No page of mine would be complete if I didn’t post this somewhere. I wrote this a long time ago and its made its rounds. At the time it was my idea of what a wedding-on-the-cheap should be. Funny enough - my actual wedding wasn’t too far off the mark.
( Beating a horse unto death? I say neigh, neigh. Ahem.Collapse )
Please Bring the Potato Salad
So you want a wedding on a shoestring?
So you want a shoestring wedding? The decision isn’t an easy one to make. Still on the fence? Consider this: the average wedding costs $30,000. The average down payment on a house is $30,000. ‘Nuf said.
Living with your new spouse is going to be hard enough. Now imagine having make up sex with your parents in the next room.
So now you’ve weighed the option of an expensive wedding against living with your mom for the next two years. Now you have a lot of planning ahead of you…
Where to have your wedding
Reception Halls are grossly overpriced. Know anyone with a very large house? How about someone with a decent sized backyard? How well do you know these people? Is there time to schmoose before the wedding?
An outdoor wedding is nice. Tents are always key in case the weather is inclement. If you’re a camper then you probably already have a tarpaulin or two laying around. Drum up some more campers. Camping tarps aren’t the pretty white ones you would normally rent for a wedding but add a few balloons and no one will notice.
If you’re polite then you’re going to need chairs for the wedding. Consider asking the guests to bring their own chairs. This not only eliminates the need to hunt them down yourself but allows each guest to seat themselves in a chair they know to be comfortable. You save money AND get credit for thinking about your guests’ comfort. People like to feel special.
Having your wedding indoors? Ask a schoolteacher to fork over some of the little carpet sections that she makes her kids sit on. Tell your guests your fiancé is part Asian. Rope off the couch for Aunt Edna and Uncle Lou. If not - get those One Time Use cameras ready!
Sending out invitations
“You’re invited to Dawn and Goober's wedding please bring the potato salad.”
Of course, you’d have to change the names so it would make sense to your family - but this would make an excellent cover for the invitations. Of course, it’s functional, too. Here now, you have to decide whether to TELL your guests what to bring or to invite suggestions. Consider making every invitation different:
You’re invited to Dawn and Goober's wedding please bring a spicy Mexican dish. You’re invited to Dawn and Goober's wedding please don’t make that casserole.
It suits each and every one of your guests, serves a function and makes everyone think they are special because you so carefully addressed every invitation to them personally.
People like to feel special
Setting up for the wedding
Running out of room? An ironing board makes an excellent buffet table. Need an extra ice cooler? A top loading washing machine with some ice in it makes a great stand in. If not - you can improvise with a front loading dishwasher. Why have ice coolers loading up your guest space? But where to put all those dishes that your guests are creating? Not a problem. Here is where you buck up on the heavy duty Dixie dishes. Keep plenty of heavy duty garbage bags on hand.
There are some places where you just don’t cut corners.
Where do you find a band for a shoestring wedding?
Bands are expensive. But by pulling a few strings you can get a band real cheap. What’s that you say? Don’t know any bands that would give you a break? Sure you do. Remember all those times as a teenager that you went to see your friend’s band and bucked up all those cover fees? The band stunk but you went anyway just to support your friends and make them look good. Well, it’s payback time. I don’t care how long it’s been since you last spoke. Look them up. Remind them of the time your jacket got stolen at that dive bar you went to see them at. Remind them about the time you got cornered by three lesbians in the bathroom (or gay men as the case may be).
Exhausted all your old band friends and still have no one to play at the wedding? Take all those cd’s you have laying around the house. You like them or you wouldn’t own them. Find some obscure friend that very few people have met. Teach them how to work your CD player and tell everyone you have a DJ. Who’s gonna know?
Whether you go with a band or a guest DJ following are some suggestions for songs to play at your wedding. Who knows? Perhaps you'll choose one of these as your wedding song!:
Guns N Roses - I Used to Love Her. Never mind the lyrics. Everyone will hear the words Love Her and think it a grand wedding song.
Alice Cooper’s always a real crowd pleaser - consider You and Me or Be My Lover
Stephen Stills - Love The One You’re With - ouch. "If you can't be with the one you love - love the one you're with". Years later when you get divorced and your friends tell you that they saw it coming - you can claim you did too and cite this song as proof. A GREAT song, by the way, for arranged marriages.
Rolling Stones - You Can't Always Get What You Want.
Barry McGuire - Eve of Destruction. It doesn't have ANYTHING to do with marriage, weddings, or love but what a GREAT title for a wedding song, huh? Resist the urge to put this title on your favors.
Beatles - When I'm 64 - ALRIGHT - I caved - this is actually perfect for even a normal wedding. Not really a dance tune but watch as all the people who are in the know dance like Old Fred.
Bob Marley - No Woman, No Cry. Doesn't sound as good when the ladies say "No man, no cry" but what a hoot, huh?
Elvis - Suspicious Minds. Wow, that's messed up.
The Coasters - Get an Ugly Girl to Marry You. Again, not exactly a song for the ladies but hell, it's funny.
Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand - You Don't Bring Me Flowers. You may as well start singing it now.
Meatloaf - Paradise By the Dashboard Light. I tried to avoid it but I needed to use this line. When he finds out that you expect him to bring home the bacon AND fry it up in a pan AND never let you forget he's a man - he's gonna be singing about the end of time himself.
The Odd Couple theme song.
Photographers are grossly overpaid. We like those One Time Use cameras. Usually meant as a supplement to the photographers professional shots, why not use them as your main source of wedding photos? Let’s face it - those little cameras take excellent pictures and a professional photographer won’t follow Aunt Edna into the bathroom to take candid shots of her fixing her pantyhose after three Manhattans. A professional photographer won’t follow around Uncle Lou with the toilet paper hanging on his shoe. That would be uncouth. For a professional photographer. Not for Lou, Jr.
For these we have lots of ideas. The easiest? Look in your closet and collect all the wedding favors from past weddings you’ve attended. Scrape, scratch or pull off the names of the happy couple - they’re probably divorced by now anyhow. Put them all together. Now you can handle handing them out two ways. First is that you can wrap them up pretty and hand them out. Tell them not to open them until you get home. Tell them that your new spouse is extremely superstitious and won’t allow it. In this way you can ensure that your guests will not realize (at least right away) that all of the favors are different. Another way is to keep them unwrapped and throw them into a large, colorful sack. As each guest says goodnight to you, close your eyes and fish around in the bag. When you find one and pull it out - comment loudly on how lucky they are they got the one you’re giving them. Pout about how sad you are to let that one go. It’s all in the delivery. People want what other people are unwilling to give away.
Don’t have a great deal of wedding favors floating around the house? Look to regift. Plenty of folks have given you little chotchkas that you want to get rid of. That gift that when you said “Oh, you shouldn’t have” - you really meant “I really wish you didn’t”. The gift that they said when buying it “I just want to get her a little something…” without any forethought on whether you were into Chia pets or troll dolls. Give them away at your wedding. No one expects nice favors from a wedding anyhow.
What to throw at the bride and groom
Gone are the days of throwing rice at the bride and groom. I’m all for that “save the pigeons” thing. If all the pigeons are gone I’m afraid to think of what would shit on my car next. Bubbles are cute. Aunt Edna will think she’s at a Lawrence Welk show. But those little bottles of wedding bubbles are a small fortune. You could consider getting little bottles of regular bubbles - the ones that don’t have doves on them or that silly little bride and groom - there’s a big difference in price. You could also think about buying the large bottles of bubbles - the ones that used to sell for $.50 a bottle. That’s still cheaper than the fancy little bottles of bubbles. I recommend saving film canisters. A small amount of bubble mix will fit into each one. Need a wand? Float a small cutting of a straw in each one. It’ll be a bitch to fish out but it makes an excellent wand. The entire canister is free for you to paint on it the date of the blissful event and the name of your beloved. Not good at painting? Have some labels printed out of the computer and slap them on. Not interested in the expense of computer labels? Leave it blank. Your favors will only get lost or go in the garbage as soon as your guests get home anyhow. Besides, a cheap bottle of bubbles will be a perfect segue into a potluck wedding.
So you’ve been invited to a potluck wedding :
A Guest’s Guide toGifts for Potluck Wedding
So you’ve been invited to a shoestring wedding. What do you bring? Unlike most weddings, food items are not only acceptable, they are preferred. In fact - they are suggested (read your invitation carefully). This opens up a world of possibilities. Of course, in the spirit of the shoestring wedding, it’s downright rude to go out and spend a large sum of money on the items you plan to bring. In this section, we will address some potluck meals or desserts that you can bring to a shoestring wedding without insulting the host. After all, just as you mustn’t show up looking prettier than the bride, you mustn’t show up at a shoestring wedding grandstanding that you have more money than the Newlyweds.
Do your friends like cheesecake? Throw out that $50 recipe for cheesecake that includes three different types of cheeses. Philadelphia cream cheese prints a recipe for cheesecake on the inside of the box that only takes 2 packages of cream cheese. In fact, if you don’t mind ripping open the box in the store and taking the recipe out of the Philly box you can get the store brand cream cheese for half the price and save even MORE money. The total recipe should cost you $5. That doesn’t include coupons and that also assumes you have a bottle of vanilla extract in your house. Not usually a baker? Ask your neighbors for a teaspoon of vanilla. Ask when the woman of the house is not at home and the husband will probably give you the whole bottle and forget to tell his wife.
Here’s a spin on pastries. Like all those mini pastries that cost a small fortune at the bakery? Why spend all that money when you probably have the fixins at home for a fraction of the cost. Get a shoe box. Find that Oreo cookie that fell to the bottom of the pantry and no one will eat or throw out. Ordered in Chinese food lately? Grab a couple of those fortune cookies and throw them in. What’s more - they’re individually wrapped! Now you’re up to three. Want to go for a half dozen or a full dozen? How much do you like the Newlyweds? Got a few of M&M’s floating around the bottom of the candy dish? Blow off the cat hair and throw them in. Got any leftover Valentine’s Day candy? Hearts are nice for a wedding. Move over Entenmanns’s!
More Gift Ideas
Feel bad about only bringing a tasty dish and not bringing a gift? Don’t feel SO bad that you’re willing to go into hock over it? Here’s an old standard: regifting. Look around your house - I’m sure there’s something that someone gave you somewhere along the line that you want to get rid of. How about that half-naked figurine that your sister-in-law gave you one Christmas because it was a girl on a bike and YOU’RE a girl on a bike!? What about that crystal picture frame that you know you’re NEVER going to use?? Here’s a stand-by- in a pinch - how about giving a beautiful card with a small piece of wrapping paper taped to it. Now repeat after me: “Oh! My card must have gotten separated from the gift!”.
Current Mood: Redundant. Redundant.