I am surprised at how few people here discuss their weddings and the various stressors thereof. I could certainly use a place to vent about the process and I bet I'm not alone. Whether you're a bride, groom, relative, or just a good friend of someone getting married, this is the thread for you!
1) I am currently on the hunt for a dress and hope to have one picked out by the end of January. But who the $%(# invented wedding dress sizing and why? I am typically a 00 or 0, but according to most wedding dress designers I'm a 2 or 4. Isn't this counterintuitive? Aren't I supposed to feel good about this process? Shouldn't they be handing me glasses of whiskey and convincing me I'm a size negative eleventy billion?
2) Fun game: tell someone you want to book a place for a 5-hour private family event and get a quote. Have a friend call the same place and get a quote for a 5-hour wedding reception on the same date at the same time. Take a shot for every place that's more than a $1500 difference. Actually do not do that because you would die of alcohol poisoning. People are ridiculous.
3) It is amazing how people cannot or will not read. Someone asked if they can bring kids TO A BAR THAT IS CLEARLY ENUMERATED AS SUCH. We went ahead and put a disclaimer on our wedding website because apparently we have to tell people that an upscale cocktail bar is not really an ideal place for children. I look forward to somehow alienating my dearest loved ones over this since that seemed to happen with most of my friends that didn't permit children at their events.
Costs thus far:
Save the Dates - $120
Fancy wedding website - $95
Domain name he bought for all kinds of weird website testing because that is what you get when you marry a computer guy - $17
Cake tasting - $17
Deposit for 1/2 dessert bar - $724
Lana... i am so freaking excited for you! and i am in love with this thread & i'm looking forward to your updates! been there, done that (TWICE, lol) --- my 2nd wedding was absolutely beautiful & relaxed & happy & exciting and it was truly one of the best and most beautiful memories in my life... and i was STILL incredibly stressed about it.
i wanted to comment on the kids: we had our engagement party in a fancy bar and we made it clear to our guests that it wasn't appropriate for the kids... they STILL showed up with them! so yeah - don't worry too much about that part, many parents can't, won't or don't know how to leave their kids at someone else's care.
Location: The most beautiful little country in the world.
Hi Lana, I'm getting married in 5 weeks time.
I think we have everything under control. I got my dress about 3 or 4 months ago, a local shop had a 50% off sale, so I got a bargain! I took my 18yo son with me dress shopping as the sale was only on for a week and I work shift work, so my bridesmaids were working when I wasn't, but they both love the dress my son and I picked out.
The ceremony and reception are being held at a club my parents belong to by the beach, we are getting the venue for the cost of the cleaning as my parents have been life time volunteers at this club.
The caterers are booked, they are charging the same as they do for other functions, we have used them for functions in a club I belong to previously and the charges are the same.
I bought my bridesmaids dresses at a large department store, after taking them to lots of other stores, they both loved the department store dress more than the ones we found in more upmarket shops.
I'm doing my own flowers, going to have a practice run this week.
My son is doing mine and the bridesmaids hair as he graduated from hairdressing school a year ago.
Invitations are out and RSVP's are now trickling in......getting excited!!
Saturday morning I went to a local bridal boutique to find a wedding dress. My best female friend, my mother, and her best friend (who has two strapping grown boys and two grandchildren but always longed to visit a bridal shop). After about ninety minutes of searching, I found a few that I liked very much, but nothing worth committing to. So I returned the next day by myself and, on a whim, found The Dress. And no, I can't link it here because fiance-banana knows who I am on LS. But to his credit he's being quite a sport about it, even though it drives him nuts. "I want to know so badly but I know I don't want to know!" he wailed yesterday.
Wedding dress shopping is like being on the world's most pleasant assembly line. You are dropped into one sample size after another with attendants who clamp and pin and snap the dress around you until it fits and then paraded in front of your friends where everyone oohs admiringly. All the while the brides are sneaking glances at each other to compare and the same dresses are swapped from dressing room to dressing room. It is a hectic but relentlessly positive experience. Everyone is so happy to be there. Even I more or less enjoyed it and I can't stand trying on clothing.
Buying the dress stirred more emotions than anything besides the actual engagement. I can't wait to marry my fiance, I love him and want to be with him forever, and the thought of signing the paperwork in the courthouse makes me giddy. But the idea of the wedding itself seems so overwhelming and we're just doing a little party at a small bar. This will be a test of my social anxiety if nothing else.
Some thoughts for anyone else who might be dress shopping:
1) Go with someone who is recently married. My friend was married last year and she had SO much good advice, from pointing out what sort of details the photographer would want to capture to practice hugging motions since I'd be doing it all night. She brought up about a million points that would have never crossed my mind. Meanwhile my mom and her friend just liked everything for different reasons. It was flattering but unhelpful.
2) People who order their dresses online are bold as hell. I had a relatively long list of dresses to try on---dresses I'd picked AFTER hours of careful examining and consideration online---and was stunned at how many things about them were wrong, terrible, completely different, or some combination of the above. "This makes my breastbone look pointy" and "my lower back is too narrow" are just two of many complaints I never thought I'd have against an article of clothing. You'd also be amazed at what you can't actually alter. I thought a few things were pretty nice but learned they couldn't be changed because of weird things with seams.
3) Related to the above, wedding dress photos are basically useless. Even professional photography from the designers' websites do not do dresses justice. They might as well just have sketches because photos don't capture dresses in natural light as they glitter, glimmer and shimmer. Maggie Sottero is way ahead of the pack because they have short videos of models walking around in the dresses, but even those don't adequately convey just how sparkly the dresses can be.
New costs to add:
Couture dress and earrings rental for bridal shower - $40
Half cost of dress plus tax - $828
We rented a convertible, took a road trip of the southwest and ran off to Vegas.
I don't want to tell you how amazing, stress free and cheap it was
I think that's the way to do it! But a party is very important to my hyper-social fiancÚ, so by extension it's important to me. I am excited to eat and drink with all of our closest friends. We have some really incredible menus planned. The dessert table will be out of this world.
We are also lucky our parents are supportive of us doing what we want and they don't care about a religious ceremony. We plan to go to the courthouse by ourselves sometime in the spring to make it official. It seems much easier than a ceremony!
This is a nice thread. I did the whole big wedding once and that was enough for me. The next time I get married, I want to elope or have something ridiculously small. I kinda don't even want anyone there except the two of us (seems romantic), but I will go along with whatever my fiance wants.
25 yrs ago size zero didn't exist, there was no such thing. In my teens and early twenties I was a size 3/4 but as I neared 30 I suddenly became a size zero, not because I lost a bunch of weight but because someone just invented a new bullsh$t size in order to pander to the egos of the vain. I'm guessing wedding dress designers didn't jump on that bandwagon because it was silly. Their measurements are correct.
There are still size zeroes in wedding dresses, but they are generally more for people under 5'0" and with 22-inch waists like my mom (who insists she's still a size six as she was forty years ago). There's no uniformity in wedding dress sizing either, as I was anywhere between a 2 or 4 in almost all dresses but with one designer I was a 6. I just don't understand why we can't be like men and simply go by measurements. It's frustrating.
Wedding dresses are like engagement rings in that there's a very emotional component that the industry uses against you. It's not enough to just be a bride; what kind of bride are you? Choosing a designer matters because only an exclusive haute couture bridal designer can adequately express the depths of your identity, or so they would have you believe. And some people really do believe it. I know someone who basically went crazy trying to find a Monique Lhuillier wedding dress she could afford because that label was the only thing she was willing to accept. My friend who went dress shopping with me spent a little under 8k on a gorgeous and unique handmade gown, and I don't begrudge her for it. It is so stunning that when she took pictures she was captured by other professional photographers (including a national news agency!) who wanted shots of it too. But I'm not ashamed of not caring anywhere near as much about my dress. No veil for me, and no train at all, either. I'm not buying special wedding shoes, as I have a pair of silver dress sandals I got from DSW for fifty bucks that should be fine. Clothing is not my thing at all. Most of my clothes are at least five years old and almost all my nice dresses are rentals. It's just not a priority for me.
What kind of bride am I? The kind who wants to spend all her money and energy on food and drink. When we got engaged everyone said "Congratulations!" and then immediately "Oh, you're going to have the best food ever!" Yes, yes we are.
Minimariah: we have two flavors of cake, an Earl Grey milk chocolate and an elderflower lemon with raspberry jam. We also have a crocembouche tower with butterscotch filling, two dozen each lavender and rose macarons, and two dozen each grasshopper and peanut butter and jelly mini icebox pies. The pastry chef is a nationally recognized baker I've admired for years, and I'm more excited about this than any other part of the wedding. The cake tasting was the first thing we did after getting engaged.
The food menu is still being mapped out, but the bar/restaurant is generally American Southern-themed and we've eaten the entire (small!) menu over the years. We plan to have biscuits and sawmill gravy, deviled eggs, pimento cheese, pickles, and so on. One appetizer I would love is fried chicken, because fried chicken and champagne go so well together. If you've never tried it, get some nice crisp fried chicken wings, drizzle a little really thick and syrupy balsamic vinegar on top, and serve with a bottle of champagne. It's so good!
You are right that you really can get to "know" people here. There are lots of threads I read regularly without posting, and over time I feel like I'm sharing in their journeys too. In other cases I find posters who are particularly intelligent and insightful (like you!) and make a point of reading their posts.I know lots of people join LS when they're in crisis and leave when they're feeling better, but I'm here for the stories and all the beautifully complex people behind them.
I love being married but wedding planning was soooo stressful & we had a pretty easy time of it, at least financially. I was even able to bring the wedding in 22% under budget. Yeah me.
Follow your own heart & tastes, but remember the Golden Rule -- who ever has the gold, is footing the bill, gets substantial input into the decisions. For us that was my parents. DH & I had designed the small wedding we could afford. My parents wanted & paid for the three ring circus. We had almost 400 people at our over the top wedding.
The wedding is one day. Yes, the details are important but more to you then any one else. Two months later few people will remember much beyond whether they had a good time.
Wedding dress sizing is insane. I was street size 6 at the time. I ended up with a size 12 bridal gown, which made me nuts because I have body image issues to begin with. I don't know how normal sized women shop for bridal because the samples won't fit. It has to be disheartening. I went to 19 stores & tried on at least 300 dresses before settling on something I didn't hate that was a price I was willing to pay.
Too many people "should" you & tell you what you "have to do" regarding your wedding. I just let 'em all talk & ignored them. You must do whatever your state requires for you to be legally wed. The rest is all details.
My biggest piece of advice is to budget before making too many decisions. Either know how much money you have & buy things that fit in the budget or start with the # of guests & the price per person & figure out how much you need to save to feed these people plus get a dress, tux, rings, invitations, postage, licenses, photographers etc. Don't forget the costs of the HM.
Location: The most beautiful little country in the world.
My wedding was just over 2 weeks ago now, we had planned everything over a year ago. Everything went extremely well on the day, both of families were proud, happy and touched by the ceremony.
We had 100 guests, the weather was perfect, my dear friend, sung me up the aisle, another friend did a comical reading, my new husbands aunt who is a deacon prayed for us and did a bible reading.
We swapped non traditional vows.
Then we had speaches and champagne followed by a full buffet dinner and a 4 piece band.
Everyone had a fantastic night.
We were extremely nervous, but once we saw each other the nerves ceased and our day couldn't have been better.
We had a few hiccups on the lead up to the day, our toast master's father died, so we had to find a new one at short notice, but asked our sister in law to do it and she did brilliantly. Our driver was in hospital the week of the wedding, but she convinced the doctors to let her out in time to do the job.
Wishing all you soon to be brides the very best of luck.
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