Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Moving Along

I am fighting some really bad burnout right now (read: did no work today).

So how about we all talk about fluff, m'kay?

I am the anti-bride.

And I apparently am marrying the world's most traditional man.

Who actually wants to participate in this mess.

Like, with his own ideas and everything.

*eye rolling*

And if there is one thing I learned right-quick is that this whole wedding this is a RACKET.

Forget the mafia – the World of Wedding has cornered the market on shake downs.

And I am having none of it.

Tack on the word “wedding,” to the dress or the reception or the flowers and – BAM! – watch the prices go through the roof.

If I read one more article about how “the perfect flowers will make or break the day,” I will choke myself with calla lilies.

This is what I know for sure at this point:

1. It will be SMALL – not much more than immediate family.
2. Homemade invites
3. If I had to pick a style, it would be rustic country (which I sort of gravitated towards for my personal style even before Cheese popped his country self into my life)
4. Wedding and ceremony in same place
5. Minimal (if any) flowers – mostly candles, lanterns, and button lights
6. At least 3 DIY projects, and likely no more
7. No cake – instead, we are having homemade cupcakes
8. I would like it to be in a barn, but alas, barns are hard to come by in Chicago, so I am still looking for the right (read: cheap and outdoorsy) place.
9. Food for both the rehearsal dinner and wedding will be fun, Chicago-style, and casual (think Chicago hot dogs, Italian beef, sliders and pizza for the welcome dinner)
10. Use of area graduate art students for photography and instrumental ceremony and dinner music

As for the things I am forgoing:

1. Wedding planner – I have both an enthusiastic mom (whose about to see her last kid get married) and a FMIL (who is about to see her last child and only son get married) – so I think I can get most of my bases covered
2. Flowers and cake – as noted above
3. Having to take out a loan to pay for this
4. Obsessing over colors (?), bridesmaid dresses (picking their own), and Cheese’s attire.
5. Save-the-dates – with this few people, it doesn’t matter.
6. RSVP cards – save on paper by having them RSVP to out wedding website (yet to be established)

I guess the things we really want to spend our money on is good fun food, great music, and an awesome party. 90% of our budget will swing that way. All that other stuff is insignificant to us.


I mean, the things that could not matter any less would be stuff like centerpieces and invitations. I can barely shower and dress myself on a daily basis, much less try to multitask details like that.

And seriously. When’s the last time you attended a wedding, and then a year later reminisced, “Wow, those were some great invitations they had! And killer centerpieces!” No, right? You remember the party, the dancing, the music, the good time. And maybe the food, but that depends of how much alcohol is consumed.

While I have managed to keep myself relatively calm about all this (‘cause it’s a wedding shit storm out there!), I find myself surprisingly obsessed with all things Melissa Sweet or Claire Pettibone.


Yes, those would be dress designers.

I heart the “Hallie” by Ms. Sweet, and I swoon over the “Marguerite” courtesy of Ms. Pettibone.

These two dresses actually squeeze my heart a bit when I see them, their girly beauty almost overwhelming to my otherwise tomboyish senses.

I suspect should I ever have the glory of trying one of these one, I just may never take it off.

Kinda like my pajamas right now.


Borsch said...

M...that sounds like a great plan! If I ever had a wedding it is going to be low key as such

Prin said...

No... flowers? But...


I concur with a lot of it, even though when it comes time, somebody will probably convince me otherwise.

But hey, if you regret the small wedding, when you renew your vows in a few centuries, you can go all out. :D

Izzy said...

check out this blog. i didn't read the article, but the cupcakes reminded me of you.

Anonymous said...

You should have your wedding in the Keys next year at Fantasy Fest :) Then you don't have to buy a dress, just shoes and a veil. Cheese can wear just a tie - ha! And you will fit right in.

I tried planning the quaint little wedding (13 yrs ago) and it turned into a larger than life wedding. Don't get me wrong, loved every minute of it, came away with NOT one loan, but still wish it would've had a more intimate setting. My fault - I allowed the 'mothers' to handle some things and it became more than what I wanted. Lesson learned...keep tabs on the moms and what they are doing and how much they are spending :)

Whatever you do, make it what you and Cheese want, that is all that matters!

Lots of hugs and love being sent your way!

J-Wim said...

We planned and implemented our wedding in just under a month almost 20 years ago. It was a no frills deal with a small guest list in the chapel at our church (tiny!), cake and punch afterwards for the attendees, and a half barrel party in our backyard for our rowdier friends and family. I didn't spend a lot of time or effort on the foofy stuff (decorations, flowers, planners, etc) just went with simple and basic.
My thoughts have always been that it is really just another day, and whether you spend 10 bucks or ten million, it will still be over too soon. THe relationship is what is important, not the price tag or the aggravations of putting it all together.
Keep it simple and focus on enjoying yourself!

Tri-Angle said...

There's a place out by my hometown (off of Route 64, North Avenue) just 90 short miles from Wrigley. IT's called Stronghold Castle.

I don't know if they do weddings, but it's a really neat place. Had our Senior Prom there.

Check it out.

Alili said...

I am so jealous of the no-frills wedding. It honestly sounds like a wonderful and BEAUTIFUL and FUN! plan. :)

jessica said...

small weddings are the way to go! Husband just loves to tell people that we spent $50 on ours -- the cost to have a judge come marry us in front of my in-laws' fireplace -- before a small party with homemade food and flowers from family gardens.

My only regret? we used all of our $$ to move halfway across the country the next weekend, so we're still coveting a "honeymoon" 6 years and (nearly) 2 kids later.

Team Brazo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Team Brazo said...

I agree -- the biggest scams out there are weddings and funerals. We had 10 people at our "wedding" with all of them receiving a phone call from us 2 weeks before the date. Then a hired lawyer to make it legal -- we had him send us his "speel" and cutout just about all except -- "You are now married". My mom & dad brought a cake -- that we didn't know she was bringing. And we enjoyed a nice lobster dinner -- then headed to our house that we had just purchased prior to getting married.

Well, 20 years and two boys later -- stronger than ever.

Simple, easy, cheap, FUN...

Erin said...

If you want a rustic barn wedding how about mums for decoration like lining the path up to the barn or something. I know a great lady here that grows hundres upon hundres of pots of mums.

Other things I've learned.
Graphic artists for invites. They look professional but are dirt cheap.

Using the local Community college to bake and decorate all of your homemade cupcakes.

The CC for photogs also.

And out of 5 freaking barns I don't have one that is suitable for a wedding. It's kind of dissapointing because we have a volleyball court, horse shoe pits, a stationary testical toss set up and corn hole games. You guys would have a blast up here.

I can't wait to hear more about the wedding planning!!

Spie said...


Small and simple is the way to go.

I grew up in the area and am racking my brain for rustic wedding sites.

Have you looked into Naper Settlement?

The (IRON) Clyde said...

To be honest, if I could do it all over again, I would do exactly what you are's not about how much you spend, it's about the people that are there to share it with you.

One of the funnest weddings I ever went to was simply a pig roast in a state park, not kidding.

Tri-Angle said...

Dana and I were married on a Sternwheel paddleboat on the Mississippi River.
The hardest part was figuring our what City we were closest too, Minneapolis or St. Paul.
We made the St. Paul call.

stronger said...

Guess what?? You just found your florist! That was easy.

21stCenturyMom said...

You make my heart sing! My daughter's wedding was her thing wrapped in the traditional framework (no white dress, no flowers, no attendants, no party favors, no cake) and every single one of my friends say it is the best wedding they ever went to because it was so personal and so intimate. It was also a ton of fun!

Screw that wedding industry. And if you want to sink some dinero into a special dress do it! Said daughter wore a J. Crew cocktail length dress she bought on eBay - and a pair of $600 Manolo Blahniks.

Even without going 'all out' this thing was not cheap. Do have a caterer so that everyone can fun. Therein lies the expense but it is totally worth it.

21stCenturyMom said...

madisonduo's comment reminded me of this - you MUST buy this book:

I Do but I Don’t: Walking Down the Aisle without Losing Your Mind by Kamy Wicoff.

This woman wanted to have simple wedding and the next thing she knew she was tenting the top of a mountain and sporting a Vera Wang. It's her take on how to resist the wedding industry and why it matters that you do so. My daughter found it invaluable.

Amy said...

So I can totally help you with a few things. I'm gonna send you an email. Being 3 months married after a very similar wedding idea I am full of little detail-y things that I can offer advice on (and a few little detail thingies that I can actual maybe give you).

Andra Sue said...

Even if you want a small, low-key wedding...just make sure it's special and meaningful. And what that means for you and Cheese will be different from anyone else--but such an important day deserves significance. Don't let the Mom's take over too much! Hee hee. :)

And for the record, of the two you mentioned, I like the second dress. Plus, MS's "Gabrielle" is gorgeous. I DIE.

deb_dee said...

You remind me of one of my old roommates who is getting married next April. Her fiance is planning everything because she's not a big wedding person. Whenever I want to know how the wedding's going, I ask Keith!

The weddings I remember most are the one's that are intimate and really reflect the couples' personality.

Kolla said...

A fellow anti-bride here (what a great term!!!) The boy is cool with a low key wedding though, so I'm going to sit back and take notes on how you do it.
Make sure to detail it all here on the blog :D

Tri-Angle said...

Two words

Vegas Baby

It's NOT about the wedding, it's about the marriage. Like you didn't know that.

Tyger Lily said...

I am so with you sister!

When and if I ever get married, I want it to be very low key.

My sister got married 2 years ago. She and her husband had the day off and decided "Let get married". They went to the justice of the peace, said "I do", then called me to let me know I had a brother in law now! LOL!

the fire said...

toga toga toga toga!!!

thea said...

ahhh a girl within my own wedding mind. I so have dreamt heavily about cupcakes for my wedding....if I ever have one:( And I am pushing for a good 'ol pig pickin' for the food. A heaping table of old fashioned Southerness. yum.
Have fun with the planning- sounds like you are on the right track with keeping things simple. I never understood why brides went all crazy over centerpieces and such. Silliness I tell ya.

Mommymeepa said...

Have you googles cupcake wedding cakes. Oh my gosh!! There are some cool one's in there. You could do lots of cool ideas with cupcakes.

I once saw someone on People's Court who was suing her wedding photographer. One of her complaints was that he took too many pictures of her with beer in her hands. The photographer had his own picture to show the judge to show that it was hard not to get a picture of the bride without a beer in her hand. The wedding cake was a huge beer bottle. I had never seen a wedding cake like that. I laughed out loud.

Have fun planning it. If you need any help serving food or anything I can come help you. That way no family has to do it.

IM Able said...

Welcome to the wedding tornado! It's quite a trip!

My advice is to stick to your priorities, even in light of all the crap that will be thrown at you. Mags, blogs, friends, family, etc. Everyone has their own idea of what is your perfect day. And everyone is wrong with the exception of you. If food is a priority, spend your time and money on finding the absolute best caterer.

For us, it was photography (to keep the moments we can't share in or are moving too fast to remember) and personalizing. We really wanted our family to know how important they are to us, so a lot of 'little' things that took 'a whole hell of a lot of effort' became priority.

Also, find the right venue asap and lock it in. They go fast and it forces you (and everyone giving you advice) to stop throwing up a million different options of beach weddings or rooftop ceremonies, etc. Plus, it limits your number. It's much easier to say no to your cousin's stepson if your venue only holds a certain number.

But, chica, we gotta talk off line. I'm cheap and thorough...and have lots of fun sites and vendors up my sleeve. Plus, I have some good tools, like a budget spreadsheet and list sheet.

Whatever. It's all good. Have fun with it!!

Erin said...

Coming from someone who wanted a smallish wedding and is instead getting the big, formal affair (seriously, it's totally out of my hands now), I'm officially jealous. It sounds amazing already. Perfect.

No one does care about invites and centerpieces. And this is half the reason we picked December to get married -- free decorations (as in, everything's already decorated for Christmas...weeeeeee!)

You definitely have the right idea. None of those things matter in the end, anyway.

starttothink said...

Omigosh. I KNEW I liked you.

I am the anti-bride, and I'm getting married next Saturday, the 8th.

Matt is TOTALLY the traditional one. :)

My mother and I, shall we say, have completely butted heads over stuff. She wants this to be her party, and for the most part, I've let it slide.

But I'll tell you what's saved my sanity: Hiring a wedding consultant.

I was TOTALLY against it at first. Now I think it was one of the most worthwhile expenses ever. Why? Because she's done this before. She saved us steps on stuff. She knew etiquette on the traditional stuff we did follow through on. And even better: She made my ideas seem like my mothers, thus, my mother was kept at bay.

Oh, and this week, I won't call one vendor to check on things. The consultant is doing it all. A nice thing.

Hopefully, your FMIL and mommy are cool and are following through with your wishes...
My FMIL is AWESOME. I wish she was my mommy at times, but then I remember that it'd be illegal to marry Matt at that point. Oh, well.

Good luck in the planning stages. :) It's fun stuff, even for us anti-brides.
I think of it as planning a big ol' part-tay.

Kathleen said...

Your wedding ideas are perfect. Make it your own and you will appreciate so much more years down the road.

MissAllycat said...

Oooooooooooh...Hallie? Gorgeous.