Our Simple-y Wonderful Wedding

Our very simple wedding was this past Friday.  We ended up having about 20 people in attendance. Sunshine and Princess appointed themselves Flower Girl and Bridesmaid, and their parents served as our witnesses and photographers.  The Boy was the best ring bearer a bride could ask for, and the whole thing was over in about 10 minutes.  It couldn’t have gone better.

Earlier in the day, I got my hair done, and bought some flowers for myself, and my “attendants” (two bunches of Gerber daisies for $8 total).  We came home, and got ready.  PITA  loaned me a sixpence that she had put in her own shoe when she got married (this was my “something borrowed”), which I tucked in my bra, and we all headed to the gazebo.  Guests started wandering up, and at 5:30, we started the ceremony.

Afterwards, most of us walked a few blocks to a restaurant and had a great meal.  It really wasn’t stressful in the least, just a short, sweet ceremony filled with love and smiles, and a very nice evening with most of our closest friends and family.  Trust meThis is the way to do it.

A word about the pics: My new husband is not too keen about having his picture plastered all over the internet, and I’ve made a conscious effort not to do that to my son, either.  The result is that the pictures you get to see will not give you the whole picture, so to speak.  I’m sorry I can’t give you more, but my commitment to my boys is rock solid.

Our New Family Who Has the Rings? With This Ring... Flower Girls wedding1

A Wedding For Under $500

If you’ve ever been on Pinterest for any length of time, you’ll have noticed all the pins about how cheaply you can throw a wedding: for under $12,000, for under $7,000, for under $5,000…

Here’s where we stand:

  • Bride’s dress: $4 (I ordered it from ModCloth and had to pay shipping, but the dress was free.  They had screwed up slightly on a previous order, and sent me coupon code for $50 off, which I saved for the right time)
  • Bride’s shoes: $7 (never-used pair of sandals from the thrift store)
  • Bride’s headband: $16 in materials, handmade by me!
  • Bridal Jewelry: $0 (handmade by my mom!)
  • Groom’s clothing: $0 (shorts, a polo, and his Keens)
  • Wedding venue: $0 (public park on the waterfront with a small gazebo, so no fee is required to reserve)
  • Officiant: $180
  • Flowers: $10 – 50? (I’m thinking of either heading to the grocery store for a bouquet or ordering a bouquet online to arrive the day before the wedding, and in either case, just using a few blooms from it)
  • Handmade bowl: $0 (for The Boy to hold the rings, handmade by my friend, an art teacher, and featuring the imprint of my grandma’s crochet *sniff*)
  • License: $60
  • Rings: $100?  (I know we can get a nice set on Etsy for $80-100, but haven’t ordered them yet)
  • Reception: $0 (Not having one! – just heading to dinner with family and close friends)

No cake, no invitations (although The Man seems to have invited the whole town to the ceremony!), no chair covers, no favors, no place cards, no limo, no boutonnieres, no formal photographer, no bridal party, no DJ…

We don’t need it.  We’ll have each other, and The Boy, and the people closest to us on the planet.  What more could a bride want?

PS No pictures now, because I want to share pics from the wedding afterwards!

*sigh*

So Much Fun the Second Time Around

I’ve written before about what Pinterest has done for (or is it to?) brides, and I am still in awe of how much this one social network has probably changed an entire industry.  I can certainly tell you that I did not have a list of “must have shots” for my photographer at my first wedding, and I didn’t give much thought to the gifts for the bridal party (did I even give gifts?  I’m sure I did, but I don’t remember…).  And while it can be fun looking there for inspiration and ideas for my own second-time shindig, it’s a bit like watching one of the Housewives series… I gawk because I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that people actually live that way, and care so much about what other people think.

Of course I want my loved ones and friends to enjoy themselves, but this is a (ten minute) ceremony to mark our commitment to each other and to celebrate this hopeful new beginning that is The Man and me.  If the people I invite to share the day with us love us, they will enjoy it just for that simple fact.

Maybe a few of these from Walmart for the "bouquet"?

Maybe a few of these from Walmart for the “bouquet”?

I must say, the second time around is very liberating.  There’s so much you just don’t have to worry about (and so many more options!!).  And maybe it’s not so much the fact that it’s a second wedding, but that it’s a really small, casual affair.  Public Park, Friday afternoon, about ten people, including us, The Boy, and the officiant!  When it’s so small, you don’t need 90% of the stuff you have to worry about for a big wedding, and it’s SO cool.

So, yes, I still get lost on Pinterest for a time, but more often than not, I’m giggling at the posts about how to spend “only” $5K on your wedding, 15 “mandatory” wedding photos, and the 6 “rules” a man must follow to ask a girl to marry him…  Oh brother.

Going to the… Gazebo

Exciting news, kids! We’re getting real close to setting a date! Of course it depends on the 4-6 people we’d like to be there, and when officiants and venues are available and such … Planning an albeit tiny wedding in about two months means we have to be a little more flexible, but I’m geeked, especially because I think The Man is or soon will be on board with my modest plans, rather than his idea of a quickie courthouse wedding – nothing wrong with that (and certainly not ruling anything out at this point), but I’m a bit excited to be in the planning stage. A combination of “Whew!” and “Yay!” and “Gulp…”

But mostly “Yay!!!” 😀

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Something Borrowed, Nothing New

A letter from my grandpa to my grandma, dated 1939

A letter from my grandpa to my grandma, dated 1939

My grandparents were married in 1925, in New York City.  My grandfather was 25, my grandmother 20, and they had eloped, staying with a cousin, as they were both from upstate New York, near Buffalo.  They were both Italian immigrants, and as such, very Catholic, and this eloping thing got them in pretty hot water.  And they knew it would.  They went so far as to rent bridal regalia and have a picture taken (not a cheap process in 1925!) as proof of the marriage, and the seriousness of their intentions to my great-grandfather.  It didn’t work real well, as he didn’t speak to them until after they had their first child, almost two years later, even though they lived only blocks from each other.

Before they eloped, they dated of course, but my great-grandfather made it clear that one of my grandmother’s brothers had to “chaperone”.  My grandfather was a bowler (scandalous!), and hung out at a bar called “The Red Front” which wasn’t the most savory of places, and so my great-grandfather didn’t think him a suitable match for his eldest daughter.  Some of the brothers did a better job of chaperoning than others, and some of the younger kids reported having learned to kiss from watching my grandparents on the porch at the end of a date.

I have been reflecting on this, because sometimes we think we are the first to experience everything we experience.  And sometimes we think our ancestors led rather boring lives.  But I admire their strength and courage.  They knew they had found their one true love, and they pursued each other, even though there were clearly obstacles, namely my great-grandfather.  And it was important to them that he understand, which he eventually did.  My grandparents were married for 63 years, and although it looked like a typical love from the outside, you never know a relationship unless you are in it.

He called her “Darling”.  ❤

The Common Sense Bride (Who Has Done It Before)

Getting engaged has meant a mixture of emotions, many expected, and yet some unexpected.  And of course, now there’s Pinterest.  And anyone who has a Pinterest account has a wedding board of some kind – everyone.  This is a bit of a peek into the minds of the young brides out there who are planning their little hearts out (or more accurately, their bank accounts out).

You see, I did the whole big wedding thing the first time around, and I don’t begrudge them that at all.  But.

Pinterest has a way of giving you great ideas while also imposing some sort of expectation of craftiness.  Many mommy bloggers have written about the inability to “live up to” their Pinterest-ideal, as if it was some sort of new gold standard.  And now the brides have set themselves up for that, as well.  And this can only end in disappointment and exhaustion.  I can see those weary young ladies, staying up all night to craft this or that x300 guests for their wedding.  And then on to the next detail.

And the “resources” for the modern bride?  The $10-20 bridal magazine that is 99% advertisements for dresses (and since you will only wear one dress [okay, there is a high-dollar trend to have two dresses, one for the ceremony and one for the reception *gulp*], it’s really not that good of a return on your investment, especially when there’s this thing called the internet where you could find all of those dresses without paying the extra money for the magazine…  but I digress…), the “advice” blogs who dictate who gets to wear veils, and who doesn’t, and that yes, you should definitely provide your guests with favors because they will remember the details…  I call BS.  How many weddings have you been to?  Do you remember who gave favors and who didn’t?  I certainly don’t.  I can’t even recall a single favor I have received, that’s how little I cared about them, and those brides who did have them could have saved a ton of cash, time, and sanity if they had forgone that one detail.

I read one piece of good advice recently, and it was this: decide on the three aspects of your shindig on which you would like to splurge a bit, and keep it to three.  Mine would be photography, bouquet, and dress.  But you have to understand that for me, $300 will be splurging (and we may be talking silk flowers, and a photography student from the community college, here…).But while I have ideas of what I’d like, I do not have my heart set on anything in particular (and I know that The Man will have ideas, too.  We’ll be making decisions together).  I have the perspective of the Second-Time Bride who has realized the most important thing is something you can’t buy or craft from Pinterest.  It’s the love and partnership of the one you are marrying.  Nothing else really matters.

Now What?

When you tell people you are engaged, they immediately ask you something along the lines of, “Now what?”: Have you set a date?  Where will you live?  What are your plans????

While I’m not going to say that we haven’t thought about these things (because I am a planner, after all, and that is just who I am), I must say that I’m having a great time just reveling in the feeling of being engaged, of having someone who loves me utterly, who has done one of the most vulnerable and romantic things a man can do, which is propose that we commit our lives to each other.

And perspective is an amazing thing.  I’ve done this before, and it’s almost amusing to look at a bridal magazine and all the infinite, intricate pieces of a wedding that are out there as ideas, and products, and kits, and… whew!  It’s a relief to have this experience behind me that makes me shake my head, laugh a little, and say to myself, “So unnecessary”…

So while I’m thinking about the “getting married” part (which pieces are important, and which pieces just really aren’t) because weddings are fun, I’m also thinking about the “Now What?” after the wedding.  Being a wife, blending a family, the big changes in my life (our lives!), and the one man who loves me enough to take it all on with me.

Have a beautiful day!

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