Getting married on a shoestring..ideas wanted! - Page 4 - Mothering Forums

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#91 of 110 Old 01-21-2008, 11:49 PM
 
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my favorite budget wedding that I attended we call "the surprise wedding."
Our next door neighbors invited us to a picnic at the park and asked us to bring our croquet set. They had other people bring other things, had collected mismatched champagne flutes from thrift stores and after we'd all been there awhile and eaten and played announced that they were getting married. They had the licence and someone to officiate and did it right then. None of the guest knew it was going to be a wedding!! It was a lot of fun and very relaxed.
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#92 of 110 Old 01-22-2008, 11:05 AM
 
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Just want to add some comment about wedding rings. Plain bands are reasonably priced. The problem is usually white metal. If you're a white metal girl and don't want to pay for platinum bands, beware that almost all white gold ones out there are plated. So the shiny white color would wear off and the ring would start to look yellow. Lots of people don't like a semi-yellow band and get it replated every year or two. It doesn't cost too much, but can add up over the years. White gold might also contain nickel. I recently discovered palladium rings are as white as platinum, hypoallergenic, and as cheap as gold rings. They're worth considering if you like white metals.

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#93 of 110 Old 01-22-2008, 11:15 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Just want to add some comment about wedding rings. Plain bands are reasonably priced. The problem is usually white metal. If you're a white metal girl and don't want to pay for platinum bands, beware that almost all white gold ones out there are plated. So the shiny white color would wear off and the ring would start to look yellow. Lots of people don't like a semi-yellow band and get it replated every year or two. It doesn't cost too much, but can add up over the years. White gold might also contain nickel. I recently discovered palladium rings are as white as platinum, hypoallergenic, and as cheap as gold rings. They're worth considering if you like white metals.
Thanks for the tip. good point.

I think gold colour gold can also contain nickel...I can't wear 10k but can wear 14k. I am getting yellow gold bands. They are 14k. My ring I am getting set with the ruby is 14k yellow gold.

I ordered a 14k white gold ring of ebay that has an aquamarine in it...the white is still white..guess I got lucky!

I like the look of titanium and stainless steel too. But I think we are going with the standard yellow gold rings. Plain flat bands.

I do love white gold and most of my current jewellry is white so it might be nice to have something different for the wedding rings.

I have noticed that every wedding/engagement ring I see now seems to be white gold or platinum..must be a trend.
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#94 of 110 Old 01-23-2008, 04:20 AM
 
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First, Congratulations!!!!
We did a traditional, formal, but small (~50 guests, all family) wedding in a resort town far away from where we were living for about $10,000. That included a sit down meal, my wedding dress, DJ, and lodging for a weekend - all the trappings the Wedding Industrial Complex says you need. We had to take some serious shortcuts to reach that budget, a few things that we did:
1. Make your own invitations - I bought really nice handmade paper with wildflower seeds in it, cut it to size and printed out the invitations on vellum, attached it all with the same ribbon that we used for the favors. It sounds like you are going the make your own invites route already, have fun getting creative with it. There is a ton you can do with a hole punch, ribbon, and vellum. It was fun!
2. This is the one I think you might be interested in...I bought a bunch of fabric, I choose raw silk, but you can do whatever, and made big table runners, then I used the same fabric to make curtains and a pillow out of later. It was really easy, I just tacked up the edges. And now I have a piece of my wedding in my house.
3. We found a local winery and bought in bulk, we got a 10% discount, plus the discount just from buying direct. We did the same for sparkling wine, but we got married near wine country, so it was available. I know you're in Canada, so ymmv.
4. Candles!!!!! Candles make great decorations, and you can use them later. They are super cheap. If you have an import store nearby, you can find some a couple extra special items to dress them up, but we used simple tea light candles in plane votive holders. I think Micheal's craft stores sells them for less than 50 cents each.

We did lots of other things with favors and the ceremony location, but I see that you have already decided on those items.
Enjoy planning it all with you soon to be DH, it is really fun!
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#95 of 110 Old 01-23-2008, 04:53 AM
 
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While our reception was somewhat traditional, we didn't have a cake or flowers. No one noticed or remembers. Instead of a cake, we had popcorn and cotton candy (carnival theme). I don't care much for cut flowers and couldn't imagine myself carrying around a bouquet all night. We had balloons to decorate instead. Flowers are really one of the most expensive parts of a wedding, and at least at my wedding, no one noticed they weren't there!

: 10/06 : 10/09
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#96 of 110 Old 01-23-2008, 03:26 PM
 
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Just want to add some comment about wedding rings. Plain bands are reasonably priced. The problem is usually white metal. If you're a white metal girl and don't want to pay for platinum bands, beware that almost all white gold ones out there are plated. So the shiny white color would wear off and the ring would start to look yellow. Lots of people don't like a semi-yellow band and get it replated every year or two. It doesn't cost too much, but can add up over the years. White gold might also contain nickel. I recently discovered palladium rings are as white as platinum, hypoallergenic, and as cheap as gold rings. They're worth considering if you like white metals.
I have a palladium engagement ring and I love it It's a little bit of a softer metal than platinum or white gold, but it's affordable and it doesn't need re-coating like white gold!

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#97 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
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palladium..where did you get that? I see titanium and stainless steel. Off to google
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#98 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 03:05 PM
 
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(Warning: longer than it should be!)

I haven't read all of the replies, so forgive me if I repeat anything :

*We used very few flowers. My bouquet was made of white and green carnations, which I put together the morning of the ceremony. The only other flowers we used were irises from the yard. Those were given to our mothers and grandmothers during the ceremony. Total: <$15

*We made our own cake. 3-layer, columns, all of that. We really didn't need such a big thing, and I wish we has just kept it at 2 layers. We could have made a 2-layer one for probably $30. The biggest thing to get "the professional look" is to freeze the cake before icing it, so that little flecks of cake don't get into the white frosting. The was especially true for us, since we colored our cake emerald green. Total: about $50 and a lot of time. Trust me and don't try the 3rd layer.

*For the cake topper, we chose one of those Willow Tree figures. It actually looks nice on the shelf at home, and fit our theme better than a white-plastic-and-lace thing.

*We got married at my aunt's house, on her deck in March. All of our ceremony decorations (a white metal arch and a lattice backdrop) were borrowed. For the receptions (indoors), we borrowed 3 tables and white tablecloths (borrowing was the key, lol). The central table was for the cake, another was for the punch, snacks, and favors, and the 3rd was filled with photos of us. My aunt also decorated her fireplace mantle, and total indoors I think we spent maybe $20, mostly on white candles. The rest of the decorations were photos we already owned (in our own or borrowed frames) and small items my grandmother lent us (like green glass candleholders she had received for her wedding 50 years ago).

*I did buy a dress that was way too expensive. Originally, I had bought a white prom dress on clearance ($20), but it barely fit when I bought it, and then I gained about 5 lbs. It was enough weight to make the dress fit poorly, and I ended up spending (eek!) $350 on a dress. It was totally not worth it, and my biggest regret about the entire thing.

*Tuxes seemed too formal for us, so DH wore dress pants and a homemade shirt. It was made with a man's dress shirt pattern, but we added turned-back cuffs and his grandmother made a panel so that the buttons were hidden. It was made of crinkled white fabric trimmed in gold-and-green trim we bought online, worn untucked. I LOVED it. Total cost (including shoes): about $60.

*We had an afternoon ceremony so no one expected a meal. We served cake, punch, ranch crackers (soup crackers flavored with ranch mix), and chocolates we melted and poured into themed molds. Molds can be bought on ebay for about $2-4 each. We used Celtic knots and Claddagh rings, but you could get flowers, doves, etc.

*Our rings are sterling silver. I have hated yellow gold since I was 12, and white gold was too pricey. We settled on silver, and I am so glad we did. I don't know why people assume wedding rings *must* be gold? There are a lot of "poesy" rings availible online, with love-sayings in Irish Gaelic, Latin, Hebrew, etc, which are meaningful and inexpensive. I love ours. Total cost: about $100 for both rings.

That's all I can think of right now... I think our wedding totaled about $1,000 including rings, dress, paying the officiant, purchasing books to help us write the ceremony, etc. I really wish I had just made a dress, and cut the guest list from 50 down to around 30. We could have easily squeezed by for $500 that way.

treehugger.gif SAHM with a precious toddler and the love of my life, expecting a new little one July 2014!
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#99 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 03:29 PM
 
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palladium..where did you get that? I see titanium and stainless steel. Off to google
I got mine at our local jewelry store. They offered it as an option then tried to discourage me from it, as it *is* a bit softer and may not wear quite as well over time. But if it does wear out in 20, 30, 40 years, we'll just have my stones re-set in something else. I did not want the price of platinum, or to have to constantly recoat a white gold ring

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#100 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 06:17 PM
 
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My wedding was split between Really Expensive and Really Not. All of the Really Expensive portions were possible because of my parents-in-law & their connections.

Here's where I scrimped:

1) We got married on a bridge in the rainforest in Puerto Rico. No fee for using the site, but we couldn't set up anything and we couldn't disallow other people from being in the area. No problem! A group of about 12 sightseers watched our ceremony from a respectful distance. They actually outnumbered our invited family members!

2) On that note, we kept it small--immediate family only.

3) My dress was $99 from David's Bridal. I'm not a David's Bridal kind of girl as a general rule, but struck out when I tried to get a non-bridal cute white dress in my size (which was about an 18 at the time).

4) We skipped decorations because the rainforest was beautiful without augmentation.

5) We took our 10 guests out to supper at a fancy-schmancy restaurant, which was spendy but much, much less so than renting an equivalently-nice reception space and hiring caterers (plus hidden costs of renting dishes and the like). We also skipped having a cake.

So, yeah, my suggestions would be to find a lovely outdoor space (free or cheap), keep things small, and making a large reservation for supper rather than having a conventional reception.

Elated mom to Elliott (5/25/10)
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#101 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 07:31 PM
 
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Some things we did to save $$$:
- good bridesmaids: I had some wonderful friends who helped prep. food ahead of time, decorate, . . . We also had a lot of other friends and family who helped in various ways.
- We made all the food ourselves - it was snacky stuff for an afternoon wedding.
- I made sundresses for the bridesmaids and flower girl. I think it's not nice to espect other folks to pay for expensive dresses they will never wear again. I just used a simple pattern and cotton print.
- We made cotton table cloths for the sitting tables. We bought a bolt of inexpensive cotton fabric in my color (Purple).
- We borrowed table cloths and serving dishes from friends. (If you know anyone who had an older relative who did lots of embriodery, they probably have a closet full of embroidered table cloths and sheets and the like - if that's your kind of thing.)
- We didn't do alcohol as it was too expensive.
- I made the invitations myself and didn't include lots of little extra bits of paper in there. This was also a green move; I just hate all those extra bits of paper. We had an invite and a map for folks from out of town.
That's all that comes to mind right now.
Most of all, enjoy yourself, and congrats!
Melinda
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#102 of 110 Old 01-24-2008, 09:12 PM
 
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oops!
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#103 of 110 Old 01-26-2008, 10:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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ok..so if we invite 80 people, 30 of whom will be children, so around 50 adults, it's an afternoon thing..how many bottles of wine and beer should I have.

I really don't want people to get drunk...people will have to drive etc. But since it's an open house type thing with people dropping in and out for about 5 hours I also don't want to run out before the late-comers get here.

Maybe I should hide some away...

(I will also have a non-alcoholic punch for the non-drinkers and the children)
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#104 of 110 Old 01-27-2008, 12:07 AM
 
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Hmm... maybe figure 1 or 2 drinks per person? That would probably keep people from drinking too much, even considering some won't drink at all, and some will want more than 2.
Ehh... I really have no clue, but I would definitely hide some away!
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#105 of 110 Old 01-28-2008, 02:08 AM
 
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Three drinks per person
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#106 of 110 Old 01-28-2008, 03:06 PM
 
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Hi,

We have a page of money saving wedding tips on our website. Feel free to drop by and have a look. barinya.com ...scroll down the right hand side and find the wedding articles listings and go to the tips page, or any of the others may be helpful too.
(Mods, hope ok to include this link- if not, please remove with my apologies)

We didn't spend a heap on our wedding, but it was magical and beautiful.

We didn't have wedding rings to start with- we both hate wearing rings anyway, so it seemed a waste. Cost $0.

The ceremony was held by a waterfall in a forest reserve. Cost $0 (except for the celebrants fee)

We hired a several bedroom holiday house fairly close by (as it was nowhere near our homes) for the main wedding party to stay at, which doubled as the reception venue. Cost a few hundred for the week, but everyone offered to pay a share, so divided up it wasn't much.

My wedding dress (exquisite!) was an ex-hire dress Cost $20.

I didn't have bridesmaids, so no dresses.

Invitations- we were lucky enough to find blank greeting cards which had the actual waterfall picture on the front. Then we printed the invitation on fancy watermark sort of paper and glued it inside. We didn't invite a heap of guests, so this didn't work out too expensive. And well worth it!

Flowers- one of the guests (a very dear friend) wanted to buy them for me- they were just from a supermarket near where we were staying, but were absolutely gorgeous! No cost to me, and only about $12 for the guest.

Cake- I made and decorated it. Probably cost me about $20, and it was just what I wanted.

Food- bought bits and pieces, nibbles, ingredients and we all had a fun cooking day a couple of days before the ceremony. Had a sort of lavish afternoon tea. Can't remember what it cost, but it wasn't excessive. But the food was good.

Transport- we all just drove there in what we'd travelled over in, nothing fancy. I was in my Dad's Toyota Landcruiser.

Photography- free photos and video by my dad, who's a keen photographer.

Music- a friend recorded an original piece of music he'd written, so we even had our own exclusive music.

Honeymoon- we splurged a little and rented a little cabin for a few nights, within the same area, but far enough for privacy. The guests remained in the house for a bit more of a holiday themselves. The cabin had a huge spa bath and an open fireplace. Romantic.

Anyway... that's about all I can think of for now. Hope it's helped a little.
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#107 of 110 Old 01-28-2008, 09:30 PM
 
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We did 2 things that helped keep things cheap:
1. We used flower petals instead of flowers in some areas (like tables)
2. Instead of centerpieces or other decorations, we put out pictures. Lots and lots of pictures of people we love and of fun times. They were a lot of fun to look at and kept the conversation going. My brother did the same thing at his wedding - they put them up on posterboard.
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#108 of 110 Old 01-31-2008, 04:47 PM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all the suggestions...things are coming together! I am implementing quite a lot of ideas from here..you guys have been so helpful!
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#109 of 110 Old 01-31-2008, 05:54 PM
 
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we planned an outside wedding with 50 chairs..we had 75++ and it was pouring down rain..so a last minute church wedding was a blessing..friends decorated the church w/ about 45 minutes to spare..they used whatever glassware they could find from mason jars to juice glasses and had tea lights floating in water placed all throughout the church, floors and tables...it was so beautiful w/ the lights dimmed low..

we purchased flowers from a wholesale market and arranged the bouquets and all ourselves..for about $75

the music was expensive for us, so the cds are a great idea..also, my younger siblings play in their high school orchestra (violins) and they are going to play for a wedding in april, really cheap, so it might be worth it to check area high schools..

i was working in a bar at the time, so my employeer got all the alcohol at cost..which was a big savings..

anyway, these were just some of the ways we "pinched pennies"
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#110 of 110 Old 01-31-2008, 05:59 PM
 
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That's exactly what we did. We had pictures taken by all our friends and family at a park, and between everybody, we got some decent pictures.

We made some finger food bought some appetizers and trays from m and m's and zehrs.

Jam 7, Peanut Butter 5, and Bread 2.

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