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I’m Louise. Blogger. Wife. Designer of TruLu Couture Veils + Accessories.  If you’d like to know more, check out my bio.

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Entries in Finances (3)


Throwing Down the Wedding Gauntlet

There was a moment I had in our wedding planning. It was a moment that I don’t often have, particularly in all manners of The Budget.

It was a “Fuck It” moment. It was a Financial “Fuck It” Moment (FFIM).

We (and by “we” I am mean “I”) had determined based on our salaries, some pre-wedding estimates and a lot guesses on my part,  a budget $16K for a wedding in Nashville, TN. I had talented friends (make-up artists, musicians, event planners, home décor vendors), I was creative.  I could make this work.

After writing my last post about tuxedos and reading all your wonderful comments, I realized there were some things that got sacrificed.

There were expenses that came up that they don’t talk about in wedding magazines or on the glossy, pretty pictures of some wedding websites. We had to pay over $1000 for transportation for family members who otherwise would not have been able to attend our wedding. One of our main reasons for having a wedding at all was that we wanted our closest friends and family to be there. So we paid.

We had to pay several hundred dollars for hotel costs for the very same reasons. Those costs bled over into tuxedos as well as a few other areas of our wedding. If we’d had more time, fewer geographical constraints, more money….

Fast decisions were made. What you want, what you want to see and what you want to feel all start to bleed into one another when you’re planning your wedding. It’s impossible to  know how to separate them out from the jumble of logical, emotion and those oogey places in-between.

For us, family, friends and food stayed amongst the top priorities. These were followed quickly and with most seriousness by funds, fashion and fun.

Our friends and family were amongst us and that made us happy. The food was good, but not the greatest. Far from the worst. Flowers and clothes were simple, but pretty. Funds were tight, but not severely limited. It was definitely “us.”

But there were the things like our unexpected  transportation expense. We had to come up with money for things people just don’t talk about. How many people have paralyzed future brother-in-laws who have limited funds and limited long distance transportation abilities?  Has anyone ever read an article in Brides magazine about how to accommodate your loved ones with wheelchairs, walkers, or canes? I can’t think of one.

My FFIM came after we had enough money to pay all of our vendors. The little things that kept popping up? I decided that a LITTLE manageable debt would be okay. I’m not talking thousands of dollars, I’m talking hundreds. We could bounce back after the wedding. We would be okay. So I just said,”Fuck it.” It simply wasn’t worth the stress of trying to squeeze blood from a turnip.

I realize that not everyone planning a wedding has the financial freedom to throw the financial f-bomb down like a wedding gauntlet.

But there was that moment when I just decided I could no longer worry about [insert your worry here]. I could enjoy the last bit of our engagement or I could be miserable. It’s here that we can make the choices.

What is making/made you miserable in your wedding planning and how did you/can you overcome it? 


I’m Afraid to DIY!

So things are pretty much on schedule. About this time last year, The Candyman and I sat down to do a review of finances. It was painful, as these discussions always are with us. We needed to figure out what our future expenses were going to be, how much money we’d have coming in, for how long and when we’d have to dip into our beloved savings to stay afloat. We had a good, bad and worst case scenario.

Let’s just say we’re right on track. *sigh*

The reality is we’re going to have to tighten the belt in yet another notch. *double sigh* And my car needs new tires. And Christmas is coming. And….blah blah blah. I don’t think there’s a person alive right now who doesn’t have a lot of the same concerns, issues, headaches. The sad thing is that it’s all-consuming, no? I wish the money chatter would get out of my head. Seriously, every now and again I think I could use a break from it. Sheesh.

One of the things I’ve decided to give up is my professional hair color. I can no longer justify the cost against my vanity. We need to save that money. Period.

I went through this madness a year ago and attempted to DIY my hair color right before I left Nashville to come to Charlotte. I was trying to jump the gun on that savings. I had called my hairdresser to ask her professional opinion regarding at-home products she might suggest. Let’s just say this: the bitch was no help at all. In fact, I do believe she was pissed at me for even calling. As a side bar, this TOTALLY pissed me off. I had spent the last SIX YEARS paying her an exorbitant sum of money plus a 20-30% tip as well as buying hair care products from her. The least she could do was give me a phone consult. And it’s not like I was dropping her for some other stylist (which I should have done long before), I was MOVING for crissake. I totally should have followed my gut on that one, but was too scared that someone might jack up my hair again (which is why I went to her in the first place. She does do good hair!).

ANYWAY, she was of no help whatsoever. I went to the Target, got totally overwhelmed by my choices and bought what I thought was the right thing and it totally wasn’t. I ended up with very scary, super-dark brown hair that looked like dark brown, dull, somewhat-ashy straw. I ended up going to J.Bangs Salon where I got my wedding day hair done and they fixed it up for me. Of course, they had to strip the color and all that kind of crap. It was a nightmare. I got scared again and kept paying to get my hair done.

Since then, I’ve done a little bit more research and now know that I should have used semi-permanent instead of permanent color. It turns out that folks with brown hair who have some gray (*ahem*) shouldn’t use permanent color for all sorts of reasons, noticeable root growth being one of them. A semi-permanent color makes your grays fade into “highlights” versus roots. I mean, that sounds like a no-brainer, but I just didn’t get it.

In my research I found that Good Housekeeping, Redbook, TotalBeauty.com  and Consumer Reports all listed Clairol Natural Instincts in their top ratings. Consumer Reports actually listed their Natural Instincts semi-permanent color for women, hair color for men and hair color for women of color as the best all around. Good to know. I trust those guys.


So Clairol Natural Instincts SEMI-permanent color is what it’s going to be. I’m terrified to do this, y’all. What if I pick the wrong color? I think I might turn this into a T30SB DIY experiment because if I’m taking pictures and thinking about how I might write the post, it might help dilute some of the terror involved in doing my own hair.

The reality is this: I have a shit-ton more gray than I think I should have at this age. However, I’m probably just in denial about this age. I’ve got these natural highlights at my temples that I’ve always referred to as my racing stripes. BG (Before Gray), they’d get super-light in the summer and if I pulled my hair straight back, they’d literally show as two lines down my head in a very Bride of Frankenstein sort of way that I thought was cool.


The sad thing is that as I look at my hair now, those stripes are clearly more gray than “highlights” and I’m guessing the B of F look will be adopted sometime in the future. The future being like 20 years from now when I can go gray and perhaps not feel so much like a 12 year old trapped in a 41 year old package.

So now’s your chance. Give me your at-home thoughts ASAP because this shit is about to happen. PLEASE don’t tell me not to do it because that decision has already been made and I must. If you tell me not to it will only make me feel bad. And that “feeling bad” mental real-estate has already got a mortgage payment that smacks of  a 2007 Fannie Mae subprime adjustable-rate loan.


God, I Hate Suze Oreman

Seriously, I do. Hate her. I hate her with the white hot passion of a thousand suns. However, she's offering a freebie and while I might detest her, I'm not stupid.

Go clicky clicky here and read about how you can get some great free documents all couples need to start their new lives together. I posted about it on Weddzilla.

No, it's not romantic, but it is necessary and something we all need.

I was trying to find the most hideous photo of Suze Orman I could find online to post with this, and this photo came up in my search. I shit you not. Page 13 of my Google image search. I swear.


Addendum: My friend sent me this bit of information from her BF who knows all about this sort of thing:

"You may want to let her know that online will and trust kits which are almost always thrown out in court. They must be backed by legal representation otherwise they are of zero value. Even the ones that you pay $150.00 for are worthless. Most attorneys will make you go through probate because they will not stand behind the work of something you downloaded for free and they did not draft themselves. In the end, you still end up paying full price for legal representation in order for those documents to mean anything. It is kind of like taking a bottle of wine to a restaurant, they are still going to charge you a corking fee to drink your own wine at their restaurant."

Good to know.