Lesson 4: Be a little bit extravagant (but don’t go crazy)
Remember how one of my priorities was to not spend too much on this wedding? While many brides go overboard, I am inclined to go underboard. Things I could have skipped but am glad I didn’t:
- a bus to keep my guests safe. The bus drove guests from the hotel to the church, to the venue with the open bar. I didn’t have to worry about any of my closest friends or families drinking and driving. I cannot think of anything more devastating for a newly married couple than having someone get injured on the way home from the wedding. I was quoted prices between $700 and $4000 for a bus, so do some shopping around before you commit.
- favors. I HATE going home with one wine glass that have other people’s names on them, that doesn’t match anything else in your house. I feel like almost all wedding favors end up in the landfill and are a huge waste of money and time and energy. I do, however, like favors you can eat. We met with a lovely local woman who makes her own chocolates, and she put together mini boxes of artisan chocolates for us. She’s a small, local business owner who I got to support, and favors aren’t for the bride and groom anyway, so even though I don’t really care about favors it was a good purchase.
- the dress. Ok, I wouldn’t have skipped wearing a dress. Since I am a military spouse, I qualified for a free dress from Brides Across America. I felt kind of weird about taking a free dress, because my husband is mid-career and I have a career of my own, so it’s not like we couldn’t afford a wedding dress. But they only have events twice a year, and my sister was in town, so we decided to go. We found a dress and it was fine/good. A 6.5/10. It didn’t quite fit, it wasn’t quite my style….but wedding dresses are SO expensive and ridiculous for just one day, I figured I would make it work. I got it altered for free at the place I got it from, but the alterations took it from a 6.5 to a 4/10 (I cannot to this day figure out the bustle situation. There was some sort of color/number/letter code going on and nightmares were had). Plus, it still didn’t fit. So instead of spending $300-$500 to fix a dress I didn’t really like, my mom and I went to a bridal salon that was going out of business and got a dress that I really liked. It wasn’t a bargain, but it also wasn’t full price. And I loved it.
- Hair/makeup/nails and henna (my husband is half Indian so we pulled in some of his cultural traditions). I thought I was going to do my own makeup, but who are we kidding, I can barely put on mascara. Plus it was great to spend time with all my bridesmaids at the same time, and the henna was gorgeous.