Thursday, January 7, 2010

Real Weddings: October Bride '09

Happy Thursday Budget Brides!!!

Here is wedding recap from a Ingrid. Ingrid is a Budget Brides Handbook reader who won our "How I Saved My Wedding Budget" contest.

Click here to view Ingrid's winning entry.
Our late October wedding was even more womderful than I'd imagine, largely due to the efforts of Sharise FInley of The Budget Brides Handbook. I first met Sharise after winning her "How I Saved My Wedding Budget" contest. The topic of my essay was I'd found a red Chinese dress at a New York City thift store for my big Catholic/Chinese wedding.
The red dress ended looking great. One of the highlights of the evening was when my husband, Alex and I danced to "Lady in Red" after I changed into it. Everyone loved my white gown, too, and nobody could tell it was from David's Bridal.
Clothing was just one area where we kept our budget in check. We cut cocktail appetiziers after we realized that people were going to get plenty of food during the 10 - course Chinese banquet.
We also saved money by serving cupcakes from Sugar Sweet Sunshine instead of a traditional wedding cake. Both adults and children got a kick out of the cupcake tower, the wedding guests enjoyed being able to taste different flavors of cake to bring their cupcake home with them.

Sharise had other suggestions for how to keep our budget in check. Alex and I were considering an open bar, but Sharise told me, "I always tell my brides it is not there job to get their guest liquored uo." We ended up serving just beer and wine, and the Golden Unicorn chinese restaurant where we had the reception let us bring in the beverages. Our family and friends seemed perfectly content with Heineken and Yellowtail.

Our fabulous florist, Ella Myer from Limelight Floral Design, helped us keep the number of arrangements to a minimum to keep the cost down. We didn't need centerpieces at the reception because the food was going to be in the middle of the tables, but Ella decorated the cupcake table and set up two tall vases of flowers at the banquet hall. For the ceremony, she created simple yet elegant pew decorations - gold paper cones with just a few flowers in each one.

Although we did manage to stick to our overall budget, there were some items that ended up costing more than we'd expected. Alex who loves antique cars, had his heart set on a Rolls Royce. Sharise helped us find limo companies outside of Manhattan that had better prices than companies in the city, and Alex figured out which one had the best deal on the vintage Rolls Royce. Ecstasy Limo in Queens was great, and riding in the Rolls Royce ended up being a lot of fun. A couple of tourists even snapped photos of me and my dad as we got into the car outside of the hotel. (Maybe they thought we were famous, although if that was the case, I don't know why we would have been staying at a Best Western.)

Another splurge was the wedding band. Having a band cost more than a DJ, but we really wanted live music. The band, Soul Revival, added a lot to the event. They did a great rendition of our wedding song, "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" by Frank Valli and the Four Seasons, and other songs. My crazy college friends made it their mission to get everyone up and dancing. By the end of the night, everyone from Alex's little cousins to his grandmother had hit the dance floor. Our wonderful wedding photographer, Erik Guzowski of Exhale Photojournalism, documented the celebration. We decided that it was worth it to hire him for an extra hour at the end of the night.

After the wedding, a couple of people told me and Alex that we should become wedding planners. I was flattered by this comment, but things wouldn't have gone never as smoothly wothout Sharise's help. Sharise made sure things stayed on schedule, and she went out of her way to make sure people were happy.

Now that Big Day is over, I'm back focusing on things I know I'm good at, such as writing. Also, while we were getting ready for the wedding, Alex and I discovered that we enjoyed taking ballroom dance classes. We we're thinkging about using our newly found free time to take more dance lessons together.

Submitted By Ingrid

Images provided by Ingrid


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