Next weekend, The Irish Charmer and I are getting married. This being a second wedding for us both, we decided to keep things simple. After watching a couple of reality shows where the bride loses her mind over the dress or the details of the big day, I knew I didn't want to go there. I want to enjoy every minute. Our goal has been to share this moment with the people we love in relaxed setting, without going bankrupt, or crying for hours. So far, we have managed to keep the cost around $1,000. I thought someone might benefit from what we learned.
* Location - I like to say we are having a party with a time-out to get married. We decided to have both the wedding and reception at my cousin's house. Her husband even installed a misting system on the patio. What a guy! Even though it is an evening wedding, it is still Arizona in June. Not renting a church or hall saved a lot of money. Of course, I have bought a gift for them to say thank you.
* Drinks - I bought the beer, sodas, and water over a holdiay weekend. I checked the local flyers and discovered Frys grocery store had them on sale cheaper than Costco.
* The Dress - Can be a huge expense. My sister loaned me hers, but I soon discovered I would have been overdressed for this simple wedding. Instead, I found a cute white sundress for $100 at Pennys. They had a wide selection of white sundresses to choose from and some were less expensive.
*Shoes - Kohls turned out to be the perfect place to buy heeled sandals. I received a ten dollars off card in the mail and the shoes were on sale. I paid about $12 for the shoes. Great deal!
*Food - Catering is not cheap. Costco couldn't be beat for food. Yesterday we loaded our cart with frozen appetizers we will heat up that day. Tip: to get them all in the freezer, I had to take the plastic packages out of their cardboard containers. I saved the preparation directions and tossed the rest of the boxes.
*Extra expenses - Relatives and friends want to help, so let them as long as they don't have outlandish ideas. I have wonderful people in my life who want to be a special part of our big day. My adult daughter is taking me out to get my nails, hair, and makeup done. It will be a wonderful bonding moment. My sister is paying for the minister who is a friend of hers from work. My aunts and uncles are bringing coolers and long tables. And a friend from work is providing 20 of the chairs. We are renting the rest from a place with reasonable prices.
*The cake - The Irish Charmer and I were going to get a sheet cake. We didn't want to spend a huge amount of money on a traditional wedding cake. My daughter said the resorts are using cupcakes these days so my mother is ordering dozens of red velvet cupcakes. We have three towers to put them on for a decorative display.
*Decorations - Don't forget your local dollar store. I bought eight centerpieces; simple glass bowls to float roses inside. My mother donated satin rose petals for the table. I did splurge for bubble tubes, candy, and the netting to put them in at Party City. I'm sure I could have found it cheaper elsewhere, but I was running out of time to compare prices. They did have satin ribbon for only 59 cents. Cheaper than most places I had checked for ribbon.
* Photography - Again, this is a second marriage so we didn't feel the need to spend hundreds of dollars on pictures. I bought a package of fun cameras to place around on the tables for guests to use and we are also bringing digital cameras. I'm confident there will be enough photographs to capture the spirit of the day.
* Flowers - I could have ordered flowers at Costco, but Frys has them for about ten dollars a dozen. I ordered 3 dozen and with floral tape and ribbon will make my bouquet and the flowers the ladies standing up with me will hold, plus the roses for the centerpieces. Much cheaper than going through a florist.
Overall, I am very happy with what we have accomplished. I haven't lost my mind and am enjoying every moment. And at the end of the evening, we will be happily wed. That is what matters most.