M
Savvy June 2013

Questions

M, on September 26, 2012 at 8:51 PM Posted in Planning 0 32
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After talking to my parents and my future hubby we've decided to have a small wedding. If we can't get the place we want, we're just going to do it in my parents' backyard.

My parents told us today they are going to pay for EVERYTHING for the wedding!! I am so happy we don't have to pay for it.

My questions are:

- How can I cut costs?

- Have any of you had problems with ordering dresses online?

- Would it be bad for us to have it be a potluck reception? Or should I have my sisters make the food for us?

A friend of mine has said she'd take our photos for us because she's just getting started. She takes amazing photos though! We've already decided to have a cash bar because Uncle Hank is a recovering alcoholic and doesn't have much money. We're going to have one of my sisters keep an eye on him just in case.

32 Comments

  • vngb
    Super October 2010
    vngb ·
    • Flag

    The biggest way to cut costs is the keep the guest list small. Outside of that, shop around for deals. It really depends on what is important to you and FH.

    If you order dresses online, I'd be sure there is a good return policy. It's typically best to see how the dress hangs on the person who will wear it, though, so I'd lean away from it if possible.

    For potluck reception, will you get variety and any dietary concerns met? How do you keep all the hot dishes hot, especially if it's at a house? Your guests also may not want to bring food in addition to a gift. Also, are your sisters in the bridal party? If so, would they really have time to prep food while doing hair, make-up and getting dressed? I think a non-BP, non-immediate family person would be best for this, if not a cheap caterer.

    Also, having alcohol with a recovering alcoholic present may not be a good idea. Do you know he can control himself around the temptation? (cont'd...)

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  • Kayla P. (Kayla S.)
    Super September 2012
    Kayla P. (Kayla S.) ·
    • Flag

    DIY's are a great way to cut cost. Also, as a word of wisdom from watching brides in the past, be sure to still plan the wedding that you and your FH can pay for on your own, just in case something happens and your parents can no longer pay for it for you.

    Dollar stores are a great place to get inexpensive materials for weddings. I got all my candle glasses, silk flowers, LED tealights, rocks, and a few other things there and it saved me a ton of money.

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  • vngb
    Super October 2010
    vngb ·
    • Flag

    I've seen recovering alcoholics control themselves just fine, and I've also seen them create an incredibly horrible scene. You know your uncle best, but I think it's more important to respect his needs in this situation. Your family/friends should be understanding of the situation.

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  • M
    Savvy June 2013
    M ·
    • Flag

    Vngb- My sisters are not going to be in the wedding party. I don't really like them enough for that. Lol. If we did the potluck route we'd have all of the food inside my parents' house then we'd have a tent or something set up outside for eating and dancing and such. Uncle Hank should be able to handle being around alcohol by then. So far he's only fallen off the wagon 3 times out of the 5 he's tried quitting. This time it is court ordered. He has to stop drinking if he wants to be able to see his children. He's a mean drunk. Smiley sad

    Thanks Anonymous!! I don't know how crafty I am but I guess I'm going to find out!!

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  • vngb
    Super October 2010
    vngb ·
    • Flag

    Just a word of warning - I know a mean drunk personally, and he relapsed after 15 years or so being sober. It wasn't pretty. (He's a really great guy when he doesn't drink.) He knows now he cannot even attend an event where alcohol is being served - he can't trust himself, and he'd rather be safe than sorry.

    Again, not saying your uncle couldn't do it, but 3 out of 5 times is a majority (btw - how can it be 3 out of 5? If he tried 5 times, that means he must have failed 4 times...). The court order may make him more focused, but honestly - asking him to be around alcohol, watching others drink it, and expecting him not to indulge will be asking a lot from him. Plus, if anything happens, you and your family can potentially be held responsible. It's a very serious situation that may have consequences for you, your FH, your guests, and most of all your uncle. I'd really be cautious with this situation.

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  • Combay
    Master April 2013
    Combay ·
    • Flag

    Venue, food and alcohol are the biggest cost. If you keep your guest list short, you'll have no problem. It would be nice if they told you what number they felt comfortable with that way you could plan around that. I do understand you not wanting to take advantage.

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  • M
    Savvy June 2013
    M ·
    • Flag

    Hank's been sober for about 2 months this time. I said 3 out of 5 times because one time he was actually sober for a few years. Then he met Sally and it all went downhill from there. She drank all the time and he started again. She got pregnant. He kept drinking. He ended up sending her to the hospital once. Smiley sad It was terrible. I can't just not invite Hank to the wedding and I don't want to not have alcohol.

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  • Sara
    VIP May 2013
    Sara ·
    • Flag

    Potluck weddings are not the norm where I am from, but potluck family reunions are. However, I would find it off-putting to be invited to a backyard potluck wedding that has a cash bar. All backyard weddings I have been to have had a keg or a cooler of beer. I have been to a few potlucks (not wedding related) that were BYOB, but most of those even have a cooler of beer.

    I also think that with a backyard wedding people will not expect a full bar, just beer and maybe a few other options depending on the crowd.

    And if you have a backyard potluck wedding, keep your dress budget modest - there was a bride on here who was invited to one and was offended that the bride had a brand new designer dress.

    You need to set a budget then go from there. The venue, food, and alcohol are the most expensive, but everything else can add up. Even with a backyard venue, rentals can get very expensive. Do your research as you create your budget so that it is realistic, it makes it easier to stick to.

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  • Samantha  Cobb
    December 2019
    Samantha Cobb ·
    • Flag

    First let me say CONGRATULATIONS, and congratulations on getting your parents to pay for everything as well, with that said this can be a good thing and an bad thing, Good because now the financial burden is not all on you’re an your FH, however with someone else footing the bill (the parent) they have some say so in the planning, so my first piece of advice is sit down with the parents and hear them out with what they expect and the budget and then set some ground rules about final decision making, etc..Now to answer your questions:

    - How can I cut costs? Like many brides have already said DIY is a option, but there a many discount shops, sales, and internet deals ALL THE TIME.

    - Have any of you had problems with ordering dresses online? I have not had a bride yet with this issue however what I tell my brides is to get your measurements done by a professional and also get the dress sooner than later just in cause and read and re-read the return policy.

    (cont)

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  • Samantha  Cobb
    December 2019
    Samantha Cobb ·
    • Flag

    (cont)

    - Would it be bad for us to have it be a potluck reception? Or should I have my sisters make the food for us? Not a bad idea to cut cost however what happens if no one brings food or is running late, or decides all together not show up. This is one place I tell my brides to not leave this up to chance. Your sister will be a good idea if she is not to be part of the wedding party, it will be a lot for her to handle getting food prep as well as herself and whatever else responsible you have/will place on her.

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  • Samantha  Cobb
    December 2019
    Samantha Cobb ·
    • Flag

    - Would it be bad for us to have it be a potluck reception? Or should I have my sisters make the food for us? Not a bad idea to cut cost however what happens if no one brings food or is running late, or decides all together not show up. This is one place I tell my brides to not leave this up to chance. Your sister will be a good idea if she is not to be part of the wedding party, it will be a lot for her to handle getting food prep as well as herself and whatever else responsible you have/will place on her.

    • Reply
  • Sara
    VIP May 2013
    Sara ·
    • Flag

    For the online wedding dresses - just know that there are a lot of knock-off sites. Be smart, if the price is too good to be true, then it is. Be sure to try on dresses before ordering off the internet to make sure you like the style.

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  • Adele
    Devoted May 2013
    Adele ·
    • Flag

    You can cut costs in many ways. FOOD: if your have close family/friends who are willing to bring a dish for potluck, that might be a good way. Some are always willing to help out (maybe by bringing a dish as a gift... or both). You can always keep foor hot with those food warming racks/trays (you can purchase at Walmart/Costco) I've used those a lot doing other parties.

    DRESS: Just be careful if ordering online. Check their return policy.I'm stuck with a dress that I couldn't return to China (TB Dress - don't order from them). I ended up going to a local bridal shop & finding my dream dress there. Maybe try on dresses in different styles at a bridal shop before you commit to a style online.

    DECOR: keep things simple. Tons of ideas on this website's pictures. I'm using dollar store cylinder glass vases, with a sprig of orchid in the vase full of water, with a floating candle on top & surrounding the tall vase with shorter votive candles from Pier1 (votive candle holders were $1).

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  • Adele
    Devoted May 2013
    Adele ·
    • Flag

    I'm also making paper origami cranes to hang on the archway for our ceremony.

    Invitations can be ordered online - tons of great ideas out there. I've ordered my save the date picture cards from Shutterfly.com. (My daughter is designing my wedding invitations - she's a graphic artist. My daughters are great with photography too, so they are my photographers. It's great that you have a friend that is gifted that way. I'm sure she feels special to be given that honor.

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  • Adele
    Devoted May 2013
    Adele ·
    • Flag

    Also check out garage sales for various styles of vases - that shabby chic style is darling! (using different style vases for centerpieces)

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  • Linda E: Fairy Godmother
    Master September 2012
    Linda E: Fairy Godmother ·
    • Flag

    Sounds like you are off to a good start. Backyard weddings can be so beautiful and lots of fun.

    One way to save is DIY as much as you can - I know many folks think you spend just as much money that way but if you are smart you won't. Example centerpeice: 1 cylinder vase ($1), water beads ($3), a few real blossoms or silk ($5) and a floating candle ($2) and you have a gorgeous centerpiece for around $10. Here's a pic of one I did - you just wouldn't have the actual lantern.


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  • Linda E: Fairy Godmother
    Master September 2012
    Linda E: Fairy Godmother ·
    • Flag

    Like @Adele - I also made origammi cranes and used them everywhere! They were beautiful and guests loved them. I also made kusudama flowers - now there's a DIY that is simple, doesn't take much time and all it costs is paper and glue. I used them as favors and all the women took them home. There are some great tutorials on YouTube for both the cranes and the flowers.



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  • Adele
    Devoted May 2013
    Adele ·
    • Flag

    Check out my profile - I have my inspiration pictures there.

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  • Adele
    Devoted May 2013
    Adele ·
    • Flag

    Yes Linda, I saw videos on youtube of how to make those kusudama flowers. I'm thinking of making some flowers too (but still have to finish my 1001 paper cranes lol)

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  • Linda E: Fairy Godmother
    Master September 2012
    Linda E: Fairy Godmother ·
    • Flag

    Hey Adele - what are your colors - I have quite a few white paper cranes leftover if you can use them.

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