- 10 years ago
- Wedding: August 2009
Just because you live in NY doesn’t mean you can’t have a small, meaningful, affordable wedding. There are plenty of ways to do it. You don’t have to get married in the city – there are lots of places within a reasonable distance upstate, right up the thruway, where you could hold your wedding and your guests wouldn’t have huge travel costs.
That being said, it really doesn’t sound like you are excited about having a wedding, so have you given any thought to eloping?
You are not alone!!! Just like there are seven stages of grief, I think that there needs to be seven stages to wedding planning, starting with the shock and excitement of getting engaged, the actual planning in the middle, and ending in the happily ever after. I think I may be one step ahead of you, because like 2 months ago, i was so ready to elope. I am the same way…I have a really hard time spending a ton of cash on just one day, i am not craftsy, and I have a time-consuming job that I can’t just ignore for 9 months (which also limits any potential crafty-ness). That said…there is light at the end of the tunnel! I agree with Caroline that it is totally possible, no matter where you live, to have a beautiful, meaningful wedding without going broke. When we first started planning, we prioritized what we thought was really important to us for our wedding, which allowed us to do more directed searches for vendors, etc. Once you find a site, I think that you’ll see that a lot of things fall into place (at least it did for me). Now that i have the vendors booked that we are going to use, and the plans for the whole day are starting to take place, i have found a happy place with my wedding planning.
I think I can offer three real pieces of advice: 1) Figure out what you want at your wedding (maybe a top 3?) and make those happen. Don’t worry so much about the rest. In my opinion, your very closest friends and family aren’t going to miss the favors on the table, they are just happy to be with you on your big day! 2) I think that there are lots of great ideas floating around on blogs. Weddingbee is great, and check out sites like ‘a practical wedding’ too. 3) Remember what is really important…the fact that the two of you are getting married! Thats the part that always gets me through! 🙂
Best of luck!
caribqueen, thank you so much for posting this. I feel the same way, and it can get overwhelming a lot of the time. I want things to be nice, but the kind of money "nice" seems to require is absolutely depressing. My Fiance and I are both in the latter stages of grad school, and multiple crafty projects are just not in the cards — especially since I’m completely awful at all things DIY (except assembling IKEA furniture). I love Weddingbee, but on occasion I come here and feel weirdly guilty because I’m not making my own stationary or planning to hand-craft beautiful personalized favors. I wonder if that means I care about my guests less, or if that means I’m throwing money away on something I could *really* do myself, if I just tried a little harder …
So you’re not alone. I have no useful advice to offer since I’m in the same boat, and I’m sorry to hijack your thread for my own mini-rant, but maybe expressing some solidarity might help. And Cammie, thanks for 3 pieces of really good advice for overwhelmed, non-crafty brides!
I just wanted to say that while I am still 9 months out from my actual wedding date it does get easier to deal with. When we first got engaged FH and I had a heck of a time of it. At first everything seemed totally unsurmountable, we argued about stupid things (like how would I do my hair for the wedding day, up or down … we laugh about that one alot now), and I was ready to call in SICK OF WEDDING PLANNING after only 3 weeks of being engaged! Not to mention that my idea of a reasonable price for anything seemed totally out the window. But, once we outlined a reasonable budget, chose a venue and set a date things really seemed to start falling into place more easily. FH and I found a sort of common language and now we actually enjoy talking about planning, with both of us contributing ideas and such.
You are so not alone in your anxieties. It will get easier (and then probably harder again as the day gets close, but I don’t know about that part yet!) Hugs!!!
If you’re looking for ways to be unique and frugal without DIY you could check out etsy.com for lots of one-of-a-kind handmade goodies?
THanks for the replies, everyone!
I think i was just having a bad last two days. I think things will settle down once we figure out a venue or decide to say forget it all and have a destination wedding. After I wrote this, Fiance and I started doing comps of various venues, so at least now we are getting a sense for how things
@CarolineG – I don’t want to elope as I really want to have my family there especially. They made me who I am and in some ways this is about joining families, so no eloping for me.
@MelissaB – thanks for validating my non-craftiness. You are great if you are not crafty as well! I don’t think it means we care less. We just will put love and care into our weddings in a different way.
@jowen- Thanks for the hug! I think starting is the hardest part of this whole process is just to start.
@ Cammie – Thanks for good advice. I think we are looking at what we care about and chucking the rest and trying to simplify the best we can.
Caribqueen, all I have to tell you is that it will all come together. I worried waaaay too much about things because I live away from my family and friends and I had to plan the wedding completely alone. This is your day. It will be enjoyable no matter what. The things that seemed so important to me didn’t really matter and afterwards I kicked myself for spending so much money on stuff that people didn’t notice. Make it a small, but beautiful wedding. You don’t have to use a hot glue gun to do that. Websites like orientaltrading.com have wedding supplies that you can buy much cheaper than you could make them. Sit down with a phone book and spend an hour calling around to different places. You’d be suprised how much you can get done! Let me know if you need any other specific advice! God bless!
One suggestion is Etsy – you can pay people who are crafty to do projects for you. Its pretty reasonable and you can help guide the project. I used someone on etsy for my menus, stickers for candy bags, programs, signs etc.
By The Way, I never felt like all my free time went to wedding stuff. I also have a demanding job, but I decided to enjoy planning and not let it consume my life. Good luck!
Absolutely don’t feel bad about not wanting to make everything (or anything) yourself!! I actually happen to be somewhat crafty, but I also have a house with a large garden, and a busy job, and a lot of friends, and I prefer to spend my time on those things. Plus I’m picky as anything, and knew I would just get frustrated if I spent hours and hours on DIY projects that turned out less than perfect. Luckily my mom knows me only too well, and so put HER foot down very early and said that we were going to pay other people to do stuff or do withut! She was so right. Every time I read another post about somebody going nuts over a DIY project that goes wrong, or having to drop or delegate a project they just didn’t really have time to do, I make a mental note to give my mom another big hug.
Weddingbee is great, but I think between the websites and the magazines a lot of brides become convinced they need stuff that they didn’t even realize existed before they started planning. Just remember, your wedding is about you and your Fiance and your families and friends – not about programs and seating charts and centerpieces and favors and matching outfits. If you remember the weddings you’ve been to, you probably don’t remember most of the bells and whistles that some brides worry so much over. You mostly remember the people who were there, whether everyone had fun, whether the food and the music was good, and whether you got a little tear in your eye looking at the bride and groom during the ceremony or the first dance. That’s the important stuff.
Caribqueen, I completely understand what you are going through! I think there are A LOT of brides that do. I went through the engagement-to-wedding process in 6 weeks partially to avoid the wedding drama and trauma that comes with an extended planning process. I also wanted to keep the wedding under budget for me and my guests as we are in a stagflation economy….well, it also didn’t hurt that my sister got all of the bridal genes so I never wanted the Cinderella wedding. :o)
What made it easier for me was that I came up with a vision for what I wanted our wedding to be and then stuck to it throughout the planning process. EVERYTHING was done with an eye towards the original vision. My vision was for something small, pretty, nice, fun, and relaxed for everyone. I also wanted it to reflect me and my fiance. And whenever someone tried to get me to deviate from this plan, I reminded them of what my vision was. This was crucial because when you are caught up in the wedding planning, it is tempting to upgrade and pimp the sucker out. And keep in mind that a lot of female friends and relatives regardless of their age or marital status, be they 16 and single or 60 and divorced, have strong ideas of "bridehood" and will try to make you deviate from your plan. My rule of thumb was to summarily disregard any advice that made the wedding more complicated, more "wedding-y", or more expensive. I was prepared to listen to advice that fit "the vision" or made the wedding easier or less expensive.
Although I was a DIY bride and did the invitations, favors, flowers, and centerpieces by myself, take heart in the fact that I truly believe it would not have taken a lot more in the way of money to have paid someone else to do what I did. By The Way, have you considered enlisting a "super-bride" friend to help you out and/or do some of the DIY? I always knew that if I fell behind on something or needed help with a project, there were at least 3 super-brides I knew who were willing to help out.
So, I guess what I’m saying is just do what you want and don’t let any outside expectations stress you out!
I would highly suggest reading Offbeat Bride. It’s a really entertaining read, and it also has a lot of tips on doing things affordably, and differently than the way that the wedding world tells you things have to be done. A bunch of the things were too off the wall for me, but did give me a different (and good) perspective on the whole planning process.
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