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Ya, on Craftster they had a low-cost DIY method for making a photo booth by just providing a backdrop and a digital camera on a tripod...with directions on how to use the timer. yeah, its cheesy but oh so fun!
That's a really great idea! I wanted a photobooth but we couldn't afford/justify it - it would be more than double the cost of our photographer! We bought a disposable camera at Menards yesterday that we are going to test out and see if it takes good enough pictures for us to decide to put disposable cameras at each table.

Daisy, those ideas are so cute. The courtroom sketcher/caricaturist idea in particular was really funny and kind of a good idea! That is the kind of stuff that makes weddings fun. My coworker went to a wedding and brought pictures afterwards to show everyone and it was awesome - the bride and groom were into gaming and stuff, so everyone who attended wore costumes of different kinds (the groom was wearing horns and fake teeth) and my coworker said it was one of the best weddings she'd ever been to!

Gumby, I LOVE your wedding theme - so many cool possibilities! At the little rental place by my house (where you can rent tools to dig holes in your yard, etc.) they have cotton candy machines and things like that to rent so I bet you could rent that kind of stuff for pretty cheap. I don't know about the jumpy thing though - that might be a little harder to find. I love Mexican art of that era, too - it was really a "golden age" for Mexican art and culture! And there are always ways you can save money and cut corners and still have things look nice and fit into what you want. Do you know what kind of dress you want yet?

How can your friend be having that big of a wedding and know so few people? That seems crazy! I know just about everyone we are inviting except for a couple of Jfrito's relatives/family friends and coworkers and vice versa for him. We were surprised at how big our guest list got - we didn't think we knew that many people, but it added up quickly since each friend is part of a couple, favorite cousins now have families of their own, etc. We have a strict cutoff point though - the room only holds 200 so that is our limit, and of course there are always a few people who can't come.
No, I don't know yet what kind of dress. I am interested in TrashyDiva or in a really nice evening dress from Nicole Miller or BCBG Max Azaria---a dress I could never ever justify buying "just because" but something I could even wear again. I'm not committed to a white dress, either.

The one big splurge we are both committed to is the idea we had of hiring our dance teacher we had from a dance class we took last year teach our guests meringue which is super easy, and it would be a way for my family to actually not feel as self conscious dancing in front of people. I'm really super excited about it.

We are looking at venues today, wheee!

How did you come about choosing your dress Marileen? Was it exactly what you had initally thought you wanted?
Hi Gumby - how did the venue search go? It is neat that there are so many different places to get dresses now - J. Crew has nice ones and Target just started carrying wedding dresses by Isaac Mizrahi online, too. And if you are a size 10 or smaller you can get a fantastic deal on discontinued samples sometimes, too. I went to the Macy's sample sale for fun a few weeks ago and they had gorgeous $4,000 designer dresses for $200. If you think creatively you can find something great for not too much money.

I did a LOT of shopping to find a dress - I didn't have a specific style in mind, I just wanted to get what would look best on me and fit into the budget (I came in WAY under, fortunately). Because I'm plus-size, shopping was frustrating and there were a lot of samples I couldn't try on. And I realized when dress shopping completely stopped being fun because nothing was as good as "the one" I liked best that I was ready to order! I found that a strapless formal dress with a lot of structure built into it inside is what looked best on me - I never thought I'd go strapless, but it really is what looked the best! Mine has a sweetheart bodice (so it dips in the center and isn't just straight across) and curves in at the waist and then flows into the skirt but doesn't have a seam that separately defines the waistline. It made me look curvier and my waist look smaller. And I just found out it came in already a month early! I can't go see it for 2 weeks though because I want my mom to go with me. I am excited to see it.
Marileen your dress sounds really beautiful. It's so hard to wait to see something when you know it's ready smile.gif I did a stupid thing and went dress shopping at a discount designer outlet last night, just so I would be sure I didn't want a traditional wedding dress. I totally went into it thinking "yeah, this isn't my thing", but ended up finding this beautiful georgous dress that I freakin love...I even dreamt about it last night. But it is for sale for $1800, not including alterations and I just cant rationalize that. It would be about 20% of our wedding buget if I bought it. I did a search online and it seems like this outlet I went to had the cheapest price online for this particular dress. That was so stupid for me to go smile.gif Then I'm trying to rationalize it like "well, it's originally 6500, so this is a steal!" ya right.

The venue shopping went great, we ended up choosing the original place, a historic barn. there are farm tools on the walls inside. it's very rustic which i like. and it was the cheapest we looked at! and it had the most availablility! perfect!

marileen when is your wedding day? how long was your engagement?
Marileen, you're in the Twin Cities, right? Who are you using for your florist? We have a little over a year until our wedding but I'm trying to get as much planning done with as I can.
Gumby, just keep looking - chances are there is a style similar to that dress that you'll find that will be much more affordable and will be perfect! You might want to check out Ebay too - you can sometimes find designer dresses there for pretty cheap - just stay away from the Chinese manufacturer ones - those can sometimes be pretty sketchy from what I've seen. I'm getting married in late September, it will be just over a year from the time we got engaged. We knew we wanted to get married in the fall, and we lucked out on our date at the reception site because the people who had a hold on that date canceled it so we got it.

Catsoup, it's good you're looking at that stuff now - good florists and photographers book up very fast. And I don't mind pimping my florist - I think she is awesome and probably my favorite vendor. I'm using Marah Cole Designs - she has a website and everything so you can see pictures of some of her work. She works out of her house so you don't pay the big floral storefront shop markup and she does great work really reasonably. My friend and coworker is her cousin and recommended her so that is how I found out about Marah and I've read really good recommendations from other brides about her on the Knot website also. I don't know a lot about flowers (except that I like them) so she has been really helpful in giving suggestions while staying within the budget. I met with her and brought pictures from magazines that I liked and we came up with ideas that I think will work perfectly.
I need advice. My sister's wedding is in July. And I am the maid of honor who also needs to give a speech at the reception. The only problem is I have NO idea what to say :-/ I mean do i just talk about her? Or try to include a memory I have with her and her soon to-be husband? Or what? Any ideas?
**delurks** arrie - I had to do this at one of my friends' wedding when I was the maid of honor (they actually called me "best woman" in the progam!!) It's basically like giving a long toast. My goal was to keep it short and sweet and funny. So I said something about how I'd known my friend since I was 10 and that her husband was a great guy that was just like her, and a couple other short things, then I said to wrap it up - "to the happy couple - in the words of Groucho Marx, 'May you live as long as you want to, and may you want to as long as you live" and everyone laughed and that was it. I don't think you can go wrong with including a quote from someone if you're stuck, and there are tons of quotes for every occasion, mood, etc online - you can just google something like "wedding quotes" or "love quotes" or whatever. just my .02 cents..

Zoya, that sounds good. My boyfriend was best man at his brother's wedding and had to give a toast...but he has a pretty big public speaking phobia. He memorized a single sentence a week before the wedding, kept practicing every day, and at the actual wedding he said something completely different (and longer). It was something like 'congradulations, good luck, i love you both'.
delurks***as for the wedding toast...I started laughing because I had to write my dad's toast for him!!! He's 72, and Russian (his english is not the best) and he said, "[seven] go ahead and right what you want me to say." I kept insisting that it wasn't *as* hard because he was my dad, and all he had to say was nice stuff about me (haha, of course...) and about Mr. Seven. Fast forward to weeks later, and I just sent him a speech a few days ago. Ha. I should have put all super nice things about me..but alas, I kept it kind of generic and in big font for him!

I am exactly a week away from being Mrs.Seven!

back to the ol' lurking...
Hello.....I was a bridesmaid in a friend's wedding last weekend, and a groomsman was bumped up to best man after an emergency...I don't know what. But the groomsman/best man was almost panicking right before the speech because he really really hated public speaking. Yes, it was horribly awkward and painful, but also very funny because it was so bad, and I think everyone's laughter made him relax a little bit.

Update: I've been too busy to do hardly anything. But we booked the food, and the venue. And I ordered a dress from Trashydiva which should be coming in the mail really soon. The other $2k dress was beautiful and perfect, but I am a slob and we are having ribs for our wedding dinner. I held out so long someone else bought it (it was a sample) but it was with great relief that I no longer had to make a choice like that. It would have been a stupid choice to buy it in the first place.

Marileen, did you get your dress? How does it look? I hope it turned out the way you were hoping!
I have to delurk and tell a story about my wedding. I have a family that we have been friends with forever with three daughters close in age to me. The year before I got married two of them got married. Their dad would give the longest, cheesiest speeches with jokes he had printed out off the internet. I mean, it was kind of endearing in a way for them I guess, but they would literally be about 10 minutes and super bad, sometimes kind of sexist in that ha,ha now the wife is in charge kind of way.

So at my wedding I keep very few speeches, toast from the father of the bride, maid of honour, best man, thank you from me and groom. We interspurse the speeches throughout dinner. So the speeches are done and I'm finishing my dessert and my maid of honour looks at me and says, "what is he doing there?". This dad from the family friends has wandered up and decided to give an impromptu speech, sort of a selection of his best jokes from his daughter's weddings. I think no one could figure out who he was. It ended up okay, but I had a moment of panic. And he kind of opened the floor so all these other people figured they could give impromptu speeches too! It ended up okay, but not quite my plan!
So what's the story? Anyone been to any weddings lately? Anyone having a wedding soon?

I got my dress altered, got my shoes today and will be getting my veil in the mail soon. Less than 5 weeks away from the big day!

But I'm freaking out trying to figure how the monring is supposed to go...the ceremony starts at 3:00 and we wanted to have formals taken at 2:00. But because our wedding is in a barn, we have to go ourselves that morning to set up the space. We'll have a lot of help from family but still, the last thing I wanted to do the morning of my wedding is freaking set up chairs and tables. We need to find someone to stay there while everyone who helps to set up goes to get ready themselves. Also, we live an hour away from the site, my mom lives half an hour away, and I have no idea where to get ready myself...if we are setting up I would like it to be close by, we can't get ready at the barn, and the timing of the hair appointment (my friends can't really help in that department) is super close to the actual time of the ceremony because we have to set up in the morning. I don't even know how I would get to the hair appointment because my fiancee and I share a car, and if he has to drive somewhere to get ready, then I'm immoble. But if someone drives me, it's one less person who can help set up in the morning. It's so frustrating. Hiring a wedding coordinator is totally out of the question because we are already 2k over budget even though it's 20k under what the "average" is around these parts.

Sorry to vent out here, but I don't have a wedding party and my mom isn't involved in the planning at all, so I have no one to complain to. Anyone have any ideas?
Hi Gumby, were you able to figure out your scheduling issues yet? It might be worth it to hire a hairstylist to come to you that day - it sometimes can be less expensive than you think.

I haven't been able to bust for a while but this thread moves pretty slow! I like speeches that are cute and funny and not mean. And short. My fiance and I realize we can't control that stuff and truly hate public speaking ourselves so we don't want to put anyone else through it, so we decided on no speeches at the wedding - we'll just stand up and say thank you to everyone for coming and that's it. Best man was surprised and I think slightly disappointed - he'll probably try to give a speech anyway.

My dress came in and it is beautiful - it just doesn't zip fully yet (as of my first fitting last month). That's what you get for ordering your dress two sizes smaller, but I knew I needed the motivation when I ordered it. I'm wearing pants now that hadn't fit me for the past three years and feel really good! As far as the dress fitting it really is pretty close though - another inch off my waist and I think I'll be there. So the Marileen ultra-strict diet and exercise plan is in place until the next fitting in two weeks...
Congradulations Marileen on your fitting into pants from three years ago! Ordering a dress two sizes to small is definately motivation smile.gif Two weeks sounds do-able, though....? I hope it looks exactly the way you imagined it.....

We are getting married in five days.....craziness. Overall we are so glad it's almost over, a ton of suckie, horrible family related things happened which made the planning process of this wedding really lonely and sad and disappointing for fiancee and I were really entirely on our own planning this, and it was just too much for us to handle.

It will be nice to finally relax and think about important things again, like making art and photography and work and stuff like that.

Good luck with your wedding Gumby! I'm sure it will be wonderful and beautiful! And I hope the experience is so good it makes the stress of planning all worth it.

I hear ya on being glad to devote time to your regular life stuff again. I'm looking forward to focusing on other things in the near future - I'm getting a little burned out on this whole thing.

I've been struggling with our invitations this week and have realized this is my big Bridezilla moment- they stress me out and I hate them and it has all been just horrible! I hope this isn't the tip of the iceberg of freakouts and this is just my one bad area. I knew I wouldn't enjoy it but didn't think it would be this bad.

We decided for some stupid reason to DIY them (which of course turned into ME making them for the most part because of course my fiance has been really busy at work this week and not home) and it feels like everything possible has gone wrong with them - too long of a story to explain. It all makes me wish I could take the whole thing back and just go to a justice of the peace instead and not even have a wedding! And the offers of help from friends and family? Not so much when it comes down to actually coming over and helping when I need the help. But my mom did help me with them on Sunday and I'm grateful for that. My fiance said we will work on them together tonight and I plan to make sure he gets the full labor-intensive experience so he can finally understand why I've been so frustrated this week.
Eh, DIY projects can be a real pain in the ass, especially if you didn't think you'd enjoy it in the first place. It's SO hard to be doing things without that support from your familiy (mom excepted) and fiancee. My fiancee and I basically did everything ourselves, we divied up the projects (he was in charge of the caterer, I was in charge of baker and alcohol), but all the DIY projects he started out enthaiusiastic about he ended up crapping out on. Maybe giving him something else, like an entire project he can do from beginning to end? That way maybe he'd have ownership of it? It's hard though if he is busy at work. My fiancee is lucky, he's been at his job so long that they give him a lot of space....for a few weeks he was going to work but mostly doing wedding stuff from his office.

Two more days....I can't believe it. All the important stuff is done, so whatever.
wow, gumby, that is exciting! i hope your wedding day is awesome.
Gumby, that is so exciting! I hope your wedding day is amazing!

It's nice that you were able to divvy up the wedding projects like that. Unfortunately my fiance has a stressful job that spills into his personal life (he manages a 52-bed assisted living residence for elderly people) so he's on call pretty much all the time for anything major that comes up, if people don't show up for work, etc. and almost never knows how long his days are going to be, so I end up picking up the slack a lot at home because I work fewer hours and have more time. He's also a "big project" person, so he does great with stuff around the house and gets involved in the initial picking of what we're going to do but it is very hard for him to stay focused on little details (which I am good at) so I end up doing a lot of that by choice and by necessity. He has tomorrow off so I'm going to give him a list of people to call/things to do that still needs to be done so he can hopefully make a little progress on that!
Hey everyone! I haven't been hanging around the lounge in ... well ... far too long.

And now I'm newly engaged!

So my question is - where the eff do I start with everything? I mean, obviously picking the date is the first thing, but does anyone have any suggestions for helpful books, websites, etc? I'm not at all into the whole "traditional" wedding thing, more like an type of thing.

I'm excited!
Hi Theredhead! Congratulations on your engagement!

I found a lot of good information using The Knot website, especially the local boards. You can find out which vendors are good to work with and which are shady and get some good advice from others on that kind of stuff. Some of the advice I've gotten from there has saved me a lot of money. I think is probably pretty good too but I haven't explored that site too much.

Even if you are non-traditional, it is hard to avoid some of the trappings because it is basically a big party and the rules for those don't change too much and you want to do right by your guests just like you would if you were hosting a party at your house. Details and stuff are where you get to show more of your personal style - you don't have to wear a traditional dress, for example, and you can add or subtract as many of the other crazy "traditions" as you want. That is the part that will be fun to plan.

Go to the library and see if there are any books - no need to spend money on them unless you really want to. You might want to buy a bridal magazine or two (or read them in the library) to get an idea of what is promoted and what other people do - just don't get too sucked in by their nonsense. I think the Martha Stewart one (and probably the other ones too) has a pullout section with general timelines for when you want to get things done by.

I guess the first thing you should do is figure out your basic budget for how much you think you want to spend. Then figure out the size of your guest list so you know how big of a space you'll need and then find ceremony and reception sites. This can be frustrating and they tend to book up really far in advance and can have a lot of hidden fees when you add up the total price tag, so do your research and get that out of the way first. That will confirm your date so you can start booking whatever other vendors you think you'll need from there.

I hope this helps!
Thank you thank you! I will try to post a quick update on Sunday before we leave for the honeymoon....

Congradulations, TheRedHead! I used two books that were super helpful---"Bridal Bargains"---get the newest edition---and "How to Have the Wedding you Want", which was woefully out of date but really really empowering....I actually didn't look at any magazines, those two books were my wedding bible. And the Indiebride site was great, I found out about a long of internet vendors from there....that's how I found the company that made my veil. They also have sections for brides from the same locations so you can talk to people in your area about where they are doing things.....

Good luck!
(cross-posted to General Knowledge, Mix Tape Swaperoo, and What Bands Are You Listening To)

Hello! So my question to you all concerns wedding music. I need help coming up with fast and slow songs that would be appropriate for a lesbian wedding - i.e., no "Cause I'm your lady...and you are my man". The invitees will be very mixed, from our crazy friends to relatives for whom this will certainly be their first gay wedding, so we want a good mix of music that will appeal to everyone - some classics, some things you wouldn't expect. Here's our list so far (it's short...we're having a tough time!!) Feel free to stray out of the genres represented here...we like everything!
Dance Songs (Slow)
Beatles – Something
Joan Osborne – Make You Feel My Love
Del McClinton – Sea of Love
Flamingoes – I Only Have Eyes For You
Dance Songs (Fast)
Abba – Dancing Queen
Blondie – Heart of Glass
Joan Osborne – How Sweet it Is
Stevie Wonder – Signed Sealed Delivered I'm Yours
Other Cute Songs
Aqualung – Brighter than Sunshine
Queen – You're My Best Friend

I would love to hear your suggestions!!!
Hi Alis,

We did our own music for our wedding 8/18 and it came out great. We had picked all our own songs, too. PM me if you want the list....we had a few different folders on the laptop--arrival music, dancing music, etc. THe list is pretty huge, I think our total songs amounted to 5 or 6 hours worth of music. We didn't go through all of it but it was good to have.
How about some Peggy Lee or Michael Buble? Classic and romantic, ranging from swingy dance to slow.
Some non gender specific songs:
That Old Black Magic
Put Your Head on My Shoulder
Guess I'm Falling For You
For Once In My Life
Love At First Sight
You and I

There are alot more too, these are just the ones I could think of. Good Luck!!
My boyfriend's brother just got married last week, and they danced to Michael Buble singing "Can't Help Falling in Love." I would have preferred good ol' Elvis, but it was nice, and I liked that they picked an oldie.

So now that they're married, everyone's asking when is it our turn? I'm ready. We talked about it, but I'm afraid to ruin the fun by micromanaging. But I want to go ring shopping!
"crimson and clover" tommy james and the shondells....this song makes me melt every time i hear it.
oooh yeah and i love the joan jett version too.
I married to my g'friend of nearly four years last month. I had such a good time rolleyes.gif , but my poor g'friend was so stressed out and worried about everything she forgot to live in the moment.
The day began with all our friends meeting in our flat for brunch and champagne. We served pastries as well. Had beautifull "laid back jazz" music.
Because i come from I suppose a tranditional background the idea of marrying a woman was something I was slightly worried about. Also this was my second time taking a plunge the first was to some guy blink.gif
A minibus took us to the registry office. we took loads of crazy pictures. My two nieces wanted to take part it made me so pleased.
The ceremony was very special very moving. We went to Stradas for our meals drank lots of wine then went back to our flat again just to chill.
It was a lovely day. I didnt want everyone to leave , because i was having such a good time. Anyways I think they all felt sorry for us and slowly our friends started to make their way home.
normally I am know good with soppy wedding stories, but I suppose i changed a bit. I guess its different when it actually means somthing to you. wink.gif
We had given up on having a song that I had chosen to play because we thought they didn't have a good music system. But when we went there. They took out a vast selection of popular tunes and there was another favorite of our. "the first time" by roberta flack.
everyone in my office is getting married, my one boss just got married and the other is taking engagement pictures this wkend! its so exciting to hear about it all!! congrats! smile.gif
I am done with my wedding books and want to recycle them to a good home! So if anyone wants them, they are up for grabs. I will even mail them to wherever you want (in the US)....I just want them to go to a good home. They were both extremely useful. One was: "Bridal Bargins 8th edition", and the other was "How to Have the Wedding You Want"

gumby, i'd love them... but i'm not engaged yet! mr.nick and i are talking about it, but it's not official, so there's certainly no plans (except the ones in my head). let me know if no other engaged bustie or friend takes them.

lol, you got first dibs, nickclick! PM me your address and I will send them over. I am glad they can be used....they were both really great books!
terrif! i pm'ed my address. i just hope i get the mail before my bf does.....
i'm kind of in a bridesmaid bind here.

i hate to be a nuisance to my friend, but the shoes she picked out for us to wear have leather soles, and i don't do leather. i just don't. it's an ethical matter.

so now i don't know what to do! i'm trying to find similar dyeable shoes, but i can't. (plus, they all cost a fortune and the dress set me way back as it is). i don't know if i should tell her or not, because i seriously doubt she'll notice if my shoes aren't the exact same as everyone else's, but if she does know, it'll be something for her to focus on. you know what i mean?
well, how nitpicky is she about stuff like that? i mean, you'd hope she'd be more concerned about your happiness than your feet matching with those of the other bridesmaids!
substandard english usage
Well, some brides get hanky about that kind of stuff. I would suggest you say something to her--it's VERY possible she wasn't thinking/didn't even notice. The leather content of a product is generally completely beneath the radar of those who don't take an ethical issue with it. Add to that a woman working on Bride-dar, and its entirely likely she didn't even *think* about it.

I don't think you should spring it on her, if she's like most bride's she's probably in a very control freaky place. However, just saying "Hey, Susan. I'm sure you didn't even notice, but the shoes who chose have leather, which I don't do. But see? I found these other (insert basic shoe description here) that would work. That okay?" If she's a good friend who just went a touch off her nut on this whole wedding planning thing, she'll be like "DAMN, Nickclick. I'm a dope. I didn't notice. Those will work. Mind if I shoot the link to the other girls, in case they feel the same?"

Oh my, of all the threads to wander into when I'm a bit burnt out and killing time from making a tiara for a friend. LOL.

Hearing about some of your wedding costs, esp bridesmaid, I had to throw this in. The summer I got married I was also a bridesmaid in not one but TWO other weddings, and I had to buy all three dresses the same month. Talk about being broke!
okay, mr.nick and i are engaged! let the wedding planning....... begin.
we're planning for a november wedding, and i'm so ready to start shopping for a dress. THE dress. i'd love something vintage or new but vintage-y. and less than $500 if possible. any suggestions where to shop? so far i've found -

Unique Vintage
Vintageous although it looks like many are sold already sad.gif
This designer might be a little more "old-fashioned" than "vintage":
Martin McCrea

I'd love to do an authentic vintage dress, but they never have larger sizes. I absolutely love this designer's stuff, though. *Someday* wink.gif
Ooh, a winter wedding, nickclick! That's what I want. Btw, belated congratulations!

I've been planning my wedding recently (just in my imagination) and have decided to have an ivory coat made from duchess satin using a pattern I've had for years. I think I'll have the dress made too although that isn't completely clear in my mind yet.
thanks bunny and polly. i'm starting with a trip into NYC to check out some vintage shops, and maybe even the mega huge Kleinfeld's, just for the experience. from there i'm hoping to get a better idea of what style i want. then i'll find a good seamstress and get measured, so i can start online shopping with correct specs. wish me luck!
Good luck!!!

i just got engaged too. And I already bought my dress. I tried on maybe 5-6 dresses and the second one I tried on was the one I bought! From what I've heard, that's usually how it goes.

As you're planning, let me know if you come across some good ideas for stuff. I seriously need all the help I can get! smile.gif
Venting: Last night, LeBoy's mom told us how much money they'd be able to contribute towards our wedding. In the grand scheme of things, it's a substantial amount, but for what a wedding costs these days, especially in the Chicago area, it's going to be very tight.

It's a weird situation because my parents really won't be able to contribute very much money towards it at all, which really doesn't bother me- my family's never been well off, and I've never had huge expectations. I know they'll be able to put in lots of time and support, though.

I'm just afraid that LeBoy's parents have high expectations for our wedding because they probably assume my family will be able to contribute monetarily. We can probably get some help from my grandparents- I know my grandmother has mentioned buying my dress before (and the dress I like, or think I like since I've never tried it on, is $900) and there's also some inheritance money that is due to LeBoy- his grandpa died several years ago and his house was supposed to be sold and the profits split evenly among the grandchildren...his bitchy aunt who's in charge of the estate hasn't sold the house yet though, and I'm not really comfortable with asking what the hold-up is....getting the inheritance money, though, would double the budget, approximately, so it would be REALLY nice if things progressed there.

So I've been revisiting the spreadsheet I made a few years ago with all my notes about the wedding (I'm a planner!) and there's a bunch of things I've been able to knock off- I think we're going to do an iPod instead of a band/dj...there's also some guests who I've eliminated. I'd like to have the wedding on the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, so maybe that will make things cheaper. Our favorite Irish pub also does catering for fairly cheap (and it's good food with an Irish twist, not pub food!)- I've estimated the cost per head to be about $35 and with 150 people, that's about $5200.

The photographer I like has a basic package for $2350, which includes 8 hours of digital photography with one photographer, online proofing and a DVD of all the photos, original and edited. It's extra for an album, which I expected. Does that seem reasonable?

Food and photography alone are going to be about 3/4 of the budget if that inheritance doesn't come in.

Ugh, I'm simultaneously thrilled and dreading this, now that we have an amount.

Going to the courthouse and spending 3 weeks in Europe is sounding better and better.
(((polly))) wow. i'm impressed with your planning. it sounds like you have everything figured out money wise. now you just have to get the money. where do you plan on getting married?? my BFF found out that some places were booked a year in advance.

and doing a little is online site where you can buy some great designer name dresses. i was even impressed that they had some plus size dresses. they have a store here in massachusetts.

good luck with the planning nickclick!
Polly, sorry to say it, but I doubt that anybody is going to give you a discount for having the wedding on a holiday weekend. They're actually far more likely to charge more. Also, holiday weekends book FAST so if you really want that date, you need to start calling venues right away. Even in my home town, holiday weekends got booked up a year or more in advance while non-holiday weekends had far less demand.

Sheff and I lucked out with our venue. They were booked almost solid for the whole spring and summer, but they had an opening the weekend of April Fool's Day. Oddly enough, a lot of brides weren't fond of getting married on that weekend, so once we settled on that date we had an easy time finding vendors.

As for the money thing, how are you going to handle it? Are certain family members assigned the task of paying for specific items or are they each going to give you a lump sum that you and LeBoy can spend as you see fit? I feel for you on this one. Sheff and I paid for most of our wedding (my mother insisted on paying for the flowers) so we didn't have to deal with the precarious money issue.

As for that house that needs to sell ... ugh. Weddings are complicated enough without getting real estate mixed into the mess. wink.gif Honestly, though, the housing market is wonky at the best of times. The market has taken a major downturn in many areas - not all, but many - so if the aunt hasn't put the house on the market, there could be a very good reason why. You might need to completely forget about that chunk of money for a few years. But hey ... by the time it sells, you can spend the proceeds on the downpayment for a house of your own. So there's a silver lining! smile.gif
Rule number 1 is don't let the parents/inlaws pressure you into do anything you don't want or can't afford!

Mr. Pixie and I had a fabulous wedding on less than $10k. We decided what was important to us and spent our money on those elements. Pictures have never been a huge thing for me, so I got a photographer right out college that only charged me $400. We also opted for an afternoon wedding so instead of a dinner we had a small buffet of finger foods, wine and cheese.( probably less than $150 for the food, $200 for the wine) I also opted for an unusual venue, so it wasn't booked and was really inexpensive. Ours was a novelty castle that holds our local Renessaince Faires. I am also not big on fresh flowers which wilt (some before the event happens) so I went on ebay and found someone who made all of my bouquets, boutineers, and arrangements out of silk flowers for $150. I spent $300 on a harpist and then played a mix cd after her 2 hours were over.
Ours wan't the grandest wedding ever, but it was very unique and very us.
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