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A Do It Yourself Wedding in New York City For $10,000 Or Less, Is It Possible?Featured

A do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding in New York City sounds like an oxymoron, but it can be done. There are various ways of complying with that statement above and all for under $10,000. Well, under $10,000. You can still have quite an extravagant wedding, even an over the top wedding for under $10,000 AND in New York. Let me show you how it can be done, including your honeymoon. Now I know you’re thinking that is an impossibility. My husband and I did it and so can you.

It mostly depends on just what it is you want your fantasy day to say and whether or not one thing is the most important item or if you would prefer to have featured several things. For me I wanted the colors of our wedding to be featured, my dress and the water feature for my husband at the reception. At another time I will tell you about my excursions to and from the various locations to secure, just what I wanted for my wedding. Right now, I will give you the nitty-gritty about what I reaped from my excursions.

What if you only wanted one thing to be the major featured item? Of course, it does not have to be just one thing, it can be several, but just so you don’t go crazy, I suggest you choose one to two items rather than a whole slew, but if you want more than that, don’t do any more than five. Most brides start off believing they can do it all and realize within eight to six months of the wedding that they can not. A friend’s help comes in quite handily, after all your really close friends will have asked you all along what they can do to help. At about ten to eight months out from the wedding is the best time to take them up on their offers. I did. More about me later, though. I have a friend who did a wedding with a potluck reception at a very famous church here in Manhattan and even though it was phenomenally delicious, to my idea that was not even the featured item in her wedding. I am getting ahead of myself though.

Her wedding had a committee of three women -the project managers- to help her stay within her budget which was WAY under $10,000. I believe she and her new husband paid no more than $6000 for their entire wedding, which included the reception space in that very same famous church. They did not pay for catering which can be quite pricey when it comes to weddings. In fact, the wedding couple paid nothing for the food at the reception, so plus the cost of the space, If they’d paid for catering it would have run close to the $6000 for their 150 guests. By having a potluck, she paid nothing other than the cost of the hall. The Riverside Church Chapel for me cost $800 (In a previous article, I said $1200, but in reality it was $800 for mine.) in 2005, but for another friend of mine last year, she paid $1500. I got the members’ cost, but last year, there was no differential between members and nonmembers, so even though she is a member, she had to pay big bucks.

My friend’s wedding costs are an approximation, because I didn’t pry that much,.. yet. She is out of the country now, so I can not ask her at all, but I am judging from her comments to me at the time. Forgetting about the cost of hers and her husband wearing apparel which I can tell you he had his own tux in his closet and her wedding dress was bought from a non-wedding wedding store on sale.

  • Since my friend is a singer too, she had friends who sang during her wedding, that were of course gratis or gifts. Basically that is a win-win situation all around. Since you tap your friends, you tap the voices you want singing your songs of choice. That’s what I did and both she and her ex-husband sang at my and my husband’s wedding.
  • Here’s a big tip if you don’t want to spend big time money on your dress, if it’s to be one of the featured items, go to a non-wedding store in search of your gown. Personally I went to Filene’s Basement bridal store, a year before my wedding and bought a dress for $536 with tax, so it is possible to pay for a dress under $3000. But my friend did not go the bridal store route. She went to Paramus Mall to Lord & Taylor. I don’t remember exactly how much she paid, but I do know it was almost half as much as my dress.
  • She also did not go with a traditional veil, but went with a tiara alone. For mine, I had both, but did not pay a premium for either. I made up my own veil for less than $10 and found a tiara that didn’t look cheap at Claire’s Accessories for less than $20. She wore a tiara as well. A gold tiara, which costs no more than a $100.
  • For her reception, she had no music, we’d had plenty during her wedding ceremony. In another article I’ve already told you about using your own Mp3 player and saving big bucks in that respect. If you do want to hire a DJ or reception host, I suggest you go with a friend of a friend who is just starting to spin, but that the friend can vouch for their abilities, if you have not experienced them for yourself. Remember, whatever you do, GET a contract. One that spells out exactly what you want and expect them to do at the party. That means the songs you expect and when. That way, the surprises won’t have anything to do with dancing. That way both you and your guests can be happy without much annoyance on anyone’s part. New DJ’s can start as low as $75 an hour and go up from there. If you want an established DJ, it could be as much as $125 – $350 an hour. This again is if you want to stay within your budget of $10000. Just remember you will need your DJ for at least four hours, so do your multiplication from there.
  • Transportation: Ah, you can go the traditional route with the white limos, or you can go with black limos, too. Did you know that the color of the limo can determine the price. White limos are more expensive and if you mention wedding additional money is added for that special day. Just be glad that you are not going to prom, because that is the limousine’s big day(s) for money making. Limousines can be anywhere from $500 for a two and half hour rental to, of course thousands. To really save money, if you are friends with a special car association you could rent or borrow the owners’ cars. Or now with the Internet companies, Zip Car, Drive Mint or even Connect By Hertz you could rent a car of your dreams for a great rates. Each of these dot com hourly car rentals can save you a bundle. Think about it.
  • Did you guess already that the featured item for my friend’s wedding was the dress? Well, if you did you would have been correct. The bride wore, what appeared to be gold. In actuality, the dress was a copper lace with a light pink undergarment that peeked through, which made the dress upon entrance and even as she continued to walk down the aisle appear to be molten liquid gold. She was drummed in. Of course, the bride is usually the center piece of most weddings, but as they say in the theater, people were humming the dress the rest of the evening, especially since she was able to match the dress with a cape, that was already in her closet.
  • Transportation – Getting to and sometimes from the wedding ceremony can be challenging when it comes to keeping costs down, but with these suggestions you can be home free.
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Stories

5 Wording Ideas for Custom Candies Wedding Favor

Personalized M&M’s can be used for many occasions. One of which is having them given away as a wedding favor. You could change the color that matches your wedding color, put your picture on it and put short phrases on it. If you preferred to give away custom M&M’s on your wedding, you have the option to put short phrases and short messages on each M&M candy. But your option is very limited because only up to 19 characters are allowed on each candy. So you might have to go informal in some way by using “text message” wordings.

Here are 5 wordings that you can put on your personalized M&M’s wedding favor:

1) Date of your wedding
It could be in formats like mm/dd/yy or mm-dd-yyyy. The candies will end up being eaten but your guests will surely remember the date and how cute your personalized M&M’s wedding favor was.

2) The couple’s names
Just the first names of course. It would not fit a single M&M candy if the complete name is used. For example, James & Gina, Rob & Tina, etc.

3) Together Forever!
This phrase will surely spruce up the romance on your wedding. Your guests will definitely think of your wedding favor as something sweet and I’m not just talking about the taste. It may be a short, common and simple phrase. But it would truly show the strength of your relationship.

4) Thx 4 coming!
Thank your guests for coming to your wedding. This may be a shortened phrase but they will still get the message and will truly appreciate it. You don’t have to worry about informality at all once they put the M&M’s candy in their mouth.

5) Mr & Mrs at last!
Show your guests how happy you are to be bonded with each other. Who cares if it’s cheesy or mushy? It’s your wedding and you should care less about what others would think. The only important thing here is that you and your wife-to-be or husband-to-be are now one.

Those wordings for your personalized M&M’s wedding favor aren’t even 19 characters long and will definitely make your guests smile. You don’t have to worry about your wedding favor ending up in a clutter box or in the attic. Your guests will enjoy your M&M’s wedding favor while they munch on it.

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Stories, Wedding

The Most Romantic Wedding Traditions from Around the World: Germany, Russia & Ireland

If you’d like to add a slice of your heritage to your wedding ceremony, you’re not alone. Millions of couples are embracing their ancestry and choosing to incorporate some of the best traditions from around the world in their ceremonies here at home. Here are some of the most interesting wedding traditions you might find if you attended a wedding in Germany, Russia or Ireland. If you or your family are from one of these countries, why not try adding some phrases from your ancestor’s native tongue in your wedding vows for a truly memorable touch!

Germany

To fund her future wedding, when a baby girl is born in Germany, several trees are planted and tended throughout her childhood. When she is to be married, the trees are sold to pay for her wedding and to act as a dowry. To help defray costs of a honeymoon, friends and family of the wedding couple will make a newspaper or newsletter featuring pictures and articles about the couple’s youth. This newsletter is sold at the wedding.

A German wedding can last up to three days. There is first a civil ceremony, then the following day is a traditional ceremony. Finally on the third day is a religious ceremony. Guests bring old dishes to the second night’s party to break, and the couple sweeps them up. This symbolizes that their home will never be broken.

As the wedding couple leaves the church, they throw coins to the children who have attended. A customary tradition is for the best man to steal the bride and take her to a local pub, where they drink champagne and hide.

The groom must find them, and pay for all they drank. Also, before leaving the reception hall, guests block the door and demand payment from the groom (usually in the form of a promise of a party) before they allow the wedding couple to leave for their honeymoon.

Russia

What are referred to in western society as wedding rings are in Russia called engagement rings. These plain gold bands are worn on the ring finger of the right hand. When a person is widowed or divorced, they will move the ring to the left hand. The groom pays for the ring, although the couple chooses them together.

A holdover from the days of communism is a procession of cars that arrives at the ceremony. Since large cars were a sign of wealth, effort is made to rent one for the bride and groom. In addition, guests to the wedding will each drive to the wedding alone to increase the size of the procession. The groom traditionally takes the bride to the church, but before he is allowed to do so, he must pass a series of challenges put up by her family and friends, including trivia questions, physical obstacles, and even an actual climb up to the bride’s window.
Marriage ceremonies are held in the licensing office, and must be witnessed. Although church weddings are held, they have no legal significance, so they are often held after the legal ceremony. At the reception, it is customary to drink to excess, with a series of toasts offered to the bride and groom. Prior to leaving the reception hall, the bride is stolen away by the friends of the groom. He must then locate her and pay her ransom. This can happen several times, so the groom must be ever watchful of his new wife.

Ireland

Instead of wedding bands, more and more Irish couples are choosing to wear the Claddagh ring. This design has a heart being held on either side with a hand, and a crown on top. Wearing the ring on the left hand with the heart facing you indicates marriage, wearing it with the heart facing away means you are single. The ring may be used as an engagement ring or a wedding band, and is often passed from mother to daughter.

As the bride and groom leave the church, they throw a handful of coins into the crowd of waiting guests. The bride will carry a horseshoe with her for luck throughout her marriage. This is usually sewn into the dress, although it might be a plastic cake decoration today. Truly traditional Irish weddings are held only from April through October, but never in the month of May due to superstition. This half of the year is considered the “light” half. Mead, which is a honey wine, is served at Irish receptions, and is believed to be the source of the word honeymoon. It is thought to increase virility and fertility, and is therefore in great abundance at weddings. As the bride and groom leave the reception hall, there are often bagpipes stationed just outside to play them to their waiting car, which whisks them away to their honeymoon spot.

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Stories, Wedding

How to Save Your Wedding When You Run Out of Money

Planning a wedding is so much fun that it can be easy to get in over your head. You splurge here, spend a little extra there, and before you know it, you have committed to a wedding that is beyond your means. With deposits placed, and final payments looming, this can be a very scary situation for the bride or her parents to find themselves in. Find out what steps you can take to save your wedding when you run out of money.

It is really, really easy to end up planning a wedding that costs too much, especially because the planning can be spread out over many months. When you are only paying one-third to one-half of what things actually cost, it can be easy to lose track of the grand total. For some families, it is not until they get close to the wedding day and they start adding up all the final payments which are due that they realize they can’t cover their bills. This is a horrible situation for any family. What do you? Cancel the wedding? Stiff your vendors? Charge admission to the reception? No, no, and no.

What you should do first and foremost is have a frank conversation with your wedding venue and vendors. Explain your situation, and ask them how you can work it out. Be clear with them that it is important to them that their bills get paid so nobody thinks you are trying to weasel out paying what you owe them. Maybe the florist would be willing to downsize the centerpieces to trim costs. Or she could skip the expensive extras, such as the crystals in the bouquets to match your crystal bridal jewelry. The photographer might allow you to cut back to a smaller package or to have him come for the ceremony and through the cake cutting only, instead of taking pictures from pre-ceremony until the last dance. As long as the vendors have not actually spent money on supplies for your wedding, they might be willing to re-negotiate your contract.

As for your reception venue, call the event manager at once and make an appointment. Figure out your finances before the meeting so you have a clear idea of the difference between what you owe and what you can actually pay. If the gap is not insurmountably wide, it might be possible to get creative with the wedding menu to get your balance down (again, this would have to be before anything has been ordered for your reception). Choose less costly entrees and appetizers, substitute sparkling wine for imported French Champagne, or change from a full open bar to wine and beer only. In some cases, this will be enough to get your balance down to what you can afford.

If you still cannot afford what you owe the venue, you will have to consider more dramatic measures. Could they change the time of your reception from an evening wedding to a brunch? You could save thousands that way. Another potential solution is to change the day of the wedding from a Saturday to a Thursday or Sunday. Sites typically charge less for the non-prime days, and they might be willing to allow you to make a change to salvage something from the situation. While the idea of changing your wedding date may be hard to swallow, remember that you will still look just as gorgeous in your wedding gown and pearl bridal jewelry on a Thursday as you would have on a Saturday.

Finally, will yourself to let go of any extras you have not already committed to purchasing. You can have a wedding reception without favors, just as you can have a ceremony without a soloist. Cutting back can be difficult, but it will be well worth it to find a way to save your wedding.

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Stories

How to Structure and Word Your Wedding Invitation

The wedding invitations are one of the most import stages of the preparations for the wedding day. They set the tone of the day and give your guests their first indication of the style and theme. They tell them when and where the wedding will be held and how formal it will be. For your guests the wedding invitations are the most important part in the lead up to your wedding. The importance of the wedding invitations or wedding stationery cannot be understated and getting the wedding stationery wording correct is crucial.

It is not uncommon to feel overwhelmed, confused, or even unsure about which traditions to follow when selecting the layout and wording of your wedding invitations. Traditional invitation wording and etiquette serves only as a guide or a starting point. Your wedding stationery should capture your individual characters and convey the tone in which you wish to express your wedding day. There is no right or wrong.

Typically, a wedding invitation is divided into four distinct sections, i.e. the hosts, the guests, the date, time and location of the ceremony and reception. This article examines each of the sections contained in a standard wedding invitation and offers some guidance to the reader.

1. The hosts of the wedding

The hosts of the wedding can be the bride’s parents, the bride and groom, or the parents of both the bride and groom. It was tradition that the brides parents hosted the wedding, however nowadays the majority of couples host the wedding themselves often with the assistance of both sets of parents. There are a variety of different wording options depending on who is hosting. The following suggestions are offered as guidance.

If the Bride and Groom are hosting the wedding themselves, one of the following wording options maybe considered:

The honour of your presence is request at the marriage of…

Anne Smith and John James request the honour of your presence at their marriage…

Anne Smith and John James together with their families/parents wish to invite you, to join them on the occasion of their marriage…

Together with their families/parents Anne Smith and John James request the honour of your presence on the occasion of their marriage…

In the case where the bride and groom’s parents are hosting the wedding:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

and

Mr. and Mrs. William James

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their children…

Finally if it is the bride’s parents that are hosting the wedding then the following maybe used:

Mr. and Mrs. John Smith

request the pleasure of your company

at the marriage of their daughter

Anne Smith to John James

It has always been the tradition that the bride’s name be mentioned first on the wedding invitation. This maybe explained by the fact that traditionally the bride’s parents paid for the wedding. It is not uncommon nowadays for the groom’s name to be mentioned first. Ultimately this is a personal choice and the decision of which name appears first resides with the bride and groom.

2. Addressing the guests – using their correct titles.

Addressing the wedding guests with their correct titles displays thought, consideration and respect. In today’s world a multitude of different titles exist which makes this task all the more difficult. The best course of action is to use common sense and be consistent, however it is not as simple as using Mr and Mrs on your wedding invitations. Some of your invitee’s may have different title’s. When addressing a husband and wife who share the same last name the norm is to use Mr and Mrs i.e. Mr and Mrs John Owens. Likewise if they don’t share the same last name, the norm is to address them as Mr John Owens and Mrs Sinead Flynn. If either of these guests is a Doctor then simply substitute Dr for Mr/Mrs. Separated or divorced couples should receive separate invitations and if they have a new partner, then the norm is to include this partners name. In the case of gay and lesbian couples the same rules apply but you should name the partners in alphabetical order. Finally, when inviting a single person who will be bringing a date it is appropriate to include “plus one” after their name.

3. Date, time and location

Traditionally on formal wedding invitations the numbers and time were spelled out e.g. “The fifteenth of April two thousand and fourteen at one thirty in the afternoon”. The design of your wedding theme will dictate whether the numbers in the date and time are spelled out or left in numeric form. With modern wedding invitations the latter is becoming the norm. The location of the wedding ceremony follows the date and can appear before the time. The reception location then follows. An example of typical date, time and location layouts could be:

St Oliver Plunket Church, Boora, Co. Offaly at 1:30 in the afternoon

Celebrations to follow at Dooley’s hotel Birr.

or

To be held at two thirty in the afternoon of Sunday the twelfth of January two thousand and fourteen at St. Finnian’s Church, Kinnitty, Co. Offaly

and afterwards at Kinnitty Castle for festive banquet and cheer

A typical wedding invitation is divided into the sections as outlined above, i.e. the hosts, the guests, date and time, and the locations of the ceremony and reception. It is also acceptable to include an RSVP contact number or email address on modern wedding invitations, or a separate RSVP card can be include as was traditional. If opting for the additional card ensure that the name of the guests and a stamp addressed envelope are included. An RSVP reply date of at least one month before the wedding should also be advised to your guests.

For your guests the wedding invitations are the most important part in the lead up to your wedding. The information they receive helps them decide on their outfits and allows them to make the necessary arrangements to attend. Many guests may have to travel a long distance and therefore it is appropriate to include directions and a list of accommodation. This is additional information which is not included on the wedding invitation but rather on a separate card included in the wedding stationery pack sent to the guests. The norm is to include a map and directions to both the venues for the ceremony and reception, and a list of accommodation including hotels and bed and breakfast providers.

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