Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Frugal Weddings

I mentioned yesterday that K's sister's wedding was really lovely. It was. It was also a really good demonstration of the ways in which some selective frugality can make a wedding more a wonderful, albeit expensive, party than utter financial armageddon.

Some of the ways K's sister saved money:
-She bought her dress and shoes off the rack, for a total of less than $200 (she also looked totally adorable).
-She bought a white cardigan (off the rack) and used an embroidery kit her then-fiance had given her to embroider wedding-themed tattoo imagery on it. So cute! She wore it when she got cold (which was often. It was chilly).
-She made her own veil, a little beaded '30s-style number--out of, she confided, a tacky novelty wedding thong! She transported it in a hatbox that she decoupaged herself.
-She had a friend do her makeup, and another friend, a stylist, do her hair. (Again, both were really well done, and naturally, these contributions were the friends' gifts.)
-The same friend that did her makeup sang during the processional at the chapel.
-She did all of the flower arrangements herself, including her own bouquet.
-The bridesmaids weren't asked to buy new dresses, just to show up in the same color (black).
-She and her fiance negotiated a special package price with the (professional) photographer she hired based on minimizing the amount of photo editing the photographer would do and maximizing the amount that she and her now-husband (who does web design) would do themselves.
-The couple made the favors--framed family photos from both families, including pictures from both sets of parents' weddings--themselves.

In addition to these frugalities, the newlyweds are using gifts of money for two smart purposes: 1) to pay for the honeymoon, and 2) to contribute to their savings for a down payment on a condo.

What I think is really amazing here is not just that the couple (especially the bride) strategically tapped their own (substantial) creative resources and those of their friends, but also that they did it in a way that really made the wedding beautiful and intimate and memorable. Instead of considering these DIY elements sacrifices, they considered them a way to make their wedding both more personal and more communal--not to mention more playful. I think that's totally the right way to do DIY with something like this: do yourself what you can do well, recruit qualified help, pay for the rest.



P.S. For whoever found me by searching "curly haircut recommendations Portland," the salon you want is Dirty Little Secret, on NE MLK. Ask for Chai or Aimee. A cut is $40 plus tip, which to this New Yorker seems like a totally brilliant bargain.

5 comments:

3 Things About Money said...

Sounds like a wicked fun wedding, and thoughtful and one they'll remember not for the stress but the joy...thanks for the inspiring report.

Lauren said...

My husband and I approached our wedding two years ago in much the same way. We chose a few things we would splurge on, and found cheaper ways to do everything else. I found a gorgeous antique dress for less than $200 at a vintage store, a good friend gave me a fabulous hairdo, and I had no trouble doing my own nails and makeup. It was a wonderful day, and we didn't go into debt pulling it off.

I was working overseas for much of my engagement / wedding planning time -- many thousands of miles away from the nearest English-language weddings magazine. Being away from the U.S. wedding industry gave me some good perspective on budgeting and planning the wedding. When I came back home I thumbed through some of the bride magazines at the bookstore and was put off; a steady diet of those for a year or more would make a girl feel like a leper if she wasn't hiring a makeup artist, going to Vegas for her bachelorette party, etc. Bleh.

indebted credit card bride said...

Thank you for this post. i am getting married this fall and it's a big issue for me how to allocate the limited funds I have. I really, really want to go fro our honeymoon to Florida!

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