20 September 2011

A Thrifty Wedding

I was aghast to learn yesterday that the average cost of a wedding these days is around $50,000.  Maybe I am a bit of a sceptic, or not a gambler, or maybe it was just that I was an 'old', but first-time, bride, however there was no way that kind of money was going to spent on a single day of my life.  With a little bit of thought and putting hand craft skills to work you can save a lot of money and have some terrific fun along the way.  Here are the things we did to have a wonderful, memorable, happy ceremony that was a bargain given the joy experienced by all.

  1. Invitations and place name cards were hand crafted by my sister, my friend De-Arne and myself
  2. Ear Rings were borrowed from my friend
  3. Necklace purchased in second hand shop in Bungendore
  4. Bracelet was borrowed and I added my Grandmothers stunning Amethyst brooch
  5. Shoes purchased on sale for $50
  6. Our ceremony was held beside a Sydney sea pool (did I remember to tell the Council??)
  7. We timetabled the limo drive to make 3 trips in one hour!
  8. My step-sons are wearing shirts I hand dyed with tea bags to match the colour of my dress
  9. We booked a fashion photographer at a flat rate who delivered the disk of digital images to us by the end of our lunch (and we negotiated outright ownership of the images)
  10. All flowers were purchased at the Sydney Flower Market and made up into bouquets etc by a friend (& it was such a fun early morning shopping experience with my sister and friends)
  11. I purchased some cheap vases, hand painted them gold and used flowers from the market as table decorations.
  12. I purchased decorative table runners and other exotic fabrics at the markets at very reasonable prices and these were used as table decorations plus to cover the council chairs around the sea pool.  I still use these pieces around our house which bring back fond memories of our lovely day.
  13. Friends were allocated the job of going to the venue before the ceremony to decorate the tables
  14. All the music was chosen and put together by friends
  15. Our reception was booked in a dining room as a family reunion (as we were not having any wedding formalities)
  16. We chose not to have a wedding cake, instead our celebrant suggested a 'wine ceremony' with the same significance
  17. Bridesmaid dresses were sewn by my sister
  18. I decorated my mothers shoes with hot-fix crystals.
  19. Wedding guests gave us a 'lift' back to the hotel after our lunch
  20. Wedding guests gave us USB sticks with copies of the images they took on the day
  21. A neighbour surprised us by videoing the ceremony
The beauty of conducting a ceremony like this is that we involved so many people and they are the truly memorable moments from the day.  Personally I would feel physically ill spending $50k on a single day of my life so I hope these tips may help someone put together a day as special as ours was.

Today is our wedding anniversary and it has been very nice reminiscing.

Sandra Harvey.

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