I think I've got another idea on how to save money on our wedding. In lieu of gifts (like I said, we're adults. I've got more stuff than we'll ever need already), I'm seriously considering asking our guests to bring their favorite appetizer. Of course, I think the people that travel a long distance just to share in our special day wouldn't be asked to bring anything - the cost of travel is gift enough for us. Since I know several people who are wonderful cooks, I don't think we'll have to worry about ending up with only having 2 dozen bags of chips with dip. Now, if I only knew someone whose favorite appetizer was wedding cake...
Noticed it looks like there's a lot of real estate between the bustline of my dress and my face....I guess a little jewelry is in order. My fiance, Jerry, is always so thoughtful as to send me collections of etsy items to browse through. It's like window shopping online. I've been noticing that I like these quirky necklaces that have flowers on them, and ribbon, and pearls. They're very beautiful and different, but may be a little overwhelming for my look. Something similar then, but a bit more understated. Maybe I could make something from some of the costume jewelry I've collected, add a brooch to a strand of pearls. Rummaging around I find a necklace I picked up at Goodwill last year (yes, I frequent Goodwill. You never know what'll be there. I've picked up genuine Gucci and Louis Vuitton items - it's like an indoor yard sale!). The necklace cost me a grand total of $3. It has to be from the 50's, I think. A choker style of a triple strand of pearls with a giant "pearl" in the middle surrounded by little metal flowers with rhinestones in their centers. When I got it the strings had gotten so old a couple of them had broken, so the necklace was actually in a little baggie. I took some nylon thread I had on hand and re-strung the necklace, every strand just to be sure it wouldn't break on me while I was out and about. It still needs rhinestones placed into 2 of the little flowers, but I was given (as in free) a bag of little junk jewelry and I think there are a couple of loose stones floating around in there. Now, if I can only have that kind of luck with some earrings!
Trying to find a venue for the ceremony can be pretty complicated - and expensive. Not being religious, we knew a church wedding wasn't something we'd be comfortable with. Plus, that's a little to stiff and formal for our tastes. So then, somewhere fun where we won't have to worry about people feeling uncomfortable is what we're looking for. That lets the local museum out, because as beautiful a setting as that would be, I'd worry about somebody knocking a priceless work of art off the wall. (Oh, and I know that it's a local museum, and nothing in there is priceless, but it wouldn't stop them from charging me for it like it was). Plus, there's stairs there, and I'll be the first to admit I'm not the most graceful woman in the world. I've heard too many stories of haunted hotels where the ghost bride that haunts the place got that way because she took a header on the stairs on the way to marital bliss. And truthfully, I think $750 is a bit pricey. We did go see my fiance's (Wow, did I just use that term? Squee!) former roommate perform his Elvis act at a place that wasn't too fancy, had plenty of space and I didn't see one single piece of art on the walls. They were way within our budget, too, with the total cost being around $150, and that includes the clean up fee, tables and chairs. Yay!
Alright - do you know what flowers cost? Holy cow! Tack on that magic word "wedding" and you get to pay extra. They are beautiful, but they don't last forever. I think I've always preferred potted plants to a dozen roses - something that lasts a lot longer. Of course, I'd sure look silly walking down the aisle carrying a rose bush in a pot. Not to mention the dirt I'd undoubtedly end up spilling on my dress. So, the potted plant being a no-go, I'd have to find something else. My thumb is anything but green, so growing my own flowers is out of the question. Stopped by offbeatbride.com, which led me to etsy.com again. Saw some great ideas - flowers made from felt or ribbon or buttons and got inspired. Too cute, and will last forever. Plus, I just happened to have a giant jar of buttons and a square of both white and pink felt. Went back to Wal-Mart (okay, small towns suck sometimes, with no craft stores and Wal-Mart about to close their fabric department completely). Pink ribbon in the shade of my dress on clearance (I take this as a sign from God)! Snatch up 10 yards for $3.50, then stroll over to the plastic flowers section and get 2 packs of florist wire for .77 cents each, or $1.54. Oh, and made several from the tissues that they wrap your delicates in at Victoria's Secret. Yes, I am talking about saving money and went to VS. I had a bogo (buy one get one) free coupon, so grabbed 2 pairs of undies for the price of 1. The pink tissue with the fuschia hearts made the cutest flowers, I think. I've yet to finish my bouquet, and plan to make 2 smaller ones for my daughters, but so far I've got a nice collection going. Once I alter my dress, I'll use some of that fabric and tulle to make even more flowers.
Surfing the web today, I came across a shocking statistic. The average wedding costs almost $20,000! I'm trying to fathom why.....Are people flying in all of their guests on their own dime? Who's catering the event - Tom Colicchio? I think my goal should be more along the lines of 10% of that total, and I think that's totally do-able. Hopefully less. I'll try to keep a running tally. I heard something on Oprah once, and I think it can be applied to lots of things in life, not just purses. "I'd rather have a $50 handbag with $500 in it than a $500 handbag with $50 in it." Of course, you know Oprah didn't say that because she could still have $500 in a $500 purse. Frankly, I have never even paid that much for a purse. I think $25 for a $100 on 75% off was my biggest splurge. Just think about how that $20,000 could be much better spent on a down payment on a home. Guess I'm just really practical. We're not out to impress people with how extravagant we can be. And, although I'm excited about the thought of having a wedding, I'm way more excited about getting spend the rest of my life married to the man of my dreams.
Next step seems to be shoes - my feet shouldn't change size, so this will be safe to go ahead and get out of the way if the opportunity presents itself, and it did. Being one of the tallest kids in my class for years, I never felt comfortable in heels, although I only ended up topping out at 5' 6". Now when I try to wear heels, I end up getting foot cramps, which is not something I'd like to happen on my wedding day. So, to avoid that I'm going with flats. Thank goodness ballerina flats came back in style a little while ago. Found a pair of pink fabric flats slightly darker than my dress (which is okay with me). Better yet, on clearance for $5! Gonna embellish them with flowers, just to make them look one of a kind and distract from the fact that I found them at Wal-Mart.