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  1. #21
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2003
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    Dallas, Georgia
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    17,030

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    Quote Originally Posted by naters View Post
    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.
    I was none of the above either. Size 18, 29 y/o old with mousie brown hair.

    But my man loves me. He picked ME! And 18 years later, he still melts my butter
    <>< 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.


    5 members found this post helpful.

  2. #22
    Join Date
    Mar. 26, 2005
    Location
    Back to Normal.. or as close as I'll ever get
    Posts
    10,177

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    I am a Hater of plated dinners. Even the best places hold it too long IMO and things arrive not quite fresh. Yuck.

    When I got married (10+ years ago) I was working at a 4-Star hotel, so got a lot of help from the Planner on staff and a whopping discount.
    Even with that, "retail" would have run less than $10K.

    My wedding had a carving station (turkey & steamship beef) and tons of hors douevres served buffet-style. Guests filled plates and then sat down where wine was served.
    I did not have a ton of guests - ~60 - so had 6 10-top rounds and no assigned seating - people mingled, sat, ate, drank, reseated themselves and it
    worked great.

    Instead of one huge cake I had a 9" 2-layer cake for every table including ours. Every cake was different inside, but all covered with white fondant and decorated slightly differently too.
    DH got his double-chocolate (with banana filling) cake, guests loved having their own cake at the tables. Waiters cut the cakes & served each table.

    A friend did my flowers and another friend (professional) gifted us with photos.
    The band was a group that included a woman I volunteered with and they were paid in part by being part of the party, photog too.

    Ceremony by non-denominational minister was also at the hotel. Cocktails followed the ceremony while the room was setup for dinner.

    All very relaxed and one of the best parties I've ever had.
    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
    Hey Vern! 1982-2009
    Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009



  3. #23
    Join Date
    Aug. 15, 2008
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    4,653

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    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
    What a great photographer, and a lovely wedding. I'm quite partial to her wedding dress. Since I wore that dress in my wedding too.
    "Aye God, Woodrow..."



  4. #24
    Join Date
    Nov. 20, 2008
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    554

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    This is a timely thread for me. I'm planning a Spring 2014 Wedding and also need to be on a pretty tight budget.

    GotSpots - congratulations!!!! It is an amazing thing when you find the man you fall so madly in love with that you want to spend the rest of your life with him. Cherish him, and enjoy your day. I know it'll be lovely.

    If at all possible, please keep us updated and post pics here after the ceremony - I'd love to see them!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #25
    Join Date
    Feb. 14, 2012
    Location
    Fern Creek, KY
    Posts
    3,126

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    Yay for weddings!!

    I learned when planning mine that it's DH's wedding too and he wanted to have a say. We sat down and each talked about what was more important to us (me, photog and flowers and him, food) and each tackled the things that were most important to us. It was nice to be able to divide and conquer. It took a lot of the stress off.

    We had a small wedding (less than 40 people, probably) on the lake. We served food buffet style (that DH and my Dad grilled) and I hate cake, so my SIL, who is a chef, made whoopie pies! We had one big one to cut, then a bunch of little ones for everybody else.



  6. #26
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
    Location
    Oregon
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    6,116

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    Quote Originally Posted by naters View Post
    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.
    Plan your own idea of a wedding.

    If that includes everyone, great. If it includes no one but you and your fiance and a witness, also great. White dress, red dress, no dress at all. Flowers or no flowers. Formal invitations or a handwritten note. Buffet, cake and punch, full plate dinner.

    Don't feel like you need to have a cookie cutter wedding like everyone else. If you want to wear jeans and flip flops, wear jeans and flip flops. You don't have to be traditional, classical, or trendy. And if you need any help planning or even just scouring the web for ideas, I'd be happy to lend you a hand.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  7. #27
    Join Date
    Sep. 27, 2001
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    2,849

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    Got married last spring - about 200 guests. Wasn't expensive (under $7,000), but I had a blast planning it and loved the entire day.

    We did the whole thing at our farm - saved money on a facility. We raise American Bison, so we worked with the caterer to serve our meat and had a great bar-b-Que type dinner. Buffet line and seated tables. Only beer and wine - kept the booze expense down and made sure that no one had problems driving home. (We also shut the bar about 2 hours before we were due to leave so that we wouldn't worry about people driving through the countryside in the dark.) I wanted a nice, but simple, dress and found exactly the right one for me for well under $1K. I ordered the flowers online and my sister-in-law made them into table decorations. I had time so I did simple party favors, and my maid of honor's mother has a printing shop so she did the programs for us. Neither are really necessary as others have mentioned. We have a friend who made a small cake for cutting and then had cupcake towers for everyone to eat.

    The best part of the whole day - watching our German Shepard (high on 1/4 dose of Ace!) try to trot down the aisle with the flower basket tied around her neck and seeing everyone's reaction! She then crashed right behind the pastor and slept there throughout the whole service and reception. It was hysterical! But we wanted it to be a fun wedding, not a formal service that wouldn't be like us at all, and it was. Everyone said they had a great time and could see that the day was about how much we love each other. That's all that counts in the end - the love you share.

    One thing I do suggest - even if you don't use a wedding planner, hire one for the day. I did and it made all the difference. I talked through everything with her ahead of time and she made sure that everything was done without my asking. I just enjoyed myself and have great memories. Even my mother-in-law, who was highly critical of my hiring a stranger to run the day, said afterwards that it was the best move I could have made. None of us had to worry about a thing and we just had a blast.

    I hope you have the wedding of your dreams and have as much fun as I did!



  8. #28
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
    Posts
    4,830

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    First, Congratulations!! And second, I also endorse the suggestion of www.apracticalwedding.com -- also, get Meg's book of the same title.

    It has so much good advice -- not just of the "here's how to plan" variety, but in dealing with some of the inevitable conflicts and issues that come up.

    I'm old, and this was my second wedding, and still some of those things came up. Keeping my sweet husband and wonderful mother from killing each other two weeks out was probably my most stressful memory.

    That said -- one of the things I found most freeing was that I could review the ideas and only keep what suited me. Perhaps because this was my second wedding, I didn't feel the need to do a lot of the "traditional" things. We had a huge guest list -- I think it ended up being around 150 people, give or take a few. We borrowed a friend's lovely old fashioned lake house, and my husband did all the food. Well, most of it. He did all the barbeque, and made his famous barbeque stew, and served that and sandwiches -- it was his idea to have pb&js in addition to chicken salad, pimento cheese and pineapple sandwiches and would you believe that people LOVED it?!

    We also didn't do alcohol, since neither one of us drinks. We did old fashioned soda in glass bottles in galvanized washtubs. I also didn't think people would drink much orange, strawberry and grape soda, but they did!

    We chose 4 o'clock on a saturday afternoon in December, and while we dressed up, we asked everyone else not to -- there were a few people that did, but mostly folks wore jeans and were happy with that.

    My father died in 2006, and I felt that finding someone else to fill in to "give me away" was silly, because, as I said - I'm already old, and I thought the symbolism didn't fit. In addition, we had pretty much made a life together already, so he came to get me once I was dressed and we walked out and to meet the minister together. That ended up being one of my favorite things. I don't like being the center of attention, and would have been horrified to have to walk a long way through the crowd to meet him with everyone watching! I didn't do attendants either this time, and actually only had a maid of honor and my stepdaughter the first time.

    But, the point is, pick and choose what you want to do. We ended up hiring someone to do "day of" food preparation and that was so important. She was a real pro and Dennis had full confidence in letting her just take over on the morning of (and that is hard for him, as he is quite the perfectionist!). I also was very fortunate to have talkofthetown do my hair and makeup and she did a great job and that was something else I didn't have to worry about!

    We have had a lot of people come up to us, now a couple of years later, and still say that our wedding was the best they have ever been to -- and since much of a guest list was my mother's friends from our small town, they have gone to LOTS of weddings of all types, so that is a real compliment!

    I think it is because it was uniquely "us" and unpretentious and fun. Since we married in December, I knew we would be asking people to give up part of a weekend day that was probably packed with other obligations and Christmas preparation, so we wanted to make it as easy as possible for people to come. We didn't do any music at all -- and started at 4 and most everyone was gone by 6 -- which worked for us, but it wouldn't have for many people. We even ended up doing all the clean-up when it was over -- I would change that!! I didn't even think to ask someone to do that job and would have been happier not to have still been there hours later, but it was a good bonding experience for us, I guess!

    Oh, for anyone else considering a December wedding, my other favorite thing was my "guest book tree." I bought boxes of multi-colored ornaments at Wal-Mart and put up a lighted wire tree on the table where they were placed in baskets -- I asked each guest to sign an ornament and then it was hung on the tree. DH thought this was a silly idea at first, but we have LOVED it. Now, every year when I put up my tree, I am reminded of everyone that was there, and as some of the guests are no longer with us, or have had big life changes, it is really nice to take a few minutes and think of them.

    Best wishes with your planning and for your life together!

    Libby
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  9. #29
    Join Date
    May. 28, 2006
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    3,646

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    Bensmom's wedding was awesome, by the way! Very fun, and very them It was very comfy and laid back, but was still elegant and beautiful



  10. #30
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2001
    Location
    Tallahassee, FL
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    I had to miss talkofthetown's wedding but if you want an idea of what a GORGEOUS wedding can be put together on a small budget looks like, check out the link she posted of her pictures.

    We used the same photographer, who is a young woman starting out, who was very reasonably priced and has a terrific eye -- which is also a good money saving suggestion. If you know someone who is a good photographer, and is breaking into the business, as long as you like their work (and I had seen her equine work, which was and is, gorgeous) it is worth giving them the opportunity. We were her first wedding job -- she's gone on to do several others since and has done a great job. One of my favorite pics from mine is Mr. talkofthetown, in his cowboy hat, twirling on the tire swing that hangs from the tree under which we got married.

    We also had close family members that were going to be wielding cameras on the day, so even if my young photographer hadn't done a great job, I did have some back up available.
    *Proud member of the Hoof Fetish Clique*
    **********************************
    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap



  11. #31
    Join Date
    Jul. 15, 2006
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    940

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    I got married last september (btw thanks for a good excuse to talk MORE about this and show off pics )
    My total wedding cost was about 6k. I got married at a winery, and planned for about 50-75 people. I wanted something fun and laid back but I still wanted it to be beautiful and since I live in work boots and jeans I was determined to wear a fat dress!
    Here is where we saved, the winery was $800 because we agreed to do the set up and clean up ourselves (thank you friends and family)
    That price gave me a step up when negotiating with the dj, he wanted 1k I told him the venue was 800, he came down to $600
    Bridesmaids dresses $20 at H&M, I let the girls pick it out, told them a general color scheme. They all loved their dresses and can wear them again and none of my friends went broke.
    Flowers, I bought the flowers and made the centerpieces myself, but had the florist do the boquets and boutineers. Since I was using the florist for that stuff she gave me a discount on the rest of the flowers. My centerpieces were in mason jars with color stones and ribbons.
    Catering was the most expensive, I actually had a friend do it and he hauled a huge grill to the winery and the food was AMAZING! His wife wanted to start a catering business so they gave me a discount to get their name out there. They have gotten several more weddings from doing mine. (They are located in Richmond if you are interested) We had pulled pork, crab cakes, and grilled chicken. Our sides were corn on the cob and slaw. My new MIL is still asking for more crab cakes!

    Before I blast you with pictures lol, here is what I learned, negotiate!! In all of my services I got a discount for one thing or another.

    The Happy Couple
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...type=3&theater

    Centerpieces and my stepdaughter who was a bridesmaid
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...type=3&theater

    Bridesmaid Dresses
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...type=3&theater

    Wedding Cake
    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?s...type=3&theater
    Railgirl.blogspot.com



  12. #32
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,747

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    This is my biggest piece of advice - Get a really, really good photographer. It is the only thing you will have to remember the day (memories? Too busy for memories) and a good photographer is money extremely well spent.

    Favours - If you are going to do them, do something edible, otherwise they are a waste of time/money. We did coffee. We had a local coffee place that makes amazing coffee, so we bought grinds in bulk, bought little bags, printed labels and stuffed 120 bags of coffee. They were all gone and everyone raved about them.

    Programs - Don't waste your time or your money unless you have a complicated ceremony.

    Print off the Martha Stewart to do list then cross off all the unnecessary crap the wedding industry wants you to buy.

    Try to enjoy the process. It's not worth getting stressed about. It is one day, your marriage is for the rest of your life.

    Congratulations and enjoy it!



  13. #33
    Join Date
    Jan. 14, 2005
    Location
    Aiken SC / Fay NC
    Posts
    5,388

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fairview Horse Center View Post
    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.

    Can it be done via email? That would be super awesome!
    FREE TACK/APPAREL ADS: BITS AND BARTER BOARD: http://bitsandbarter.proboards.com/i...ay&thread=5450


    2 members found this post helpful.

  14. #34
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2007
    Location
    Oxford, PA
    Posts
    200

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    I got married this past fall. A few things to add. It is definitely possible to have a really nice wedding without spending a fortune.

    We saved a LOT of money by getting married on a Sunday afternoon. Price for our venue (which included food) was a fraction of the price for a Sunday afternoon. Plus, there was no "minimum" amount we had to spend as there would have been for Saturday weddings, etc. We had an open bar, but being a Sunday afternoon, no body drank much. We had about 75 people, did a champagne toast, and wine at the tables for the meal. Because we prepaid for the wine and toast (can't remember how much) and had a $400 bar bill... Not bad. Sunday afternoon was key to the low bar bill...

    People only get to have an opinion on things if they are paying for them. If not, tough. I didn't care too much about flowers and planned, other than a bouquet, to do my own center pieces, etc. My mother in law wanted more. It was important to her and she wanted to pay. She got to have a lot of say in flowers. At the end of the day, she spent way too much (flowers ended up being at least a third of what was spent on the wedding), but she was happy and since I didn't care that much about flowers, I went with what she wanted. I had my bouquet and was happy. Looking back, the flowers were beautiful, but I don't feel that the amount spent was necessary. Would I do it myself? No. Did my MIL want flowers? Yes. Was she happy? Yes. Did the flowers take away from my day? No. They were beautiful.

    If you're not doing live music, hire a decent DJ. Ask for preferred vendors from the venue--we were referred to a great DJ who everyone complimented throughout the day. Plus he was a preferred vendor=discount.

    One place we spent money on was the cake. Found an excellent cake person who knew the venue and gave us a discount because she was a preferred vendor, but we had no worries about the cake arriving. Not much to add with the cake, but it was beautiful and tasted wonderful!

    Don't be afraid to say no. If you don't want to spend, don't. If you don't want something, don't have it. It is your day. But, if something isn't costing you money, doesn't impact your day negatively, and makes others really happy? Why not?

    We weren't going to do favors, but at the end of the day, my mom really felt strange not having something so she ordered chocolate covered pretzels. Spent $1/guest, they were tasty, and people had something small to take with them. Again, not necessary, but they made my mom happy and people enjoyed them.

    I didn't have a wedding planning binder--this shocked people I met with about the wedding (venue, cake, flowers, etc.), but they also realized really soon that I wanted simple and wasn't going crazy about things. I was not pushed for any extras. Whether it was the lack of binder or what, I don't know. But I stayed in control (and budget).



  15. #35
    Join Date
    Jun. 9, 2012
    Posts
    162

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    Early fall? Ours was late summer. One thing we did was, instead of having flowers on the table at the reception, we had bowls of grapes and other late summer/early fall fruits. People could eat them after dinner, and they really looked nice.



  16. #36
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
    Posts
    10,249

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    A friend's daughter was married for under $10k. Rented a tent for the reception, had the wedding outdoors at the same location (a friend's lake side house), only invited the relatives, and more accepted and showed than the family anticipated in the early planning. Had the reception with beer, iced tea, and wine. Champagne toast with plastic glasses for the guests (most people didn't even use the champagne either), and had tons of beer and wine leftover. It was hot, so the iced tea went over very well. Rented chairs, tables, and tent from the same provider, including set up and removal. Bought an arch with attached flower boxes at Lowes, or else online. You can rent silk flowers for the altar area, the chairs were used for the service (or maybe not used anyway except for a few people), and then moved to the reception area. People were fine with moving their chairs, and those who couldn't were helped by the other guests. The reception food was BBQ, catered, and served buffet style, by the caterer. They charged a flat fee person as I recall. The bride and family stayed with the homeowner, and the rest stayed at hotels on their own dime. The dress was something like $400, but alterations cost something like $600. The bridesmaids dresses were cheaper (I think David's Bridal, but I'm not sure), and everyone wore their own style of shoe in white. At one time you could bridal gowns and bridesmaids gowns at bigger JC Penney stores, but I don't know if they still do have them. And look at prom dresses for the bridesmaids, and you might get a good deal. Flowers either flower mart, or the grocery stores have great prices on flowers, just add floral tape and you're good to go, and I bet they have selections of buttonieres and bridal bouquets too for a good price. If you want to do favors, then do Jordan Almonds in netting with ribbon, or something cheap and simple. For centerpieces do cheap mirrors, (Michaels and Hobby Lobby have these) in squares, octagons, or circles with pillar candles in glass holders in the center. Plain white tablecloths from the discount store work too, or you can get a color if you want. Get your supplies (plates, thicker paper napkins, good plastic cutlery) at the party supply store, or even restaurant supply store.

    Be ruthless on the guest list, and make sure you have a good total of how many are coming, for the caterer and for the table and chair rental people. Remember the important thing is the marriage, not the wedding. Price different photographers, and if you have a pro who will do it for supplies or as a gift go for it. If you don't want a religious ceremony, but live where the marriage license is technically legal, then get the certificate, and have anyone do the officiating for you that will do a good job. Some public parks have summer houses or big gazebos you can rent for weddings, and they're very affordable. Near where I live there are full service wedding chapels, and they don't cost too much for the wedding, and the reception, but some require you get them to cater it.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White



  17. #37
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2002
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    3,305

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    Quote Originally Posted by GotSpots View Post
    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)?
    We are getting married at the end of August in Colorado. We did hire a wedding planner as it is desperately needed for us being a destination wedding and both of our schedules but I was never told the 100K mark! That is absurd. I do think a good one is worth their price and we have gotten better deals and access to great vendors via the wedding planner. I want someone to keep things on point and tell me what I need to do. I also don't want to worry about things the day of. My first wedding was without one, and it was fine but this time I wanted to use one.

    I highly recommend looking at www.weddingchannel.com as it has peer reviews of caterers and other vendors. It was a good resource for me in the beginning. I also highly recommend a website for your wedding so your guests can visit it for all the information.

    Since we are doing Colorado, I LOVED my save the date, which kept with the mountain theme and was made to look like an old ski pass. It was quite lovely looking. I am still working on invitations. We started planning a year out so had an easier selection of vendors, lock your vendors in sooner than later as you don't want to miss the good ones.

    Of course I am sure you are familiar with the Knot, that has been a great resource. Try on lots of wedding dresses they are so much fun!



  18. #38
    Join Date
    Mar. 30, 2007
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    Hollowed out volcano in the South Pacific.
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    My sister is getting married in April and my mom is planning the whole shindig because my sister can't be bothered to deal with any of it. Naturally, she's begun to dump stuff onto my plate since I'm the intelligent and organized member of the family. Meh.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



  19. #39
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2002
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    Oregon
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    Quote Originally Posted by LexInVA View Post
    My sister is getting married in April and my mom is planning the whole shindig because my sister can't be bothered to deal with any of it. Naturally, she's begun to dump stuff onto my plate since I'm the intelligent and organized member of the family. Meh.
    Consider it valuable preparation for when you meet that special someone.
    What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what
    lies with in us. - Emerson



  20. #40
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    Mar. 30, 2007
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    I've pretty much settled on a small and low-key wedding if I ever do have a ceremony. I say spend the money on a kick-ass honeymoon instead.
    Thus do we growl that our big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!



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