Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Wedding Wednesday . . . The Top Ten Wedding Lessons from The Recessionista Bride

Hello everyone!

I'm Alison, a.k.a. NYC Recessionista. I am so glad to be doing my first guest post EVER, and even more "gladder" to be doing it on Pretty Rambles :) My husband Kevin and I were married on 10.10.10 in New York City, so I thought it would be a good idea to share some of the wisdom I inherited while planning my wedding(for whatever it's worth!).

(NYC Recessionista on her wedding day; image courtesy of Geoffrey Tischman Photography)

Here goes ...

10. It's YOUR wedding ... no one else's.
Sure, when my parents asked if we could do little things like add stuffed mushrooms and crab cakes to the hors d'oeuvres, I said yes because that's a very small and very easy gesture that made them feel like they were a part of planning the menu. But if your elderly grandmother is begging you to get married in a church but you and your fiancé just aren't the religious type, then don't do it. It should be something the both of you really want. Let everyone else plan their own weddings.

9. Seriously consider doing a "first look."
A first look is where the bride and groom meet up privately before the ceremony to see each other for the first time, take photos with the bridal party and family, and generally just take it all in before the wedding takes place. My husband and I did not do a first look, and we regret it a little bit. He really didn't want to see me until I was walking toward him down the aisle, which I totally understood and supported. But then we had to do photos during the cocktail hour, and pretty much missed it. From that moment, we felt rushed the rest of the afternoon. If we had done a first look and photos before the ceremony, we would have had the whole rest of the reception to just party and enjoy the company of our friends and family!

8. Do not buy a clutch.
Seriously... you won't use or need it. My cousin made me a beautiful handmade tote for my bridal shower, and I just threw everything I needed in there and stuck it under my table. Worked like a charm.

7. Don't think you have to put your bridesmaids in "bridesmaids dresses."
There is a whole wide world of dresses out there, from Anthropologie to Modcloth to J. Crew and everything in between. And they're more affordable, too. Play with colors and textures and patterns. If they have 5 different body types and personal styles, and that's one of the reasons you love them, then why try to make them all look like identical twins? I picked one color and let them pick which dress they wanted (see here, here & here), and shoes, and how they wanted to wear their hair. And I bought them all different jewelry that reminded me of them. You can even dress them in different shades of the same color family ... there really are no rules!

6. Etsy.
This site was the mothership for my wedding planning ... it's just amazing, and you can get the most amazing, unique and non-cookie-cutter wedding items on there... and for great prices! I used it for my flowers, boutonnières, jewelry, bridesmaids gifts, hairpin, photo props, decorations, flower girl accessories, ring bowl, etc.

5. Consider writing your own vows.
If you are able to, write your own vows. These are words that you'll be saying to each other in front of your family and friends as you vow to spend your lives together ... whatever your vows end up being, each and every word should mean something to the both of you.

4. Think outside the box.
Here are just some of the ways I thought out of the box for my wedding, and it helped us save a lot of money:
-We put baskets of apples on the tables for our centerpieces.
-We used a vintage wooden hat box for a card box.
-My mom handmade bunting that we strung from the rafters of the barn, and she even made a miniature version for our cake topper.
-We had a pit BBQ reception and carnival desserts.
-We stuck our place cards in bales of hay.
-Our guests ate eco-friendly-style, off of plates made from recycled corn, and ate with biodegradable wooden utensils instead of plastic or metal.
-My husband, who's a graphic designer, made all the invitations and printed materials from scratch.
....For pete's sake, have fun with it!

3. Say hi to everyone.
I seriously regret not being able to say hello to and visit with each of my guests (see # 9). We didn't even have that many guests at our wedding...we had just over 100 people there. Make sure you set aside enough time to visit with your guests .... and if your guest list is too big for that, then maybe it's time to trim it!

2. Eat.
Due to the hectic schedule of the day, we didn't get to eat as much of the delicious food at our wedding as we would have liked. Designate someone to come over and let you know when your dinner is being plated ... and beyond that, make that person remind you and your groom to head to your seats to sit and enjoy your meal. Your guests are eating, so you should, too!

1. Try to keep things in perspective.
The closer you get to your wedding date, it will be very easy to get more stressed out over every little detail ... but that's when I would challenge you to resist it the most. Keep this in mind: whatever you think is the latest catastrophe with the place cards, programs, or the perfect bouquet, the only thing that really matters is that the two of you are getting married. As long as the officiant shows up and pronounces you man and wife, everything else is just extra fluff and is not worth giving yourself a stroke over it.

If you can keep some of these things in mind, you'll have a fun, happy, stress-free wedding!

NYC Recessionista


The Vintage Modern Bride said...

great tips! :)

Lauren said...

Thanks so much for this great post. For someone looking to get married in the next year, this is very much appreciated! :)

Thanks again!

The Bookness said...

Thank you for the tips. Really going to take this to my wedding day.


Kylene said...

fantastic post & this coming from someone who is nowhere near getting married. ;)

Andrea Reh said...

Definitely food for thought - and like Kylene, I am resolutely single and nowhere near getting married!

Just discovered your blog, and would love it if you popped by mine sometime.

Andrea x

Calli | Wedding Favors said...

Best tips in weddings come from those who have actually experienced it. :) These are really helpful.

Ronni Sever said...

Well, you can read more here

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