February 2009

I have added a couple books to the “Books to Read” section on the right hand navigation bar!

Please let me know what books you suggest as well…

There is an article written by Claire Zulkey of The Frisky on CNN  about making your own rules about the weddings. She suggests which wedding etiquette and rules are essential to keep and which are more disposable.

(Original article at CNN.com)

I will be the first to admit, I have always been anti-silk flower arrangements. They’re usually so tacky and cheap looking.

My wedding changed all that.
A friend of ours offered to do silk arrangements for the ceremony since she does them for the church anyways. She invited us into the “closet” (it was more like a jungle!) and told me to pick out what I like. She freshened up those arrangements and made others to match.

They were gorgeous and most people didn’t even know they weren’t real.

Plus, we had someone grab them after the ceremony and bring them to the reception so we had double use!

Silk flowers are an awesome way to save money if you know someone who does it often. And you can find really cheap stems at discount shops (the dollar store, ocean state job lot, etc) because ACMoore, Joann Fabrics, and Michaels are so expensive!

I only just realized I haven’t discussed flowers yet!

We were fortunate to find someone who would do them out of her home. She only charged us for the cost of the flowers and ended up being able to do the reception entirely from her garden – so we didn’t pay much! I didn’t have a preference what these small arrangements looked like, so she just used whatever bright colored (mostly pink) flowers she could find for free.

We really hit the jackpot with the little girls’ flower baskets! The florist had these old baskets in her barn she spray painted white. I knew I wanted a potted plant for them because it would be inexpensive and hold up better. The florist ended up finding the Sweet William plants and they were perfect!

The trickiest part was the bouquets and the guys’ boutonnieres. I couldn’t decide until several weeks before the wedding. I had originally wanted daisies and roses, but then I decided that combination wasn’t the right aesthetic style we were seeking for the English Tea type wedding and reception. I wanted something formal, but also relaxed. Then I thought of calla lilies and roses (the smaller calla lilies). But, the lilies ended up being way more expensive than we were willing to pay. In the end, I stumbled upon a picture of hydrangeas and roses. That was it!

The next problem was the color. Since my colors were brown and pink, blue hydrangeas weren’t really going to cut it (they were in season at the time). So, our florist looked up prices of pink hydrangeas, and they were $25 a stem!!!! That most definitely wasn’t in the budget :o)
Don’t worry…this isn’t the end of the story!
In a stroke of brilliance, the florist got some white hydrangeas from her backyard and sprayed them with a pink floral spray. When I saw them I had no idea they weren’t grown pink. We ended up doing pink hydrangea and white roses for the bridesmaids and I had white hydrangea with pink roses.

We designed the boutonnieres together. We did a small closed rose bud (the roses in the bouquets were loose and open) with some sprayed hydrangea (the small petal kind found on our florist’s bush) with a backing of a dark greenish leaf (from another bush). They turned out great and held up the whole day!
The funny thing is, friends of our used the same florist for their wedding in August (ours was in July) and they wanted blue hydrangea (pink was in season then). They ended up having sprayed flowers as well — too bad we didn’t switch months to get married!

So, the moral of this story is: be willing to be flexible in your ideas, but be creative – you can probably get what you want for much less!

**Tip: in season flowers are always the cheapest – if you can’t find the color you like, go with white and then spray them with floral spray.
**Tip: find a local farmers market or flower market and buy plants of the flowers you want for arrangements. Find a florist that will use those. We did that and then forgot to use them! My parents have beautiful pink daisies in their garden still!

Whenever I find a new wedding website or blog, I’ll post them in a “Shoutout”

This first shout out is to Chatterberries.com. They recently commented on one of my posts, and I’m so glad, because it looks like they’ve got a great site!
It’s all for brides to help plan and connect with other brides in the planning stages!
Check it out HERE!

I stumbled upon this website today called Bridesign. They are linked with ProFlowers.

They sell all sorts of wedding arrangements separately or in packages. Most of the packages were under $1000 and were very comprehensive.
Click on the image above or go to Bridesign.com
**Also a great resource for getting ideas about what you want!!
I love this arrangement. I wish I could get a bigger picture, but I couldn’t actually find it on the ProFlowers website…this is from one of their advertisements.
It looks to be red roses with green mums and some other white filler flower – I imagine Queen Anne’s Lace would be lovely

Here are some of the ways we saved big on our wedding:

Rehearsal Dinner
– Held at a friend of the family’s house.
– Catered by a friend’s business.
– Casual.

– Officiant and musicians were family & friends.
– Friend of the family offered to do silk floral arrangements at no cost.
– Printed invitations and programs ourselves.
– Favors were small heart-shaped cookie cutters we found for about $.50 each on eBay.
– Found a newly renovated venue that was very inexpensive since they were trying to book weddings after re-opening.
– No alcohol.
– A caterer who was honest about what realistic costs were and where we could cut corners.
– Friend of the family gave us our cake as a gift.
– No DJ or band…we made an ipod playlist that played throughout the afternoon.
– We borrowed audio and visual equipment from our church.
– Used the arrangements from the ceremony.
– Found a florist who worked out of her home and used the flowers in her garden (we were going to do it ourselves).
– Center pieces were small fresh flower arrangements, tea cups (we already owned them), and pictures of family weddings. We got the frames super cheap at Christmas Tree Shop and with coupons from ACMoore.
– Nice looking, plastic china, utensils, and cups.

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