You're getting Married!!
Ok, perhaps you're not, but here are a few Wedding planning ideas anyway..
(Because, .. sometime... somewhere... somehow... )
Wow. This is a really long post. I know, because I just finished writing it. I don't think you are going to have time to read it!
I think I am going to have to split it into two again, ok? (Or maybe three? It's really long... )
So - in case you've been holding out for a few bits and pieces DIY ideas to save money, we'll start with those..
I love that you can see the 'Target' name on these shoes! These are cheap shoes that I covered with a scrap of the same beautiful, (and not cheap), beaded French lace that I used on the sleeves of Abby's wedding dress. The bridesmaid shoes were cheap plastic ballet flats that I covered with the same pink silk that I used for the bridesmaid dresses - which is a nice added bonus when you sew your own dresses. All you need in order to cover simple shoes is some fabric, scissors, fabric glue, and a careful hand. It's quick and pretty easy. You can do it. Wedding day shoes don't have to hold together forever..
If you take a trip to your local flower market you can buy all the flowers you will need in bunches, to bring them home and put together your own flower bouquets, button-holes and table center-pieces. You can teach yourself to make a bridal bouquet by finding a YouTube video of the arrangements you like. It's not hard! I've never had any training and I can do it, so you can too. Doing your own flowers will save hundreds of dollars at your wedding. If you don't have time, perhaps there is someone in the family or among your friends who would like to give it a go? (Pre-order to get the colours you've chosen.)
If you are thinking of making your own dress, let me just say that - as long as you either already have some sewing experience, or are willing and able to follow the directions on a pattern - I think you should be fine. I've never had dressmaking lessons, and if I can do it, you can too. It's not rocket science. I generally make my own patterns now, and find it easier than I thought it would be. One of the nice things about sewing your own dress is that you can possibly afford a much nicer material than you would be able to buy ready-made, like this medium weight pure silk in Abby's dress. And you get exactly the dress you wanted and that fits perfectly. (Hopefully!) I don't love sewing, but when you can save so much...
Another idea is to either borrow or probably hire a dress. I have heard that you can hire $10,000 designer dresses for a few hundred dollars. If I was interested in this, I think I would contact the designers I like.
We all have different priorities, and I know that the wedding car would certainly be more important to some than to others - but this is an area where it is usually very easy to save money. Unless you particularly hanker for a Rolls Royce or Bentley (and what beautiful cars they are!), the chances are good that you will have someone in your life who has an air-conditioned car that they would be willing to drive you about in. (This is James' uncle, who drove him and Abby on their wedding day.)
Invitations and Place-cards
With such ready access to colour printers, scanners, good-quality papers and to the internet, it's hard to think of a good reason not to at least consider making your own wedding stationary.
(Of course, not enough time could be a reason. Or perhaps 'I don't want to.' That works too :)
It's easy to co-ordinate all the stationary. And it really doesn't take that long to do, considering the money you save.
If you are interested, the internet lets you browse about to find ideas that you like.
I wrote about how to make these inexpensive but pretty little candles here.
Have you ever heard of a 'Pop-up Restaurant'? You start where there is nothing and you throw up a restaurant in a few hours. Intriguing thought for a wedding.. although you do have to see if you need a permit from your council. If it's a go, then you can hire a portable, noiseless generator and bring the party to you. Although your wedding would be original, you do need to factor in the cost of hiring everything to bring it on site. (And a wet weather plan.)
After calling all of the City Councils up and down the south-east coast of Queensland in search of a beach where we could hold a wedding reception, I found that while it is legal to hold a party or get-together for a large group on the beach, you cannot call it a wedding reception. One Councilor suggested we call it something else :)
Need I say more? - A kind friend who likes to DJ, some borrowed or hired equipment and a play list will save you $
Do you have any family or friends who sing or play an instrument, who may be happy to provide entertainment?
I know that none of this advice is cutting edge - its purpose is to remind you that you don't have to spend a huge amount of money to have a lovely wedding - and also to know that you can successfully manage a lot of these things yourself - if you choose to. This pretty wedding cake was made by my talented sister-in-law for our daughter Bethy's wedding. But again, a wedding cake is not necessarily hard to make. (I made my own when I got married, and I made a beautiful one for a friend some years ago, when she was trying to keep costs down. And if I can do it...) At the least, you could order a large, (actually quite yummy), chocolate mud cake from Coles bakery, and just decorate it yourself. Even some white icing, lace ribbon and fresh flowers with look pretty. You'll save several hundred dollars by making your own cake.
Touches That Cost Little.. And Mean So Much
Made by Abby
It's often the personal input that makes the day extra special...
Like these place cards made for Bethy's wedding. They are printed on the inside with a personal message from the bride and groom for each guest. The smiles on the faces of the readers say it all.
(FYI I did the flowers and made the place-cards at home.)
(FYI I did the flowers and made the place-cards at home.)
It's time to go...
You will find scores of Blogs dedicated to wedding planning. A few that I quite like (I just did a quick search) :