Wedding Post Ahead, Proceed At Your Peril

We haven't talked about my wedding in a while, have we, so let's do that. Basically, the most progress I've made since the last time I wrote about it is scouring ebay for vintage cake toppers and going back and forth on whether or not to bid on one that features a dark-haired bride and groom who bear a passing resemblance to us, an engraving on the back that professes it to be from the first half of the 20th century, and a few details that are simultaneously awesome and juuuuuuuust this side of tacky. I think I love it, but then again, shipping is rather steep (is it a cake topper made of LEAD? do I have to start worrying about LEAD POISONING now?) and actually, come to think of it, I'm not even sure how I feel about cake toppers anyway.

(Screw it: I think I actually love it. I bid on it and I'm now the highest bidder, and if any of you find it on ebay and bid against me, I will HUNT YOU DOWN AND KILL YOU. And by "kill you," I mean force you to simultaneously listen to Heidi Montag's single and watch Brody Jenner's new MTV show, which has the vomitous title of "Bromance."  Everybody take a vow of honor RIGHT NOW that they're not going to snatch the vintage cake topper away from me at the last minute, okay? We're pals, aren't we? Do I have to go all Bridezillas on you? THE CAKE TOPPER IS MINE.)

In other news, the tentative location of our wedding has all but definitely changed---five hundred miles south, no less!---which means all of our research into Northern Californian vendors and venues (including the great Churchapalooza of '08) was sadly for naught. If you know of any good photographers or caterers in the Orange County/San Diego area, or anyone who'll rent out a 1950s convertible Cadillac in turquoise (I'm very specific), I'd love to hear about them.

(In other OTHER news, we still don't have a date. Or rather, we have a specific time frame we'd like, but nothing's been nailed down or booked. Except my desire for a 1950s convertible Cadillac in turquoise, apparently. Well, and the hymns and readings for the ceremony. Would I be the person arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic or what?)

One of the reasons I am shying away from the wedding planning a little, I think, is that everything is so ridiculously expensive. This is hardly a revelation, I know, but I find it simultaneously irritating and insulting that when you slap the word "wedding" onto something, the price doubles or triples. Maybe there are some brides so caught up in the whole magical fairytale of it all that they throw down the credit card willy-nilly---"Who cares? I'm getting married! I must have the six Shetland ponies with rhinestone saddles, damn the expense!"---but Internet, I just ain't one of them.

The other day, for example, I caught myself musing that the quote I'd just got for $959 wasn't such a bad price for 100 invitations, and then an hour or two later I considered checking myself into the ER with raging hallucinations and/or a personality transplant because seriously, a thousand bucks? For a few pieces of paper that people are going to stick to their fridge for a couple of weeks and then throw away, if you're lucky into the recycling bin? This wedding research is starting to make me lose my mind, and I mean that quite literally because I am not, in general everyday life, the sort of person who would ever even consider paying $959 for invitations.  They're beautiful invitations, of course, and I'm probably a fool for thinking something so gorgeous would cost anything less than that, but for crying out loud, my fiance is a graphic designer and we have a print shop around the corner, I shall just have to make do with that.

All this to say that our wedding is going to be a fairly DIY affair, and that's exactly the way I want it, everyone pitching in and offering little pieces of themselves and sure, maybe it won't look like a spread in In Style Weddings in the end, but man, who cares?  My mother is going to make our cake, a project I am almost supernaturally excited about---she has already read Smitten Kitchen's wedding cake posts with great solemnity---and my dad, in a hilarious turn of events, has confessed a desire to take up calligraphy, so he will be addressing envelopes and place cards. Me, I'm going to try and remember what the whole thing's about in the first place: not the rhinestone-encrusted Shetland ponies but the joining together of two people who love each other, and the massive consumption of champagne thereafter.

But my other role, of course, is to make sure I win that cake topper on ebay. Seriously, I'm not even kidding, don't you dare bid on it.

UPDATE: I WON IT!

1
TUWABVB
Dec 22, 2008

Gosh, I remember the whole invitation/save the date costs - they made me CRINGE. I actually did okay on our invites - I ordered the STD materials from a really cheap website...

www.vistaprint.com

They really had some no-nonsense pricing (especially because I ordered a save the date card that was basically not under the "wedding" category). I think I got 200 cards, 200 photo post card and 200 magnets for like $70 or something like that (it was 2 years ago but I know it was CHEAP).

The invites? Well, they were still close to $1,000.

Hope that helps!

2
Amyella
Dec 22, 2008

Excellent, reasonably priced, adorable wife and husband team wedding photographers in San Diego: The Theorie http://www.thetheorie.com/homepage.php

Also, they are just absolutely lovely people!

3
NGS
Dec 22, 2008

Seriously, I thought I was going to lose my mind when we were planning our wedding. We kept it pretty simple, kept it in budget, and the only real tiff we had was over the FONT on the save the date cards.

The invitations themselves were no big deal. But the FONT. On the STDs. We both sat there, arms folded, glaring at one another, each unwilling to bend on FONT. I think the lady in charge thought the wedding was over right then and there.

So...if $1000 seems like a good price to pay for not having a fight...I think that works for me!

Good luck!

4
Melanie
Dec 22, 2008

I'm a graphic designer and I did our invitations myself. I even printed & assembled them - with my husband's help of course! People told me they looked professional, which was amusing since I AM a professional, lol.

A friend of mine is a wedding photographer - http://polkaphotos.com/blog/polkablog.html . She's based in LA but travels all over for weddings. Her husband is her assistant.

Good luck getting the topper!

5
Teej
Dec 22, 2008

DIY is the best way to go. Honestly. Not only do you save a bundle of money but you also get exactly what you want, the wedding will be far more personal, and you'll all have so much fun pushing up your sleeves and making things yourself. Look, your parents are already getting involved! That's love. They want to help, and you'll have such a beautiful end result. When it's all said and done, you'll prefer this way even if you had a million dollars to spend. It will be a day about you and Sean and your families, not about an industry of gratuitous markups and a misplaced sense of reality.

6
the sassy kathy
Dec 22, 2008

amen sistah! i do believe i may have expressed this sentiment on your previous wedding post... re. the fact that all of this tens of thousands of dollars for a single day of fuss is bogus! in my opinion at least. buy me a house instead for goodness sakes. anyway, i was just reading this article this morning re. this very similar subject, and thought you might get a kick out of it if you haven't seen it already - http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/21/fashion/weddings/21FIELD.html?ref=style

good luck!

7
Mrs. Higrens
Dec 22, 2008

When we got married, I was very, very, very lucky to have my parents pay for everything but the dress, and I never saw any of the bills. I tried not to take too much advantage, so while the invitations were probably pretty expensive, my Dad hand-addressed every one. And I still think that was pretty awesome of him. Thanks for the good memory.

8
Mal
Dec 22, 2008

I used vista print as well for my STDs(save the date- definitely not be be confused with sexually transmitted disease), very cheap and they came out nice.

I understand- I'm such a downer because whenever people strike up a conversation about how my wedding planning is going, somehow I end up bitching about how OMG weddings are so expensive!

Really, I'm trying to stop doing that because usually I'm talking to my future wedding guest, who will then be scared to go get another glass of wine at the reception because they remember me complaining about how our bar tab will jeopardize us our future child's college education.

9
Elizabeth
Dec 22, 2008

Ooh, I love the wedding posts.
I was a total perfectionist/over achiever for my wedding and so I did a lot of things myself, although I never did find that convertible I also wanted to arrive at the wedding in, I wish you luck :)
However, I did make my own invitations and save the dates and RSVP cards and all of that because I just couldn't find what I wanted otherwise. They ended up being one of my favorite parts of our wedding. (you can see them here if you want).
http://princessnebraska.wordpress.com/2007/12/03/certified/

10
amber of theambershow
Dec 22, 2008

You're right about the word "wedding" making everything more expensive. When you mentioned that, I immediately thought of this bit that I saw a while ago. It's from the British comedy troupe Man Stroke Woman.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gimiDBAK2wA

11
Cat
Dec 22, 2008

Best of luck getting the cake topper! A DIY affair sounds lovely, and people tend to enjoy themselves more if they've played a part in the success of the event.

If you need someone to write your wedding toast, let me know - I've got several ideas about how to incorporate various S&M fettishes without making it too...sylized.

12
Erin
Dec 22, 2008

You should check out Jasmine Star for photography. You'll love her, www.jasminestarblog.com

13
Christina
Dec 22, 2008

My sister actually works for a wedding planner in San Diego, so if there is something specific you're in need of, just let me know and I will ask her. I'm sure she can come up with a million options for anything (flowers, venue, photographers, etc) at any price point.

One photographer who is in SD that she has used personally (and that I contemplated bringing into MI for my own wedding) is Suzanne Hansen (www.shewanders.com). She is a great girl, so friendly and helpful, and she does some awesome work.

Also, my sister has her own little company making all sorts of wedding papers (STDs, invites, menus, table numbers - anything you can possibly think of)... she does it all out of her house, and is great about customizing things to fit whatever your vision is. You can check out some of her stuff at www.soireepapier.com.

Hope that helps!

14
Kristabella
Dec 22, 2008

As much as I want a big wedding so that I can be the central focus of an ENTIRE DAY (and to also make my friends buy ridiculous bridesmaid dresses), the older I get, the more I lean towards a destination wedding. It's just so ridiculous what they charge.

Also, you're right with the invitations. People will throw them away and not remember them. My married friends always tell me to spend money on the photographer or the videographer because those are your lasting memories. Everything else people will not remember.

15
Cobwebs
Dec 22, 2008

DIY is absolutely the way to go. You ought to hold some kind of a Maker Faire for us crafty types to help with wedding bits. (The last ringbearer pillow I made was covered with spiderwebs, but I'm sure I could adapt.)

A caution about Vistaprint: They have a reputation for getting a user's credit card information and then either charging for things the user didn't order or signing them up for a "membership" with a monthly credit card charge.

My sister was married in a lovely stone church in Southern California. If you're still looking for a venue, I can ask her for the address.

16
Heather B.
Dec 22, 2008

I've seen people do wedding invites in magnet form. That way they a) won't throw it out and b) they'll always remember the date c) they'll have your glowing face on their fridge every time they go get a beer.

(I'm full of awesome ideas)

17
Stephanie
Dec 22, 2008

Okay,
First, I urge you to consider hiring Giselle Macfarlane to do your photography. She's a photojournalist originally from England and her art is well, amazing. She did our wedding photos, and we have nothing but good things to say about her. http://www.gmphotography.com/

Also, re: the invites, Sean can design them you can buy the paper from a professional paper distributor, and have a printer print them up. That's what we did as our friend is a graphic designer. They were just as nice as the $1000 variety (or better,) and we spent about $250.

And I get the convertible thing; my husband insisted on one too, ours was a 1968 Cadillac, candy-apple red with white leather interior; it belonged to a friend of his.

PS- Is it just me, or does the new "just to make sure you have a pulse" thing requires super duper vision as I couldn't make out the letters for several attempts. Or maybe it just doesn't like my Mac.

18
Kara
Dec 22, 2008

A friend and her husband were gifted a piece of their wedding by many members of the family--so, for example, his mom picked and purchased all the wine, her mom picked and purchased the flowers, his dad selected and hired the deejay, etc., etc. Oh, and everyone in the family contributed a batch of DELICIOUS cookies that became a tower of cookies, Italian-wedding style, I guess. Sure, it meant relinquishing control over a lot of the details, but it saved her stressing over them, paying for them, etc. And it was SUCH a FUN and BEAUTIFUL wedding. And like someone else said above, everyone in the family felt a part of it, so had an even better time. (And, I think, felt they'd had their say in their assigned/selected contribution, so butted out of the other details, which for some people is very tough.)

Jon Barber is the best photographer. SO creative. And just so darn laid-back. I'm a Huntington Beach native, but relocated to Seattle where there's a foot of snow on the ground. WHA? So he's definitely in the SoCal area...Laguna Beach to be exact. Pricey, but worth it. It was not about him and his creativeness. It was about us and our families having a fun day together.

Oh, and my heart melted, oh, just a LOT, at the thought of your dad doing your calligraphy.

19
She Likes Purple
Dec 22, 2008

We made our own invitations and a huge resource for us was paper-source.com (for the embosser, return envelopes in espresso, stamps, etc). We also made our own thank-you cards using that site as well and using a picture from the wedding taped to the front. Although there were one or two arguments over my ability to cut a straight line (apparently my ability doesn't exist) it was the right decision for us and it saved us hundreds of dollars. Also, one of my best girl friends got married in Southern California in early September at a beautiful mission-type place that overlooked the ocean. Perhaps some of her vendors would come in handy for you? I'd be happy to pass the info along if you're interested.

20
slynnro
Dec 22, 2008

OMG! One of your commenters is Sassy Kathy! OMG!

21
Lori
Dec 22, 2008

AH yes, the DIY invitations. We made our own. And by we I mean me. My soon-to-be-husband didn't cut straight enough or neat enough for my tastes. I refused my best friend's offer of help because I didn't want her to realise how behind I was. I didn't invite this one person because I DID NOT want to make another invitation. For months I flinched every time I drove by Michael's.

And the wedding "surcharge". I called a venue and was asking questions about their pricing. After talking to me about 10 minutes she asked what the event was. Hmm how does that figure into the price? She said she couldn't give the price without knowing what the event was. Said that weddings were more trouble. OK, if you can spell out to me exactly what "extra" you do for weddings, then I'll know what I am paying for. I kid you not, she hung up on me. My best friend called back to the venue, said it was for a 40th birthday party, SAME number of people, time of day... and got a price 1/3 less.

22
Maren
Dec 22, 2008

It is not odd to be so excited that your mom is making your cake. My dad didn't make my entire cake, but he did put it together at the wedding site (he is a baker after all...) and the picture of him doing that is one of my favorites of the day.

23
Mrs. Who
Dec 22, 2008

1. Your wedding will be beautiful and perfect, I'm sure.

2. The next time you want something on Ebay, just use esnipe (http://esnipe10.esnipe.com/). It will bid for you at the very last second. Super cool.

24
Nancy
Dec 22, 2008

We did a lot of our wedding DIY and those aspects were some of my absolute favorite -- including the wedding invitations. It's been mentioned above, but we also loved www.paper-source.com and bought many of the components from them (we did the overall design, had a local printing press do the printing, added California poppy seed packets etc) that were exactly right -- and I married Mr. Design Precision Fussy Exacto (not his given name).

I think there is something really beautiful and meaningful and lovely about having your family/friends help with the various elements of the day. Dakin's mom made homemade jam from local Carmel Valley berries to give out as our wedding favors, and it was perhaps the nicest gift we could have received.

25
Camels & Chocolate
Dec 22, 2008

Going along with comment #1, I use VistaPrint.com for my business cards and the quality is AMAZING (and for a CHEAP price).

San Diego, here we come!!!

26
lesli
Dec 22, 2008

As my sister told me, It's only really important to have a good photographer, because it's the only thing that will last. And it's true. It's great to have good food and drink, obviously, it makes the party so much better, but otherwise... as you said, it's really about two people who love each other committing to a life together, and everything else is just extra.

Consider putting out disposable cameras for people to take pictures during the reception, or give them to some of your friends to take pictures, because you will get some great fun pictures you otherwise would never have gotten.

27
Suz
Dec 22, 2008

I know exactly where you're coming from...we've just begun but a few areas where we were able to cut back were at our venue, which is a Marriott property. Marriott doesn't charge ANY site fee (site fees! those got crazy expensive!) plus they don't charge fees for waiters, bartenders, etc. It was all inclusive with the catering charge - and the alcohol is by what is served rather than a per hour fee. It also includes a cake and a wedding coordinator who has been a dream to work with - those few things along saved a few thousand dollars (YIKES). (I promise I don't work for Marriott or get any kickbacks!)

The other place we cut costs was really limiting our guest list - part of me still wanted the huge princess wedding with 500 of our nearest and dearest to make a big to-do over me on my special day - but in the end we just want to spend time with family and people we really care about. So we really slashed the guest list to family and the friends we keep in contact with and really want there. We've also opted not to have any attendents - so money saved on additional flowers and gifts, we're finding other ways to honor people who have been there for us (i.e. readings, singing the hymns, etc) that don't require satin dresses with matching shoes.

I've also considered DIY-ing the flowers and centerpieces myself and am still looking for other ideas to cut back.

PS I promise not to steal your cake topper:)

28
Nic
Dec 22, 2008

If you have food and music and you get married, no one will notice what Martha-esq details you're missing. No one. Actually, when you have those details most people don't notice them either. Seriously.

I worked with a photographer couple from San Diego a couple of years ago. They're called The Image is Found. They were flown in for a destination wedding and friendly and wonderful to work with.

29
Maggie
Dec 22, 2008

More vendor recommendations? Haven't we done enough?

http://sarahkchen.com/ Orange County. I think I recommended her already.
http://www.carolinetran.net/blog/ Los Angeles.

Or, if your wedding is near-but-not-on July 4th, I'll already be in LA for another wedding and would take you up on the offer to borrow Sean's camera and shoot the wedding.

30
Lemon
Dec 22, 2008

http://sarahkchen.com/ This girl is a photographer in OC and she's amazing! I have no ties to her, found her site randomly, and her blog has lots of examples of her pictures. Check it out, her work is fabulous.

31
Maggie
Dec 22, 2008

Another great photographer in Southern California:
http://www.leighmillerphotography.com/blog/

32
chirky
Dec 22, 2008

Since Sean is a designer, I'm willing to bet that he knows a ton of printers AND paper reps who can cut him a great deal. When Roger and I were looking for invitations, we couldn't find anything that we liked well enough - everything was just so...bland. And not unique. So he designed them for us - complete with our own logo - and perhaps I'm biased, but I still think they're some of the most beautiful invitations I've ever seen. Plus, one of my favorite engagement memories involves us staying up late at his office, him cutting paper after paper, me spray-mounting them.

On another note, it's true: the only token you'll have left after the wedding (uh, besides your marriage. and your rings. and your dress. whatever - you get the point) is the photography (and videography, if you choose). Splurge on photography. Be sure to hire someone whose work you DROOL OVER. It will probably be expensive. You'll probably want to barter in exchange (and hey, if you can get away with it, do!). But in the end TOTALLY WORTH IT.

33
Paige
Dec 22, 2008

I was always baffled how adding the word "wedding" to anything suddenly made the price increase threefold. For my flowers I carried a simple half dozen roses tied with a ribbon, and my MOH carried a three rose cluster tied with the same ribbon. Just the price of those 9 roses was RIDICULOUS! I am no longer married, but should wedding number two ever happen, I have vowed to buy fresh flowers from the local farmers market the morning of and save about fifty trillion dollars (roughly) by doing so.

Also someone above mentioned having disposable cameras handy at the reception for your guests, and I would have to wholeheartedly agree. Some of the candid photos my friends took are much better than the perfectly staged photos my hired photographer did.

34
dani
Dec 22, 2008

I just went to a friend's wedding up in Oregon and it was very DIY. It turned out gorgeous and she was so relaxed throughout all the planning because it wasn't costing tons of money. Good luck with the planning.

35
Maggie
Dec 22, 2008

As a hobby letterpress printer, I think nice invitations are important, but I'm biased! $1000 for 100 does seem rather high end, but I'm sure there are some cheaper options that would still be really nice and not laser/offset printed (oh the horror! I'm such a snob). I think there's a company called HelloLucky that offers affordable-ish letterpress printed invites. I know there are all sorts of peoples on Etsy who will do custom invites for not tons. Lots of printers offer standard invites, but most are willing to work with, say a graphic designer husband to be, to use his design.
Or, you should do like all my friends are doing, and make friends with a hobby letterpress printer and get them to print your invites for cost as a wedding present. You could hang around the SF Center for Book Arts and accost people. Or not.

36
sarah
Dec 22, 2008

you are not alone. martha stewart living had a wonderful piece on a DIY wedding a few years ago. Bride sewed her own dress--it was Martha Stewart after all!!!

But even for the less crafty, just google DIY wedding or budget wedding for TONS of info on how to create a glorious wedding on the cheap.

Tips that stand out in my mind: Shop thrift stores for centerpiece items and/or vases for flowers. Buy flowers from a wholesaler and have a talented friend arrange them in vases. If you subscribe to minimalism, you simply buy a frog and stick all of one kind of flower into it to form a small dome. Clusters of tiny bud vases (all white or all clear or ???) with single blooms are nice, too.

Instead of favors, donate flocks of chickens to third world families through Heifer International.

Don't buy anything from a "wedding" store and if you do go into a party store, don't tell them it's for a wedding. Tell them it's a "white" party or a 50's party.

Best of luck!

37
Sarah
Dec 22, 2008

I did the disposable camera thing, but no one gave them back to me. They just took them home. I think the DJ was supposed to tell people what to do with them, but never did. He sucked, btw. Told everyone I wouldn't let them do the chicken dance. (which i wouldn't but really, make an announcement???)

38
Kate
Dec 22, 2008

My husband and I did a DIY wedding, and it was amazing because each piece was incredibly meaningful to us as a couple. We had a good friend who is a photographer shoot it, we had another good friend who is a DJ do the music, we had another friend to the flowers, and when it came to invitations - I headed into a stationary store, bought all I'd need (had them do some printing) and we sat down to put it all together ourselves (we also did center pieces, favors and table decorations). Every part of our wedding was incredible & we REMEMBER it all because of that (I've had a lot of friends say they hardly remember anything). Best of luck to you both!

39
Ellen
Dec 22, 2008

We had a DIY wedding and it came off perfectly. That bit about people throwing in their talents for you is entirely true. One aunt made a beautiful cake straight from my dream photo I got off a website (where all the cakes cost $1000+). Another aunt and my cousin did the flowers, and they looked precisely like the photos I gave them. My mom and I decorated the church on the Thursday (we attended that church, so had all the time we wanted!) and got endless compliments on it. Point being, it works. And you will gain a tremendous amount of precious memories by working with the people you love to create your wedding - priceless! Some of my favorite memories are the pre-wedding projects. So fun.

And P.S. I have seen many 'personally done' invitations (including ours) that I challenge anyone to pick out from a line up of 'real' ones. Just get the right person to design them, make it simple and classy, and you've got it! This $1000 business is a load of hooey.

The thing to make sure you get absolutely right is the photos. My uncle does photography so we even got that as a gift, but if that isn't the case for you, find the right people and pay them. This, of course, is I'm sure old news for you and Sean.

40
Nothing But Bonfires
Dec 22, 2008

Thank you SO MUCH, everyone, for all these great comments. I feel like I have an enormous team of older sisters helping me out.

41
Ellen
Dec 22, 2008

Another P.S. I was reading the other comments and I completely relate to the level of relaxation in a DIY wedding! If you plan things well, there is just so much less stress, in fact the only thing we hired out, the catering, messed up! These companies mess up a lot, just listen to the stories. I planned things, enjoyed the memories, and relaxed if stuff needed to be adjusted. And I had SO MUCH FUN. And like another commenter mentioned, I remember all the details and they mean something special.

42
janet
Dec 22, 2008

Leigh Miller. FANTABULOUS photog in the area.

43
Tracy D
Dec 22, 2008

My husband and I got married in May. We did a lot of DIY and we love love loved our wedding! Our invitations were from Paper Source and one of my friends designed them with pictures my niece drew for us. I printed them on my work computer (thanks work!) and addressed them myself by hand.

We spent less than $10,000 on our entire wedding and everyone kept telling us how beautiful it was and how much fun they had. I purchased hanging jelly jar tealights from a girl on craigslist (she used them at her wedding) and we got very beautiful but inexpensive flower arrangements for the table (they were like $20-25 each table).

We did cupcakes which were a big hit with everyone, and, bonus...no cake cutting fee! We did a small cake on top for us and my parents - so if you wanted to do the same thing you could use your beautiful cake topper and save a bit of money on the cake :)

I got a few things from Etsy and eBay for my wedding too.

We skipped the band and brought Rock Band instead. My brother-in-law thought he WAS a rock star. It was very fun. (I'm not suggesting you skip the DJ, but we didn't miss it at our wedding, we had our iPod playing music for much of the night in addition to Rock Band.)

Oh, your post brought back so many good memories from my wedding!!!

If you're interested, here's a link to a few photos from my wedding (mostly of decor): http://www.flickr.com/photos/35737941@N00/sets/72157611474467655/

44
kat
Dec 22, 2008

maybe go to mexico and elope? oh wait, spencer and heidi already did that. and totally kidding btw. :)

i'm sure your wedding will be beautiful!

i have no advice seeing as how i'm not married...yet! ;)

45
Sean Moses
Dec 23, 2008

My best friend's wedding was shot by Travis Hoehne Photography and he did such an amazing job that if anyone ever again needs a photographer, I'm going to recommend him to them. He's based out of nearby Riverside, so going to the OC would be no problem. If you wanna look, here's his Web site: www.travishoehne.com.

46
Dana
Dec 23, 2008

My invites for 165 guests= $85 I made the myself with the assistance of Martha Stewart print out your own invites kit. They look kind of vintagey. I have a DIY vintage themed wedding sneaking up on me in June. I've saved so much money on ebay. Seriously, I found the same things I saw elsewhere for half price or less. Got my cake topper on etsy but I am using my parents old cake topper bride and groom on top a pile of vegan cupcakes.

47
Rose
Dec 23, 2008

Wow that Travis Hoehne has some GORGEOUS photography. I'd hire him in a heartbeat!

The other one I'd hire in a heartbeat is http://celesteduranphotography.com/. She lives in Santa Cruz but travels to LA all the time for weddings. She's a good friend and just did some AHmazing pictures for me, but my blog is anonymous so please don't mention me!

48
Nina
Dec 23, 2008

We did our own invites and they were lovely and much cheaper than getting them done professionally. As far as I recall our only real wedding-splurge was on flowers - it was one thing I was sure I couldn't do myself.

But the music, the catering, the decorations - all that was DIY. My dress was a £100, Z's suit was about £75 - we stayed within budget and what we didn't spend on outfits we spent on buying champagne for the party.
It was grand.

I remember when we were doing the whole wedding planning malarkey there were a couple of communities on livejournal catering to those with lower budgets and they had lots of great ideas.

http://lowbudgetbride.livejournal.com
http://diy_weddings.livejournal.com

49
Operation Pink Herring
Dec 23, 2008

I got caught up in bidding on a lot of antique mason jars to use for our DIY centerpieces and it was NOT pretty. Not only did I end up bidding $40 over my limit, but I was so upset when I lost (even though I didn't want them for that price!) that I wandered around the house in a terrible mood for the rest of the evening, muttering about the unfairness of it all.

I'm happy you got your cake-topper, is what I'm saying. I've been so delighted with all the things people have generously offered to help with - one friend offered to make our cake, another friend's mother offered to play the violin for the ceremony, a third offered to lend me her veil and jewelery - I love hearing about your plans!

50
Caroline
Dec 23, 2008

OMG girl, do yourself a favor abd buy this book immediately: Bridal Bargains. It will save you thousands of dollars, no joke.

Whenever I would start to stress out about planning my wedding, I would take a deep breath and remember I was simply planning a really fun party. Go at it from that angle - plan a really fun party that reflects your and Sean's personalities. You'll find a lot of options that way that you wouldn't have if you were looking at it from a strictly "wedding" perspective.

And for the love of God and everything holy, buy your flowers online! I saved literally thousands of dollars purchasing mine from The Flower Exchange. I got hundreds of (huge) roses, ronunculous and chrysanthemums - enough for the bouquets of me and my two bridesmaids and my mother and mother-in-law, plus twelve table arrangements for less than $400. The flowers were gorgeous. I arranged them in old, blue antique Ball jars my mother has. Email me if you'd like to see pictures! We pretty much DIY'd everything - I even hand-painted table runners.

51
monkey
Dec 23, 2008

My sister did have a big old traditional wedding (we're Indian, avoiding a carnival is near impossible) but she did execute one diy project that I read about on an indian wedding site.

Also, just to preemptively explain WHY I was on this cheesy site-one of my grad school classmates knocked off most of the last year (we're a terminal degree so that narrows it down for you), including group projects, claiming some sort of illness. Then she shows up as a featured wedding on this website. I got at least 3 "the nerve of her" emails that summer with the link to her wedding. Yup, she spent her last semester skipping school to plan it. Nice!

But then as I was reading her story and whatnot (and figuring out how many guys she cheated on her now husband with) I looked over to the left and was like "oooh, those tealight candle placeholders are awesome and would be perfect for my sister." So I emailed her about them and they made the room look beautiful. She had an evening wedding, though, which is when they are probably at their best.

You probably did not need to know all of that-but seriously...she knocked off the end of grad school to plan a wedding! Gah!

Here you go:

http://www.indianweddingsite.com/reception/reception_article.php?article...

52
ellbee
Dec 25, 2008

It's probably for the best that your dad will be addressing the invitations...I calligraphed (is that even a word?) the invites for our wedding, and remember more than one hysterical crying jag when one or the other mom called with "just one more family to invite, I promise!"
I also made our invitations and printed them out on our house printer. They turned out fantastic...I shall have to dig around and find some photos somewhere.

Merry Christmas!

53
edj
Dec 25, 2008

Keep that sentiment! I've been married 18 years now (I must be really old) and while the day is important, it's nothing compared to the life you're building together.

And, of course, the one thing to not skimp on is the photography/videography. Seriously, how stupid to spend tons on flowers and dresses and then not have a good record of it.

One more thing: is your Mum making a traditional British wedding cake? How super if so! I had one at my American wedding (British mother) and all my American guests raved about it.

54
Chris
Dec 29, 2008

Check out Jasmine Star for photography, she's in the area. She's super expensive but INCREDIBLE. In my dream life she's shooting my wedding.