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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,201

    Default Wedding Planning!

    We're planning on an early fall wedding and just starting the process, so excited to hear others' tales of good/bad/what to avoid/what to try to include. The only thing we know for sure is we won't be hiring the wedding planner who tried to tell us it's impossible to "do" a NoVA area wedding for 100 people for less than 100K! After I pulled my jaw off the floor we politely declined their assistance. So, who else has wedding bells ringing this year? Neat ideas you're super excited about or things-to-avoid (beside snotty wedding planners)?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
    Location
    Dallas, Georgia
    Posts
    16,859

    Default

    Will be celebrating 18 years on March 4th with Mr. ChocoMare.

    There is no need to spend exorbitant amounts of money... simple, classy & elegant can be done when one is brutally practical with oneself. Decide, in writing, what you truly cannot see NOT having in your wedding and ditching that which you can live without.

    Programs? Meh, a waste of paper & money since they wind up in the trash.

    Live music? If it's absolutely your dream, check out local music schools to hire good ones at reasonable prices. If it's not, create a CD with what you want for procressional, etc. and have someone push Play/Pause/Play

    Favors? If that's your schtick, go for it but do 'em yourself and save money. Make it a fun project with your bridesmaids. If not, skip it. No one will notice. I didn't do them.

    Spent more time planning your MARRIAGE.... a few weeks of solid, wise, intelligent counsel with a pro. Get some good books (Love is a Decision, by Gary Smalley is one at the top of my recommendation list) and do your best to set aside unrealistic expectations.

    Oh and pick comfie shoes or do dressed-up sneakers. You have enough to think about on that awesome day than your aching feet

    Congratulations!!!!!
    <>< Sorrow Looks Back. Worry Looks Around. Faith Looks Up! -- Being negative only makes a difficult journey more difficult. You may be given a cactus, but you don't have to sit on it.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3

    Default

    A few years ago, I helped a friend plan her wedding on a super tight budget.

    The hardest thing for her was keeping the guest list down to a manageble size. Of course you want everyone you care about to attend, but sometimes that's just not feasible.

    Big cost savings - going to the flower market and doing the bouquets and arrangements herself/with friends.

    The reception wasn't a big party. It was an intimate sit down dinner at a local restaurant. That's it. One option we discussed was just having a dessert/champagne reception. It would have allowed for a bigger guest list, but she opted for the smaller guest list and the dinner.

    Keep in mind, a wedding is about celebrating marriage, not a huge party and drinkfest. I'm not sure why people think they have to go thousands of dollars into debt for a wedding. It's just not necessary.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4

    Default

    Oh, and wanted to add - one of the best weddings I ever attended was in Texas. Lovely church wedding, then a big old pig roast back at the family ranch. Everyone changed into jeans and we had a blast.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.


    2 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    This is my son's wedding. They put it together in about 8 weeks when he was joining the Army. About 180 guests, and not much more than 1/10 of the OP's planner's crazy estimate.

    http://video214.com/play/pv8ln1GAJG7fI1XyHuUQeA/s/dark



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2008
    Posts
    1,942

    Default

    Congrats!! Planning a wedding can be SO fun if you make it a point NOT to stress out about silly little things. My best advice would be to IGNORE anyone who gets in your face about what you "HAVE TO HAVE" for your wedding. It's your wedding! Do what you want!

    ChocoMare already gave some great advice. Don't waste your time and money on things that don't matter like favors, programs, printed menus, etc. My mom had already set aside money for favors when I got married, but I REALLY didn't want them (people just throw them out!) so we made a donation to a great charity instead.

    SECOND THE COMFY SHOES! Mine were fine for the first hour or so but after a night of standing, dancing, walking around, etc. my feet were KILLING ME. It was horrible. And I am too classy to ever take off my shoes at a party! So absolutely make sure you get shoes that make your feet happy!

    Make sure you taste-test the food at whatever venue you choose, because if it's bad, that's what people will remember, unfortunately! Otherwise just do what you want. It's YOUR day! You and your husband-to-be should have a wedding that you enjoy every second of, that is meaningful to both of you, and that expresses your personalities and unique relationship.

    A blog I looked at a lot for ideas was offbeatbride.com. Some really neat, inventive people share fantastic, creative stuff on there!

    HAVE FUN!! Weddings are a blast, I wish I could do mine over again just to use all the cool ideas I'm always seeing these days!
    Proud member of the "I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday" clique

    PONY'TUDE



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    Gotspots, the link from my previous post was also a No VA wedding.

    One of the young ladies at the farm also did a large wedding for similar amount in Middleburg. She had a large tent put up on a Middleburg Estate, and planned everything herself.
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    Last edited by Fairview Horse Center; Feb. 10, 2014 at 07:52 PM.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,997

    Default

    Married last year, but here's what I learned.

    I lurked A TON on The Knot's forums. It took over my COTH time for a while, but it was invaluable for etiquette advice and a bunch of other stuff.

    Skip the programs and favors. Put the extra money towards catering (and booze, if you plan to have it - cash bars are a no-no). It is perfectly acceptable to have a dry wedding.

    Costco sells bulk flowers, and if you're not too crunched for time, you can DIY....but don't complain when you stick yourself on a rose thorn for the 400th time (yes, I de-thorned and cut 400 roses by myself!).

    Try to avoid adopting the "It's MY DAY and it's ALL about ME ME ME!" attitude. Your wedding party, your vendors, and your guests will ALL thank you if you can be pleasant and calm.

    Don't mention the word "wedding" when talking with vendors, unless asked.

    Don't expect to sit down at ALL - so plan your footwear accordingly.

    Budget more for food and a photographer than you think you'll need. Look through wedding photos to get an idea of what kind of shots you'd like to do, and make sure you plan your shoot out ahead of time with the photog.

    Allow a cushion in the guest list for people that don't understand that the invitation is only for the person(s) it was addressed to (and not cousin Jim and his 5 kids, too!).

    It's a ton of fun to plan your own, but it also becomes like a second job. The Knot has a neat to-do list laid out on a timeline that will remind you when certain things ought to be done by, with quite a few things I'd have otherwise forgotten (like getting my ring appraised, for example).

    And, last but not least... if you don't already have the dress: DON'T feel like you have to go spend $5k on a dress to look pretty. I bought a $200 "custom" dress (made to measurements) off Etsy, took it to a wedding dress seamstress and had it further customized to fit perfectly with the details I wanted. It was lovely, and I didn't feel bad when it got gunked up from the floors (nor when I wore it to do a later photo shoot with my horse and he green-slobbered it).
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9

    Default

    Got Spots - tried to send you a PM but your inbox is full.
    http://www.tbhsa.com/index.html

    Originally Posted by JSwan
    I love feral children. They taste like chicken.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,282

    Default

    Pretty sure our entire wedding, dress and all, cost around $1,000 But a LOT of things were in our favor. We had the wedding at DH's family farm, so venue was free. Also had a perfect set up for us to stay, get ready in, back up plan for rain (ceremony was outside by the pond). Food was almost free; lots of the older ladies from church cooked a buffet style, so we just had to pay for drinks and cake. One of my bridemaids does wedding cakes, so she made ours, for cheap. We have another friend who makes wine, so alcohol was cheap. Dress was off the clearance rack. My boss's hubby DJed, had his own equipment, so didn't have to pay thousands for that. Flowers, we bought out every grocery store in town to get the right combos of flowers. Arranged ourselves.

    So on the cheap, lots of stuff from the dollar store, or done ourselves. And it was the best, most beautiful day of our lives.


    Will try to link some pics but not sure if they're private or not.

    ETA: Try this link?
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/media/set...5256408&type=3



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    11,372

    Default

    Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

    We elected to have our wedding at my DH's family farm. We had to get tents and some porta potties and catered in BBQ style. Worked for us on a budget. We're both grown ups and he's been married before (in a church...the only church in town I loved but he'd been there before so I decided not to got that route.)

    We had an awesome party.

    Our wedding was super fun. I think that the best advice I could give you is to make it YOURS. There were quite a lot of folks who said I was doing a crappy wedding but man, we had so much fun! Even the photographer stayed late because he was having fun.

    I wanted to have a ceremony where people smiled, had fun, laughed...I got it. It was great. Do what you WANT!
    A good horseman doesn't have to tell anyone...the horse already knows.

    Might be a reason, never an excuse...



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct. 22, 2001
    Posts
    5,201

    Default

    Y'all are awesome. Love the stories - particularly in light of the crazy that seems to creep in from what I've been referring to as the Bridal Industrial Complex. End of the day, I'm super excited to be marrying him, and the rest is gravy...but still getting a huge kick out of everyone's experiences and advice!! (MGP, I deleted a bunch, so hopefully it works now).



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep. 24, 2010
    Location
    Western NY
    Posts
    1,112

    Default

    One of the best tips my mom gave us girls (3 weddings!) for us was to choose 3 really important things we wanted and spend the largest chunk of your budget on those, everything else would be at a lower cost. For my one sister it was photos, she found an amazing photographer, but spent a pretty penny for it. Mine was live music, I've been to too many weddings with bad DJs and was really picky about the musicians being one myself.

    Don't let anyone tell you how your wedding "should be" or "should have!" I fought many battles with my mother over some silly traditions and budget allowances. If someone feels SO strongly about something, kindly tell them you'd be happy to include ___ as long as THEY foot the bill. Worked wonderfully on said mother when she increased my floral order by 150% in 30min!!!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2002
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    819

    Default

    this website was really helpful to me: http://apracticalwedding.com
    Member of the *OMG I loff my mare!* clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    5,997

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Heliodoro View Post
    One of the best tips my mom gave us girls (3 weddings!) for us was to choose 3 really important things we wanted and spend the largest chunk of your budget on those, everything else would be at a lower cost. For my one sister it was photos, she found an amazing photographer, but spent a pretty penny for it. Mine was live music, I've been to too many weddings with bad DJs and was really picky about the musicians being one myself.

    Don't let anyone tell you how your wedding "should be" or "should have!" I fought many battles with my mother over some silly traditions and budget allowances. If someone feels SO strongly about something, kindly tell them you'd be happy to include ___ as long as THEY foot the bill. Worked wonderfully on said mother when she increased my floral order by 150% in 30min!!!
    My mom did the same thing with the wedding party flowers - she insisted I had to have a real bouquet from the florist, along with the corsages/boutonierres. She paid for it, which was fine... frankly, I thought my bouquet was kind of ugly, but it wasn't all that important to me. I did carry a horseshoe, as is family/cultural tradition, that I pulled from my best horse and hand-wrapped with ribbon. That WAS important.

    Our actual ceremony photog sucked, but it was a friend of my dad's (who is also a photographer) and it was free. We re-did the photos with a better photographer about a month later in a different location, including some with me and the afore-mentioned best horse. They turned out fantastically.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2005
    Location
    San Antonio, TX, or thereabouts
    Posts
    691

    Default

    If I had to do it again, I'd be wiser about choosing a dress. Ann Taylor and J Crew both have some really lovely dresses (and Ann Taylor has 50% off sales a couple times a year!). Don't think you have to start with some insanely-priced Say Yes To The Dress concoction.

    (I'm stalking Ann Taylor for a fun dress for our 20-year vow renewal at the moment. Good times. )

    Congrats on the upcoming day!
    "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2005
    Location
    Aiken SC / Fay NC
    Posts
    5,368

    Default

    I am supposed to be planning a wedding. I don't want a wedding.

    Hate weddings. Hate being in them. Hate going to them.

    And thanks to facebook, I am constantly reminded that EVERY bride is apparently:

    1. Young
    2. Thin
    3. Blonde.

    I am none of the above.
    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 1999
    Posts
    14,488

    Default

    naters, if you hate weddings, plan one you will love. You can get married in a field wearing jeans and t-shirts. Do something that will be fun for you. Decide together, and just plan what will make YOU happy.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,630

    Default

    My younger daughter got married at The Brampton Inn last spring. She had an elegant wedding that required almost no planning, as the women who run the Inn take care of everything. The wedding was very reasonably priced (?$3000) as we only had immediate family and a few friends. Later, they had a big barbecue at her sister's barn for all of their friends and family. They were pleased because they got their fancy wedding, a fun party for their friends, and little cost.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan. 17, 2008
    Location
    Dutchess County, New York
    Posts
    4,195

    Default

    Two money savings tips: I went looking for a used wedding dress, and ended up finding a 100 year old handmade lace dress that fit me perfectly for $300.

    I also saved money by having potted plants as the floral centerpieces. Nowadays (I was married 22 years ago) I see so many good and creative ideas for table centerpieces (reusing wine bottles as vases etc).

    Have fun!



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