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  1. #21
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    N.C. Pennsylvania
    Posts
    216
    Another idea to consider is reanting some items. I was married 16 mos. ago and I rented some things for my wedding. For instance, I had to have 22 table centerpieces and 4 centerpieces for the wedding party table. I rented 22 octagonal shaped mirrors (50 cents a piece), 22 glass bowls(50 cents also), and I bought leaf shaped floating candles at 8 for $1 at the dollar store. (my wedding was all fall themed). So I got away under $30 for all those centerpieces. The one splurge that we had was our pictures and video and that was the best decision !! That day went by in such a whirlwind that I felt that I missed so much, but thank heavens I had pictures and video to capture some of what I missed.

    Congratulations and good luck!
    Tracy

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  3. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Sweden
    Posts
    149
    I agree with the edible favors. & the candy idea is great! Martha did that in her Kids magazine, I think, as a favor at a birthday party, & I thought it was really cute. The cup cake idea sounds really cute, too. My brother did the small wedding with a big reception thing to save money. They went to Lake Tahoe & got married with mostly just family there, then had a big reception. His wife's brother is a caterer, so he cooked everything as a present to them. Otherwise, I think having a potluck would be nice (if a bit unusual) & save money. & I don't think it's any problem not to have bridesmaids. I think it's a bit rude for people to say any of your ideas are strange/dumb- it's your big day! You get to decide everything! I sort of made the veil for my sister in law, which was really cheap. We bought a plain veil for like five dollars at Michael's, then I sewed a white ribbon around the edge & sewed seed pearls on. It ended up being really pretty & cheapo.
    Congratulations to all the engaged girls!

  4. #23
    Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    92
    I have to recommend the book Bridal Bargains. It states right at the beginning that it's not about a DIY wedding, though, but more like a guide to how to get the best deals on things. It also provides a little insight on how the bridal industry gouges you on everything they can.

    It gives reviews and recommendations of sources, and buying tips. One tip in there saved me at least $500.00 on the gown I found at a local bridal shop.

    If I recall correctly, it also addresses how to budget your time, which I wish I had taken a little more seriously. The wedding day was fine, but the night before I was a ball of stress, and had to have about half a dozen people over to help finish my over-ambitious DIY projects.

    -S

  5. #24
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Perth, Western Australia
    Posts
    1
    I'm another engaged crafty type. So Just wanted to keep an eye on this thread for the moment. =)

  6. #25
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    777
    Congratulations on your engagement.
    Some tips from our wedding:

    We rented a juke box and put all of our favorite cds in it - cheaper and more fun than other options (won't work if you do the whole beach thing but...)

    We had our invitations printed at Paper Source then assembled them ourselves. I added a beautiful stamp at the top (an art deco style depiction of two lotus flowers) We printed the directions/information sheet ourselves and put it in a vellum envelope and stamped a vespa on the front. Looked way cool and was a nod to my brother and dad who are big into their vespas.

    Don't know if you are Jewish but my mom had yarmulkas made from cool Thai fabric (she was living there at the time) with our names in them. I'm sure they're not that hard to make.

    My brother spray painted a canvas graphitti fade style with yellow and orange and put the wedding date in black and we had paint pens for our guests to get creative at the reception (in our yard) and make a wonderful keepsake for us. It's now hanging in our son's playroom!

    One last thing I'm glad I did was save extra fabric (beautiful green/bronze Thai silk) from my wedding pants - I used it for the matting to frame our Ketubah or you could use the fabric to frame your favorite wedding picture.

    Good luck, have fun and do it your way!

  7. #26
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Fabulous Brooklyn!
    Posts
    18
    I think spending a lot of time working on the text of the ceremony saved my bacon for my wedding. My Mr. & I spent a LOT of time talking about WHY on earth we were having a wedding at all. I really really didn't want one and he really really did. We did, and it was great, and it was cheap.

    The ceremony and the discussions of why to have a wedding (because people like you! they want to be a part of your life! they want to participate!) saved us in so many ways because it helped us focus on what we were doing. We were hosting a party. And the most important thing, and the thing we spent the most time and energy on, was planning how to help the guests have a good time and be comfortable. We live in New York City, and none of our family does, so we made a little "How? When? Where? Help!" sheet that had info about how to get around town, parking near the wedding, all that stuff. And with our carefully crafted ceremony, people paid so much attention to the ceremony that no one bothered me that I didn't wear white, I didn't carry a bouquet, my flower girls didn't match (me or each other), they didn't throw rose petals, my father didn't escort me, etc., etc. etc. We even managed to get away with having the ceremony in a church without mentioning God OR offending the religious relatives.

    When all of the details had to get taken care of, like centerpieces and favors and all that jazz, it was easier to get over the things that weren't going to work or would take too much time or money - I wasn't having a wedding so I could nitpick about every "dream" detail - I was throwing a party for people to enjoy.

    Another thing that saved our bacon was that the best man is a project planner by trade. He came over with his laptop and we went over all the details of who was who and who was doing what and what needed to get managed. On the big day, no one asked me who was transporting this thing or that, or where's the check for the dj or is grandma's car service on the way - since we had really thought about all the stuff that was going on and gave him all the info he needed, he ran the show. One place NOT to scrimp is on the gifts for your attendants.

    Cheap & easy tips for the traditional wedding trappings:

    Centerpieces/decorations: if you're doing spring/summer, buy little plants that are packed for planting, put them in groups on the tables in cheap little dollar-store baskets or artfully crumpled paper bags. Our guests took them home and raved all summer about how nice it was to see flowers from our wedding growing in their yards.

    Favors: I hated the idea of Jordan Almonds, but seriously, who wants a little ceramic dove lying around the house? So, I got little glassine/vellum envelopes and put a few in each envelope and closed them with stickers with the guests names on them (just regular old printer labels) - they picked them up at the reception and became placecards & favors. I made a few extra for the last minute additions with "We're so glad you came!" on them.

    Fresh flowers on the cake: search the web for pictures. This may be something you can do yourself with a cheap grocery store cake & they can be really really gorgeous. Also, even getting a baker to do fresh flowers is often faster & cheaper for them than going through the pains of making them with icing.

    Food: Try "catering" with a huge order of take-out appetizers from an ethnic restautant. Picture platters of little Chinese or Indian dumplings, salads, etc. Depending on presentation, this can serve as a meal.

    Drink: We found that we could get various options for a pay-for-yourself or open bar - we ended up having open bar for wine or beer & pay-yourself for hard liquour, but we also could have opted for open bar for soda & pay-yourself for all alcohol. Also, cheap champagne is not necessarily bad. For $4, try a bottle of Andre, and you'll get what I mean. Really. Even our wine connoisseur pals loved it.

  8. #27
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    21
    Hi all. I've been engaged for about a year now, and while we were going to wait until I graduated to actually have the ceremony, I'm apparently on the 12 year plan, so we're thinking of bumping it up. A lot. By a lot, I mean May.

    We want to have a small ceremony and go out to a nice dinner afterward. 35 people max. Then we'll have a huge graduation party style picnic/party when we get back from the honeymoon. We've earmarked the local Italian club for that. *G*

    This is all in the discussion stages right now, so we're really looking for ideas and examples of this. I really like the spray painted canvas idea - I may steal that for myself!

    I'll be keeping track of this thread myself.

  9. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Arizona
    Posts
    204
    Something I've known people to do is to provide cheap disposable cameras on the reception tables and the guests are supposed to take turns passing them around and taking candid photos. I don't know that I'd want those to be the only photos available of the wedding but I think it's a fun idea.

  10. #29
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    N.C. Pennsylvania
    Posts
    216
    I did the thing with the disposable cameras on the tables in addition to a photographer and in my case, it was a waste of money. I probably had about 10 kids at my reception and I swear they must have gotten hold of most of the cameras because the pictures were of dumb things (ie.. the carpet), or unfocused etc. So when you add up the cost, $5 or so per camera, and $7 to develop..... a big waste of money for me. But of course someone else may have better luck.

    ps Congratulations to all the engaged!!! This is your day!! Make it yours!!

  11. #30
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Posts
    29
    My sister said her wedding costs were cut in the meal department because they had a vegan dinner--meat is expensive!

    Same with liquor--have a bunch of cool teas, or an exotic coffee bar, but cutting out booze will cut out a lot of potential problems too, in my opinion.

    Make mix CDs of all your favorite songs (make sure you can dance to them!) and rent/borrow a 3-6 CD changer--appoint a friend as a DJ to check on them ever so often, hit "random" and dance the night away!

    Congrats, good luck, and let us know how it all turns out!

    Blessed Be,
    PrettyPettyThief


 
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