spending more than $10k on a wedding. They're not big wedding people, and don't see the point of us inviting a bunch of friends or me getting a big wedding dress instead of something off the rack for under $100 at Macy's or something. Which is 100% fine for them, but really not what I want. Since we're paying, my FI and I get to choose. But it's still hard sometimes to avoid unsolicited opinions from your mom or MOH sister, even with a lot of bean dipping. At some point they have to know things like the fact that you're inviting over 100 people or where your venue is on a Saturday night, and they can do the math to know that we don't exactly have a cake & punch budget.
Now, it's still 18 months away, and in the 5 months we've been engaged we've put together about 1/3 of our max budget, so we're completely on track, but it's starting to weigh on me. I'm still working on my MA and I'm thinking of taking a semester work off to do my thesis. While I probably won't have to, it's tough to realize that I've pretty much committed to working full time for the duration of my degree, and that making other big changes, such as moving, are bad ideas until spring of 2017. I think what's worse is the uncertainty of not knowing what the end budget will be, what will happen once I graduate this spring, etc. Family telling me that there's no reason to have a 100+ person guest list and wondering why I need a DJ is just added stress.
Anyone else go through something like this? I know, I could have far worse financial problems (and have in the past), but it doesn't make the stress of this any easier to deal with.
And really, reading this over, it's not that bad, but it's a lot of stress that I can't talk to friends or family about, because there's absolutely no reason to stir that pot, or let them get that close to my budget. So thanks for letting me vent.