Wedding planning!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Mattsmom277, May 8, 2011.

  1. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    So I've been all doom and gloom and full of court related stuff lately. I thought I'd inject a little spirit of goodness into a post which I've been unable to do lately.

    Our official wedding date is set for New years eve 2012. Yes, its a year and half away, I know lol. We are so on a tight budget though and paying it all ourselves. So we have no choice but to plan early and pay for things one at a time to check off our list, meaning every few weeks we will be taking care of some detail or another in order to not leave ourselves short at the last minute. We're both committed to not spending a penny on this wedding via credit, neither credit cards nor bank loans. We both are very excited to be married and want it to be very special, but at the same time we're both the practical sort and we both can't stand debt.

    We've started talking "details" the past few days, so it is feeling very real now. Our wedding day will be the day of our 8th anniversary, and we are getting married the same place we met, on the night we met. I am excited already, is it obvious? It is so nice to have a project to plan that feels special and wonderful and right, especially given such other deep, darker stuff going on. It will be my light at the end of the tunnel so to speak.

    So ladies (and the few gents we have on our board!), creative ideas for super budget minded people? We really don't have any real "vision" so we're open to all ideas. We both absolutely love Christmas and the entire holiday season, so given the time of year it will be, we're going to sort of base our decor and clothing on that idea to a degree. For example, easy child is going to be my maid of honor and I'm having my cousin as my sole brides maid. They will both be wearing dark burgandy type colored gowns, think that gorgeous deep color, sort of like the perfect color dark wine. S/O will of course have a tux with a splash of color somehow to match the colors. Matt will be giving me away (Swoon!!!!!!!!!! I am going to cry before we even get through the door having him do that for me) and have a tux, as will S/O's brother who is best man and my cousins partner who will be a groomsman. Other than that, we are going for simple but elegant, within our budget, but we also want some special touches to make it memorable somehow.

    You all always have great ideas for most everything asked on the board. So ladies, whatcha got for me? I'm going to start a book of ideas so your ideas will go into it so I don't forget them.

    I'm hoping to find a few unique ideas for a few special things throughout the reception but no clue what I really mean by that or what is appropriate. Frankly I've only attended 3 weddings my entire life so not much to base it on.
  2. Star*

    Star* call 911

  3. Jena

    Jena New Member

    no way i love love weddings!!!

    so, tell me where are you having the ceremony and will there be a reception?? ok ballpark on the budge also! i've always wanted to be a wedding planner! cute your soo excited good for you guys!
  4. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    ROFLMAO Too true in many ways Star! We had thought of it to be honest. Taking the kids with us and going somewhere warm and that's that. But then we decided we really wanted to have a wedding. We are simple people really in our tastes, and even if we had a big budget we'd neither of us want to spend tons on a wedding. But there was something to the location we've chosen that is so special to us and we both just want to do it here where we met and fell in love :). His mother is a huge part of that decision too. He's the baby, and her baby totally lol. She's a very sweet woman and frankly, more of a mother as a in law than my mother ever was. She has been there for us through some heavy stuff and so supportive and she's always wanted to see us married. I know she'd see us off with a smile if we just bolted to tropics or something lol. But inside a part of her would be sad to miss it. I'm looking forward to it myself :). I am strange in that I know it won't stress me to plan, and if not everything is perfect? I'm not the type to work up about it, more likely to laugh and it can join the story of the great wedding disaster of 2012 or something. Comic material for the future lol. So to me it is going to be fun to plan. We aren't having a ton of guests, so that simplifies things. Likely there will be perhaps 50 people give or take, but not even in a huge stretch of insanity could we or would assemble a list of guests we'd actually want there to be more than 60 people. That keeps a ton of the stress down too.

    So, Star ... ideas? lol Any that don't involve eloping, or donkey's? ;)
  5. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Ahhhhhhh rats - you nixed the donkey.
  6. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Thanks Jena :) I already described to Star how small it will be.

    We went back and forth on where to do the ceremony. We've decided it's going to be a one stop shopping experience lol. The venue is also going to be the reception location.

    We met while we were both living here on the military base. It was New Year's eve and we both attended the gala at the Officer's Mess. I was friends with his sister and she introduced us. At midnight I'd gone outside for air, and some insanity came over me when I went back indoors. S/O was standing near a pillar by himself. Everyone else was mingling and doing the rounds of hugs and kisses etc. He was new to the area and didn't know anyone. I walked past to go get a glass of wine, spotted him there, he smiled at me, I smiled back and as I passed him for some reason I lost my mind or something. I'm not brave about men lol. I said something like "We're the only 2 people not getting a new year's kiss. We should do something about that". He burst out laughing and I swear I about fell over. His laughter just tickled me somehow (still does! I love his laugh, it's catchy, we laugh a lot!) and I fell right there. I think the clincher was the twinkle of mischief in his eyes. He thought I was kidding of course, but we both somehow got the giggles and I leaned in and planted him with one right there. We looked a bit shocked I think at each other. I swear I was so uncool. I shocked myself, I'm not the bold type. I turned around and went straight away from him to get my wine. He followed me outside a while later (I smoke) and we spent the next few hours talking and ignoring the party. He came back to my place for coffee with his sister and brother in law and they stayed until the sun came up. And here we are :). We were inseparable after that!

    So we're having the wedding and the reception at this large rental space above the Officers Mess at the military base. It is often booked for receptions and they do a very good job and handle many details other places charge you extra for. They have the typical things available for free with the booking, arches if you want to decorate some, slip covers for chairs, etc etc. The provided table coverings and chair covers etc are crisp white, so we'll want to embellish on our own. It is a beautiful large room with a huge sunk in dance floor area, a separate bar off to the side, and gorgeous rest rooms with powder rooms etc.
  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Can you watch things like the wedding show with David Tutura? If so, then take some of his look and try to copy it on a budget. I think you can make really pretty twinkly lights using clear xmas lights in spray painted branches. or maybe heavy dried grasses that you spray white and silver. Of course there is the floating votive candles.

    Since you have so much time, for the reception, do a video slideshow of pictures of your family from when you met till the wedding. Have someone bring in the largest tv you can find.
  8. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Yes I have a ton of cool ideas since you are planning so far out in advance.

    You can get Holmes on Homes to come and build you a deck for your back yard - and need a BESTIE for the Maid of something and he'll have to stay - and as your 'whatever' I'll dress in like attract his attention. And then we'll have a cupo something somewhere......and go talk about anything in Canada...and.....Oh wait this was your wedding right......I just need a good man to come fix my house and a little eye candy wouldn't hurt either. I swear I'm so old now that romance doesn't turn me on - hardware stores do.

    Lemme see - WHAT about - color? You're going to have a NEW YEARS EVE Wedding right? So how about advertising NOW on Craigslist for ANYONES LEft over NYE party favors! and use those to decorate?

    Is that a theme you could do or do you want a weddingy (snort - dingy) theme?

    Lets start there .........cause this could go one way or the other -

    I mean I will write David Tutera on your behalf if you want - OMG did you see the PIrate theme he did? I mean I like him stuff, but it largely gets to be I LOVE YOU DAVID - and then in my humble opinion because as far as a wedding goes (FOR ME-----now FOR ME) I think it should be focus on GOD and VOWS - not POP-ZING and when the ideas go over the top? I get a little worried about the focus - you know - WHO is this really supposed to be about

    So lemme know that first ------then we'll get the ideas going with the gang.
  9. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Ahhhhhh see.......another Tutura girl on board......already!! hahaha. (OMG do we watch too much TV or what) goodness!

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    If we have grass at our wedding? We're smoking it............prarie grass.......what were YOU thinking.....? I'm thinking blessing.......tch tch my my
  11. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    Some things I've seen done lately ( I live in the land of weddings and many of my friend and families kids are getting married):
    1. Many girls are renting their dresses-they get to wear expensive gowns and pay only a couple hundred to rent
    2. A very simple/beautiful center peice I saw recently was a small round fish bowl with a single flower-I've seen these at the dollar store
    3. One wedding had the little cream puffs without cream, but a very nice chicken salad in them. Girl's mom made the salad and bought chicken on sale-went a long way (the whole reception was just little nibbles, no big meal but elegant)
    4. Could you find burgundy colored pointsettias for some of your flowers? Around here they go on sale cheap as door busters and I have seen burgundy.
    5. Find a local person who does cakes out of their house. One of my student's mom makes gorgeous cakes at a fraction of the bakery prices.
    6. Do you have a Trader Joes near by? If you will be serving wine, I hear they have very nice cheap wines there.
    7.Local college is a great place to find wonderful musicians from their music department and cheap as well. You can find anything from jazz to a string quartet.
    8. Single card announcements are everywhere and cheaper than those that fold and need tissue paper, you can do them yourself if you have a nice printer and save loads (we've seen many of these with photos in the last couple year
    9.Our dollar store has some cute stuff-don't know what your looking for or your taste but, many have a wedding section
  12. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    HAHA You always make me smile Star!!

    Okay, so we're going budget, but not grungy. Does that help? lol

    The men in the wedding party will be in tuxes. I will be wearing a very simple but traditional white gown. The females in the party will have floor length simple but elegant dark burgandy/maroon colored dressed. Seeing as it is also everybody else's new years eve celebration, we plan to do it formal. Give everyone a double reason to dress up and whoop it up. We do however also want a relaxed atmosphere. So formal in dress code and elegant tables, decorations. But the rest? We want it to be fun and relaxed and for everyone to just have a great time. We do plan to put out a midnight buffet, but about 11 instead of 12, and then bring out favors for ringing in the new year.

    There won't be too many older people there, most will be middle aged. We will have a "teen table" for easy child and her "escort", and a few other family teens and their dates. We want something fun for them for when their eyes glaze over. So we're setting up a small karaoke section and bring rock band for them, there is a smaller room attached to the reception room that will be perfect and they can go in there whenever they like to fart around.

    The hall already has some pretty amazing dj equipment as well as the karaoke system and a full bar type karaoke catalogue. We have a friend who is going to dj for us, she's great. No band or anything. My loud goofball friend will be our MC. He's a total drama king and funny as all get out and he'll be perfect and set the one hopefully for it to be fun. We do want the elegant look, but we're down to earth and we want people dancing, and lots and lots of laughing. Otherwise I'll feel it was a disaster. No serious faces allowed lol.

    I can't say what our final "budget" would be. I don't think we have a real "budget" in mind. We just want nothing outrageous, we don't need all the bells and whistles and the absurd themes and costs associated with them.

    We want the focus on us, our happiness of our special day, and on our loved ones. Given the small invitation list, everyone there will be very close family we enjoy and are very bonded and comfortable with, and dear friends that share in our every day lives. That should go a long way to helping it feel intimate and focused on the real reason we are there. Then about 11 p.m. we plan to switch the mood to feel new year's eve-y and festive and let everyone have a more traditional news years eve party feel. The thing is, we'd be with a lot of these people celebrating in a family fashion for new years anyhow lol. So it will really feel more like we're just having a family get together that we all are used to, with the added joy of us getting married.

    S/O's family have seen him transform himself and his life and are so happy for him. They have a special place in their hearts for the baby of the family. He's sort of everybodies favorite. On my side, the family that WILL be invited, are the ones who have always known I'm there for them and in recent years have really been there for me with my MS diagnosis and this stuff with my father, and with deciding to remove my mother and brother from my life. I'm also the baby, other than the new generation which is MY kids lol. And one cousin who has a teen boy we all love. But to them all, I'm the baby. I know they have all wanted me to find real joy in my life and have seen me go through a lot since I was a child, and I doubt there will be many dry eyes. It will have that kind of vibe I'm very certain. Everyone knows the gift I believe S/O to be in our lives and for our family. And I know they view him that way too. Both families are warm and welcoming, the hug and kiss type, demonstrative and for some reason both sides seem to hyper focus on enjoying the S/O and me "grand love affair". I do believe it will be very romantic and the focus I do not want to be on some chintzy "pirates of panzance" theme or anything hahahahaha. It most definitely should demonstrate that this is a day that we will both remember, that my kids have wanted for a very long time. The symbolism of Matt giving me away will not leave many dry eyes let me just say. And easy child, my tomboy, can't wait to be my maid of honor and claim S/O as a "real" step father. So any thing that gets over the top will distract in my mind.

    I love the idea of the tv slideshow Janet! The venue actually has plenty of screens to show them on as a matter of fact.

    easy child is also going to play us a classical piece on keyboard at some point of my choosing throughout the night.

    We will likely have the ceremony at about 5p.m. with dinner around 6:30 so that it isn't a whole day event. I also like the idea of it being dark outside, meaning the lighting inside can really set the mood without sun coming in.
  13. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Are you trying to come up with linens and centerpieces for the hall? Or are you more concerned with budget for flowers for the church?

    I have an idea for the centerpieces - and OH are they cheap - easy to make and beautiful. Won't take much - just have to find some trees/branches - spray paint - glitter and a few Dollar store TALL glass vases - to start. Do you have a place up there like a Flower Factory or a Flower Warehouse? Or a Glass Warehouse?
  14. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Star, I'm trying to come up with a way to jazz up basic white linens on the tables (hall supplies nice white clothes etc but we want some color so we want to add on or something). We need to figure out centerpieces, favors, etc. The hall is also the venue since we aren't having a church wedding. There is a separate area we will convert for the ceremony then put to right, it is actually the sunk in large dance area. We will transform it for the ceremony and then have chairs etc removed afterward to resurrect the dance floor. So I guess I need to find a way to make that area look special for the ceremony. I'd like to maybe (?? not sure ???) do something a bit unique with the ceremony area. Not the typical big arch decorated to stand under with a runner down the middle and chairs lined up on both sides in rows. Since the guest list isn't large, I'm hoping to find a creative way to stage that area and make it look attractive, but also create a coziness perhaps. Something a little different that feels like a family gathering, not a "show", does that at all make sense? Hard to explain a vague vision that even I can't picture lol.

    The food part is easy, they offer staff on site to cater the meal, prices are good so I'll work with them on the menu. The midnight buffet will be self serve cold things, so no biggie there. I am going to try to find someone local to do a special cake that will be elegant, small, no overkill. Never really checked out wedding cakes so not sure what is exactly right for a small personal wedding cake? Or how to incorporate wedding colors or anything. I'm going to have to read me some wedding magazines or something lol. I truly am winging it since I'm clueless about weddings.

    I'd like to also find some way to really express just how special all our guests are. Since it is going to be ONLY our nearest and dearest, a generic "thanks for coming, blah blah blah" doesn't feel right.

    So yeah. I need colors, decorations, linens, centerpieces, favors, ideas on what isn't tacky regarding alcohol. That's a biggie. There will be a cash bar as provided by the hall. Most of us don't drink at family events but this is a wedding and will be new years so we're having the hall provide the bar (costs us nothing, that is all good). We do think we should put some wine on the tables, but how much do you provide at tables? Don't want people passing out in their wine, S/O and I both will not be drinking at all but want our guests to have the option.

    what else goes into wedding planning? lol I'm sure I don't know but am probably leaving out a ton of things.

    What are tacky things you've all seen people do? As in, give me a DO NOT DO IT list please lol. And if something stood out to you all at a wedding as being really a great touch, would love to hear that too.

    I will be making all of the decorations and centerpieces etc on my own likely, with help from my super crafty cousin. I believe I'll do my own bouquet etc as well. I don't want a ton of flowers. I loved the dark burgandy poinsetta suggestions for putting around, I'd thought of it myself, thinking that might be a nice touch given the season. I do enjoy flowers but don't want flowers to be cascading everywhere etc. My idea of elegant is less can be more if the less is done right, does that make sense?
  15. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    I don't know where this idea came from, but wondering if it is tacky and cheesy or if it could be a nice touch? You know those luminaries at things like the breast cancer walks? They are usually white paper bags with light sand inside for weight and a votive candle inside? THey then line the track etc with them in honor of those you've lost to cancer? Well I was wondering, since this is a small thing with only those really close to us, would it be cheesy to have luminaries prepared, and have guests on their way in stop at a large table set up with some colored markers or something on it, and put their wishes for us on one each? We could then have them lit to light our path down the isle? I'm trying to think of a way to have our small gathering of people feel involved and do something a bit different? But tacky is NOT on my list, so honesty ladies lol
  16. Jena

    Jena New Member

    our wedding just last july we had in our backyard. it was about the same 50 people, actually 35 showed. so it was very small yet really nice. i should post some pics of what we did with the tables.

    i went to the dollar store and i bought the fish bowls that we already mentioned. i than bought floating tea candles (they come in colors) to match my color scheme. i floated one flower in the bowls and i filled the bottom with rocks we found at the beach. i think sheesh memories bad. anyway was super cheap and looked classy and added some shimmer to the tables at night.

    for our wedding favors i made a cd for everyone. it was also super cheap. i made the label myself you can download free cd labels on the easy child. i was doing the labels up to the night before the wedding. it was really easy i chose alot of songs, our weding song. we had our kids dance down the aisle, we have 5 kids together so that was our wedding party. the favors looked really pretty. i wrote thank you in on them cd covers and you can chose which design on the covers with the free download thingy.

    also on the table i bought also cheap dried roses and sprinkled them on the tabletops. i chose roses as my centerpieces i got a great deal on them. i had summer colors though, i think they were peach, yellow and some pink. winter you could do red that would pop on the white table clothes also...... and you could do a winter theme maybe.... snowflakes, winterwonderland etc...

    i kept it simple and simple worked for me. i didnt' want anything too crazy that's not me.

    i find it you pick a bold bright color for your centerpieces, and throw in that lighting i spoke of with the tealight candles and some dried roses on the table, than you'll also have the cd's at each table it really makes the table look nice.

    some ppl lately are doing larger centerpieces tall ones and hanging what looks like to me necklaces, beading etc. from the actual centerpiece.
  17. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Oooohhh more wonderful ideas! I'm liking this, getting a picture in my head now!!!!!!

    And I love the CD idea too! Very creative and I absolutely refuse to do those mint packets or fruit cake packets. never had a problem with other people doing it, but to me it seems so generic. I like the idea of personal touches.

    I'd love to see pictures of your tables Jena.
  18. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Okay - Tall Glass Leaded Vases - (Dollar Store) $1.00 each - or any glass outlet place -

    Then you take branches from either maple or Dogwood if you can find them - (Long and kinda twisted)

    Paint snow white and while wet? Throw OPAL-ESSENCE glitter - on them - to make them sparkle like snow _NOT silver glitter this is smaller - like fairy dust

    Then you get DARK RUBY red /burdandy glass marbles and fill the vases - and put the branches inside them

    On Each of the branches you can find VERY inexpensive (and now abundant) silver or GOLD depending on your choice - ornaments, and tasteful little wedding flowers and wire them to the branches and hang them on the branches - even hot glue a few small - very small delicate winter flowers not over done - just tasteful

    Then in the center of that? You could put a flickering non-flame candle down inside

    The dark beads hide the branches - And the white with the fairy dust will glitter with the flickering candle......

    The ornaments are for your guests to take with them - because on them - in hand written style - you put your name and the DATE -

    Personally being so close to Christmas - I think tiny little bells and doves and tiny little glittery snow flakes would be pretty and if you can find hand blown pearlessent balls /ornaments - you can fill them with whatever you like and hang them from the branches as well - you can put Silver confetti in them - burgandy confetti - poinsettias in them -

    laughing - (apparently not an original idea)

    People are even putting candles (votives) in the branches, butterflies, crystals -
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Do you have an adult school or high school vocational program nearby that has a flower arranging/horticulture program? You can get amazing displays there for really good prices. Check Michaels or other craft stores for clearance favor bags...I've found all different colors/styles in some really pretty fabrics. Same with your ribbons.

    A culinary school might offer cake decorating, if you don't know anyone who can decorate.

    If you want an arch to walk under, try thrift stores or Freecycle. I'm thinking a winter wonderland, with burgundy accenting white and a silvery ice blue, just a tiny bit of blue in it, kind of opalescent that picks up the other colors and reflects them.

  20. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    They have Dove Promises, and also Hershey's - "Hugs and Kisses from the new Mr. & Mrs." - ok it's corny, but...

    A friend handed out wildflower seeds - I am allergic, but I thought it was cute.