Friday, November 16, 2012

Spend, Splurge, Save

When it comes to planning a wedding, everyone has a budget. In the end, we were right on budget. The spending didn't break down exactly the way we thought it would, though. Here's where we saved and where we splurged.

Places we saved money:
  • Flowers - The only flowers we had at our wedding were bouquets for me and the bridesmaids. We bought flowers from Whole Foods for a total of $113 and made our own bouquets the night before the wedding.
  • Reception décor - We didn't have floral centerpieces, so instead, we decided to go with candlelight. For our 12 tables, trips to Ikea and the Dollar Store gave us a gorgeous look for around $150 total. Eliminating floral centerpieces saved us over $1,000.
  • Rings - Even though these are one of the only things you'll have from your wedding forever, we didn't feel the need to spend a lot on our wedding rings. With a lot of internet shopping, I found the band of my dreams at a shop in New York City for less than half what it would've cost at a local jewelry store.
  • Hair and makeup - My friend did my hair for free, and I did my own makeup. I probably spent about $50 on new products, but I use it all regularly.
Places we splurged:
  • Venue - Technically, I'm not sure this counts as a splurge because we worked it into our budget very early on, but our chapel and reception venue were both pricier than we'd initially planned. We couldn't be happier with our choices, though. Both places were absolutely beautiful and really highlighted our amazing city for our guests.
  • Trolley - We both really wanted a trolley to transport us around the city for photos, but we had no idea how much it would cost. In the end, we went over-budget on this item, and it was totally worth it. Riding around on the trolley was one of my favorite parts of the day.
  • Paper - Our letterpress invitations weren't the most economical option, but as a paper-lover, they were a priority for me.
  • Photography - We went a tiny bit over-budget on our photographer, but photos of our reception were totally worth paying for a couple hours of overtime.
Where did you splurge and save?

Friday, November 9, 2012

Lace It Up

I posted a while ago that I was having second thoughts about my veil. I fell in love with lace-edged veils, and after some hemming and hawing, I decided to turn my plain veil into a showpiece. To accomplish this, I ordered a strip of lace trim off of Etsy.
To start, I cut the strip in half. In order to make one continuous strip of lace for the edge of my veil, I had to stitch the two pieces of trim together in the middle. I lined up the pattern on the lace and sewed it together with invisible thread.
See? You can't even tell that's two pieces of lace.
Next, I placed a safety pin near the hem of the veil to mark the center of the veil.
I lined up the lace trim and pinned it into place.
Then came the stitching. I used invisible thread so I didn't have to worry about stitches ruining the look. After about an hour, the lace was firmly in place and my veil was complete!
To add a bit of weight, I sewed tiny seed pearls into the center of each flower. I'm a bad blogger, though, and neglected to take a photo of that. Sorry!

I'm thrilled with the way it turned out, and I think it looked gorgeous on my wedding day.
Photo by Andrew Collings Photography
I hope that maybe someday, I can pass my veil onto my daughter or daughter-in-law for her wedding.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Don't worry, be happy

My wedding day was not the happiest day of my life.

I've talked before about the pressure to have the right feelings. A bride is supposed to be blissfully happy on her wedding day, and declare it the best day of her life. The wedding dress is supposed to be the best thing she's ever worn, and she's supposed to look the most beautiful she's ever looked. Everything comes with a superlative attached to it, according to the WIC.

Some people may feel "the most" or "the best" all day long, but I was not one of those people. Sure, my wedding day was filled with moments of joy - sometimes even transcendent joy - but it was filled with a lot of other feelings, too, some of which were unhappy feelings. I felt a lot of anxiety. Looking back, it was unfounded anxiety, but that doesn't change the fact that I felt it. And I feel a little bad about feeling that way, which is ridiculous. I'm a human being, not a robot. I can't control my emotions on cue, especially on a day that's supposed to be emotional.

But the WIC tells brides that they should feel a certain way, so when I didn't feel that way, I felt like I was doing it wrong. It was a vicious cycle that went something like this: feel anxious --> feel bad about feeling anxious --> try to calm down --> not be able to calm down --> get mad that I can't calm down --> increase level of anxiety because now I'm anxious about being anxious

It's not that I wasn't happy on our wedding day; it's that I feel bad that I wasn't happier. I can't go back and make our wedding day perfect for me, and that makes me sad. I only got one shot at it, and I feel like I failed. I love Adam, and I love our marriage, but I didn't big puffy hearts love our wedding every moment of the day. That's not a feeling that's discussed, so it makes me feel like a failure because I didn't experience transcendent joy all day long.

So I share this post with you so that you know it's OK to feel however you feel. If you feel transcendent joy and think your wedding day was the best day of your life, you're not doing it wrong. If you feel panicky and nauseous, you're not doing it wrong. If you actually vomit, well, join the club.