Wedding Tip Thread

Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
I saw a thread of the guy asking for wedding tips and thought, as ladies who probably enjoy that stuff more than guys do, why not start a tip thread?

--We didn't do a cocktail hour at the venue but had a sort of cocktail/coffee hour at the church to kill time while we took pictures. This knocked down the venue price from "wedding" to "special occasion," a difference of $72/person vs. $29/person. We had an open bar, but chose the "consumption" option where they only charge you for the booze used.
--I made the bouquets. I also made the centerpieces with artificial flowers from craft stores and Dollar Tree (they were easier to transport).
--We borrowed stuff like pew bows, etc.
--I bought a sale wedding dress for $99 (David's Bridal, I really wanted a vintage one but was working a lot and didn't have a lot of time to shop). My cousin gave me a veil, which I passed on to my sister-in-law.

--DJs keep the flow going. GET A GOOD ONE. We knew ours, but have been to weddings where a bad/annoying DJ ruins it. Also ours played Hava Nagila for some weird reason but everyone went with it hahah (we did a lot of Russian dances so I think he thought Russians = Jews)
--Get a photographer who listens, and put your foot down where it's important. Ours was good, but talked us into doing a "First Look" which was nice, but unnecessary. I sort of wish we had that moment spontaneously before the ceremony. She also took way, way too many social-media type pictures and I would have liked to talk to people more. Photography is sadly the main focus of weddings nowadays.
 
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Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
I love this topic mostly because I love re-thinking through our marriage :blush:

Big points: Don’t break the bank because of societal pressure. Don’t use a wedding to “show-off”.

A simple marriage in a church and then celebrated humbly at home, or however your means, is wonderful and valid. Spending more money doesn’t make it *more* valid or *more* likely to last, in fact, it seems the opposite is true.

I don’t know about specific tips per se but this is similar to what I did:

-What you wear when you become married should matter... but not that much. The “white Princess wedding dress” is a novelty and is commercialized similar to the diamond ring marketing. As long as the dress is modest, feminine, and worthy of the Marriage Ceremony, it should do.
-Get married in a church as opposed to a “venue”: If you want your marriage to be consecrated, it will have to be in a church anyway. Why bother having two different services with separate costs? My in-laws paid for the altar flowers, Stefana, and lambades. And, of course, the Priest was given a nice gift by both sides of the family.
-Have your reception in a restaurant as opposed to a “hall”. We booked part of a restaurant for our reception and had a fixed menu but an open bar. The price was much more reasonable than booking a separate space and having it catered separately.

*Pro tip: It’s just a wedding. It’s just you and your future spouse for eternity. Stop stressing out and enjoy God’s blessing.
 

Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
-Have your reception in a restaurant as opposed to a “hall”. We booked part of a restaurant for our reception and had a fixed menu but an open bar. The price was much more reasonable than booking a separate space and having it catered separately.
Also, sometimes the assumption is that it's less money to have something catered-- but unless you're having something small or at a house, it's not always the case (especially after stuff like chair rentals, dishes, staff, etc).

Planning also took much less time than we thought. Originally we thought a year was needed, but we did everything in less than three months. This isn't the case for everyone. I think the guest list was our biggest headache.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
Yep! Ours was very simple. We only had about 60 guests or so. We had an appetizer reception with no alcohol (the majority of the people we invited were non-drinkers). I borrowed my veil and my tiara and I wore a dress that was purchased for $100. My friends did my hair, nails, and makeup, and we made the bouquets. I made my own handwritten invitations. We married on a Thursday in April (our anniversary is almost here!) <3 and our honeymoon was a simple three nights in a cabin in the woods. It was lovely and I regret virtually nothing (only thing is that I would have had a better photographer).
 

Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
I kind of wonder when the Pinterest-driven wedding trends are going to die down. So many people say things like "well, don't skimp on details! Quality!" but have a weird idea what quality is (DREAM dress vs. extra guests, etc)
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
I kind of wonder when the Pinterest-driven wedding trends are going to die down. So many people say things like "well, don't skimp on details! Quality!" but have a weird idea what quality is (DREAM dress vs. extra guests, etc)
I am a very frugal person by nature. That, combined with the fact that we weren't rolling in the dough (nor were our parents) were the factors that led to our simple wedding. Even though we are better off financially now, I still wouldn't change much. In fact I might go even simpler, lol. I would have eloped with my DH to be honest. I just wanted to be his wife, that's all that mattered.
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
Here, I found a non-doxxing photo. :) A humble wedding can still be pretty and have elegant little details!

Edited to add: Meh, I think I'd better delete. Even though it didn't show our faces, it might still break the rules!
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
Lovely tips ladies! Now, a question from someone who is not married... I always envisioned that if I did get married it would only be me, the man and the Priest. It may be a personality thing but anything more than that seems cringe *for me* aka walking down the isle and saying vows infront of a Church full of people. My question is whether you believe that foregoing having this and a reception would affect the quality of the marriage? P.s I am a Christian so would need to do it in a Church.
 

Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
--I bought a sale wedding dress for $99 (David's Bridal, I really wanted a vintage one but was working a lot and didn't have a lot of time to shop). My cousin gave me a veil, which I passed on to my sister-in-law.

That’s so funny because I too wanted vintage and looked everywhere. Nothing. I too ended up at David’s Bridal looking for one of those $99 dresses. I did end up with a $300 one because I thought it looked vintage. And I thought that was an outrageous price, lol.

My brother’s wedding was a gala affair. Her family offered her either twenty or thirty thousand cash or a wedding for that amount. SHE CHOSE THE WEDDING. o_Oo_Oo_O

KC123, marriage is a thousand things more than a wedding. We had just family and a buffet type of reception at the house. Our family cooked it all. Very casual. Lasagna, burgers, chips, etc. I‘d have been fine signing some papers and avoiding the whole thing. I was very excited to be marrying my wonderful man but pretty disinterested in the wedding. I’m shy, and the walking down the aisle and saying vows in front of everyone.....even family....was horrifying. The ring wouldn’t go on my finger at first. In the video you can see me lean over slightly from an attack of the nervous giggles because I just wanted it all over so I could get off stage. I brought the giggles under control, but if they’d taken over I guess I’d still be giggling 30 years later!
 
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Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
Lovely tips ladies! Now, a question from someone who is not married... I always envisioned that if I did get married it would only be me, the man and the Priest. It may be a personality thing but anything more than that seems cringe *for me* aka walking down the isle and saying vows infront of a Church full of people. My question is whether you believe that foregoing having this and a reception would affect the quality of the marriage? P.s I am a Christian so would need to do it in a Church.
I’m pretty sure you have to have at least one other person there with you who isn’t the Priest or groom as a witness and, depending on your denomination, a sponsor. I know it might feel silly to walk down the aisle and do the ceremony in front of other people but you shouldn’t deprive your family and the people who care about you of this wonderful moment. Let them share in your joy even if it feels cringey lol :)

I don’t think not having other people there would affect the quality of the marriage per se but it could definitely hurt a lot of people’s feelings and that could make for family drama and tension down the road.

Edited to add: A marriage isn’t just about the union of a man and woman into one but also the joining of families. So, in a way, it’s their marriage too.
 
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Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
Lovely tips ladies! Now, a question from someone who is not married... I always envisioned that if I did get married it would only be me, the man and the Priest. It may be a personality thing but anything more than that seems cringe *for me* aka walking down the isle and saying vows infront of a Church full of people. My question is whether you believe that foregoing having this and a reception would affect the quality of the marriage? P.s I am a Christian so would need to do it in a Church.

Not necessarily, though you'll need witnesses. I think the point of marriage is a rite of passage and announcing it to others, otherwise you'd just shack up and get some joint property or something.

Planning a wedding is a good venture. It doesn't have to be crazy.
 

Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
That’s so funny because I too wanted vintage and looked everywhere. Nothing. I too ended up at David’s Bridal looking for one of those $99 dresses. I did end up with a $300 one because I thought it looked vintage. And I thought that was an outrageous price, lol.

I went to a vintage bridal shop in a beach town and everything fit on the bottom, but not on top haha. I also checked out a mainstream boutique where everything ran close to $1000, and one or two thrift stores. I waited until David's Bridal had their sale and was in/out in under 45 minutes. My seamstress sewed a lace panel in the bust and made a French bustle. It had sort of a 30s silhouette (not the decade I originally wanted but it worked)

KC123, marriage is a thousand things more than a wedding. We had just family and a buffet type of reception at the house. Our family cooked it all. Very casual. Lasagna, burgers, chips, etc.

That sounds awesome, I love it!
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
That’s so funny because I too wanted vintage and looked everywhere. Nothing. I too ended up at David’s Bridal looking for one of those $99 dresses. I did end up with a $300 one because I thought it looked vintage. And I thought that was an outrageous price, lol.

My brother’s wedding was a gala affair. Her family offered her either twenty or thirty thousand cash or a wedding for that amount. SHE CHOSE THE WEDDING. o_Oo_Oo_O

KC123, marriage is a thousand things more than a wedding. We had just family and a buffet type of reception at the house. Our family cooked it all. Very casual. Lasagna, burgers, chips, etc. I‘d have been fine signing some papers and avoiding the whole thing. I was very excited to be marrying my wonderful man but pretty disinterested in the wedding. I’m shy, and the walking down the aisle and saying vows in front of everyone.....even family....was horrifying. The ring wouldn’t go on my finger at first. In the video you can see me lean over slightly from an attack of the nervous giggles because I just wanted it all over so I could get off stage. I brought the giggles under control, but if they’d taken over I guess I’d still be giggling 30 years later!
Aw man, that's such a great story and also very sweet. It's interesting to hear that there are others that don't love the whole aisle/public vow ceremony idea and it seems you managed that in a way that worked out well!
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
I’m pretty sure you have to have at least one other person there with you who isn’t the Priest or groom as a witness and, depending on your denomination, a sponsor. I know it might feel silly to walk down the aisle and do the ceremony in front of other people but you shouldn’t deprive your family and the people who care about you of this wonderful moment. Let them share in your joy even if it feels cringey lol :)

I don’t think not having other people there would affect the quality of the marriage per se but it could definitely hurt a lot of people’s feelings and that could make for family drama and tension down the road.

Edited to add: A marriage isn’t just about the union of a man and woman into one but also the joining of families. So, in a way, it’s their marriage too.
Yes, I'm in definite agreement about it being the joining of families! Maybe I'd compromise then and still have a closed ceremony but then offer a reception if people really want it. As long as I don't have to see any family members for a while after the honey moon...lol! call me old fashioned but I think that's what terrifies me the most. Looking at my sweet mamma and knowing she knows... haha!
 

messaggera

Woodpecker
Woman
walking down the aisle and saying vows in front of everyone.....even family....was horrifying.

Agree.

We did not have a wedding party, just the two of us in front of God, family, and priest.

I made the boutonnieres for my husband, fathers, and my grandfather; along with wrist corsages for the mothers, and my wedding bouquet. Ordered all the wedding flowers from a local distributor and made the pew arrangements and centerpieces too. Our refrigerator was packed with only wedding flowers. Casablanca lilies.

The hardest part for me was during rehearsal with my dad. There was only 5 five us there in the chapel. I broke down crying several times when we went through the part of my father handing me to my husband. My dad means to the world to me, and the handing off really symbolized becoming a wife to my husband.

My dad and I also practiced for months on how to waltz so that when it was time for the father daughter dance we knew what we were doing. My husband and I also practiced in our home dancing. It is a great memory.

During childhood I never wanted to marry - not sure where that came from but remember thinking of that one time while up in a tree as a little girl - while the neighbor girl went on and on about a wedding. Lesson - our plans are not always part of God's plans for us.
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
Agree.

We did not have a wedding party, just the two of us in front of God, family, and priest.

I made the boutonnieres for my husband, fathers, and my grandfather; along with wrist corsages for the mothers, and my wedding bouquet. Ordered all the wedding flowers from a local distributor and made the pew arrangements and centerpieces too. Our refrigerator was packed with only wedding flowers. Casablanca lilies.

The hardest part for me was during rehearsal with my dad. There was only 5 five us there in the chapel. I broke down crying several times when we went through the part of my father handing me to my husband. My dad means to the world to me, and the handing off really symbolized becoming a wife to my husband.

My dad and I also practiced for months on how to waltz so that when it was time for the father daughter dance we knew what we were doing. My husband and I also practiced in our home dancing. It is a great memory.

During childhood I never wanted to marry - not sure where that came from but remember thinking of that one time while up in a tree as a little girl - while the neighbor girl went on and on about a wedding. Lesson - our plans are not always part of God's plans for us.
This is such a lovely story. Very sweet about you and your dad. I imagine it's one of those situations that you only grasp the depth of when you're actually going through it. Beautiful :)

I'm the same about not wanting to marry since I was a child - also not sure where it came from. I wouldn't say I'm desperate for it currently but the past year made me realise it's something I probably should do considering where the world is headed. Bring back arranged marriages would be my take though since I honestly don't have patience for dating - lockdowns or no lockdowns!
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
Yes, I'm in definite agreement about it being the joining of families! Maybe I'd compromise then and still have a closed ceremony but then offer a reception if people really want it. As long as I don't have to see any family members for a while after the honey moon...lol! call me old fashioned but I think that's what terrifies me the most. Looking at my sweet mamma and knowing she knows... haha!
When my brother got married he and his new wife spent their wedding night in a local hotel. So of course we all waited out front the next morning lol. They came out the doors to all of us cheering and my brother yelled out (much to the horror of my sister-in-law), “The marriage has been consummated!” Lol :laughter:... My poor sister-in-law turned nearly purple from embarrassment lol:laughter:
 

KC123

Pigeon
Woman
When my brother got married he and his new wife spent their wedding night in a local hotel. So of course we all waited out front the next morning lol. They came out the doors to all of us cheering and my brother yelled out (much to the horror of my sister-in-law), “The marriage has been consummated!” Lol :laughter:... My poor sister-in-law turned nearly purple from embarrassment lol:laughter:
Oh my gosh this made me actually laugh out loud! This is hilarious. Your poor sister in law though. Bless her heart. I don't know if I would have been able to handle that level of public shame lol!
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
My biggest tip: big weddings are for pretentious hoes.

(lol jk, don't feel bad if you had a big wedding and liked it)

But there is no shame in having a tiny, inexpensive wedding. Both of mine were, and I've never wished I had done differently.

At the very least, your wedding shouldn't be a hardship or something you go into debt for. The most important part of the wedding (the actual marriage, the vows that bind you together in the eyes of God) costs nothing. The secondary part (the legal marriage on paper, completed in front of witnesses) costs a few bucks.

Everything else is tertiary/nonessential. If you have the resources at your disposal to throw a big party/reception to go along with your wedding, to celebrate with your family and community, that's great!

If not - congratulations, you're normal!

The vast majority of women throughout history have NOT had huge weddings where they blow $$$$$(cost of down-payment on a modest home - or even car) on pretending to be a princess for one day.

The man I dated for a couple years before I met my current husband, we talked about getting married. He was quite a bit more attached to all of the modern cultural norms and standards and expectations than I was. He seemed down with my wish for a very small wedding initially, but as he continued to talk about it, the idea of it kept growing in size until he was talking about a "venue" somewhere "on the water" and about photography and a DJ and alcohol and catering, and the tentative number of guests kept creeping up and up and up, and and AND... it gave me a sinking, shrinking, cringing sort of feeling deep down inside. :squintlol:

His family was fairly well-off and he had a perfectly decent career, so it wasn't like fear of financial over-extension or taking on debt. But the idea of being the center of attention at a big event like that kind of made me want to crawl into a hole and die. I took it as one of the many small signs that we were not as compatible as I'd hoped.

I guess my REAL "biggest tip" is that you don't freaking have to do anything you don't want to. I remember watching and helping my sister plan her wedding years ago, and she did the typical thing where you sit down with your mom and your mother-in-law-to-be, and one of them has a gigantic "wedding planner" book and you spend hours (days?! weeks??!) flipping through it and being "reminded" of all these "traditional" and "necessary" things - like spending hundreds of dollars on custom-printed announcements AND separate invitations, and another few hundred dollars just on postage.

The biggest thing she balked at was the "Reception Line" - where the wedding party stands in one spot as every single guest makes the rounds to hug/shake hands, say a word of congratulations, etc. But she let herself be talked into doing it anyway, because the book insisted that it was one of the things you do - and I think I was the only person saying "eff that" instead of clutching my pearls and being like "but you haaaaave to, it's traditional, people will expect it."

Do you know how many hours it takes for roughly FOUR HUNDRED GUESTS to make the rounds and say hello/congratulations? She TRIED to break up/end the reception line after a couple of hours so she could actually walk around, but the expectation was already set and the line re-formed around her and she got stuck in one spot for another hour or two.

Actually, maybe THAT'S my biggest tip: don't have a reception line.

(And if you're going to have a reception line anyway, and your sister/best friend/matron of honor happens to be seven months pregnant, for the love of God don't make her stand in it.)
 

Ah_Tibor

Robin
Woman
Re: big weddings throughout history, it probably depends a lot on ethnicity, region, how much money you had, etc. When my mom was a kid weddings had like 400 people where everyone is your second cousin, or if you lived in village everyone came. I think now we're at a weird axis where all services are outsourced as opposed to gifted, so there's a strange make-believe aspect where all the decisions typically fall to the couple who are planning it (and oftentimes the bride wants to be a princess, or the parents want to show off).

My husband and I met at an Orthodox summer camp, so thought it would be fun to have the reception at a summer camp/retreat center. Our final guest list was 123, and the wedding looked a lot nicer than some people (certain in-law) expected (we still get compliments on it).

I don't really mind doing big stuff. It's a good excuse to get people together that one hasn't seen in awhile. My husband's uncle died a month after our wedding, so it was the last time we saw him. We had about 50+ at our son's baptism, and got catered food from a pizzeria (I made the sides and a dessert tray, and my in-laws brought a cake), and it was the last "big" event a lot of people went to before everyone got paranoid about breathing the same air. I think it just comes down to what you value; if it's meant to be hospitality or pride.
 
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