Married on a Shoestring, or How We’re Getting Hitched While Broke

Filed in Gather Money Essential by on July 15, 2012 0 Comments

Some of you may know that Bill and I are finally taking the plunge into wedded bliss next month. After ten-plus years together, we figure it is time to  make an honest woman of me.(although I’ve never been much of a dishonest woman to start with), and firmly adhere that ball and chain to Bill’s ankle. The problem is, we are broke as the proverbial joke, and pulling off a decent wedding on a shoestring is not an easy task, but not insurmountable either.

What we have done is to create a wedding unique to us, and yes, we expect to raise a few eyebrows with the more conservative relatives, but we tend to raise their eyebrows on a good day anyway,so what’s one more day?

I first mentioned to my sister Dixie, who lives in Minnesota,  that we had set a date, and were looking to put on the event as economically as possible, and she agreed to be our wedding planner. Does she have experience as a wedding planner? Nope, but she has the energy of a dervish and loves to organize, so how could I say no? 

We started with the venue. I am extremely blessed to have a sister in law (my late brother’s wife) who offered up her garden to hold the event. She has been landscaping like a mad woman since it was decided a few months back. I have to admit, that Karen is a genius with just about any creative project she sets her mind on, and I have no doubt the garden will be spectacular by mid-August.  She even purchased a 5 foot (give or take) fountain for us to take our vows in front of.

Karen’s sister’s husband offered tables, chairs and a few huge white tents, replete with fans to cool the guests while they eat at the reception. His crew is even going to set them up for us the day before .

Invitations were sent by e-vite, except for a few relatives and friends who are technologically backward. If you haven’t received yours, check your e-mail.

The person officiating

My dress is not a traditional lace and beads wedding dress, but a beautiful white cotton peasant dress picked up at a thrift store for $2.99. I took the dress to my sis-in-law to see if she wanted to embellish it, and she thought it was perfect, as-is.  I found the dress for my daughter, who will be my Maid-of-honor at the thrift store as well.  If I can’t find the shoes my mind sees on my feet, I will strut  my ample arse down the aisle barefoot.

I still don’t have a proper veil, but the call has been put out on free-cycle. Do you have one lying around gathering dust? I could use one. If I can’t find a veil, a garland of daisies will suit me just fine, although the sisters are talking about baby’s breath. I will go with whatever is handy.

The men are wearing cargo shorts and some sort of shirt. I am leaving the final decision to them. My mind’s eye sees Hawaiian shirts, but who knows what they will show up in. My sweetie is very creative himself, as you may know, and his best man is a little off the beaten path as well. Hard telling what they may decide.

The cake is being made by a dear friend who makes beautiful cakes, and she is giving us a discount on the cost, which is a huge relief.  Do you have any idea what those things cost at a bakery ? Talk about sticker shock!  Or perhaps Icing shock is more correct?

The food for the reception will be a family style pot-luck. We are not requesting guests bring food, but the relatives will be cooking their little heads off. My daughter and I will be heading to the venue the day before to help in the set-up and food prep, so you can be sure it will be fabulous, but I hope the guests don’t expect a prime rib dinner, because they will be out of luck. We are looking at pulled pork sandwiches with a variety of sauces, salads, veggies and fruit to satisfy even our vegan-est of guests.

We are honeymooning at a hotel in Kentucky that we have stayed at before, and loved. My sister was going to put down the down-payment as a wedding gift, but decided to splurge for 2 nights for us. Bless her heart. She even signed us up for AARP as a part of the bargain, so we could get the discount. Not sure how I feel about being officially old, but I think I can live with it.

The only things left to do is find our rings. Yes, I know we only have a month to go, but we haven’t found what we want within our budget yet. It will happen, I have faith in the powers that be to lead us to them . We still have to get the marriage license too, but that is on the agenda for next week.

Wish us luck as we head down the road to wedded bliss.

About the Author ()

I am a Geriatric Nurse with over 30 years experience. I am a technical widow, but engaged to the man of my dreams, and it only took me 43 years to find him. I enjoy natural settings, camping, hiking and playing in the woods. I take great pride in

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