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Welcome to SuperNoVABride

SuperNoVABride started in November 2010 as Melissa, a newly engaged 29-year-old woman, began planning a wedding in the Washington, DC and Northern Virginia area.  In fact, the NoVA part of SuperNoVABride, for those of you not from the DC area, is shorthand for Northern Virginia.

What began as a blog chronicling our adventures of planning a budget  wedding in DC, morphed into something bigger.

You see, I’m a practical person.  My fiance and I can afford a nice wedding.  We’re paying for our wedding entirely on our own.  Combined, we make nearly $180,000/year.  We already own a nice four bedroom townhouse in Alexandria, VA and there’s no “save that money for a downpayment” argument for us when it comes to wedding expenses.   We’re not anti-materialistic or minimalists or whatever you call those people that shun personal consumption.  For us, it’s a personal decision.  We just don’t want to spend a lot of time or money on our wedding.  We think that you can have a fun, amazing wedding in which you don’t have to worry about limiting your guest list just so you can save money.  We set a goal to 1)  invite all our family and all our friends and, 2) not spend more than $15,000.  We had two primary priorities for our wedding.  Photography and Fun.

What is SuperNoVABride all about?

In planning a wedding, I found that there are two types of wedding books, blogs, and advice:

  1. Wedding porn
  2. Recycled, overly-general, useless advice

Wedding porn is what you’ll find on most wedding blogs and magazines.  Inspiration boards, and incredible and artfully crafted photographs of beautiful weddings from around the world.  Even something I learned called Wedding photoshoots.  Which aren’t actually from weddings at all.  They’re simply that.  A photoshoot.  A fake bride and a fake groom model for some photos in some sort of beautifully set wedding.  It’s what makes us brides drool for all things wedding.

The recycled, overly-general, useless advice can be found typically in any wedding planning reference book, wedding planning website (like Wedding Wire or The Knot), and to some extent, wedding magazines as well.  This type of advice consists of things that just make you want to say, “Gee, thanks.  I didn’t realize that I should book my venue early in the wedding planning process.  Or that cutting down on my guest list could save me money. Oh, and you mean that I could save money by printing my own invitations?”

So, as I continued to blog, I set out to bridge this gap.

  • SuperNoVABride is not an inspiration-board saturated wedding site filled with all sorts of yummy wedding porn.
  • Nor will you find the same general and useless advice that you already read in wedding books, rehashing the same old 12 month wedding planning timeline.

Here are some examples:

  • A wedding book might contain a tip that you could “iPod your Wedding” to save money on a deejay.  I talk about what specific equipment to buy, how to set it up, and how to develop your playlists.
  • Another book may give you a list of questions to ask your photographer.  I give you advice for how to identify potential photographers and some of our criteria we used, and instead of the specific questions, how to go about in general conducting an interview with a vendor.
  • Wedding blogs may feature all sorts of DIY elements that brides do to save money on their wedding.  I say, you’re still going to spend money regardless, so how about signing up for a great cashback rewards credit card and actually earn some money back on your wedding expenses?
  • Others may suggest that you cut down on your guest list to save money on catering.  I say, ditch the caterers and do it yourself and invite whoever you want!

I hope that you like it here at SuperNoVABride.  While my blogging doesn’t just focus specifically on DC-area weddings anymore, I hope that brides from all over, including the DC area, find my information helpful.

How did SuperNoVABride start?

I am a total nerd of a planner. My life is organized neatly into a series of spreadsheets.  My fiance’s family bought me a t-shirt for Christmas one year that says “I <3 Spreadsheets.”  (My motto is that there is no problem in life that a spreadsheet can’t solve).  I can tell you the precise amount of money I spend on long vacations because I track every penny.  I’m a negotiator and love finding bargains.  If there’s something I have to do, it goes on my tried-and-true to-do list system.  I love planning parties, decorating, and organizing projects (both personal and work-related) that have many moving parts that need to be coordinated.  I thought planning a wedding would be fun and would give me an excuse to create more awesome spreadsheets.

Then I got engaged.  What a fucking mess (the planning, not the engagement).  The Wedding Industry Cartel hit me like a ton of bricks.  A little less than three weeks after our engagement, I broke down into tears.  I hated the thought of spending so much money for one day.  I thought we’d  set a pretty liberal budget for ourselves of $15,000, broken down into multiple categories.  Well, not when places have $10,000 food and beverage minimums and photographers cost more than $6000.  My neat little organized budget seemed ridiculous.

Oh, and my perpetual organization methods were hopeless when it came to vendors.

Preferred Vendors, Vendors that don’t return e-mails, Vendors that send you cost estimates in indecipherable formats.  Vendors that judge you for asking for a discount or a break.  Sucky-ass vendor websites.  Some caterers that provide linens and tables, some that charge extra.  Some that include service in the per-person price, others that don’t.  Eight fucking dollars per person for SODA service?  Umm, no, thanks.

Can’t I just skip past this part and get to the FUN part of buying a dress and decorations?

Well, I can’t.  And because I can’t (and because I’m not hiring a wedding planner), hang with me as I try to find the best way to organize all the details and not break the bank while planning a budget wedding in the DC area.  Can it be done?  Stick with me to find out!