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12-22-2011, 10:39 AM #1
Engaged! Planning a wedding dinner only. Wanna help? (long)
For those who don't know, I've been in a long-distance relationship (Colorado for me, Delaware for him) for 3 years and he surprise proposed to me on December 9th. Literally showed up on my doorstep from 1,495 miles away with ring in hand!! It was so awesome! He stayed the weekend.
Our plan is for him to come out in June, we would marry privately, then go to my parent's house for dinner. (same town) Total people attending the dinner would be 10 and my first grandbaby. They are all in the same town.
Then, he will help me load up my stuff to move to Delaware. When we get there for our new life together, settled into our new house, we would then have a family dinner with his side of the family. I'm pretty much leaving that dinner alone, they can figure it out, ha!
Here's where I need help:
For my family's Wedding Dinner I am trying to be super frugal but at the same time I do want the dinner to be nice.
What items would you splurge on and what would you skip or be super frugal on?
1) skip flowers, they die. Maybe find silk flowers at Goodwill?
2) Do get a NICE cake. Would it be rude for me to ask my SIL to bake and decorate a cake for me? She has done all our birthday cakes in the past but I don't know if its rude to ask her for a bigger occasion like this. She doesn't do it professionally, is just really good at it. Should I offer to pay her for the cake? Could I ask her for that in lieu of a gift or is that insinuating she would give a gift?
3) Table decorations. No clue. Only 10 people, don't really need place cards or should I to make it look formal and nice?
Wedding will take place in June, already made sure my parents would host it, already requested a dish that I love. Should I be offering to buy the ingredients for that dish? This is my second marriage.
Thanks for any input and I'll also peruse the wedding threads for ideas.
- 12-22-2011, 10:52 AM #2
congrats!!! I would ask your SIL to do your cake as a gift to you and your groom. With ten people i don't think you need place cards maybe just candles on the table for decoration.12-22-2011, 10:55 AM #3
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Cogratulations!!! I would ask sil to make the cake instead of a gift, also silk flowers are verry pretty , and you could use as a gift for your mom to keep after the dinner ,I would shop the good will for candle holders and vases for table decor . I am very happy for you& best of luck12-22-2011, 11:09 AM #4
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I think if you like your SIL and you're in the habit of doing favors for each other, then it would be okay to ask her. She may be flattered! If you don't like her then it might appear you're using her. You could offer to pay for the ingredients. A cake for ten shouldn't be that expensive though, so she might turn you down.
Keep your eyes open at GW for unique things you could use for a cake topper and similar wedding items. Often you see things like bride and groom wine glasses. Or if you know how to etch glass, you could make your own from GW wine glasses. Or just buy a set of really beautiful glasses for the two of you.
Flowers are always nice. How many families will be attending? If you could find inexpensive silk flowers and arrange them in small, nice vases from GW, you could send one home with each family as a keepsake.
For your dinner, does it need to be formal? Could you do it buffet style and make the food up ahead of time and freeze it? That might help you take advantage of grocery sales and also help you stay ahead of things at what's going to be a very busy time since you're also moving halfway across the country. It would also be easy for your parents to prep while you're at your ceremony. All they'd have to do is set things out.
Depending on your family, maybe you could even do a potluck meal. I know nobody would think twice about that in our family, but some would consider it too tacky to think about. A barbecue might be appropriate too, depending on your family.
Be sure to consider what you already have on hand that might work for the wedding. Label a big box and put useful things into it as you come across them, so they don't get packed for the move. Do you have a nice tablecloth and napkins? What about dishes for the dinner? What, of that sort of thing, can or would your parents provide?
Do you need shoes for the ceremony? Are you wearing your wedding clothes for the dinner, or do you need to set aside something different to wear?
Make a list of what you have and what you need, so when you're out shopping and see something, you can remember what items you still need and what you have so you don't miss a good buy and don't buy duplicates.12-22-2011, 11:19 AM #5
#1 - I find fresh flowers help make the decor more alive and cheery...are you able to assemble some from your own garden? Plants some for this purpose? A few stems placed in a vase on the dinner table or on the serving table area help make it pop. You'd only need enough for a simple centrepiece and for your own bouquet and boutonnieres if you're having those. Think container garden and wild flowers
#2 - I see no harm in asking. But ask now so she has time to plan vs later where the likelyhood of her saying NO is very high. Expect a 'no' for an answer so if she says yes, you won't be disappointed. Also include the real reasons (be honest) you want her to bake the cake for you vs just asking.
Research a local back up bakery just in case. A local cafe prob has cakes brought in, ask them where they order theirs from and maybe you can go to them directly OR ask the bakery to order one in for you - don't mention the "W" word though or price doubles or more.
#3 - Simple white table cloth with proper place settings will make it look fancy/formal no? Less is more. If you're giving favors, you can place them with each setting to help jazz it up as decor. Place cards are only if you want to and only if you care whom sits next to whom.
As for paying for ingredients - offer and go from there.
Its YOUR wedding, do as YOU see fit. We didn't do the all of the traditions others would do...thats what made our wedding unique.
Tip - just keep a very detailed and updated list of where you're at with things - food, decor, guests, favors, budget etc. Its better if its in one place - ie a notebook you can tote around with you - so its easy to access in one shot.
We asked for no gifts b/c we were merging two fully stocked households into one (still am & trying to mesh and purge stuff ) So make it clear that you do not want gifts - if you don't. I don't see it rude as telling everyone directly (from you via phone, convo, email etc). Its just you expressing your wishes clearly.12-22-2011, 11:20 AM #6
I have lots of candles but my dad wont let us light them. (weird candle attitude) Would it look tacky to have unlit candles?
Oooh, I have lots of vases from the flowers my honey has sent me over the years. Maybe I could buy just one spray of flowers from a grocery store and put them in one of my favorite vases out of the ones I find. (as a centerpiece)
The meal I'm requesting is an "all in one pot" meal that my mom makes the day before usually.
Hm I do think I want it "nice" but not super formal. I love the idea for finding a fancy set of wedding glasses or champagne glasses for him and I, then get some bubbly cider or something like that. No one drinks alcohol so wont have that expense.
I should definitely start a Wedding Box! I already realized that I packed the dress (Space bagged it) that I wanted to wear. oops. Need to find that, and iron it, ha!!
Thank you for the suggestions, this forum is awesome, I always think I know how to do frugal and then everyone chimes in with even more than I could have come up with.12-22-2011, 11:22 AM #7
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Get thee to Pinterest woman!
They have the most amazing wedding ideas. I have seen centerpiece ideas that didn't involve flowers at all and were still delightful.12-22-2011, 11:24 AM #812-22-2011, 11:38 AM #9
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I've seen flameless candles at dollar stores. Maybe those would work in some of your candle holders. But no, I don't think it's tacky to just have the unlit candles. Besides, it's a small gathering of family, and I'm sure everyone already knows your dad doesn't like lighted candles so everyone would understand if they're not lit.
I agree. It's YOUR wedding. Do what you like. You only have to please yourselves.
Is there someone in your family who is good at taking pictures and/or videos? You're going to want to preserve your memories.
If you don't want gifts, then maybe you could put out a call to your family members saying that in lieu of gifts, you'd like to tap their talents instead, if they're willing. So ask if people are willing to do certain tasks for you. It's not like they'd have to be doing things involving dozens of people, so they may be very willing to do things for you just as a way to participate in your day.12-22-2011, 11:44 AM #10
oooh, I like that idea of lieu of gifts.
its only going to be: brother, sil, their 4 kids. my parents, my daughter, bf, baby. My honey and I.
Yes this could be super easy and frugal but nice!
I have started another section in my notebook for the planning so I don't get too jumbled up.12-22-2011, 01:28 PM #11
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Congratulations, krbshappy71! I am very happy for you. I am a huge fan of intimate, personal wedding celebrations. Good for you for knowing what you want and going for it. Enjoy the planning (and enjoy the fact that keeping it small is saving you tons of stress!!).
Kara12-22-2011, 04:47 PM #12
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I agree. What you're planning pretty much sounds like my dream wedding!12-22-2011, 06:03 PM #13
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I would stay away from anything *fake* Fake flowers, fake candles.....just no. For only 10 people, it's not a huge expense to set a nice dinner. A vase with one perfect fresh flower is more beautiful than a bunch of fake ones. You can rent classic white plates for .40 each, or just buy a dozen catering plates for about 20.00. I would just keep it simple and uncluttered.12-27-2011, 03:38 PM #14
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I agree with stinkbug-- no fake flowers. You can get lovely flowers from the grocery for $4. Also, I think I would be honored if someone asked me to make their cake Congrats!I love being a History Teacher!
http://leanandgreenfrugalliving.blogspot.com/12-27-2011, 04:04 PM #15
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I agree, when my daughter got married, instead of her dad and I paying a bunch of money for the wedding and then a gift on top of it. I basicaly catered her wedding and did her wedding cake. She got the foods that she wanted, and the cake that she wanted, made the way that she wanted everything. And instead of about $30,000, we ended up putting out like a couple grand. Her wedding dress was semi home made we bought the base dress, and then did alterations so that it looked like she wanted it to.
We did a beautiful wedding, with out going into debt for years over it. And on top of that we had a much less stressful time.
I wish you all of the very best and am very Happy for you
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