Sunday, August 02, 2009

Green and guides and wedding ideas

But not guides for "going green". And no, I'm not getting married, that wasn't an announcement. But I have ideas.

Oh...actually, this isn't green, this is black and red. I got a new cell phone, in fact, we all three got new cell phones, and since they are all exactly the same, we ordered the ones that came with a free decal/skin thingy. I finally picked mine out, and this is what I decided on. It's perhaps a bit loud, but I really was having a hard time picking one and I like black and red. I'll get used to it. I didn't really want a pink phone last time, but I got used to having it.

This is green! Green tissue paper I salvaged from one of Colin's birthday presents. I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, but it's green...surely I can find something to use it for! :)

More green. There aren't as many nice green dishes and kitchen utensils available as there used to be; a lot of things are avocado green now, which is not the green I like. But I found these cutting boards at Costco and the casserole dish at Homegoods. recently published (online or as pdf files anyway, I think the hard copies are still to be published) A Girl's Guide to Marrying Well and also A Guy's Guide to Marrying Well. (pdf links, both of those.) Here's the blog post about the girl's version.

The Girl's Guide is very good...a lot of it is articles that I've seen before on Boundless, but I think there is extra material as well. (I haven't read the guy's guide yet, and yes, girls can read it too. :D But like the girls guide, I recognize a lot of articles that I've read on the blog.) I recommend the two guides, though the name makes me laugh. I've read so many old novels that the phrase "marrying well" immediately makes me think of marrying a rich man or woman. :) Which, I assure you, is NOT what the guides are advising. ;) Well, there is stuff about guys being able to provide for a family, but that's not quite the same.

This reminds me of a discussion we had the other night while my grandparents were over here for Colin's birthday. We got started talking about wedding cakes, and dresses, and how much all that stuff costs if you get whatever is trendy to get. (Poor Colin...he finally interrupted with "Isn't this cake good?!!")

Apparently the average wedding cost in the US is $20,ooo-something. $20,000??!!! Insanity. And really unnecessary. I guess we got started talking about this because we were talking about the cake from Costco. You can order a sheet cake, (or half-size sheet cake, whatever that was that we got Colin) for $17. And you can get it with ivory icing with roses on it and everything. I really think that's what I'll do when I get married, unless there's some reason I feel I need to get a traditional wedding cake. But I think it would be a lot more convenient to have flat cakes like that (easier to cut for one thing), and SO much cheaper. Wedding cakes cost outrageous amounts, and these Costco cakes taste as good, or better than most wedding cakes.

So there's really no reason for cake to be expensive. Catering? Meh. I don't think I've tasted any catered food yet that I was really impressed with. Depends on your situation perhaps, but in our church, the ladies would probably be willing to help make food. And once again, it would taste better.

Even if you did end up paying to have various things done for you, there are just so many unnecessary and overpriced elements of the "standard" wedding. One of my second-cousins got married recently, and I'm not sure what all she did for her wedding, but I know she was planning on it being very frugal.

Wedding dress? Well, I've heard of women getting them while they're on sale for $100 or something, which is fairly reasonable. But I've also heard the other end of the scale...expensive designer dresses and another expensive dress for the reception. A wedding dress could be sewn at home, if you have the skills for that (sounds like a bit of nightmare to me actually, even though I do sew...all that fabric.) :D But it could be done, or you could buy a dress on eBay, or some other place if you want a vintage dress, or don't mind a modern but used dress.

Anyway, rant and wedding ideas over. Obviously, I don't want what counts as a typical wedding these days. I might end up conceding some things depending on what my future in-laws expect, but I kinda doubt it. :p I don't care if my relatives are shocked by things not being traditional, and chances are I'll marry someone equally...I'm blanking on an adjective...the only thing I'm coming up with is anarchistic. Heh.


Beth said...


Given the choice, your father and I would prefer a son-in-law who was an iconoclast rather than an anarchist. :)

Lizzie said...

I really like your cell phone skin!
And just out of curiosity... are you using the cutting boards and casserole dish now, or saving them for your future home? =)

And I can't believe it's $20,000 now! Last I heard, it was $10,000, which is still shocking. (Imagine paying for college AND a wedding in the same 5-10 year span... ouch.)

I always look at the wedding dresses at Goodwill. I actually bought one already, but it's not really what I want... =P

And don't concede! The bride is always supposed to get what she wants! :P

photogirl said...

Making a wedding dress is so much cheaper than buying one! I made mine for under 50 dollars and it had about 20 yards of fabric. ( including lining!)

I totally agree with you about having a frugal could someone afford a $20,000 one, especially now?! =)

rebecca said...

I just read the Girls' Guide too! It was good.

I would definitely want an inexpensive wedding too...if only because the wedding lasts a day and there are so many other things in your marriage to save money for. But I think a lot of people focus too much in general on that one day.

Oh, and I would prefer a nice baked from scratch by a kindly old lady cake than a fancy one that tastes like cardboard :)

I don't know if you've ever seen some of those modest wedding dress sites, but they actually have some nice dresses that aren't too expensive. And unless I had like 2-3 years to work on it (and actually knew how to sew), I'd be afraid to try sewing my own. I'm sure there would be a couple other things going on to keep you busy...

Goodness. I seem to have a lot to say on this subject.

Natalie said...

Heehee, yeah iconoclastic was more what I was going for, Mom. :D

I'm saving them, Lizzie. :)

Yeah, I actually have a dress already too, unless I change my mind about what I want for a dress. It's a vintage dress I bought on eBay, and I know I didn't pay very much for it.

Haha! Well...turning into a "bridezilla" as they put it wouldn't be real great either. ;)

Photogirl, well, I have seen news articles about people starting to be more frugal about weddings because they can't afford all of that actually.

Oh yes, Rebecca, I meant to put that in my post, but didn't get around to it, I see. Focusing on everything being perfect and spending all that money seems to take away from the true reason and meaning of the wedding. And yeah, it's only one day...what's better, spend $20,000 on a wedding, or put a down-payment on a house that you'll have for a long time? Or something like that.

Hehe. No cardboard cake!!

Yes, I think I have...and if I change my mind, I might get one from a place like that. Yeah, since I can't sew anything without messing it up a little bit, I wouldn't be too keen on the sewing idea personally. :P Yup...might be just a FEW other things to keep you busy. :D

Jessica said...

In-laws could have expectations, but your parents are the ones paying for the wedding, so it's really up to you and them...

I would want to be as frugal as possible for my wedding. Yes, I want it to be nice, but I'm not even into the big, flashy stuff. I want a white dress that looks good on me (and wedding-ish), with a veil and a little train. I'll probably impose upon somebody and have it in their back yard, or in a small church...something nice, but not fancy. As for food...the only reason why I *might* want to get some of it catered is that I would like to have a lot of people there, and it is so hard for any number of women to make that much food. I could have a "wedding potluck", but that would be...interesting...not traditional, but it might just work. I just know I couldn't make everything, and I don't want my relatives to exhaust themselves making so much food.

Meredith Ivy said...

I also enjoyed reading "The Girls Guide to Marrying Well". I agree it is very similar to many of the Boundless blog posts, but it's still a great over view on the topic.

I bought my wedding gown about two years ago at a thrift store for $29.96. Seriously. :) I have been wedding dress shopping with friends since then and love my dress way more than any in the expensive stores. Gowns similar to mine are $2,000-$3,000 and mine fits *perfectly* and won't even need altering. So keep looking at thrift stores and other second hand avenues! So many people get divorced and don't care to see their wedding dress anymore and get rid of it!

mandolinartist aka amanda said...

You are wise in thinking about a frugal wedding. Some people go over the top just for the "frill" of it all, which is ridiculous. Of course sometimes parents flip the bill, but if not, a couple going into a major debt for a wedding is a good way to add undo stress on a new marriage. Anyway,we had a nice wedding, traditional in some ways, unique in others. We did most things ourselves, including making our own invitations, decorations, etc. I used green plants and then silk flowers for the guys and girls. I found a 'new' dress for $99; I even liked it before I saw the price. We had a friend do photography so we wouldn't have that large bill and took care of printing ourselves. We had a high noon, 12pm wedding and had snacks or heavy appetizers for the reception. We did have the rehearsal dinner catered by a local barbeque place, but a couple relatives picked up that bill as part of our wedding gift. You can find some decorations, favors, etc, (if you need those things,) at Dollar Tree, Big Lots, Party City, and online at Oriental Trading. We did have a fairly traditional wedding cake, but even if you wanted to buy Costco cakes, you could probably buy round cakes at different sizes, get your hands on some wedding cake tiers, and set it up yourself to look like a professionally made cake. (Just an idea...) While I may be one of the queens of frugality, I will suggest not to hold back on all costs since this is a one time event.

Uncle Jim said...

Amanda, I find your (perhaps intentional) misspelling of the word "undue" most apropos. :)

mandolinartist aka amanda said...

HA! Jim, I thought about the 'typo' after I submitted the comment, but I suppose it could serve as an illustration, as you imply!

Natalie said...

Ah...just realized I never replied to the last comments.

A potluck would be "interesting", Jessica. :D And I see what you mean about not wanting people to have to make a ton of food...obviously I wouldn't expect that either. But I'd want a pretty small wedding if possible. I guess.

Oh yeah, photography...I didn't even think of that, Amanda! Sheesh, how did that escape me? :D Hmm. Yeah, I don't know what I'd do for that. Photography does seem to cost a lot.

Lizzie said...

Just get a friend to do the photography. =P My sister would do it! ;)

Natalie said...

Oh yeah, there's an idea, Lizzie! I've also heard of people putting disposable cameras on the tables for the reception so people can snap photos then.

Although, with as obsolete as film is getting, and how many people have digital cameras, it would almost make more sense to just nicely ask people to bring their own cameras and take pictures if they'd like to! :D