Tag Archives: wedding flowers

Why I think weddings are totally stupid

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Totally ready for a small ceremony and reception at Green Street.

Every once in a while, usually after I’ve watched too many “Say Yes to the Dress” episodes or visited the most gorgeous wedding/reception venue ever, I start to want a lavish wedding that costs waaaaaaay more than we can afford and one that requires me to dance (however badly) at my reception which includes a super-duper high cake.

But then I read an article today from a really smart Website called LearnVest: Why I Think Weddings Are Totally Stupid.

For the record I don’t think the author, Amy Keyishian, does actually think weddings are stupid, but I do think she thinks paying too much for them is really dumb.

I’ve had two weddings. One cost about $20,000 and had 150 guests. It was really fun, and I cut a lot of corners, and was proud of how little I (my parents) spent. The second time around…the total cost was $6,000, it was just as fun, and we had the rest of our savings for the three months of unpaid leave I ended up having to take a few months later to care for our premature baby.

Most times, there are better things you can spend your money on than a single day that could, potentially, cost more than a down payment on a house.

According to CostOfWedding.com, which is produced by a market-research company collecting information for the wedding industry, the average wedding in the U.S. costs about $25,631, possibly more depending where you live (here in the Bay Area, it goes up to more than $40,000). That is a down payment on a very nice house here–or the whole house, in large swaths of the country–and an amount many claim they just can’t manage to save up.

Also,

According to the Association of Wedding Professionals, the wedding industry nets about $86 billion per year. That’s billion with a B.

Obviously, LearnVest is geared toward getting me on the right path to a healthy relationship (with money, because M and I are good), so the piece ends with a bit of practical advice.

It’s an industry. It wants your money. Don’t give in to it. This idea that you deserve a wedding is not the point; of course you deserve a wonderful day. But what you deserve even more is financial security and a debt-free future. So plan a wedding based in reality, and who you are and what kind of wife you want to be: supportive, smart and with two feet firmly in reality.

Now that is some advice I can dig.

When planning a wedding, always consult the Centers for Disease Control first!

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I’m not sure what the CDC would say about being diagnosed with Swine Flu 48 hours before you’re wedding. Make the best of it and hand out hand sanitizer as a wedding favor I guess.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found a way to hone in on my Big Day.

The CDC’s newest public health blog post in entitled “Surviving the Wedding Day” and includes some awesome tips like:

  • “The bridal kit should include extra safety pins, makeup for touchups, maybe a few sedatives;”
  • Knowing your evacuation procedures because, after all, if a tornado rips through the area, “200 guests are not going to be able to crowd into the one windowless bathroom;”
  • “When dealing with an emotional bride…be supportive and have some bottled water from your emergency kit and a box of chocolate on hand;”
  • “And remember there’s safety in numbers (because) you never know when Bridezilla might pop up.”

In the end, there’s always NPR’s take on it:

If you really want to avoid a wedding disaster, keep it simple and elope.

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Don’t Forget! Support the name change!

Any amount is helpful, we’ve got until the end of July to raise the money…we’re up to $237 which gets us two sets of fingerprints a piece, covers the cost of the federal and state background checks for both of us and gives us money for one of the name change application. We’re still looking to cover the other $120 for the second application and some money for dinner… We’re looking to raise $375 – only $138 to go!

If you really feel you must have it all…

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I received an Oriental Trading (Wedding!) catalog in the mail the other day. Now the only thing  I know about the Oriental Trading Company is that we used to order crazy amounts of Girl Scout party supplies like glitter and bubbles and luau ridiculousness for about $5. Which means it’s super cheap…and super tacky.

So I was curious beyond belief to see they created a wedding line. I was hoping it was a bit more upscale, but I was totally wrong. So…for the bride who truly has it all (already) and just has to add more to “accessorize her big day” to quote the Web site, I gave you the Top 5 Things from the Oriental Trading Company that would totally make your day even more “perfect”:

Personalized just married Floor Clings

Because nothing says “Congratulations” like walking (perhaps even dancing awkwardly?) all over the new couples names. 27×27 feet for only $18.50.

Personalized 2 Hearts Pencils

“Add a personal touch to your wedding reception with these lovely Two Hearts pencils!” Or your second grade Valentines Day party…whichever. Only $7.50 for two dozen.

Fall Wedding Facial Tissue Packs

I mean I guess Oct. 27 is high time for allergies, right? Or not. Apparently tissue packs are super popular though, because searching for them (alone) on OTC brings about 19 results with decorations including a cross, tissues in hot orange, pink, and blue [packaging, and a “rustic western wedding” pack. Good news, they’re only $4.25 for 10 packs (8 tissues in a pack, now that’s a bargain!)

Silver Chandelier

Bring on the elegance (?)… with a silver streamer “chandelier!” Nobody’s reviewed it yet so I can’t say for certain how it’s going over, but for only $$26.50 it’s a steal of a deal! (For you more adventurous types, they also sell it in gold…just an FYI)

Birch Bark Candleholder with Elk

Last but not least (and I swear this was in the “wedding” category), there’s this lovely birch bark candleholder. I can’t think of any wedding that wouldn’t be complete without it! $15 reduced to $9.99.

O, Oriental Trading Company, how did I ever plan my wedding without you! And you’re offering free shipping on orders over $49? Y-E-S! After ordering about 15 items, I might actually meet that requirement.

Ready.Steady.Go!

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Don’t Forget! Support the name change!

Any amount is helpful, we’ve got until the end of July to raise the money…we’re up to $137 which gets us two sets of fingerprints a piece, covers the cost of the federal and state background checks for both of us and gives us money for dinner.. We’re looking to raise $375 – only $238 to go!

Envisioning the wedding…let’s start with the decorations

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Marianne and I are trying this new way of eating.

I call it “clean eating” where ( more or less) if I can’t pronounce it, I don’t eat it. It’s amazing how much it’s changed my taste for certain foods. Like tonight, after I bikes 25 miles as part of a fundraiser for The Shalom Project, all I wanted (after a nap) was a dinner of tofu and mushrooms over a bed of spinach. That and some mashed taters and green beans.

I announce this on Facebook and immediately my friend Alex chimes in

You are a hippie. A big one. A typical one. And a slightly raving one. And we love you. 😀

Thanks Alex.

But she’s right. I’m a hippie at heart, so I’m trying to embrace that in planning the wedding. luckily, fall means an abundance of natural color, so I can use the abundance to in the decorations.

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Becoming a mob boss

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I’ve decided to boycott the word “wedding” when talking to vendors for the next nine months and 30 days.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited to plan my w-g, it’s just that each time I mention the W-word to any vendor, the price goes up 20 percent.

Let’s look at this phenomenon.

Not that I would ever buy anything from shopshop.com, but they advertise themselves as a reasonably priced vendor. Prom dresses ran $78 to $179 or so.


Fine, now let’s look at dresses for women to wear when they are about to attend an event at which they will bind themselves to another person for life:

Did you see that? The lowest price jumped from $78 to $258.

I can’t believe that the day-I-become-a-Mrs. dresses are that much better. They may be white, and a bit longer, but it’s got to be mostly because people have bought into the idea that a w-g has to be expensive.

The same thing happens with flowers.

Sherwood Flower Shop, a local place in Winston-Salem, charges between $50 and $70 for their Thanksgiving floral arrangements. Considering Marianne and I want are going with a fall theme, the flowers for our “event” should about the same price right?

Um…no. The biggest-day-of-my-life prices start at $112 for the bride’s bouquet to who knows what for the entire ceremony. Another local flower shop includes everything for a “regular size” event-that-sometimes-takes-place-at-a-church for the low price of $999.

For something that’s going to die soon after the ceremony, it all seems a little ridiculous.

So from now on,my conversation with any vendor is going to sound something like this:

Katie: “I need product xyz for an event.”

Vendor: “What’s the occasion?”

K: “Don’t worry about it.”

V: “But it would really help if I knew.”

K: “Don’t worry about it.”

V: “But I could help you better if…”

K (interrupting here and giving a great stink eye): “I saaaaiiiiid, Don’t worry about it.”

I may come off sounding a bit like a mob boss with less-than-above-board intentions, but so be it. If it saves me a bit of money, I’ll take that risk.