05-20-2009, 01:20 AM
When it comes to weddings, who says you have to follow all the rules? Sure, if you want to stick with some classic traditions, go for it. But we believe that less is more, so it's time to reevaluate the old-school ways of saying "I do." The more you simplify, the more you'll be able to focus on the really important stuff for your big day...
Matching Bridesmaids Chances are the friends, sisters and cousins you've selected to be in your bridal party aren't all of identical make-and-model. One's a tall lanky brunette, another is a short curvy blonde. So outfitting them all in the exact same dress means there's a good chance someone is going to look awkward (at best) and awful (at worst). Instead, try doing different dresses in one color or a colorful array of complementary shades.
Big Bridal Parties Since there can be lots of posturing and jockeying for these prime positions with the bride and groom, keep the bridal party small to avoid potential quibbles (and even all-out wars!). Plus, with a more intimate group you'll save money on gifts for the bridesmaids and groomsmen.
Long Vows Be kind to your guests by keeping your vows on the shorter side. This is especially important if your ceremony is under the blazing sun without umbrellas or fans. Say what you want to say, but don't bore your guests!
Throwing Rice Does a blushing bride really want to be doused by a storm of hard little pellets that end up getting stuck in her hair, veil, gown, and worse, inside her shoes? Not the most comfortable situation when she's whooping it up to "Brick House" on the dance floor.
Assigned Seating Guests get miserable if they're stuck at a table away from the people they really want to hang with. Cocktail-style settings with open seating and lots of grazing are more inviting and lively. And you'll save money and migraines by ditching elaborate seating charts and place cards.
Expensive Wedding Favors Weddings aren't about giving showy gifts; they're about celebrating your love with your loved ones. None of your guests expect pricey parting gifts. If you want to show your appreciation, leave a short, sincere note on each place setting thanking them for being there. Or let them know that a donation to a meaningful charity has been made in their name.
Throwing the Bouquet Nothing in life -- not the SAT's, not parallel parking during our drivers' test, not meeting our boyfriend's parents for the first time -- can compare to the pressure of being a single gal expected to push, pull, and pummel to catch that doggone bridal bouquet. Enough already.
Removing the Garter Kind of cheesy, right? Kind of grope-y? Kind of I-don't-want-to-have-to-holler-like-a-frat-boy-as-he-runs-his-hands-up-her-thigh?
Drunken Toasts Oh, the joy, the tenderness, the humiliation of an old-fashioned toast given by someone who has had a few too many sips of bubbly. Talk to your talkers ahead of time and let them know you'd like them to keep it sweet...and sober.
Leaving For the Honeymoon the Morning After After all the planning and partying, it's nice to take a pause before heading off to paradise. There's so much to think about when leaving town. Give yourselves a day or two or even longer to get organized. You need an extra breath before jetting off and finally melting into relaxation mode.
05-20-2009, 01:22 AM
The Big Wedding Money-Wasters
Talk about breaking the bank! The average price of weddings in this country has skyrocketed to a whopping $20,000 -- and double that figure in bigger cities. Yikes! Still, as perfect as you want your special day to be, there's no need to go broke in order to throw an unforgettable affair. Here, our Foxy list of top money wasters, along with creative ideas to get more bang out of your buck.
Save The Date Cards
Why rack up unnecessary (expensive) printing costs on save the date cards? Spend the money on invitations or something else more memorable. Just get your act together and get your invites out early. If that isn't possible, find a fun photo of you and your betrothed and write the date on the back with a silver Sharpie pen. You can even punch a hole in the top of the photo and tie a sweet ribbon on as a finishing touch. No fancy card could better say, "put this date on your calendar!"
A beautiful letterpress or engraved invitation on heavyweight, high-quality paper can run you upwards of $9 EACH! And the cost goes up with extra folds, linings, or special envelopes. The average bride and groom spend $700 on invitations and reply cards. You can get beautiful, personalized invitations at a fraction of the cost at one of our favorite sites, Etsy. Check out Evapaul's shop for stunning custom designs at a fraction of the cost.
$4000 for something you're going to wear once?! This is one of THE biggest money wasters in our book. Yes, you want to look your most beautiful, yes you want everyone to cry when they see you, and yes you want your husband-to-be to almost faint as you walk down the aisle. But you don't need several thousand bucks to do that! Shop for your dress at a regular store, not a bridal shop (where prices are significantly higher). We love the elegant (and very expensive looking) shutter dress by Adrianna Papell. It's less than $300 and available online and at department stores across the country, such as Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and Dillard's. To score a coveted designer dress at prices up to 70% off retail check out Gilt Groupe.
You can also find a design you like and have a local seamstress make something for you. Or, talk to friends and family members to find out if someone has a wedding dress you could borrow -- as long as you can tailor it to fit your body, it's a great option.
What ever happened to something borrowed? There's absolutely no need to drop a pretty penny here. You're SUPPOSED to borrow something special for the big day, so find out if friends and family have jewelry you could wear. It's much more meaningful than store-bought pieces. Do a little digging, and maybe you'll come across something rare and special that belonged to your great great grandmother.
We have yet to see a bride walk down the aisle empty handed! Of course you want flowers for your wedding, but when you tally the cost of bouquets for the bride and her attendants, boutonnieres for the guys, and corsages for the mothers, plus flower girl flowers, this becomes one of the big ticket items (average between $1000 and $2000). There's no need to spend thousands of dollars on tall, frothy bouquets. Small and simple arrangements can add big flair.
Here are a few tips on how to max out your flower power...
-Buy flowers that are in season (and avoid getting married around holidays such as Mother's or Valentine's Day when prices get hiked up).
-Calla lilies, delphiniums, gardenias, and orchids are more expensive because they require more tending.
-Cornflowers, camellias, and daisies (we love Gerberas!) are easier to find and a lot easier on your wallet. Roses, tulips, freesia, and lilacs vary in price but can be a reasonable option, if used minimally.
-Instead of having bridesmaids carry big bouquets, give them each a single long-stemmed rose or a colorful tulip which is simple, lovely and delicate.
-Fill out arrangements with less expensive things such as baby's breath, greens, or grasses.
-Create centerpieces by combining flowers with candles, figurines, fruits, herbs, or framed photos.
-For a natural feel, rent potted plants or flowering bushes from rental houses or garden centers for a lot less than buying them.
Check out our other blogs for more ideas:
Foxy & Festive Centerpieces
Budget-Friendly Backyard Wedding
Fantastic Flowers On A Dime
The average cost for a 4-hour performance by a five-member band (the most typical size) runs over $2000. Meanwhile, the services of a professional DJ run between $100 and $300 per hour, so if you line one up for several hours of dancing, you're saving a good bit. To save even more, rent a sound system and have a friend DJ -- it's a lot of fun and you're guaranteed to get someone who knows your taste in music. Equipment rentals can run from $75 up to around $275 for a 2 or 4-tray CD player, mixer and speakers. And there's the trusty iPod which! You can just pre-make mixes on your iPod and run it through an iPlay sound system (rentable for around $175 per day). These tend to work best at smaller gatherings, but definitely something worth checking out if you're having a more intimate wedding.
A wedding cake specialist will charge you as much as a designer dress -- an average of several dollars a slice on up to $10+ on the high end! Instead, go to a supermarket chain bakery or even to a friend who's a skilled cook and enlist their help. Cupcakes are also a fun alternative that always please the crowd. They're easy to bake yourself, and you can decorate them with personalized flags like these adorable ones we found on Etsy.
You can hire a budget photographer for under $1000, while more upscale ones charge between $3000 and $5000. And often, the packages include a fixed number of photos, where you have to pay more if you end up wanting more taken. A better alternative is to hire a friend who is really good with a camera (there are many great amateurs these days). Or call a local art school and hire a student photographer or go on CraigsList where you can often find more affordable prices.
Serving dinner to 200 seated guests is quite a feat, and as a result, wedding food isn't always the most spectacular -- rubbery chicken, lukewarm potatoes, or wilty salad, anyone? Plus, you're paying extra for wait staff and multiple courses. So, consider a very upscale cocktail environment -- what we like to call "grazing." This way guests can chat, stroll and eat what they want. It's a very modern setting and will trim down your wedding budget.
You don't need to send your guests home with party favors. It's not expected and this is an expense we suggest you forego. However, if you want to do something, a photo of the bride and groom, along with a short "thank you for sharing this day with us," and perhaps a chocolate or small bag of candies or almonds will suffice. Buy candy in bulk at online sites like CandyWarehouse (where you can find any color to fit your theme) and put together the bags yourself to save on cost.
Fireworks, doves, a horse-drawn carriage, a fancy limo... you don't need these over the top, big-ticket items to create a wedding with big bang. While these extras create a lot of show, they aren't necessary. What guests often remember are the intimate moments, personal touches, and dancing past midnight! The bride and groom can do something as simple and cost-free as make a special toast to their guests, which will leave the crowd with big, priceless smiles on their faces.
05-20-2009, 01:25 AM
i think some traditions and "money wasters" are nice to have honestly. Let's be honest, a lot of wedding things waste money, but it is part of the fun. And with traditions, you pick ones that work for you and go with it. There are some good suggestions, but some of the things I think people could regret doing or, in some cases, not doing.
05-20-2009, 03:39 AM
LOL this is totally just talking about us...
we are basically doing NONE of those mentioned traditions. except we do have matching BMs and they all look stunning.
--we have a small bridal party
--cocktail style reception
--no favours (generally not done for cocktail receptions)
--no bouquet toss or garter throw (generally not done in Australia full stop)
--non drinkers doing toasts
--and we are leaving for our honeymoon 2 days after the wedding :p
For the money saving tips... (and this is in Aus dollars (its like a third less in US $))
--we didnt do STDs
--i made all my invites for 170 people for under $100
--my dress is being made for $1500
--im using all my own jewellery that already had
--flowers for $500
--band is our MC's girlfriend's strings emsemble
--cake is being made by a friend with a catering degree for under $200
--my photographer is giving me all rights and all pics on CD for $800
--no big extras but our whole theme is a pretty big wow factor with the 1700s dress and our choreographed first dance
05-20-2009, 03:23 PM
We kept it simple too and didn't do any of the "traditions." But to each their own. We just didn't have much extra to spend because we were buying a house immediately after the wedding and had to have the down payment ready.
vBulletin v3.5.0 Beta 4, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.