So, I understand the hardship many people are going thru with the economy being the way it is right now... Believe me, I've been there myself. Having been laid off of my "day job" after just under 10 years of being at this company; right before I was to get married, literally, one month before our wedding...and all the while, in the process of buying a home. I was in tears in my bosses boss's office telling him how I didn't know what we were going to do because we were in the middle of buying a home, and getting married the following month. He sympathized, but yet gave me the slip to sign and send me on my not-so-merry way because he still had a stack of slips to hand out. Yeah, it was pretty bad...

So being without a job, in the middle of looking to purchase a home, well, the two didn't go together. So we had to put that off for a bit. I started scrambling to find something, but with so many companies facing the same problems, it was so hard! This time was supposed to be the happiest time for us, planning our beautiful wedding and future life together, looking forward to our honeymoon, and coming back to live in our new home... But no, I was only getting more discouraged and depressed. I had to think of something and quick.

And I'm not telling you this for you to feel sorry for me... oh no! I want to share my story so it helps someone else out there.

Here are a few tips that I personally learned (some the hard way) thru my own experiences:
1. Start saving money even before you are engaged. I started to do this the moment I knew that mine and my husband's (well, boyfriend back then) relationship was getting more serious and I knew that he was "the one". Even if you just begin to talk about your future together, its a good idea to put even just a little bit aside for a "rainy day". If things don't end up working out, hey, you will have your savings to splurge on that new outfit, new hair style, those cute shoes you were eyeing, etc. to make you feel a little better...just in case!
2. Sign up on all the many wedding websites that are available to you and don't forget to chat with other brides in the community forums. They sometimes have some really great and unique ideas and give tips on how, where and/or what about them.
3. If you have the luxury (of time) to shop around, DO! And don't be afraid to ask if a vendor can lower their price or beat prices you've seen advertised. All they can say is no, then you keep looking.
4. Know what you want ahead of time. By doing what I said in #2 above, this will help greatly in deciding what you want for your wedding. Vendors love brides that know exactly what they want, it makes everyone's job much easier. And by knowing what you want, this will also help greatly in setting your budget (because you did what I said in #1 above).
5. Be organized!! Cut out pictures from magazines, print out pictures you found online, jot down your thoughts and keep all your ideas in order. Get one of those bride binders, or better yet, create your own binder! Go to Wal-Mart and buy a 3-ring binder, the kind where you can put your own label/picture in the front with a see-thru pocket. That way you can print a picture out of the two of you and put "Your Name's" Wedding. JC Penney also has a great binder with everything you would need just for this purpose, if you register with them for wedding gifts. (Just register online, even if you don't plan to use it, so you can get your free binder!)

I personally did each of the listed ideas; and it worked out great for me!! This is why I'm passing along this info.

Coming back to the end of my own story, just to tell you that there was light at the end of my tunnel...and to never give up hope.

I was literally on my knees praying for a miracle. Even my husband (fiance at that time) was looking for a miracle. We talked it out and tried to think of what we can do. The only thing my husband could think of was to be in prayer, hold onto our faith and leave it all in God's hands (we are Christians). He told me he was literally going to fast for 3 days and prayed that I would find something. This was serious! The last thing we wanted was to start our life together with me not having a job and being in debt! I was still paying school loans and I didn't want to leave that burden on him.

You won't believe how quickly God answered our prayers!! The next morning, I received a phone call from the same company that had just laid me off a few weeks earlier, asking me to come back as if I was never laid off! They were even going to give me my 2-1/2 weeks of vacation (that I had previously requested for our wedding and honeymoon) AND allowed me to keep my severance pay!! WOW!! It was a miracle! So I did go back to work, we had our beautiful wedding, went on our honeymoon and we bought our home; everything turned out ok.

So don't give up...there are always other ways around difficult times. I know this from personal experience. Good luck and happy planning!!

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