Howdy & Wedding Question- Wedding Events

Howdy All, My name is Laurie and I joined the group just a week ago. I have been enjoying reading all the e-mails. A little about me... :o) We live in Texas. I am a proud mother of 2 yo & a 15 yo (both girls). I have been married for almost 17 yo, to an AWESOME guy!! I joined the group

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  1. #1
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    Default Howdy & Wedding Question


    Howdy All,

    My name is Laurie and I joined the group just a week ago. I have
    been enjoying reading all the e-mails.

    A little about me... ) We live in Texas. I am a proud mother of
    2 yo & a 15 yo (both girls). I have been married for almost 17 yo,
    to an AWESOME guy!!

    I joined the group because I will be taking over handling the
    finances next month. So I am trying to look for ways to cut our
    spending as much as possible. Trying to get our of "crisis mode
    finances", which is where we are right now.

    Now to my question, my sister asked me to be her maid of honor last
    year and I was excited therefore quickly said yes....well we were
    financial hit hard through several events...My sisters wedding is at
    the end of next month I need to (1.)buy 2 dresses 1 for my daughter
    and 1 for me (2.) I am responsible for throwing her a shower in 2
    1/2 weeks.

    Question: Does anyone have any advise on how to throw a inexpensive
    bridal shower? Decor..food..invitations..locations..games.. "party
    gifts"..

    I am looking forward to receiving any wisdom you may have...

    Many Thanks,
    Laurie
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  3. #2
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    Hi Laurie, I saw an idea recently that I thought was neat. It's not really
    saving any money but a nice thing to do for the person who is being
    "showered". It was for the hostess to buy a box of thank you cards in
    advance and at the shower give an envelope to everyone in attendance and ask
    them to write their name and address on the front. Collect them all after
    they're addressed and then the person receiving the gifts will have an easy
    help with sending the thank you notes.
    Barbara
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  5. #3
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    A slow cooker full of sloppy joes with buns and cheese on the side. Chopped veggies and dip, individual decorated cupcakes or cookies cut in bell shapes (for wedding bells).

    Hot wings in a slow cooker (stays hot on a buffet so guests can go back for more as they like).

    Individual pizzas made on english muffin halves.

    Turkey & cheese; ham & cheese wrapped in pitas. Add a tossed salad on the side. Let people top with tomatoes, cheese, cucumbers, croutons, sunnflower seeds, etc.

    Order a part sub (one of those 5 foot things) and add your own side dishes.

    Homemade nachoes with ground turkey, ground beef, shredded chicken, shredded beef, salsa, jalepenos, refried beans, cheese, sour cream and plenty of chips. (We do this for dinner sometimes.) Great! Economical, quick and easy. You can do the meat in a slow cooker so the seasoning is in ther all day and you don't have to watch it so much.

    Herlean
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  7. #4
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    A inexpensive shower for a new bride is to invite guest to bring a
    dish with the recipe taped to the dish. The guest eat the food and the
    bride gets the dishes and recipes.

    Another inexpensive way to toss a shower is to buy cheese, crackers
    and thin sliced lunch meats. Have your kids roll the lunch meats, cut
    the cheeses plain or into shapes. Have crackers, tea, coffee and soda.

    To decorate the shower use pictures of her and her future husband when
    they were growing up.

    My neice was married last November, it seemed everytime I turned
    around someone was having some sort of a shower for her. I was going
    broke buying her gifts. So I ended up printing out recipes and budget

    tips. Saved me money and hopefully someday she will learn from the
    budget tips.

    Hope these ideas help.

    Sandra
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  9. #5
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    Welcome Laurie!!

    I suggest telling your sister that you cannot afford the dresses right now. Unless she is willing to let you pick the dress and color and style, she should help you with the purchases. If she does let you pick whatever dress, than hit the thrift and consignment stores. Best of luck!!

    Teri Woods
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  11. #6
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    One wedding I was in, we bought the bridesmaids dresses at a JC
    Penney Outlet store and the dresses were so cute ... and
    affordable!

    However, when my brother got married and I was in the wedding, I
    asked my future sister-in-law to please just pick out a dress that
    wasn't low-cut. Well, guess what? The dresses were very low-cut.
    Every time I look at the pictures, I think of how I asked her to not
    pick out that style.

    Anyway, I think you should tell your sister you can't afford such-
    and-such a dress, otherwise you'll resent it for a long time.

    Weddings shouldn't be a financial drain on the family/friends and it
    seems that in a lot of cases, it's getting to be that way.

    The older I get, the more I believe that just being honest up front
    solves a lot of problems in the long run.

    Terry
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  13. #7
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    When my daughter got married, she asked the matron of honor to wear purple and the bridesmaids to wear pink. They could choose whatever they wanted, and she told them that they did not necessarily have to purchase a new dress if they already had something that they felt was suitable. My daughter did not see what her attendants were wearing until the wedding day. Everyone looked lovely, and felt comfortable.

    I thought this was a wonderful idea, because with gals all having different body types, one style of dress would not look good on everyone.

    IMHO there is way too much emphasis on big showy weddings that cost a fortune. not only for the parents/bride & groom, but also attendants. I know someone who took 18 months to plan and put on a $30,000 wedding. My daughter's wedding took a month to plan and cost about $1,200. And in the end they were both just as married!

    For my daughter's wedding, we made everything and did everything we could ourselves ~ which included hand-printing the wedding invitations, and cooking a buffet dinner ~ and everything turned out beautifully! The wedding was very sweet and very memorable.

    Also I hear so much about it being "The Bride's Day", and it seems a lot of brides become real dictators during the planning, etc. Yes, it is her day, but what about the groom, and what about the parents (especially if they are paying for all or part of this day) ~ shouldn't their ideas/wishes be considered? A wedding is a celebration....it should be a happy day, and everyone should be able to enjoy it. This is often not the case, because by the time the day rolls around, everyone is exhausted and often a bit bitter about some aspect or decision that was made. Again, just my opinion
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  15. #8
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    Hence- Bridezilla!!

    Honestly, we did our wedding much like your daughter's. Our attendants
    were 1 each, and we let them pick their own clothing. Me and my Maid of
    Honor went dress shopping together. My wedding dress was a champagne
    colored empire waisted satin sheath, with a champagne and grey lace
    jacket that went over it. It was a prom dress (albeit, one that looked -
    nothing- like a prom dress), and I got it in June, after Prom, so I
    found it on clearance. I got it for $20 (it was 19 something,
    actually). My bride's maid found one that was long like mine, and
    sheath style, but in blue rayon with a flower print.

    I went to floral design school, so I did all the flowers myself, and we
    got them at wholesale cost because my step-mom worked for a sign
    company who had an account with the floral place we went to.

    The food for the wedding was all buffet, stuff we did ourselves, except
    the meat. We bought 1 boneless ham, and 1 turkey, and had them shaved
    down for "ham rolls". I'm told those aren't found outside of Michigan.
    Basically, you get lots of dinner rolls, and lots of meat & cheese, and
    you make a sandwich out of them. Cheap, easy food. We also had 2 or 3
    types of meatballs, so the "ham rolls" weren't the only meat. Lots of
    cut veggies, pasta salads, etc.

    The cake was made by a friend of the family, and was our wedding gift.

    The photographes were done by my father-in-law, and my aunt, both of
    whom have done professional photography before, and turned out great.
    They paid for the prints, and then gave us the negatives in case we
    wanted larger prints made.

    My grandpa used to own a bar, and provided the alcohol, again at whole
    sale, though we didn't provide much in way of alcohol.

    Our hall was $50, because we planned the wedding in under a month, and
    it was a date they hadn't yet rented out. If we hadn't grabbed it,
    they'd probably not have had it rented out at all. Also, it was the
    American Legion my grandpa belonged to, so that probably made it
    cheaper, too.

    Our music was a live band I went to HS with, and they did it for $100,
    plus food. We bought nice pretty paper, and printed the invitations up
    ourselves. I made hershey kiss roses from tulle, hershey's kisses,
    floral tape & wire. I printed off tags on the computer on parchment
    looking paper.

    We decorated with fresh wild flowers from my Grandma's garden, in large
    blue plastic vases. We also scavenged christmas lights from lots of
    relatives, and ran those under the table clothes.

    My uncle bought a bunch of disposable camera's and sat them on the
    table, though honestly, I don't recommend them if you have kids at the
    wedding. You'll end up with 90% shots of kids taking pictures of kids
    taking pictures. Or the ground. Or their food. Not worth the money.
    Invest in a nice digital camera, give it to a trusted family member,
    and have them walk around and just take pictures from time to time. The
    candid's can turn out great, but the bonus of digital is lots of
    pictures, and not paying for any prints you don't like or want.
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  17. #9
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    I had my wedding gown custom made and my bride maids gowns were made by the same
    designer/seamstress. It was a lot of fun because I got to help design my
    wedding gown instead of buying it off the rack so I know I have a one of a kind,
    plus I choose the skirt style (long straight skirt with slit) and my bride maids
    and let them designed their own tops. That way they can't blame me 10 years
    down the road for choosing an ugly dress ; )and by doing 2 pieces they could
    wear the top with something else and if they wanted to (since I choose a
    straight skirt) have the skirt cut off. It didn't cost more them any more than
    buying an off the rack bride maids dress (actually cheaper due to alterations)
    and we had a lot of fun going to fittings together plus they got something they
    liked and that suited their body types.

    If you find a good seamstress that specialized in weddings it usually turns out
    to be cheaper (for the bride and anyone else) because of alterations, choice of
    fabrics and the seamstress can work within your budget. You'll have a one of a
    kind dress that will always be special and unique. My designer/seamstress made
    my gown, my 3 bride maids and my mom's gown also so everything coordinated well
    with style and color.
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  19. #10
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    For a shower, first, ask if the other bridesmaids would be willing
    to pitch in towards it, even just $10 from 3 or 4 bridesmaids will
    help cover the cost. Tell them it's not neccessary, but that you are
    financhially tight at the moment, and any help would be appreciated.

    For food, just do a few finger foods, and a couple of desserts.
    Cakes are popular, obviously, but they don't need to be a bakery
    cake to be eaten.

    Make up a batch of brownies, two small cakes, and maybe something
    like a pudding pie. I'll post a recipe for a CHEAP, EASY pudding pie.

    For finger foods, have some chips, pretzals, crackers, and maybe a
    small veggie tray with things like carrots (baby carrots are about
    $1.99 a bag, two bags should be fine for 30 people. Buy a pack of
    celery, cut it into baby carrot size sections, and provide some
    veggie dip to dip them in.

    Here's the pudding pie recipe:
    1 graham cracker crust ($.99 at Save-A-Lot)
    2 packages pudding or 1 large package pudding ($.29 at save-a-lot
    for a small pack, so $.58 total)
    1 tub of whipped cream ($.99 at Save-A-Lot)
    1 package sandwhich cookies ($1.29 at save-a-lot)

    I use chocolate pudding and chocolate sandwhich cookies- Save-a-Lot
    has some identical to Oreo's that work perfectly.

    Mix the pudding up with only HALF the milk required in 2 seperate
    bowls. Mix 1/2 the whipped cream in 1 bowl of pudding. Pour the NON
    whipped topping pudding into the pie crust.

    Next, break about 10 cookies into 4's, and mix them into the whipped
    topping/pudding mix, and pour that over top of the plain pudding in
    the crust.

    Lastly, smooth the left over whipped topping onto the whipped
    topping/pudding/cookie mix, and put it in the fridge. If you use
    canned whipped topping for the top, do NOT put it on until serving-
    it WILL melt. Before serving, break some more cookies in half, and
    insert on the top in a circle. Total cost? $3.85- this goes over
    GREAT with chocolate lovers!

    For party gifts, go to the dollar store. Get some pretty candle
    holders and candles, things like dish towels & pot holders, etc. Use
    those for gifts both to the bride and the prize winners. Some people
    do parties where the gift goes to the bride no matter what, others
    do it so that the winner & the bride get a gift. That's up to you to
    decide.

    Do something like gift bingo. Give the people each a blank bingo
    grid, and tell them to write in the boxes different gifts you think
    the bride will get. First bingo gets a prize. You run this
    simultaneously as the bride opens her gifts. You can also just do
    this for the only game, since it takes up no time outside of gift
    opening, and several people can win.

    Another game which works for both baby showers and bridal showers is
    to get baby pictures of both the bride and the groom, and mix them
    in with baby pictures of other people (yourself, other bridal party
    members, etc, and post them on a peice of poster board. Have at
    least 3 baby pictures of both the bride and groom, and scatter them
    all around the board, then fill in the space with baby pictures of
    other people (use boys and girls!). Number each picture, and have it
    set up through out the entire shower. Then, after people have had a
    chance to look at it (maybe pass it around?), have them write down
    the numbers they think are the bride & groom. Whoever guesses the
    most numbers correct gets a prize.

    You might want to make certain to have enough prizes on hand for at
    least 2 winners per game, just to be safe.

    Also- for the dress issue, does she have a specific bridal party
    dress picked for your daughter? If not, ask if you can buy a nice
    party dress off the rack at a clothing store. You can find them
    cheaper usually, and most often match the bridal party color.
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  21. #11
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    I have seen several successful showers in a park that were potluck.
    everyone brings a dish &(hopefully) they would consult with you, and
    you can coordinate to ensure you don't have 3 potato salads, or
    whatever. You have some great advice I have already read.

    As for games I have a few suggestions, one being real simple;
    in a small bowl fill with one cup of white rice and 1 pack of
    the "VERY" small saftey pins (Usually gold in color) and while
    blindfolded, see who can pick out the most safety pins. Much harder
    than it sounds! Another would be to interview the bride and groom
    with the same questions (Like what first attracted you? What is his
    favorite movie, song, etc) and then ask the bride and see how many
    she can answer correctly. For every wrong answer she has to chew a
    piece of bubble gum (hopefully she only has one or two pieces total)
    and for every answer she gets right you could do something as simple
    as let her open a gift. (last time I saw it, the bride got a dollar
    for every correct answer). I imagine you can change it to suite...
    AND there is always the clothespins or safety pins every guest gets
    and cannot say a certain word, or cannot do something such as cross
    her legs...Very common game.

    The Dollar store has come along ways and also Target has a Dollar
    section now if you have one close by. Gifts can be as simple as
    cookies in a plastic bag and tied with ribbon, the guests are not
    there for the prizes, they are there for the bride. Focus on her!
    As for the decorations, if you have it at a park, you could go as
    simple as a few balloons. Especially if you are in a windy area, it
    would not be wise to do much more (thinking of past disasters at
    windy outdoor parties...ugh)
    As for invitations, you can do them nowadays on the printer and have
    them look very nice. Remember this is the shower and not the wedding!
    Good luck to you and hope you will come back and let us know how it
    went!
    Kimberlee
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  23. #12
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    For my sisters wedding shower we asked all the guests to bring a can of food (or you can buy some ahead of time). Than we asked her questions about her hubby to be and some questions about her future in laws. For every answer she got wrong, we ripped the label off the can than after the shower, all the cans were given to her for her pantry. She said they had some interesting meals for the first few months

    Teri Woods
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