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Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

Last post Thu, Oct 27 2011 8:40 PM by smiles. 21 replies.
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  • Sat, May 21 2011 7:15 AM

    • smiles
    • Top 150 Contributor
    • Joined on Tue, Jun 15 2010
    • Midwest
    • Posts 312

    Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    We are so excited that our daughter is engaged to a really wonderful guy-so now we started to plan our first wedding! It was a sticker shock moment when we started with the reception planning. ANY advice my fellow stretchers can give about planning a wedding would be really appreciated.
  • Sat, May 21 2011 4:23 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    congrats!!!   do a search for frugal weddings.   I know that a smaller group of guests is cheaper lol   or getting married on a odd day like friday nite can make things cheaper.  really depends on your dd, what is she willing to do.    There are beautiful dresses at value village for example here.  dress store samples.. buy off the rack bridesmaid dresses..that is what I did. my sister had a little blk dress so got my friend one for $30 and the flower girl (12) got one from reitmans ..they paid for it but I was going too.  a velvet forest green one.   make your own decorations..

    just have wine and beer or punches..  I don't know what your beliefs are about acholol.  

    you can buy wedding invites at micheals to print at home.  so many more options then I when I got married 11 yrs ago. no micheals here, printing your own wasn't really an option.

    I also went for a lovely place so decorations needed were minimal and the wedding and reception was at the same place. manor house.  I got my dress at a sample store..designer raw silk..what I wanted for $500 . we ended up buying dh tux at international clothers because it was cheaper then renting. 

    time to sit down with dd and find out what is important to her for $$$ and what isn't. f

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Sat, May 21 2011 6:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

       Best wishes to your family!

     Consider a non-traditional venue for the reception ... one of my cousins was married in and had the reception at a park conservatory. (Didn't have to buy any flowers for the ceremony, LOL)    DH and I were married at and had our reception at a  historic house ..   My DN and her hubby were married at a golf club ...

     Time to ask DD and her fellow what they want ... full meal, a band, full bar? Or not?

    DH and I opted for a "cocktail-type" reception .. with finger food and wine and beer,  then cake, rather than a full meal. The house had a piano, so we hired a guy to play for both the ceremony and reception.   In my cousin's case, the family pitched in to supply food; one of his sisters made the wedding cake.

    Hopefully, Zohner will see this; her DD is getting married, and she's mentioned things they're doing for the reception.


  • Sat, May 21 2011 9:53 PM In reply to

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    Hopefully, Zohner will see this; her DD is getting married, and she's mentioned things they're doing for the reception.

    Our DD is getting married in August. 

    The marriage ceremony is scheduled for the LDS Temple in Seattle, WA, but there will be 2 receptions, since many of the grandparents would have difficulty travelling that far, but still wish to be part of the celebration. 

    The one that will be the evening of the reception will be more of a light dinner/cold plate type of reception, & DD & her fiance are doing that one, while the one here in UT ( at our expense) will be more of of a "cake & punch" type of reception, although we are actually serving cream puffs & eclairs instead of cake, since that is what DD wants.  I will bake a couple of gluten-free poppyseed bundt cakes that will be on a separate serving table with a couple of small gold frames that hold little signs that say "for our gluten-free guests" , since there are multiple relatives that cannot eat anything containing gluten & we want them to feel welcome also. The location is our ward meetinghouse, which is already reserved (there is no charge to reserve an LDS meetinghouse, but you have to be member of the ward or stake. Since we do not drink alcohol as LDS, that saves a bunch of $$!

    I already have several vases full of silk wine-red roses, one for each end of the reception line.  It was a blessing that the new meetinghouse happened to be decorated in the "red package", instead of the blue or green package, since that means all the carpets, etc already match DD's colors.  I already owned glass snack plates & cups in 2 patterns (this is our 3rd wedding), & DD is using the grapevine design plates, with the 2 matching punchbowls & ladles we already own.

    I purchased 6 packages of 2-pack large napkins in wine red, which will sit on the center of the 90" round white tablecloths.  I already had the tablecloths for the small table where the book will be, & purchased long tablecloths in wine red when they were on sale, along with the napkins I already mentioned at Kmart. I have several white damask long tablecloths that we will also use on the table with the punchbowls.  We are setting up  ten 70" tables.  I made 11 centerpieces from ivy bowls, silk roses to match the others, & black pebbles.

    The bridesmaid dresses are ordered & on the way UPS as I type. www.formalwear_outlet.com was suggested to us as a place with reasonable prices.  Choir dress companies are a good place to find nice dresses in ALL sizes, too, if the color are darker.


  • Sat, May 21 2011 11:39 PM In reply to

    • MarthaMFI
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Apr 16 2008
    • New Westminster, BC, Canada
    • Posts 10,850

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    We had a cocktail party wedding too during the day 12-4 so that worked for most people.   

    My friend got married last year and my kids were in the wedding party. We got dd flower dress off ebay for $18 ..same one from the wedding store $100 or more I am sure.   Brand new just a dress store that sells on ebay. they had different styles lots of colours. so we got one to match the brides colours.

    Officially recognized Stretchpert in Hobbies and Crafts
  • Sun, May 22 2011 7:03 AM In reply to

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    I bought my dress at a bridal consignment shop.  These shops generally carry dresses that were made within the past 3 years.  My dress was a sample so I was the first person to ever wear it; I paid about 1/3 of the orginal cost.  Most of these shops also carry bridesmaid and mother-of-the-bride dresses, veils, some shoes, and other accessories.

    Ask around about photographers, DJs and so forth.  I found people who were in start-ups; they had been photographing (or whatever) as a side business b/c they didn't have enough business to do it full-time.  Yet.  These individuals were a lot cheaper than those who did it as a full-time business.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Sun, May 22 2011 9:15 AM In reply to

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    Next year dh and I will be renewing our vows in a full cermony unlike our orginal wedding we will be paying for everything out of our own pocket so I'm keeping a very close eye on the cost. 

    The clothing for the bridal party is going to be made either by me or a friend of mine who's a seamstress. I will be supplying the fabric and notions the wedding party will be asked to pay for the labor. If this is an option for you now is the best time to get the fabric since it's prom season and most of the fabric stores are having sales.  The groomsmen will be doing a poorman's tux look with them wearing black suits, white shirts with the vest, bow tie and hankerchief matching the color of the gowns. Once the wedding is over we are asking that anyone who doesn't wish to keep their gown donate it to a local chairty that lets girls get their prom gowns for free.

    We found blank invitions at wally world a box of 50 was $19 that we can print out on our computer. There are also several sites that offer e invitaions for free which will save stamps and trees.

    I found 252 white silk roses on e bay for $36.99 which I'm going to dye the wedding colors (rainbow). I also found the bouquet collars and handles fairly inexpensive there as well. I've spent $169 for all the flowers (pedals for the flower girl, 6 bouquets, 8 boutienrs, mother of the bride coursagae, table/hall decoration and pew/alter flowers) doing it this way.

    Watch sales circulars for craft stores some have 40% off coupons for anything in the store every week others have them every few weeks.

    One of our ds's is a jr fire fighter for a local station. To rent out the hall is normally $200 for 6 hours if he's still a jr next year then it will cost us $50 for the hall. We're still thinking about the food one thought that has been tossed around was a pot luck reception with the guest bringing a dish to pass.

    thrift is a sign of intelligence, any fool can spend money

    A merry heart does good like a medicine; but a broken spirit drieth the bones. Proverbs 17 verse 22
  • Sun, May 22 2011 9:28 AM In reply to

    • Brandy
    • Top 10 Contributor
    • Joined on Wed, Mar 28 2007
    • Saving in South Mississippi
    • Posts 25,145

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

     Weddings should be a memorable moment but they don't have to be financial headaches.

    Dollar Tree and other bargain places now offer really nice decorations at affordable prices. If the bride isn't opposed to a second hand gown; check out thrift stores for some really good prices on what would normally be very expensive gowns or even other bridal pieces.

     Think stretchy for thefood at a reception. Soup, bean dishes even pasta may be more affordable than fancy dishes that cost a fortune to lay out.


    The Dollar Stretcher Community Manager

  • Sun, May 22 2011 2:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

    I agree with Brandy on the Dollar Tree for some decorations and adding some stretchy food items.  Like any good party, all you need is 1 or 2 "wow" factors and the rest can be just comfortable.

    Another thought I've seen before is getting people to give wedding/reception items as the gift -- a friend who bakes cakes can give the couple a cake for the reception; grandma can make 1 or 2 of her grandchild's favorite dishes for reception; a seamtress friend can make a simple gown or the bridesmaid gown(s); etc.

    Officially Recognized Stretchpert in the General forum
  • Tue, May 31 2011 8:45 AM In reply to

    • lyndap
    • Not Ranked
    • Joined on Tue, May 31 2011
    • Posts 2

    Re: Our Daughter is Engaged-Wedding Planning

     I'm getting married next Spring and have learned a few things:  Never mention "Wedding".  The vendors have all the same items but have a new menu with a marked up cost.  We went to a hotel a few hours away we frequent and told them we were interested in doing a family reunion.  They were extremely reasonable.  When they heard we recently got engaged, they showed us all the wedding stuff and said there was a $10k food & bev minimum for the same exact kind of party/food. 

     Eventually we settled on a local restaurant beside a marina on the water that will host both the wedding and reception.  They do not usually open to the public for lunch on Saturdays so we reserved the place until 3pm, and we aren't having to make up the difference in what they would have earned had we not been there.  They are also very flexible re food & bev choices.  We talked with them about a brunch & a signature cocktail like a mimosa, and he told us it is actually more cost effective to do by head by hour for open bar & we are limiting the open bar hours to 2.  the per person per hour rate will include all soft drinks milk juice etc etc for the entire period not just the 2 hours.  He is also going to lower the per person cost if we bring our own wine & champagne, but won't allow us to bring our own liquor (need liquor license etc for that).

    I was married before & had the big Italian traditional wedding and large reception (180 people at the reception).  This time I am inviting the people I know I will stay in touch with, not the people that my parents feel obligated to invite.  Our goal is to share our day with the all people we know & love that have supported us all these years.  That is really what it OUGHT to be about.  In that vein, we're going to do a FUN wedding reception, and I have already prepped the extended family who is traveling the furthest that it will be fun, but not traditional.

     We are not using a florist.  I was on stumbleupon.com & found the wedding sites and blogs with zillions of ideas.  I came across brooch bouquets and figured I could pull that off for less than what they sell on Etsy.com (also a great site for supplies, jewelry, crafts etc, as is recycledbride.com).   My bouquet is made up of jewelry now that I have put together, from goodwill, flea markets, and donations from friends & family (so there is sentimental stuff in there too).  It's not together yet, and will require some effort, but I get to keep it and not have to pay an arm & leg to "preserve" it or make it into potpourri.

     I was originally going to do the centerpieces with Egg Carton flowers (found on wedding site) which you can do for cheap but they are a little labor intensive.  If you had a group of gals with an assembly line it would be fun.... but ended up doing my toss bouquet with them instead.  My mother was determined to use her Stampin' Up supplies to do my flower centerpieces, so I have bought her all the paper supplies & she is having fun with her girlfriends putting them together.  The vases are donations from freecycle, goodwill, and good friends.  In the end, I cannot remember a wedding I've attended where I actually remember what the centerpieces looked like.  So... why spend so much money on them?

     Instead of a big bridal portrait, we bought a new digital frame (my birthday present) and loaded up pictures of the two of us together & growing up to put on the guest table.  People eat that stuff up, especially the ones that didn't know you growing up.

     For the guest book, rather than spend $30-$50 on a book where even in a big wedding only the first few pages have signatures... we're having a friend take pictures of our guests (either with fun props or without) and then sign a sheet of paper.  We'll upload to snapfish or some other similar program and get a book bound with both pictures and names.

    Sign up for AC Moore & Michaels emails, which tip you off on sales & send you coupons.  If you're buying your own wine, check your grocery store.  I get Harris Teeter emails that let you know when there are specials on wine, and they always have a case or sometimes half-case mix & match discount in addition to whatever the sale price is on the wine you choose. Costco or Sams is also a decent deal when you compare to what you could have paid.

    The trick to reducing your guest list is trying to figure out who you'll actually keep in touch with in 5 years or 10 years.  If you feel like you should invite your coworkers, but have the kind of relationship where if you lost or quit your job you would never hear from them, they should not be the highest priority.

     I wanted a dress I found by scouring dress designer sites, and finally found a place locally that sells that designer.  Though I wanted to spend less than $350, turns out the dress was discontinued.  This boutique said they could get it mail order, sight unseen (so I can't tell how it would actually look on me) for $275.   In the meantime she said I had to try on dresses from this designer to figure out what size to order anyway.  Not only was I trying on those dresses, but she brought some others.  My friends nearly tied me down and forced me to buy a certain dress which we thought was over budget, but as it turned out, it was on clearance for $99 (because it was a much older style & last one around).  It wasn't exactly like what I wanted, but I walked out with it anyway.  It fits nearly perfectly and is incredibly flattering, just needs to be taken up, add a bustle button, and pull up the halter; all minor changes a seamstress friend can make.

    If you spend a bunch of money and then have to order your dress months ahead (so they can make it according to your measurements) it should FIT YOU LIKE A GLOVE when it comes back.  Alas, they generally do not and then you pay hundreds to get it altered to work. 

     I have no bridesmaids.  This wedding & reception is supposed to include everybody closest to me, so how do I choose?  I'm wearing purple shoes with my gown, and on my webpage I'm asking the ladies who want to be considered honorary bridesmaids to also wear purple shoes (any kind) as a show of sisterhood.  My relatives and friends are having the best time with the shoe shopping!

     Good luck.  Check out the book "Bridal Bargains" with lots of fabulous tips.  Don't let the wedding industry take advantage of you!  This is a day to celebrate, not to go into debt on details nobody will remember.



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