This one is for those who may be in the throes of wedding planning, or maybe those who have recently made it legal and have 156 votives without a further purpose.
The site is called Ruffled Blog and it has a section called Recycle Your Wedding. Couples post items leftover from their recent weddings for new brides-to-be (or grooms-to-be) to give second life. They have everything from stationary to favors to decorations to gowns. Table numbers, unused raffia, linens. It’s all there. They even have a WANTED section where you can post items you are seeking.
So far I’ve snagged 3 gallons of clear glass rocks and 2000 silk rose petals for less than $50.
Benefits of “Recycle Your Wedding”
- Those leftovers from your wedding can make someone else’s wedding beautiful
- Money. If you’re selling you can make back some of what you spent on decorations etc. If you’re buying it is way cheaper than getting everything brand new.
- A lot of things have been crafted, if you’re going for that homegrown feel without the labor.
- You aren’t creating more consumption by buying something brand new.
So far I’m a fan. Hopefully it’s beneficial for others!
Ah bridesmaid dresses. Those traditionally hideous things that “you can totally wear again.” As if. Typically, bridesmaid dresses are formal. Very formal. Like Homecoming dance formal. Since high school, have you found yourself in a situation requiring a gown of satin or taffeta? Most likely not. So why should you drop $150 on a dress that you have no need for? Because the bride said so? Do you even like it? What’s that? It’s an awful shade of orange? Oh it had to be that color to match the tablecloths and napkins and centerpieces and flowers? Are you an accessory? No? You’re a person you say! It doesn’t sound like it. You’re wearing identical dresses in the same shade as the table settings while you stand next to the bride. You’re a stage decoration.
In an effort to not be a demanding bride, I thought I would let my girlfriends have a say. I know some of you out there will suggest that I have them buy whatever dress they want in a certain color. You can read here why I opted not to go that route. I decided for financial considerations to go through Little Borrowed Dress for bridesmaid dresses. Basically, just like a tux, you rent the dress and return it when you are finished. The goal of the company is to eliminate the words “you could totally wear it again” from bridal vocabulary. The dresses are pretty, comfortable, fairly casual, and flattering. They have a few styles in lots of colors. My idea was for my friends to pick whatever dress in whatever shade of green they wanted. So I sent them the greens: mint, sage, and dark green.
The reaction I got was not what I expected, and it threw me a bit. More than one said “mint if it’s a daytime wedding otherwise the dark green.” Like there are some sort of unspoken, rigid rules on what colors you can wear. It’s not the 1890’s, we wear white after Labor Day here. Another said that, “I think if we are all having different dress styles you should pick one color.” It’s almost as if they didn’t want choices. I personally don’t really care. I don’t view my friends as stage props. If they are there for me and supportive, they could be naked and it wouldn’t phase me. Okay maybe that would be a little inappropriate. Maybe a bathing suit. But it threw me off because it came off as superficial. I wanted them to have fun with it. To pick something they liked, not to try to adhere to some industry standards. I guess I should have explained my stance on wedding details beforehand.
Okay now that we’re a couple of weeks into engagement we are skimming the surface of wedding planning. It’s nice to have a while to plan because we can get a head start, less stress, and more options. I don’t have strong opinions about what I want my wedding to be like. The really important things to me are the people and the location. Decorations, food, everything else really takes a back seat in my mind. Besides, I have really enthusiastic bridesmaids, including one who started a Pinterest board for my wedding! I think they’re more excited about the decorations than I am 🙂
The venue is important to me because I want a location that represent us, won’t break the bank, and keeps it as stress free as possible. So we came up with a few basic requirements:
- We want to have the ceremony and reception at the same location. Trying to coordinate two different venues is a headache, and we don’t want to have to rush from here to there to everywhere.
- The venue has to have tables and chairs. Not necessarily for the ceremony, but definitely for the reception. I really don’t want to add dealing with rentals to my plate. Mo’ money and mo’ problems. And those tables and chairs can totally be picnic tables.
- We want to have a peaceful, nature/outdoor environment. We are both very reflective people who love being out in nature, hiking, biking, stargazing, camping, everything. The Earth is a beautiful place and work already keeps us indoors more than we want to be. Fortunately in San Diego and in Fall, inclement weather is not a big concern.
Thus far we have chosen nine potential venues. Five are county parks which are relatively inexpensive ($625-$1200) and all come with gazebos, dance floors, and tables (picnic tables!). We would have to rent linens which I don’t mind and AV equipment, and possibly a coordinator which would add another $300-$800. The other four are ranches/gardens which are a tad more expensive ($2000) but come with the added bonus of lighting, linens, possible sound equipment, and staff.
Over the next few months we will be checking out these venues. Slowly. In a non-stressful way. Parks are great because then we can just plan a visit then have a picnic!
Okay I know I usually have a witty Friday Rant, but today I was just so excited and blown away by this $1000 Potluck Wedding that I just had to share. This is totally what I envision for weddings. Good company, and great community.
So eloping has ALWAYS been on the table for Tristan and me. He is uncomfortable being the center of attention, and feels like we’ll be stuck “guilt inviting” a bunch of people that, in his mind, have no business being a part of such an intimate commitment to each other. I could do without the expense/stress/social pressure of wedding planning and would love an intimate little ceremony with just us and our immediate family. Also I would love to give the WIC a fat middle finger.
Anyways, that’s why this Runaway Pop-Up Wedding right in the heart of San Diego would be so awesome! Sadly the date is creeping up pretty freaking fast. Maybe they’ll do a Fall event?
This Isn’t Your Last Chance
Weddings are the bane of minimalism. They demand so much excess and extraneous STUFF, centerpieces, perfect venue, perfect overpriced cake, expensive food for everyone that doesn’t even taste great. It’s a recipe for a party that costs as much as a car. Actually more than my car. I read this fabulous post over at A Practical Wedding that addressed some of the pressures surrounding weddings. It points out that much of the pressure of having everything perfect comes from this idea that this is your only chance to wear a poofy dress, have cutesy centerpieces, get those lovely artistic photos, and whatever. But in reality it’s only your one chance if you decide never to have fun outside your wedding. It’s like trying to cram a lifetime of experiences into one day, like it’s the last day of your life or something. So let’s cut weddings some slack. The theme is marriage. You can have a cowboy party whenever you want. If we change our mindset in this way, we don’t have to stress over the details, and the wedding becomes fun 🙂
…in one photo:
What is a train for anyways? It just drags on the ground and gets filthy. At least this one got some use!