Hi Krista,

I knew, if I searched my files, I'd find what I was looking for. lol I
posted this to Lynn in February of this year. Be forewarned...
Lynn had 500 coming. Size is relative. I hope this helps a
bit:

"Lynn wrote:
<<Unfortunately, hubby wants me to do they entire event on a
budget of $1,000. so I could use all the help I can get. I am
borrowing a dress from a friend, and the church is free because
I belong to it. My grandma will prerecord the music for the wedding
itself, but I will still need a dj for the reception (also held at church
for free!)>>

Hi Lynn!

This is really kind of strange to me. I'm going to talk about my
wedding to Genghis Khan (or Gunga Din, if you'd prefer--as
long as you keep him the 2500 miles he is from us...away!). I
will reassure you, however, that my marriage from hell had
nothing to do with the exquisite wedding we had in 1983--for
$800, including our rings (totalling 3/4 karats in diamonds and
14k gold), the stamps, the invitations, my gown (from the local
prom shop...it was *not* a prom gown by any stretch of the
imagination!), food *including* one of those three-tiered cakes
I'd personally always dreamed of, toss-away plates and cups,
and all the rest, and we had 75 guests.

Now granted, 75 guests isn't even 20% of your expected crowd,
but given that you don't have the rings and so on, this should
be a breeze--especially now that I know you're (re)marrying a
Leatherneck! This should be more of a piece of cake for you
than you're making it.

You've said you have the rest covered, that you're just concerned
about the music and the food for the reception, right? So let's
start there!

Let him or one of his buddies tape the music rather than doing
the DJ bit. DJs cost money, and it's really a useless expense if
you can do it yourself, and why not? This way, you'll get exactly
the music you want, and you won't have to wonder when this or
that song is coming next!

My mom had a brilliant idea, and she rented the Sons of Italy Hall
for $125, *including* rigatoni and meatballs for everyone! I've
noted your name, and I'll caution you to remember that many of
the Eastern European cultures do what I'm going to suggest to
you as well--including the hall rental. Do look into that as an
option. After all, if you can get the hall including some of the food,
it's possibly going to prove worth the price!

Next, with all those family members, get 'em cooking! People love
to pitch in for a special occasion like this, Lynn, and it can make a
very memorable occasion for your having considered this! I asked
each of our guests to bring a dish representing their culture or
cultures, and they were thrilled! As a result, in addition to those
rigatoni and meatballs, we had sweet and sour chicken, lasagna,
salad, and the most heavenly homemade empanadas made by
my matron of honor who was from Argentina! It makes a buffet
meal to remember, and it can provide the ice breaker to an
otherwise stiff event.

Those who wanted drinks knew they had to buy their own, and no
one complained because they knew how tight our budget was for
this wedding. I honestly don't think anyone would have complained
about such things anyway. I *know* the booze factor was really
where we saved because my gown was new, as were the rings, but
it was no less beautiful and elegant a wedding than my brothers or
his had at the time of each of their marriages, and ours was the

least expensive of all of them. One of my brothers-in-law spent a
stunning $10,000 on their wedding, just 8 months later, and truly--
for what? To impress people? This is *your husband's and your*
day, and those who are coming, are being honored for your having
them there to join you on this special occasion! After all, you don't
*have* to have them there, but you love them enough that you'd
like them there. So save yourself the ulcers from worry, and decide
you're going to pamper yourselves instead with a memorable
occasion filled with joy rather than tension.

You have an opportunity for a gourmet lifestyle like I mentioned
here recently. Don't sweat the small stuff and end up tossing it
into a microwave and poof! out comes an instant mass-produced
wedding! Take a little creativity time, plan memories not money
into the event, and put a satisfied sense of inner peace and outer
glow on your face as you walk down that aisle!

Although I don't have what *could* have been out of my marriage,
it certainly had nothing to do with my wedding day, and *that* I'll
treasure the rest of my life. Go gourmet, and you'll have that
special day not only you and he will remember, but each and
every one of your 500 guests will too!

Hope that helps.

Warmly,
Michelle