in part two, i want to get more practical with actual tips about planning your wedding. because i am an avid multi-tasker, it makes me especially happy that not only do many of these tips save money, but they are also better for the environment, put the focus onto jesus and the reason for marriage and will help you have a unique and personalized wedding.
this is one of the areas of our wedding that God really answered prayer. early on in our engagement, i decided that i would try to borrow a dress to wear for our wedding. later that week, i went to a friend's wedding and she wore an absolutely beautiful dress. because i loved her dress, and because we wear the same size, i was determined to work up the courage to ask her if i could borrow it. but i decided that i would wait for a few months, so that she didn't feel like i was encroaching on her special day or something.
there was no need to wait. the day she got back from her honeymoon, she called me about something, and in the course of the conversation offered me her dress, even though i didn't bring it up at all! definitely one of those moments that was clearly 100% God, 0% me. (the above picture is me in the dress!)
other ideas for getting a used dress: your mom or grandma's dress (vintage is in these days, and your mom/grandma would certainly feel very blessed to see you wear her dress), check online sites like ebay, craigslist etc. fortunately, since wedding dresses almost always have to be altered anyways, you dont have to worry about it being an exact fit if you buy it without seeing it.
three words to keep in mind for the flowers are: local, DIY and reconsider. fist of all, local. the best advice on how to save on flowers i got was to ask around to friends or family who have nice gardens, and ask if you can use some of their flowers. the picture to the left was from the table that alex and i sat at during the reception. the beautiful white rose was from the garden of our neighbor and friend tom. (we also used his jalapenos for the food we made for our wedding... more on that in the next post). we also had lots of ivy as decoration, which came from my mom's garden. local not only saves money, but it saves the environment. many flowers at a florist shop are shipped from hundreds, even thousands of miles away, which not only costs a lot of money, but puts tons of pollutants in the air. i was looking into getting a gardenia to wear in my hair for the wedding, but found out the cost was prohibitive because they only ship them from Africa, even though you can get live gardenia plants from the US. ridiculous!
when it comes to flowers, do it yourself. bouquets are actually pretty simple to tie, so just buy a few flowers and put it together yourself (or in my case, enlist a creative bridesmaid to do it!). buying a few large flowers is easier and cheaper than buying many small flowers, and it will make just as much of a splash. as you can see in the picture, my bridesmaids carried bouquets of three pink gerbera daisies... they were simple but beautiful.
on the other hand, you may want to reconsider even having flowers at your wedding. this may sound sacrilegious, since probably every wedding you have been to ever has had flowers as a prominent feature. but who said that you have to have flowers at your wedding? i didn't carry a bouquet, because it felt like a waste for something that would spend less than an hour actually being in my hands (instead i did choose to wear a single flower in my hair, since that would be with me the whole evening). in fact, i almost didn't get bouquets for my bridesmaids, but i figured they might not be as into bucking the trend as i am, so i did decide to have them carry the simple bouquets i described above.
in the upcoming posts, i will write more about what alex described as the "piece of dust" on my hand, how we served a meal to 200 people for about $400 (including alcohol!), and how to save on photography.
what about you? do you have any simple, frugal tips to share with prospective brides?