Frugal Wedding Finery

veggrljoJuly 16, 2009

Just wanted to pass along what happened to me this week end. My stepson was getting married and I found a $25.00 floor length gown at a thrift store. It was lovely and in style and fit perfectly. Unfortunately, before the wedding I found out it was too formal. I ended up wearing a classic dress I had purchased for a cocktail party 10 years ago:) and it was perfect! The mother of the bride, normally a frugal woman, bought a very expensive dress for the event. As she got ready the zipper broke and they had to almost cut her out of the dress and hour before the ceremony. She too ended up going back to her closet for a suitable dress.

My hubby used a 15 year old tux and the groom borrowed his younger brothers suit. I don't have the pictures yet but if I can figure out how to load them after I get them I will.

All in all a great day at a great savings and no one knew any differently.

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There are plenty of ways you can save monety on a wedding.

When my son got married we bought the flowers from the independant grocery store's florists --half the price of the regular florists.

We used the churches silk flower arrangements. They were pink and white and we stuck in a few flowers in the brides colors and had someone remove them before leaving the church.

I bought 4 inch wide white ribbon in a discount bin and a few sprays of small flowers in the brides colors from a dollar store. there were lots of flowers on the sprays. I'm handy at making big bows so I fashioned them and stuck a small spray of the flowers in the center with small gauge wire and these went on the seats. The same person--my sister collected the bows and she reused everything for her daughters wedding in 3 months time.

The cake was home made and put in tiers just one layer on top of the other. We bought marsipan butterflies from a baker and decorated the cake with them and home grown pesticide free pansies--they are edible.

The pictures were taken by an amateur photographer who was very good and our friend who was also very good took the video. My son's best man was a computer nerd so he edited the tapes and did a very good job. You just have to closely examine who you are going to ask to do these things

The one splurge we did make was for the reception but much checking got us a reasonable price that included all booze and wine for the tables and the hall.

The reason we could do this is we kept the guest list small. All in all it was a great wedding and people still comment on it and tell me what a great wedding it was 15 years later.

You know what they remember--none of the things we scrimped on, they weren't out of place. What they remember is the reception.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 4:17PM
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The best reception I ever attended was at the bride's church. She was my college roommmate. The church basement was a big open hall, she rented tables and chairs from a nearby funeral home. Food was just a bunch of casseroles made by church ladies. The food was delicious. The ceremony was simple and beautiful. Everything done cheap.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2009 at 7:32PM
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I haven't had to plan a wedding yet (we eloped!) but when I do for my daugher I believe the only thing I will splurge on will be the photographer. Wedding photos live on and on and I kinda wish I had one.

On the other hand, a simple photo shoot would do. I've seen hundreds of professional photos from just one wedding! I think a few, good shots would be worth their weight in gold.

The silliest aspects of a formal wedding? The favors that they leave on the banquet tables. Also the expectation that they need limo service. Or the entire bridal party needs limo service. Are they forgetting we already know them?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 12:41PM
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Same thing for prom. I kind of blundered into it. Took my grandson in to rent his first tux. He picked out one he liked, which wasn't marked with a circle that meant "economical", but he had his heart set on it. When we went to pick it up, the owner of the tux shop discovered they had only sent the jacket. Nothing else. I was in panic mode by then because prom was next day. She outfitted him with pants, vest, shirt, tie and hanky that she had in the back. He looked OK but the stripe down the side of the jacket was unusual and of course did not match the stripe down the side of the pants. She said the outfit was discontinued and she had neglected to take the page it was on, out of the book and said she'd had to buy the jacket in order to get it. So she 'gave' me the jacket for the price of my deposit and waived the remainder. I asked her if she would be able to get the matching pants and the other things that went with it after prom was over and she said she would and would call me when they came in. Well, she never called. She didn't respond to any of my messages. Then we drove by the shop and discovered she had gone out of business. Grrrr.

So I started searching online. I contacted several tux rental shops that would be local. Most of the ones I contacted were quite abrupt in saying that they RENT, not sell. Well, duh, I knew that, but it's a discontinued item....

However, a representative of Al's Formal Wear responded to me, understood the situation and was very, very helpful. She found the pants, the vest, hankie, tie, and added the perfect shirt with distinctive buttons that made the shirt perfect for the tux. It came in under $100, including shipping and everything fit perfectly.

So we were ready for prom this year, and DGS was really happy with his tux. He's now dating a younger girl and will probably need it yet again to go to her prom with her.

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 5:04PM
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" Most of the ones I contacted were quite abrupt in saying that they RENT, not sell. "

I find that unusual. Rental places do sell their used apparel.

I once worked for a place where all the men had to wear tuxes while working. They were told to buy used from rental shops and they did.

I know that back when I was required to wear wing collared shirts for jobs, that everyone, including myself, bought used, from tux rental places.

These places need to unload discontinued and slightly shabby stock from out of their storage areas. Selling it makes more sense than just dumping it.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2009 at 12:26PM
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When I got married we did it CHEAP. For decorations on the ends of the pews, my mom and I made big white bows. We then cut ivy from the yard, soaked it a few days in water so it wouldn't dry out, and twined the boys with the ivy when we taped them to the pews. It was so classy looking and almost free!

At my current church, there are rules about decorating. The only flowers allowed are on the altar. No bows on pews, no flowers in the window sills, etc. The only candles allowed are the ones already provided by the church (no rental candleabra). I think it's to keep the sanctuary clean but it also helps the bride keep the flower cost down!

I got my dress for $45 at an outlet store. It wasn't really what I wanted, but my mom and I made it over with new lace and pearls, and ended up being exactly what I wanted. We probably spent another $40 on supplies, and my mom did the sewing.

I have seen beautiful wedding dresses at thrift stores for $30 to $50!

My husband got an all wool, Italian tux at a dept store going out of business sale for $40. When he took it to a tailor shop to have it fitted, the tailor told him it retails for $450! He spent $50 on the tailoring so he got a $450 tux for $90!

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 11:32PM
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Its so funny that I also ended up wearing my old clothes in the closet when I attended the wedding ceremony of my friend. It just so happened that the dress I bought is too formal for the occasion. No one did notice that it was not new because they keep on saying that my dress was so beautiful. If they would just knew it was an eight year old Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   July 28, 2009 at 8:14AM
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I'm not being critical ....but I loved the typo in the preceding post, "We then cut ivy from the yard, soaked it a few days in water so it wouldn't dry out, and twined the boys with the ivy when we taped them to the pews". I was picturing all the groomsmen wrapped in the ivy and pinioned to the pews.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2009 at 6:01PM
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When I got married I was looking for dresses just for me and my youngest sister, it was prom time and Mother's Day too.
I was looking at every store possible. My fiance' found a dress for me at Layne Bryant, which was only $50.00, it was ivory and my youngest sister's was found at a store which was marking down prom dresses for $20.00, the maid of honor's dress was one from a previous wedding planned and not held.
It was so nice, the pictures were even cheaper we had family friend who did them for nothing.
I was very blessed.

    Bookmark   March 28, 2011 at 5:46PM
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