Sorry if it’s long. At first I wanted the whole big white cookie cutter wedding. You know, wedding at a chapel, reception in a hotel ballroom, sit down dinner, lots of people. THEN I stumbled across a blog, 2000dollarwedding.com. It was there where I found other blogs of brides who had very lovely ceremonies under $10k.
It was then I decided to take a different approach to our wedding and make it more intimate with the people who really love us and not everyone I have met over the last 10 years. Also I decided that I was going to write our ceremony from scratch. We aren’t religious at all. I practice Buddhism and he’s a Evolutionist. I didn’t want a stranger (JoP) marrying us so we are going to have our best friend get ordained and he will be able to marry us. Our ceremony will include:
Suzu Gongs: In Buddhist practice, we use bells for meditation, prayer, and to signify changing of activity. We will ring the bell at the start of the ceremony and then again during the memorial for my father and others who have passed away.
Audience vow: We will turn to our guests and ask them to stand with us as our friend ask if they will support us in our marriage and help us stay strong when storms come along. He will ask that no one try to pit us against each other or speak ill will of us. Some other things too. I haven’t gotten that part written out completely.
Ring Warming Ceremony: During a breif music interlude and during the time where we sign the certificate, our friend will explain that our wedding bands will be passed around to the guests and that he asks them to each say a prayer, well wish, or put positive energy into our rings and marriage.
Sand Ceremony: Basically the same thing as a unity candle, but with sand. My daughter will be able to participate in this.
Vows: We will be writing our own vows.
Okay now as for decor/venue.Ceremony and reception are on the same grounds. We are having it at Hartwood Acres/Manor in Pittsburgh. It was $647 to rent the entire grounds. It’s part of Allegheny Parks. The price is crazy cheap and the grounds are breathtaking. We have to rent everything, but I am finding out if you don’t take the first quote as an answer and say you are still calling around, vendors will give you a discount.We will be using white garden chairs (right now I have 5 places bidding for me. ) and rose petals for the aisle. We will most likely have three table and an arch in the front. Memorial table with the bell and the names and photos of our dearly departed, a table for the sand ceremony, and a table to sign the certificate. In the back of the terrace, there will be a table for the programs and the Tears of Joy packets that Cheeks11 shared with us! Thanks!
The reception will be under a tent on another part of the grounds. Before the tent opens, we will have cocktail tables around for refreshments and guests can chat or walk aroud the grounds. INside the tent we will have our rock guestbook! Thanks to Mrs. Cola we found a way to do this Irish tradition with a twist. Basically Celtic Wishing Stones were used if the ceremony was near a body of water and guests would make wishes on stones and toss them in the lake. We will have guests write their well wishes on the stones and place them in a basket. We will keep them in our garden and home.
Since we are having an afternoon ceremony and reception, we will be serving heavy finger foods instead of a full meal. We won’t have a DJ. Instead we are hooking the ipod up and let Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Etta James, Ella Fitzgerald, ect. set the mood for mingling. We will have wine and beer (Guinness and Murphy’s) and cake! Our first dance will be to Cheek to Cheek (orignially in Top Hat with Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers) cover by Frank Sinatra…or another artist if I find a cover I like.
The reception will be over by 5pm and then we will leave and go change into party clothes and go to a local Irish Pub for our after party with our bridal party, younger guests, and basically all of his cousins from Ireland, and party the night away.
DIY Projects: I am doing all of our flowers. I will be ordering from fiftyflowers.com. Mr. Tattoo is a graphic designer so he is designing the programs, invites, STD, signs for the program table, guest-rock table, bathroom baskets, ect. I want to make my own facinator and I’m watching tutorials for that. Colors are pink and yellow. We will be using gerbera dasies EVERYWHERE! Except for the rose petals for the aisle which I’m also ordering wholesale because it’s $150 cheaper than going through a florist.
I would like to keep the guest list under 150. 100 would be awesome.