Wedding for $1000 is a resourceful website for brides and grooms (to be) who are savvy about saving. I recently caught up with Maigen, the founder of this wonderful site. Check out our interview to learn more about Wedding for 1000, and Maigen’s expert tips for affordable weddings.
- Q: Please tell us more about yourself and your amazing company?
A: I’m Maigen, and a long, long time ago when I was getting married to my husband we didn’t have any money. We were both just getting started in our careers, and every penny mattered. We probably could have waited a few years to get married and save up a lot of money in the meantime, but when you find the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you’d like the rest of your life to start as soon as possible! So we did what we could to plan a wedding on less than $1,000. I wrote an article for a magazine I worked for at the time, and it got a LOT of reads really quickly – people were looking for ideas about a wedding for only one thousand dollars as well!
I followed up that article with a short book on how to have a wedding for $1,000, and that sold quite a lot of copies as well. I’ve since learned a LOT more about how to save money while wedding planning because I’ve helped friends and continued to do research.
It’s been a struggle to find time to write another book, but writing columns and articles comes naturally, so www.weddingfor1000.com was born.
- Q: One thing every bride and groom should know about wedding budgeting?
A: Traditions are only traditional because someone, one day, decided “I’d like to do it this way” and a bunch of other people thought it looked fun, so they did it too. There’s no right or wrong way to do a wedding, but starting you married life together NOT in debt is probably the first thing that will ensure you have a happy marriage. The one thing to remember is to keep it simple. When you have more than 20 people sharing in your wedding it’s no longer a ceremony between the two of you and the people you love – it becomes a production. And productions cost money. If you want to have a wedding on a budget – keep it as small as possible.
- Q: You are a newlywed yourself (congrats)? What was your favorite part about getting married? Least favorite part?
A: Thank you! I still feel like a newlywed, because I’m constantly doing wedding planning things like crunching numbers, talking to vendors to get quotes and looking for ideas to be creative. But I’ve actually been married for a few years! I still tell my husband I’d marry him year after year, as long as we could keep trimming the budget! My favorite part about getting married was the logistics of planning. I’m very detail oriented, and I enjoy the satisfaction of crossing items off a list. I planned our wedding in a really short timeline – we were engaged only about three and a half months! A foreshortened time limit actually makes things easier, believe it or not. Knowing you have a finite amount of time to get things done and prepared sloughs off a lot of the needless details that don’t’ really matter. Like monogrammed napkins. Didn’t have ‘em, didn’t need ‘em.
- Q: While running your business, what does a typical day look like from start to finish?
A: What a great question! I actually don’t get paid to do this, so I work a full time job as a web developer at a startup. So I already work probably 50-60 hours a week doing that. I try to get up early and go to yoga, but only if I haven’t stayed up late the night before. I get to the office around 9, work until 5:30 or so, then come home and work on Wedding for $1000 tasks. Every day I post to Facebook, Twitter and Pinterst. I look for new ideas and ways I can approach old ideas. I edit a few posts that have been submitted by contributors and I sketch out ideas for things I’d like to move forward with – like monthly contests to win jewelry or photo packages! I do a lot of the article writing, but I’ve been getting help with that lately. Otherwise I would normally stay up to write articles to have scheduled ahead of time.
- Q: Future goals professional and/ or personal?
A: I would love to see Wedding for $1000 be TheKnot for brides on a budget. I want to cover this group of people for whom fairy-tale weddings feel like they won’t come true because they don’t have thirty, fifty or one hundred thousand dollars to spend. There are a lot of websites out there – and Pinterest is notorious for it – that seem to be convincing brides that their wedding isn’t Good Enough or is (and I hate this word) Tacky if they don’t spend over a certain amount of money. It’s not fair to brides, it’s only fair to the vendors and venues that prey on them. My professional goal is to eventually provide a way for brides and grooms to have vendors submit bids to them that meet their budget – not to have their hopes be dashed because a quote came through that was surprisingly expensive. I’m working on a second book that has a huge array of money saving ideas with real, tangible monetary amounts associated with them – not just vague suggestions (which is what the first book consisted of. I’m developing a custom calculator to help couples determine how to spend their money effectively. I already have a really simple budget calculator online at www.weddingfor1000.com/budget-calculator. You might laugh, but many people haven’t done the simple math of ‘how much can we actually afford to spend’. I just want to help them get started.