What the heck. Let’s complete this little trilogy of lists from my own wedding experience. Today, I’m ticking off the top ten things we chose not to spurge on/include in our wedding — and that we didn’t miss a bit.
In no particular order. . . .
1.) Fancy linens
We did get lovely linens for the sweetheart table and pie table, but we opted to use the white “house” linens on the guest tables — partly because of the cost, partly because covering nearly 20 tables with deep maroon/ eggplant colored cloths would have been far too dramatic and dark. And spending money on fancy white linens wasn’t something I was interested in when we could use perfectly acceptable white ones for free.
Nixing save-the-dates was a good move for us: Just about everybody close to us already knew when the wedding would be, via phone calls, Facebook, e-mails and the like. So we saved the cost of save-the-dates and the cost of postage, and simply mailed our wedding invitations about eight weeks before the ceremony.
3.) Wedding cake
Also as I wrote yesterday, we passed over a wedding cake and fed our guests pies instead. Yes, we did the ceremonial cutting and the table was decorated beautifully, with coleus and crystals. But it was a much simpler, homier, and yet still elegant and refined way to serve dessert, and as far as we’re concerned, the taste can’t be beat!
4.) Personal vows
Initially, with all the personalization we had going on, I was determined to write our own vows. Danny wasn’t sure he liked that plan. As we got wrapped up in our other projects, I gradually shifted to his point of view. We ended up going over two sets of traditional church vows with our pastor, and I modified them to include the best of each. Looking back, I think it’s a good thing we didn’t try to write and say our own vows — we wouldn’t have made it through them without sobbing.
5.) Open bar
If you’ve read some of my previous posts, you know I’m not a fan of open bars unless the person paying for the wedding is ready to shell out some serious, serious cash. In fact, the coordinator at LPGA International, where we had our reception, actually advised us against having an open bar because our tab would skyrocket. Plus, with a lot of kids coming to our reception, we liked the idea of limiting the possibility of guests getting drunk and making a scene.
4.) Cut flower decorations
As I wrote yesterday, we went with potted coleus to decorate the church and the tables at our reception, which meant we only used the florist for our (gorgeous!) bouquets and boutonnieres. We definitely saved money, saved some plants — the coleus have taken up residence in my parents’ backyard — and had a wedding that looked exactly the way I’d hoped it would.
7.) Garter toss
I’ve never been a big fan of the whole garter toss, what with some grooms crawling up brides’ skirts and that much-hated tradition of subjecting the girl who catches the bouquet to the hands of the guy who caught the garter. We did the bouquet toss, but I didn’t even wear a garter, or have Danny throw one into a crowd of single men. No one seemed to notice!
Perhaps we didn’t make the grandest of exits, but I’ll tell you what: We were able to just sit back and relax as soon as we hopped into Danny’s pickup. There was no worrying about what we should or shouldn’t say in front of the driver, no wondering if he would make a wrong turn and we would have to interrupt our conversation to redirect the car. We just got to make the ten-minute drive back to our home in peace — and after a long wedding day, that was exactly what we wanted. Besides, the majority of guests beat us out of the reception, taking young children home or staggering off the dance floor, all too ready for their beds. So, with just a handful of close friends and family there to wave us off, we certainly didn’t feel the need to make a splashy getaway. That was never high on our list of priorities — so we were happy to use that money for fun excursions on our honeymoon instead!
9.) “Traditional” wedding music
As much as I dislike the garter toss, I probably dislike Wagner’s “Bridal Chorus” and Mendelssohn’s “The Wedding March” even more. For our ceremony, we decided we wanted Impressionistic pieces and pieces that were styled after the Romantics. For my entry, we went with my favorite, Rachmaninoff — and other than that, for the most part, we let our pianist (a longtime friend of Danny’s) select other pieces within that style.
10.) Professional makeup artist
This was one thing I decided against early on in my wedding planning. About two months before the wedding, I began meeting with a friend who is excellent at doing makeup — and, ironically, since the wedding she’s gotten a job as a makeup artist. . . . She helped me decide how I wanted my makeup, and she and one of my bridesmaids applied it for me the day of the wedding. It was much more relaxing doing it in my own home rather than spending extra time at a salon, and I appreciated having friends with my instead of a makeup artist I hardly knew.