One of the key parts to the budget-savvy side of our wedding has been maximizing our connections through family and friends. It’s one of the biggest things the blogging world points out as a way to save money, but to be honest I thought there was no way we could do that. I don’t conveniently know any fabulous graphic designers and or caterers for family discounts. But as we go farther and farther along in the planning process, people have started popping out of the woodwork. (And when I say “we” I really do mean David – somehow he’s the one with all these awesome connections; I’m just along for the ride on this one!)
One of the first things that happened was that one of David’s co-workers offered to DJ for us. He has a business on the side and comes with all his own sound equipment and everything! DJing is one place where we were definitely willing to cut some corners. David’s brother plays guitar and sings (and will, in fact, be singing for our first dance) and said we could borrow his sound equipment to hook up to an iPod if we wanted. Luckily Chad awesomely offered to basically let us name our own price. (Chad doesn’t have a website or anything so I don’t have any information to pass along but let me know if you’d like his contact info.) We plan on keeping things pretty simple music-wise – a first dance for me and David, me and my Dad and David and his mom, but no garter toss or bouquet toss. David’s family is Polish and mine’s Italian so there are all sorts of bridal dance traditions. I really am trying to get out of the dollar dance (where you pay a dollar to dance with the bride … so not my thing) but I think the one where David breaks through a ring of people to “win” me might be a keeper. It’s all about compromising! So we’re glad we don’t have to DIY the music with an iPod because it’s much less work for us, but we would’ve been happy to if it hadn’t worked out.
The next thing that we managed to save money on was our rehearsal dinner. It’s traditionally paid for by the groom’s family, but since we already had the house for Friday, we figured we’d just do dinner there. There’s not really much in in the way of civilization in Spotsylvania County, especially way out where we are. I was concerned we’d have everyone drive all the way out to the Tiki House, do the rehersal, drive back to Fredericksburg City for dinner and then back out to the house again for last minute prep and to sleep. That’s just too much for me. Then, David’s sixth grade teacher (now an awesome family friend) offered to cook dinner for everyone as our wedding present. Mini makes awesome Indian food and we’re so thrilled that she offered to do this for us!
Lastly, and definitely not least, is all the work David’s mom is going to do. My future mother-in-law is a fantastic lady and is also superduper talented. She’s going to make our cake and do our flowers! We’re going to have a simple chocolate with vanilla frosting cake that she’s going to make right at the house. And her cakes are SO DELICIOUS! She makes them for all sorts of family occasions and I swear I could eat whole ones myself.
Also on the dessert front are my awesome-and-crazy grandmother and great aunt. As I said above, my side of the family is Italian and one of the big traditions they have (this might not be a real Italian tradition, but rather an Italian-by-way-of-Pennsylvania tradition) is that the bride and groom serve cookies to all of their guests. Now THIS is a tradition I can get behind. A lovely way to get to see all of our guests and I like the humbleness of feeding our guests. My grandmother managed to find the same bakery that did the cookie trays for both my mom, my uncle and my grandmother herself and is willing to drive all the way up to Wilkes-Barre, PA to pick them up for us. When my mom told me it made me start crying, it’s so sweet. Aw, family.
And lastly, in words sure to get me shamed in the wedding world forever, one thing to know about me is that I’m not a big flower person. At all. This means our flowers are going to be a really small part of our budget. I’m planning on three bouquets and three boutonnieres. The end! I know this would’ve have been fairly affordable with a florist as well, but from Wegman’s and with David’s mom’s help, it should run us around $50 total.
It’s amazing and humbling how all these friends and family are willing to spend their time and money helping us pull together our big day. It makes me want to work extra hard to pull everything off!
What kind of help are you getting from family and friends?