Archive for the ‘Keepin’ It Cheap’ Category

All Dressed Up

At long last….the dress is finished! I started with a plain cotton dress from ebay, added some vintage lace to the sleeves, mother of pearl buttons down the front, applique heart and of course…embroidery.



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…Tell me how elaborate I need to get with wedding favors?

The escort cards I chose happen to have a plantable paper heart attached that blooms into wildflowers (the card also says “Please Be Seeded” – amazing). The heart matches my theme, and the seeds match my green(ish) interests:

…so my question is – is that enough of a favor?


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Now that we’ve closed on the house and moved, I can turn my focus back to the wedding planning part of my life (Fun tip: Don’t ever try to close on a house/move/plan a wedding at the same time)….And being at the stage of planning that I am, that means getting out the old checkbook for some deposits – Yay…y….

Even though we’re receiving money-help from all parents, it looks like the majority of will be going towards food/alcohol (with good reason!), so there definitely will be expenses left for us to cover. And since Butch is much more interested in spending money to knock down walls in le neue chez then with what the reception centerpieces will look like, it will really end up being me who’s putting up the extra cash.

I’ve paid the catering, photography, and (am about to send) the officiant deposits, so now I can get on with some of the lesser expenses: Mainly the paper/envelopes for invites, party rental supplies, and decorations. Which may not end up being that much lesser of expenses, but I’m trying to be positive! I do know that I will be saving a BIG chunk o’ change between what I’m going to just do myself, and what family members/friends are going to help out with.

I will:
– Design/print/address/mail the invites
– Design/print escort cards 
– Make table numbers/centerpieces
– Make any other decorations (prob not too many – the venue is beautiful enough!)
– Work with one of the designers here at work to get the flowers together
– Be designing/printing photo albums afterward (with mypublisher.com)

My mom and Butch’s mom (and prob my sister) will:
– Bake pies/treats for desert table
– Help decorate

My dad will:
– Create the slideshow for cocktail hour (I need to get him pictures!)

Butch’s sister, Susan, will:
– Bake treats for desert table
– Be assisting me as DJ of the event
– Do my hair/makeup day-of

My friend Angela will:
– Create our wedding rings for us (!)

Butch will:
– Build 3 “cake-stands” for the pies
– Bake pies/treats for desert table
– Create the owl cake topper for the main pie
– Show up!

Well…while the above list definitely helps out in the long run, it’s reminding me that I really need to start getting things together on my end, especially in order for these people to help me. Onward!

Photo from All Things DIY Bride

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And by STDs I mean Save-The-Dates!

The STDs were mailed out today to the out-of-town guests (which is most everyone), so keep an eye on that mailbox! To create them, I alternately stitched and stamped the letters, and included one of my drawings that’s currently being embroidered onto the dress. Everything was then scanned in and sent off to Vistaprint to be turned into inexpensive business-card-sized magnets.

In the envelopes (off-white, bought cheaply at Staples in a box of 100) I also included a small insert (printed on off-white, linen paper, also from Staples) with more info, including mention of our wedding website, which in turn has more info into accommodations, schedule, etc…I won’t announce that url here, just in case some creepster is following my blog and wants to show up day-of dressed in nothing but my chosen flowers (dahlias, by the way, in reds and pinks).

[In case anyone who receives this package wonders why I did not address the envelopes myself…it’s mostly because my handwriting is appalling. And so when I was at Staples, I also bought some printer-safe mailing labels, in clear matte, and just used a nice scripty font. My handwriting will be revealed come Thank-You-Note time…]

Other major elements seem to be coming together lately as well. I finally got a call back from my preferred caterer of choice, and local judge (and friend of Better Farm) Sherry Pennington has agreed to serve as officiant. The only other thing I need to get to sooner than later is booking party rentals (linens, china, etc)….but since that sounds boring, I’m putting it off for a little bit longer. Onward!






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While I’m fairly set on what I do and don’t want/need for the big day, one thing I’ve been on the fence about is the entertainment. I was debating having my friend’s band play, but he’s all the way down in the City, and I would probably only have them play during dinner…which means I would need to either have him DJ the rest of the time, or scrap the band altogether and have an actual DJ the whole time.

At the recent bridal expo I went to, there were a couple of local DJs set up, playing their god-awful music while I tried to talk to photographers and eat the free food. I know people say “Oh, you can tell the DJ what songs you want” but I know better. Wedding DJs are failed musicians – they will take your suggestions with a grain of salt, play two of them and then fill the rest of the time with “Unforgettable” and “The Macarena,” because “they’re the professionals, not you.” F no!

And I know myself. If I hired someone else, I would be so overly involved in the playlist that they would either not want to deal with me and/or just tell me to do it myself. Which I think I might do. The venue has an excellent sound system already installed, and anyone who knows me knows I make a mean mixtape…so why not just create an iTunes playlist, complete with suggestions from the guests themselves?

Fellow blogger Meg from A Practical Wedding published an excellent post on the success she personally had with using a playlist instead of a DJ or band:


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Now that the venue and date is booked, there’s a little time before I have to stress about photographers and caterers for me to focus on a few fun things. I’ve been supporting independent artists as much as possible in my accessorizing, but being a crafty lady myself, there is definitely plenty I (with the help of creative family & friends) can create myself for the “big day.” One such item would be the cake, or in our case pie, topper. I did a quick scan of etsy for inspiration:


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Lately I’ve also started to plan the massive road trip part of our elopement. Our route will roughly be as follows:

Redwood, NY –> New Jersey (for Christmas) –> Maryland (visit Stacy) –> Virginia –> North Carolina –> Tennessee (Nashville, Memphis, Graceland, Dollywood, obvs) —> Louisiana/New Orleans (to get MARRIED!) –> Texas (Houston to visit Heather, Austin) –> Georgia (Atlanta to see Adam, Savannah) —> South Carolina (Charleston)  –> DC (to visit Jason) –> Back up to Redwood

I can’t help but be reminded of a roadtrip my parents took shortly after they got married – across the U.S. to the west coast and back through Canada. I’ll have to ask them for some stories/tips…since I know they did a lot of camping. Besides staying with family and friends along the way, camping seems to be the way to (cheaply) go for the most part….obviously a hotel/motel room here and there won’t hurt!

And on the note of keepin’ it cheap, my friend Charlie recently interviewed this guy, Brian Spigel, who only travels for $1000 max. He calls it A Grand Adventure – Sounds good to me!

Flowerchild camping photo from rockie nolan’s flickr

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