Posted by: KandyAppleRed | 2012-12-13

Wedding- No issue, just advice please?

Hi CS and readers! This isn''t a shrinky issue at all, I just really need advice and am hoping I can get some from the CS community. Sadly, the forums haven''t been the same since they changed the format and you actually have to be registered to post there.

So, I have been with my fiancé  for 8 years. Formally engaged for two years, I am tired of it and actually want to get married. However, the last three years have been horrifically expensive years for us (scammed out of R30+k, scar issues amounting to over R40k, it''s never ending). We do not earn that much, we are in our mid 20''s and are still busy working on our careers, and are actually in quite a bit of debt. Unfortunately, my family is not is any position to help pay, and his family quite frankly don''t like me so WON''T help pay.

However, we have our dreams and although we said that when we have money again, we''ll use it to put down a deposit on a house instead of a big wedding, we do still want a small, nice wedding. I do NOT want a court wedding, nor do I want a shotgun wedding at a family members house (like my sister had).

I really need some tips... I am working on NO budget, but really want to get this done in 2013.

We had our guest list at over 80 people (just family and close friends) but after doing some working and thinking, I have managed to cut it down to 63 (after all, why does my step sister that I never see need to bring a guest? Why does my cousin that is with a new guy every two months need to bring the partner she happens to be with at that time? Why should I invite my aunt and uncle that I last saw at a family function three years ago?)

I have decided to go for a garden wedding, the venue is just cheaper, and as they say on the internet, you don''t need to spend a lot on decor as the garden is decor enough.

I will also do it in a winter month (beginning May or end July, when it is not the heart of winter), maybe on a Monday for extra discount.

I have a friend who is a make-up artist who will do that for free, and another friend who is a professional photographer who will charge me half price. My sister bakes really well (not professionally, but she really goes all out and they look really good) so she will be making the cupcakes (I have decided to go for cupcakes instead of a big cake).

I will do the invites myself, my fiancé  used to work at one of those printing shops so we can print good quality one''s for a cheaper price.

Wedding rings... I''m not picky at all, and would prefer NOT to spend thousands on a diamond ring, so I''m perfectly happy with a cubic zirconia that costs no more than R500.

I am thinking of a smart casual theme, so I won''t spend thousands on a dress. I can buy a very pretty, girly dress at any store, maybe on account. Same for the suit (my fiance has no fancy clothes). My sisters are my bridesmaids, they are happy to buy their own dresses. My fiance''s friend have suits, I saw them all wearing them at the last wedding we went to so his groomsmen are sorted.

Is there anywhere else where we can cut down?

Thank you so much. :)

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Wow, I wish I could claim 80 "close friends" ! Or maybe you have an enormous family ... But it sounds as though you have used very sensible criteria to cut it down. Too many people are keen on the free lunch rather than caring about the couple. You sound eminently sensible. I am concerned about the rapid growth of the Bridezilla Syndrome, where women are encouraged ( in ways that greatly profit others ) to become monstrously self-obsessed for the duration of the wedding planning and ceremony, "princessed" to the point of bankruptcy, and then suddenly unimportant for the rest of the duration of their marriage.
It reminds me of the Potlatch ceremony among some American Indian tribes, where a family showed off how wealthy they were by throwing a lavish party where they displayed expensive possessions like a terrific canoue, and then smashed and burned it in front of the guests, to show that they could aford to do so.
How nice rto focus on clothes than can be usefully and pleasantly worn again, rather than a confextion that spends the next 40 years in a cupboard.
Sounds like brilliant planning on your side, and I haven't spotted anything you've ignored.
Presumably modest, natural flowers perhaps from your own gardens ? And why can't we just sit on the plastic chairs without draping them in complex cloth, and enjoy the venue without draping it in miles of sheeting ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Milla | 2012-12-14

Oh and also, I don''t know your circumstances well enough to comment but when my husband proposed to me we were still very young and poor! My engagement ring wasn''t terribly expensive and for our wedding I just got an additional band attached to it. Shop around and I''m sure you''ll be able to find something beautiful that doesn''t cost an arm and a leg!

Reply to Milla
Posted by: Milla | 2012-12-14

Great tips from Done That!
If you are open minded you could check out offbeatbride(dot)com. Some pretty cute DIY ideas from less traditional brides, maybe you can find something that suites your style or theme :)

I wonder if you scrapped your unsupportive in-laws from the guest list? Personally I see no point in invited people to join you on your special day if they won''t wish you well..

Reply to Milla
Posted by: Kelly | 2012-12-13

I was critical to begin with but then you started sounding realistic and rather reasonable. Sounds all good and can''t think of where you have missed out.

I just hate it when people spent money they dont have on lavish weddings they dont need to end up paying for it for the first year of their marriage, just makes no sense at all.

I hope everything goes perfectly and you enjoy your wedding day!

Reply to Kelly
Posted by: Done That! | 2012-12-13

Internet for invitations..why do you need cards? Make yourselves a wonderful card and email it. Your friends and family can print it if they want.
Hack that guest list way more... around 40 people max...only those that are MEANINGFUL to you two...NO relatives just because the family thinks so!
Guests bring their own booze - you only supply the toasting drinks (or ask someone to sponsor Sparkling Wine as a wedding gift?)
Use a quality iPod and do your own music and ceremony music. Get your friends to operate it for you.
Buy non-expensive (that doesn''t look cheap) glitzty material (in your theme colour) from the plaza and use it scrunched up down the centre of the tables. Hold in place with your flowers etc and use cheap gold/silver wedding sprinkles from the ''Crazy Store'' etc around the rest of the table to make things look great.
Hire candles - YES you can...and theyr''e cheap and stunning! Rental cost according to size.
No other decorations..the garden does the rest as you mentioned.
Ask close friends to arrange the snacks and -|- tails for while you''re busy with the photo''s etc as your wedding present. Nice Bread stix (from the Bread Basket) and a quality home made sundowner punch goes down very well..... Same with the flowers(getting a friend to arrange them too)
Hire a dress...its often cheaper.
Make your own seating name cards and thank you''s (write a lovely poem between you two that reflects your thanks to those that spent your special day with you) - use the internet to get ideas etc...there''s some great help on hand and in the end looks nowhere near as cheesy as those crap little cards they sell!!
Make your own Guest Book for your friends and family to write in, or shop for a bargain. If you start early you will find something special at the right price.
No thank you presents on the tables!!!! What for?
In fact do the whole wedding yourselves. It''s fun and VERY cost effective...but try not let the relatives interfere!!!!!!! Just give yourselves a few months to get your act together. It will also bring you two closer togther as you spend time at home doing all these things (and not spending money going out!). Yes, I mean the two of you do all of this...not just you! Give him tasks and leave him...he''ll do an amazing job. Guys are very capable. Don''t underestimate him!
We had 42 guests at our Garden Wedding (no, we were not popular with Aunty X for not inviting her etc) - hired a Guest House with a plated set menu with the above ideas all arranged and set out by ourselves. We spent not a cent more than R10 000 and our wedding was exactly the same as those arranged by a Co-Ordinator for R70 000 to R80 000!! You can do it much cheaper than R10 000 without the venue cost. Spend money on the things that YOU will enjoy, and cut down on the waste...i.e. cut on the crap and rather buy a decent wedding ring :-)

Reply to Done That!

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