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Old 12-11-2012, 01:52 PM   #31 (permalink)
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The second thing I advise is to do a wedding the way YOU want it. There is so much pressure from parents, inlaws, the wedding industry, etc. that many people end up doing things they regret later.
Totally! It should be your perfect wedding, not someone else's idea of a perfect wedding.

My mom was actually really great about not trying to impose her ideas on us, but I think that was largely because she had so little input into her own wedding. She and my dad got married at 19, and I remember her telling me and my sister that there were more of her parents friends there than her own, and her mom pretty made planned the whole thing. Of course, they were young and traditionally the bride's family paid for weddings back then, so I guess my grandmother figured if she was paying for it she could decide how everything was going to be. I thought it was sad though.

Our budget was small, and Tom and I and all our parents put in towards the total. For us, a big party was exactly what we wanted. It was more important that everyone have a good time, not that everything looked perfect or beautiful, so that's where we skimped. The food was good but simple, the venue was a nice setting but not fancy, and we had a live blues band. I didn't pay a lot for my dress, Tom's aunt made our wedding cake, and the realtor who helped us buy our house and was a friend of the family used some of his commissions to pay for most of our honeymoon.
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:16 PM   #32 (permalink)
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I have been a florist for 20 odd years...If you need any help with flower decisions, please feel free to PM me...Congrats on you engagement...jan
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Old 12-11-2012, 03:43 PM   #33 (permalink)
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Congratulations!!! We eloped more than 30 years ago and my wedding "gown" was a maternity dress. We have been happily married ever since. The secret? Do not try to change each other and don't sweat the small stuff but DO COMMUNICATE.
Have a great future and you already have a GSD so that's a good start.
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Old 12-11-2012, 04:11 PM   #34 (permalink)
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And especially how to save money, when money is tight to begin with? etc etc etc
We didn't have a budget because we didn't carry any debt from our wedding, we just did what we could afford at the time. We had tons of family members helping out and it cut down costs:

- My aunt is a hair stylist so she did everyone's hair (and did the guys' cuts a few days before the wedding)
- My FIL is a pastor so he was the pastor/officiant (we had a church wedding)
- My SILs were both into vocal performance in college so they sang a song I chose and my BIL's wife teaches piano lessons so she did the accompaniment
- Instead of a cake I wanted cupcakes so my dad went to a GFS retail store (GFS is a big local company that sells food to restaurants, caterers, etc) and he made all the cupcakes the day before
- My sister and friend (who worked in a bakery/cookie shop) decorated all the cupcakes
- My mom's good friend loves working with food so she volunteered to cut and prepare the food (we did not have a sit-down meal but dessert and horsdevuers however the eff you spell that buffet)
- My mom helped me pick out the flowers and we ordered stuff that was in season (much cheaper), then my mom learned how to make boutineers/corsages
- My sister learned how to tie the bridesmaids' bouquets
- I made the small floral pieces that were on the ends of the church pews
- My mom and aunt arranged other bouquets for the church and reception area
- My friend is an artist and was really into making books (like binding them from scratch) at the time so she made us a guestbook
- Two of my cousins (they were high school and middle school age at the time) served various punch

So other than purchasing some supplies we didn't pay any of these people, they offered their help as their gifts to us.

Other non-family ways we cut costs:
- Since we had a church wedding, we used the church's new hall for the reception and only had to pay for one venue and since my parents go to the church we got a little break on the cost (and the AV guys gave us our video without having us pay for it)
- I used a photographer that sold me raw images so I didn't have to order tons of prints or be limited to whatever prints I ordered at the time
- Obviously we didn't go crazy with the dress, jewelry, etc
- No open bar....sure a bummer for guests but DH and I aren't big drinkers (DH can't drink a lot b/c of a medication he is on) and I wasn't going to go into debt so other people could get drunk, we had the wedding early so people were welcome to continue the party elsewhere
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:59 PM   #35 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Cassidy's Mom View Post
Totally! It should be your perfect wedding, not someone else's idea of a perfect wedding.

My mom was actually really great about not trying to impose her ideas on us, but I think that was largely because she had so little input into her own wedding. She and my dad got married at 19, and I remember her telling me and my sister that there were more of her parents friends there than her own, and her mom pretty made planned the whole thing. Of course, they were young and traditionally the bride's family paid for weddings back then, so I guess my grandmother figured if she was paying for it she could decide how everything was going to be. I thought it was sad though.

Our budget was small, and Tom and I and all our parents put in towards the total. For us, a big party was exactly what we wanted. It was more important that everyone have a good time, not that everything looked perfect or beautiful, so that's where we skimped. The food was good but simple, the venue was a nice setting but not fancy, and we had a live blues band. I didn't pay a lot for my dress, Tom's aunt made our wedding cake, and the realtor who helped us buy our house and was a friend of the family used some of his commissions to pay for most of our honeymoon.
I would love any financial help offered, but I just don't expect it (and certainly won't ask, lol)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jang View Post
I have been a florist for 20 odd years...If you need any help with flower decisions, please feel free to PM me...Congrats on you engagement...jan
Fantastic, thank you for the offer!! I know very little about flowers, so I will definitely need help

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfy dog View Post
Congratulations!!! We eloped more than 30 years ago and my wedding "gown" was a maternity dress. We have been happily married ever since. The secret? Do not try to change each other and don't sweat the small stuff but DO COMMUNICATE.
Have a great future and you already have a GSD so that's a good start.
Communication is HUGELY important to me (and thankfully to my fiance as well). For a man, he does pretty well

Quote:
Originally Posted by Liesje View Post
We didn't have a budget because we didn't carry any debt from our wedding, we just did what we could afford at the time. We had tons of family members helping out and it cut down costs:

- My aunt is a hair stylist so she did everyone's hair (and did the guys' cuts a few days before the wedding)
- My FIL is a pastor so he was the pastor/officiant (we had a church wedding)
- My SILs were both into vocal performance in college so they sang a song I chose and my BIL's wife teaches piano lessons so she did the accompaniment
- Instead of a cake I wanted cupcakes so my dad went to a GFS retail store (GFS is a big local company that sells food to restaurants, caterers, etc) and he made all the cupcakes the day before
- My sister and friend (who worked in a bakery/cookie shop) decorated all the cupcakes
- My mom's good friend loves working with food so she volunteered to cut and prepare the food (we did not have a sit-down meal but dessert and horsdevuers however the eff you spell that buffet)
- My mom helped me pick out the flowers and we ordered stuff that was in season (much cheaper), then my mom learned how to make boutineers/corsages
- My sister learned how to tie the bridesmaids' bouquets
- I made the small floral pieces that were on the ends of the church pews
- My mom and aunt arranged other bouquets for the church and reception area
- My friend is an artist and was really into making books (like binding them from scratch) at the time so she made us a guestbook
- Two of my cousins (they were high school and middle school age at the time) served various punch

So other than purchasing some supplies we didn't pay any of these people, they offered their help as their gifts to us.

Other non-family ways we cut costs:
- Since we had a church wedding, we used the church's new hall for the reception and only had to pay for one venue and since my parents go to the church we got a little break on the cost (and the AV guys gave us our video without having us pay for it)
- I used a photographer that sold me raw images so I didn't have to order tons of prints or be limited to whatever prints I ordered at the time
- Obviously we didn't go crazy with the dress, jewelry, etc
- No open bar....sure a bummer for guests but DH and I aren't big drinkers (DH can't drink a lot b/c of a medication he is on) and I wasn't going to go into debt so other people could get drunk, we had the wedding early so people were welcome to continue the party elsewhere
I admit I'm a little envious of all the help you had! I would love to have people like that in my family because I think it makes things THAT much more personal

Great call on the photographer also! I'm torn between finding someone I just LOVE and let them do everything, or do what you mentioned and just have them give me the files. I just know that I want to hire someone who is better than I am, if that makes sense. Not that I'm a wedding photographer, but I want to see a product that has a level of skill and creativity that I do not possess
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:43 PM   #36 (permalink)
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We also paid for our wedding ourselves and had a long engagement to save up for it. We focused the money on a few main things, great food, great venue, great band, open bar, and people really had a great time. Like Debbie said above, we wanted to throw a great party that people would remember. We had a stricter budget for flowers, centerpieces, etc. We also didn't do all of dances, speeches, throwing of things, just a full night of partying.
I also think etiquette is important, and theknot will really help there (things like not including registry info in invitation, thank you cards, providing food/drinks during photos, etc)
Looking back, I would have bought my dress used and saved a few hundred there (so many people even get dresses and don't wear them and sell for a great price). I would have also spent less on the cake.
I personally think our wedding was the best I've ever been to, but I could be a bit biased, lol. But my favorite weddings have been the ones with good food and drinks at beautiful places. My least favorite have been ones with typical banquet food, stuffy receptions, cheesy wedding reception songs. This helped me narrow down what I liked and didn't like. I realized I never remembered centerpieces and things like that but always remember the food and good times!
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Old 12-11-2012, 07:48 PM   #37 (permalink)
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We definitely want a unique venue and we both LOVE food I do want to do the dances/speeches/throwing of things (lol) but i don't mind cutting back on things like centerpieces (or making them myself) to be able to afford the "important" things (food, venue, etc, as you said)
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:38 PM   #38 (permalink)
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Been married 32 years as of today. No advice for the wedding. We got married in the pastors office and had a little ceremony later in the Spring at the botanical garden so our wedding was $6 plus the blood test and marriage license.....no stress in planning it.

For the marriage. one word. commitment. Love pulls you together but commitment is the glue that holds it all together.
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Old 12-11-2012, 08:59 PM   #39 (permalink)
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For the marriage. one word. commitment. Love pulls you together but commitment is the glue that holds it all together.
Commitment! Agreed! We've been married for 22 years and as a dear friend of mine put it as far as arguments or the thought of using any hurtful remarks, "Why would you bomb the boat in the harbor when you are in it together?!" Makes clear sense when you see it this way.

The "Blame-Game" is the worst. We've found that it is much more mature to look inside ourselves rather than blame the other. As my dad put it, "When you point your finger at someone else, you have three pointing back at you!"

Pre-marriage counseling with a pastor helped iron out some little things but we (unfortunately) never got to the "money" part. However, we began taking classes from Crown Financial (Dave Ramsey is good, too) through our church after marriage and ended teaching several of the classes to small groups together. Discussions about money had been an area where we felt like we were stepping on egg shells around each other before the classes.
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Old 12-11-2012, 10:12 PM   #40 (permalink)
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I am actually giving my oldest daughter and son in law a Dave Ramsey finance series at a local church - they want to do it!. I want them to do it before they stand to inherit some money when my mother passes away!

Children and Money those were our biggest fights.

Told my daughter when she got married to always be able to stand on her own two feet because you never know what life will throw at you - to me my symbol for marriage is two strong oak trees growing next to one another in a field. Each tree is independant but together they make one canopy. It is lovely to look at when the leaves are off how the trees dance together and mirror each other but are independant.
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