As a former photographer myself, I like the way so many photographers talk about what your investment in their services are going to be, rather than the cost. Photographs are an investment. They are physical preservations of your wedding memories. You’re going to be spending a lot of money on your wedding, and all of it is just going to be hazy memories in a few years without photographs.
This is partially why I’ve been so picky about choosing a photographer. Yes, I am on a budget, but I still want something nice (despite the belief some people have that unless you are forking over 30 grand or more for your wedding, you don’t deserve good pictures). This is an investment. The rest of my wedding is going to end up in either the recycling, the compost, sold/donated or in storage, and I’ll never see the most of it again. But I’m going to look at my photos frequently, I’ll probably have some on display. I want them to be good.
Photos don’t have to be the only part of your wedding that is an investment, though. Probably the number one thing you can do to have a green and cheap wedding is to make as many aspects of your wedding permanent or reusable. In other words, more aspects of your wedding should be long term investments than not.
How can this be done? Well, for example, since I am holding my wedding in my back yard, a good deal of my decorating budget is going to be spent on fixing up my back yard. I will be investing in some grass seed, to reseed my yard and make sure it is extra lush, organic fertilizing service for my lawn, and lots and lots of flowers for the borders of my yard, to make not only the yard pretty, but to provide the flowers for arrangements on my table, and maybe even a good portion of the bouquets. All of these things are investments in my mother and mine’s property (even though after the wedding I will be moving into Jeremy’s house and this yard will no longer be mine, I will still be spending lots of time here, I’m sure). We will be able to enjoy this money spent for many years to come. Furthermore, all the extra flowers will provide more food for our bees and hopefully boost our honey production.
We will also be decorating with LED Christmas lights, which we will of course reuse for holiday decorating in the future. I plan to use mason jars for vases, which I will then be able to use for canning for years to come. I have done what I can to make sure that my bridesmaids will pick out dresses they will wear again, and I will be reusing as much of my wedding attire as possible.
Many women choose dresses that they will wear again, which I think is awesome. I however, chose a princess dress that would not be very practical anywhere but walking down the aisle, or perhaps costume events. However, dresses can be donated (for a tax write off), or used to make new things in the future. On Offbeat Bride, a bride told the forums how she intended to make prayer shawls for herself and her husband out of her wedding dress when she was done. In my family, we have discussed making christening gowns for babies out of my mother’s wedding dress (which didn’t happen for Elijah, but hopefully it will for the next baby), and I suppose the same could be done with mine. Or, as another woman on Offbeat Bride said, there’s always the option of being zombie bride and groom for Halloween next year.
Parting with money for a wedding isn’t quite as painful if you feel like you’re making a long term investment, and not just blowing money for one day of frivolities. Even if you could care less about the environment, it’s worth considering making more of your wedding purchases into long term investments. Unless, of course, you really hate money, and are looking for whatever way you can find to part with it (in which case, you can make checks out to Jessica Stone, and my address is …. ).