Green Cheap Wedding

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Venue Search November 4, 2010

Who knew finding a reception venue would be so hard?  I am going insane looking, and I don’t feel like I can plan anything else until I find a place.  So much of my planning depends on the space I’m planning it in.  Decorations, the kind of dress I’ll wear, really even food (although we do have our hearts set on one specific caterer, I’m coming to the realization that we may have to give that dream up if I can’t find a space that will accommodate our needs and let us bring in an outside caterer) all depends on where we’re doing our damn reception.

We are more limited by our budget than I thought we would be, honestly.  We have a strict budget of $1000 for the reception venue, and I would love to keep it lower than that.  What we’re looking for is a space that will fit up to 130 people seated, with room for at least a dance floor (but preferably other extra room so we can have games), and allows outside caterers (or at least has a long list of approved caterers to choose from).  I’m not being super picky and saying “no reception halls” or anything like that.  I’ll host a wedding in a VFW, I don’t care.  What I care about is that my guests have yummy food and a good time, which includes dancing, games and socializing.  Why is this so much to ask for?!?!

Why isn’t there a list somewhere of all the places in town that do weddings?  There are lists on The Knot, and I have a magazine called Bridal Sites and Services, and a few local wedding magazines, but the only people on these lists are the super expensive places.  I’m talking $3,500 site fee, plus you must use their caterer (which probably sucks) at $18 bucks a head for their cheapest (and suckiest) entre.  For $18 a head I could cater my own damn wedding bar-be-cue style with all organic and local fare!  And it would actually taste good.

I found an art gallery that is totally in budget, and I really like it (it’s LEED certified, so it’s totally green), except I don’t think I could fit 130 people seated AND a dance floor in there.  So, if we wanted to dance, we’d have to move tables.  They say they fit 140 people seated or 200 standing in their main gallery, and I would also have access to their patio and another smaller gallery.  I suppose I could put the dance floor in the other gallery along with the bar.  Hmmmm …. I guess that would give my older guests a place to get away from the music if they don’t like it.  Ideas, ideas.

I’m still looking at different sites though.  We’ll see what happens.  My mother thinks I’m being unrealistic about how many people are going to show up to my wedding.  To be honest, 130 is just the maximum of how many people I think will show up (the minimum being 100).  My invite list is closer to 170.  There are people in my family and my friends who I am 99% sure they won’t show, because they have never traveled to come to weddings I’ve attended in the past, but I’m still going to send them an invitation, because I want them to feel like they’re a part of it, and because I would of course love to have them there if they can make it.  But I think I should be planning for the maximum amount of people I think will show up.  I think it’s better to have extra breathing room than to be too crowded in a small space.  I’m going to have guests in wheel chairs and walkers, after all.  Better to stay on the safe side and make sure there’s room for them to get around.  And what about the 1% chance my relatives in Connecticut and Florida want to come? It’s not a big chance, but it’s there.

My mother keeps saying only about a third of the people I invite will show up (meaning, ‘Jessy, I don’t think your friends are going to show’), and she might have a good point.  Only one of my friends showed up to my baby shower, and she only stayed for a little bit of it.  Only one friend showed up to my son’s first birthday, which I spent a fortune catering.  None of my friends came to my son’s baptism.  My birthdays are almost always forgotten entirely.  People have a tendency not to show up for my events.  But I’m inviting an entirely different group of friends to my wedding than I have invited to other events in the past (my past experience with special events has led me to seek out an entirely new group of friends), all of whom have expressed excitement about my upcoming wedding and a desire to go.  One is already planning a bridal shower.  Others are already planning the bachelorette party.  I think there is a good chance that most of them will show.

This didn’t stop me from having a disturbing dream the other night that no one came to my wedding except for Jeremy, my mom and my oldest little sister.  It wouldn’t have been so depressing, if there wasn’t a part of me that thinks that it might be a very real possibility.

This Sunday we are going to a bridal show, and I’m hoping I can get some ideas there.


First order of business October 22, 2010

Everyone wants to look beautiful when they walk down the aisle, and most brides do.  The combination of a beautiful gown, fancy hair do and the glow of love tends to make every bride look amazing, in my experience.  But most of us are keen to do a little something to help that effect along.

From what I can tell from bridal magazines, the standard course of action is to undergo several extreme therapies a month or so before the wedding, in order to give the bride the temporary illusion of the media’s version of perfection.  This is preceded by months of crash dieting and an exercise routine that consists of two or three leisurely half hour walks a week.  As a bride, I am expected to drop a small fortune on this routine.

Well, I can’t afford all that.  I can’t afford microdermabrasion and teeth whitening and facials and seaweed wraps.  Even if I could afford it, I’m not sure I would want to undergo most of these procedures, as most of them involve products that contain phthalates and parabens and petroleum products and other nasty chemicals that cause cancer, hormonal problems, birth defects, and a slew of other health problems.  No thank you.

Isn’t beauty a reflection of health?  I mean, if you are in perfect health, you should radiate perfect beauty.  You would permanently be the most beautiful you that you could ever be.  It wouldn’t just be a trick brought on by injecting neurotoxins into your face that would fade over time.  It would be real.

So isn’t it in my best interest, health and beauty wise as well as financially, to invest some time into making myself healthy for my wedding, over the long-term?

Either way, it’s the only option I’ve got.

So I’m going to take you on my journey to improve my beauty for my wedding by improving my health.  Over the next few days, I will tell you what I’m doing to ensure that my body, skin, hair, nails and teeth look their absolute best on my wedding day, and every day there after.  It will be cheap, it will be green.


The proposal October 11, 2010

Welcome to my first post in my wedding blog!  You might know me from my other blog that I no longer keep up with very well, All Natural, Single Mothering 101.  If you’re interested in learning about natural parenting, single parenting, dating as a mother, and women’s empowerment, check it out.

If you’re interested in talking cheap, environmentally friendly, fun, and slightly feminist wedding ideas, this is the place for you.

Let me tell you about our relationship.

Jeremy and I met through a dating service.  We almost didn’t get together because I was an idiot.  But eventually I stopped acting like an idiot and we did get together.  We have been together a little over a year now.

Jeremy proposed to me after I got done running my first half marathon.  It was supposed to be a full marathon, but due to an unfortunate turn of events, I did not get to the checkpoint in time, and was redirected onto the half marathon course.  He wanted to propose at the finish line, but because of my redirection, and where he and my family had positioned themselves to cheer for me, I beat them to the finish line.  We found each other after the race, and surprise!  He proposed.  I forgot all about how disappointed I was about the race (I remembered the next day, but it wasn’t so bad).

The ring is a beautiful sapphire in yellow gold, with little diamonds on either side.  Very pretty.  I prefer sapphires to diamonds because they are more colorful, and it’s easier to ensure they are conflict free (as it is with little diamonds as well).

That’s really all there is to that.  Lets talk wedding planning!