So unbelievably arrogant. If I would describe my thought process before I started planning this shindig, that would be the term. I was convinced I saw through all the ways everyone tried to weasel money out of my pockets (or, more realistically, from my credit card) once they heard I was going to get married. I knew exactly what I wanted: a small, low-key, relaxed affair. I was going to dress in a cheap but elegant dress and not not spend more than 500 euro on my looks (including wedding dress). And NOBODY was going to stop me. HA!
DRESS (cost: Too much. It physically hurts to write what this cloud of tule cost)
You know the easiest way to sell any girly accessory for $$$? Just put “bridal” or “wedding” in front of it. It triples the price, if not more.
That’s why my advice for the day is to NEVER set foot in a bridal shop!!!!!!!!! They will tell you you need all sorts of stuff (which you don’t) at a price you really can’t afford.
I was planning to buy my dress online (secondhand or tailor) but I had the (at that time considered cunning) idea to go into a bridal shop and just try on a couple of dresses. That way I could easily figure out what kind of dress would suit me the best. I didn’t even settle for any store, I took the only store in a four hour radius where they sell Vera Wang.
I went in… and fell in love with one dress (no Vera, thank god) that was about 10 times what I was planning to spend. TEN TIMES!!!!!!! Now, I did get a nice discount because I wanted the store model It was new so nobody tried it anyway. How that was possible? I made friends with the store girl, such a sweetheart. She whined and argued with the manager till he just let it go at the reduced price.
I twirled and floated for about half an hour before reality hit me. I bought a dress that I was going to wear once – for the price of a trip around the world (which would have been infinitely cooler) !!! Oh my, the regret, the calls, …. (they don’t accept returns, even if you have just bought it and turned right back- I wonder why? The wedding industry thrives on crazy, irrational impulses- mine was my fantasy of dressing like Belle on my wedding day)
The tale of the budget wedding and the designer dress that snuk up on me.
EPIC FAIL. Anyway, I decided to make my peace with it. The bottom line was still that I completely loved the dress, I loved how it felt and everything, so I was just going to go with the flow and economize on everything else. I accessorized the dress with a black silk tule scarf because otherwise it was just too dreamy.
So… the dress was a fail. (although I still loooooooove it)
Jewelry & hair accessories (cost: free)
That actually worked out well:
I decorated my hair with borrowed jewelry (granny’s pearls came in handy).
- I borrowed a bracelet from my mum (something borrowed),
- Just wore my beloved Essentiel-shoes (no way was I going to go with new shoes for a wedding where you have to stand for an entire day!) and nobody gets to see those shoes anyway. (I did forget that I would occasionally have to pick up my dress so my pumps with sock were kind of a fail)
Hair & make up (cost: 25 euro)
- Do your own hair even if you are not a super-skilled hair stylist. seriously. The guy/girl wants to marry you- not a puffed up version of spaced-out you. Just go with a style that takes a little more effort than what you would usually do but still is very much “you”! I just put in some hot water hair rollers (I hate curling irons, they ruin your hair), put in a couple of fine braids, and put in the hair accessories of my choice.
- As most brides want light, unassuming make up, you can just hire a local make up lady – NOT someone that specializes in bridal make up (tjitsjiiiiiing). Otherwise, go to MAC. They do your make up and you get to pick make up for that price. Excellent choice and these girls really know their stuff.
Flowers (cost: free – for me otherwise 40 euro)
- I really dislike most wedding bouquets, which comes in handy because they’re expensive. I have a great love for peonies, especially the ones that aren’t really open. Unfortunately, because of the cold my florist could only sell them to me at 4 bucks a flower. Are these people crazy? I immediately cancelled and decided to go for tulips (5 euro for a bouquet) but my sweet brother surprised me with my dream bouquet- simple, no fuss, no extra greenery, no foliage drooping on the floor, just the Sarah Bernhardt peonies tied together with a string. Plain and simple- and oh so beautiful.
- Wedding rings (cost: free)
- We didn’t have that much cash left. We had amazing engagement rings. It didn’t take us that long to just forgo the matching wedding ring tradition and make our engagement rings “wedding rings”. My sister in law is an amazing jewelry designer. The very first ring for men she made was the one I gave my husband. I spent hours with her, discussing the pros and cons of every possible ring. We finally decided on a rough textured sterling silver ring with a tiny sapphire on top – only he can see it. I engraved it with a quote. It’s a ring that signifies our connection. Hence, it’s his wedding ring.
He gave me mine when we were in Prague. We bought it there from a designer because I fell in love with the aquamarine. He proposed (for the 3d time) in one of those medieval alleys. I took it to New Zealand and noticed the ring had the exact color of the Tasman sea. I love it. Don’t let anyone tell you you need a big ring if you don’t think you do 🙂