By: Revanche

Wedding Talk: Round 2

January 27, 2011

Q1.  Will it be a traditional wedding? (in my head, on my dad’s mind)
A1.  I opened negotiations with family on this point, especially the formal engagement, and settled that for the most part this is going to be done my way: practical, simple, budget-friendly.  Every dollar in cash, not a penny for debt!

I quite care about my parents’ feelings, which is why I always felt obligated to do this wedding thing the traditional way.  This year, though, I had an epiphany: “No.”  Why be held hostage to the traditions that require months of preparation, stress, loads of fussing over frills that mean nothing to us solely for the sake of the approbation of masses of distant relatives I’ll never see again?

My dad and I agreed that all of the protests that we expect from 500+ relatives should they be left out is hot air. If we thought for a minute they were sincere or actually cared, I would make an effort to include them but he assured me that it’s nothing more than a cultural expectation and if we navigate carefully he doesn’t have to deal with too many guilt trips.

PiC may weigh in on what he would like to retain but other than that … /snkt snkt!/  Ye shall hear the ruthless snipping and trimming of globs of the cultural Wedding Industrial Complex. 

Q2.  Do we want a professional photographer?
A2.  We’re still on the fence. We don’t even know if we want anything that’s photographable.

Q3.  Cake or cupcakes?
A3:  Cupcakes are far more fun as long as we can get someone to make them without three inches of icing.

Q4:  Location?
A4:  If we do any kind of reception, it makes more sense to do it down south rather than ask most of our family and friends to travel up north. Even if we decided to do just a civil ceremony here, PiC would want our families in town for a dinner afterward and I honestly can’t imagine asking my dad to travel with my mom in her condition.  He’s harassed enough as it is with his daily responsibilities. I just can’t fathom adding travel to the mix.

Conclusions?  None.  Except that I’m so annoyingly detached about most of the details that PiC is starting to get after me about actually having an opinion. 

Oh!  Yes, there IS something.  I’ve ordered a sub (barely) $200 dress to try on from J.Crew, and then at a dinner with friends the other weekend, I was offered the loan of her dress which is really close to my size. Score! It’s way fancier than anything I would have picked for myself but I’m absolutely willing to consider just borrowing a dress. I think that’d be pretty cool. 

Would you consider borrowing an article of clothing for what’s purported to be the most important day of your life? 

20 Responses to “Wedding Talk: Round 2”

  1. I LOVE the idea of a borrowed dress! My sister-in-law bought a great white dress at a Flea Market–it was made out of a damask table cloth. I wore a dress from a yard sale. Price for both dresses: $12.00 together.

    I think the borrowed idea is just beautiful–and the frugal aspect is just a tiny part of the beauty.

  2. Sense says:

    yup. easily. i think that is even more special, actually.

    you wouldn’t wear the dress again anyway! and, incidentally, this way you have your ‘something borrowed’ crossed of the list, too! (not that you were going for that)

  3. Carrie says:

    we’re planning a ceremony in hawaii (boy’s dream, i couldn’t care less and would be perfectly happy with city hall in san francisco) for family and friends who want to come followed by a party at our house a few weeks later for people who can’t go to hawaii to celebrate with us.

  4. soooo glad your dad is on board and willing to handle the family drama. yay!

    Good luck with the details, I went a bit more traditional than i expected just because it was somewhat easier to do what people were expecting… not that i recommend that, it is just what happened.

  5. Red says:

    Definitely! If we had more than 30 days to plan our wedding, I probably would have borrowed a dress offered to me by a cousin. It would have had to be altered, which we didn’t have time for, but I say go for it!

    Cupcakes are awesome for a wedding, if only because it means no one is on cake duty. We liked that guests were able to just grab a cupcake instead of waiting in line for someone to cut a piece of cake for them.

    YOU will be photographable! I was on the fence on this one because they’re so expensive, but I’m glad we did it. It’s so much fun to go back through the photos. If you’re worried about cost, look into using a student from a local photography program. They’ll be cheaper, and they should have at least *some* kind of portfolio with past work. Also, some of our favorite photos came from guests too, so it’s an option. I really liked the idea of giving out disposable cameras to guests so they could take photos during the event and then turn them back in before leaving. But with the number of guests you’ll have, it might be comparable in price to having a professional (since you’ll be buying the cameras and developing the film).

    It’s not so much that our wedding was the *most* important day of our lives, but it did mark the beginning of the most important experience of my life. Being married has taught me so much more than I ever expected. 🙂 I’m glad you and PiC are figuring all of this out together instead of letting tradition sway you.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not a thing wrong with a borrowed dress. There was a time not that long ago – before mass production – when clothing was far more scarce than it is now and reworking outifts to be shared among women was pretty common for the thrifty-minded.

    It’s kind of amazing how much people will shell out for a dress they’ll only wear once (although there’s nothing wrong with that either if it really matters to you and you can afford it).

    Good luck with your plans.

  7. Bonnie says:

    I love the idea of a borrowed dress! I would do it, definitely. Also, don’t rule out thrift and vintage stores. My friend’s now-wife found her amazing dress at a thrift store for under $20–it even fit perfectly. All she had to do was get it cleaned.

  8. Something borrowed is a requirement! Just wear new underwear and something blue and you’re set.

  9. YES! YES!! I love borrowed dresses. I love the idea 🙂

    Oh, and ask Asian Pear for her matcha green tea cupcake recipe if you want to go that route. Her friends RAVED like lunatics about it. I haven’t had a taste but they sound yummy.

  10. Rina says:

    If I had it to do over again, I’d borrow a dress. My wedding dress was only (only?) $1000 but man, that money could have gone to something else way more important than a dress I’d wear once.

  11. Totally! I effectively borrowed mine, since I donated it just a few weeks after the wedding.

  12. Leslie says:

    I would definitely consider a borrowed dress. It gets rid of the “something borrowed” from the “something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” tradition.

    About the photographer – I found one that was willing to photograph with the “portrait pricing” instead of the wedding pricing. Instead of following us around for the whole day and charging thousands, it was under $200 for a few hours of work photographing the actual ceremony and immediate family afterward. I love the photos I got, and suggest finding someone to do something similar. You definitely do not need the full wedding package if you are doing something small.

    (sorry for the book of a comment)

  13. With an event like that, it’s not like you’re going to be wearing the dress again for random parties. I say borrow it….no one’s going to know (or care, really) that it’s no longer in your closet a month later! Go for it!

  14. eemusings says:

    We don’t even know if we want anything that’s photographable.


    my mum rented her dress. I’m kind of sentimental though, so I don’t know if I would personally do it, but I think it’s definitely something to seriously consider.

    I know from photos that they did a white dress but did do some traditional Chinese stuff. I’ve never been to any kind of wedding let alone a traditional one, so I don’t know what the customs are (and I don’t think the fam will care if I have a totally western wedding.)

    You go and dismantle all those wedding complexes!

  15. PaigeSix says:

    Shortly after I had my own wedding, I came across this website. The couple planned their wonderful wedding for only $2000.

    Best of luck in wedding planning!

  16. Shelley says:

    Borrowed dress is a brilliant idea. Most people never wear their wedding dress again, so why buy it? I would recommend a photographer, if only to capture a single, good, photo of you and him and your immediate family on the day. (All things going well) you’ll enjoy looking back at it. A whole album isn’t necessary, but you won’t look like you do now forever and it’s nice to look back on a happy day when you were young.

  17. mOOm says:

    I would get a professional photographer at the ceremony. That’s what we did. About 1-2 hours of time. We spent $3000 in total and the biggest bill was the rings. The dress was a gift from Snork Maiden’s Dad so that’s not included in the price.

  18. personally for me… I think that everything can be skimped on except the photographer. Or at least get SOMEONE to be taking photos. It is your wedding. When you’re both old and grey, you’ll appreciate the photos. 🙂

    I don’t know if I’d borrow a gown personally… mostly because I don’t have anyone who’d wear my size. I’d more prefer to buy one. But something that is not a wedding dress instead.

  19. MoneyMaus says:

    I am completely set on having ICE CREAM for my future wedding whenever I meet future husband 😀

    Also: I want the biggest expense to be the photographer. Borrowed dress? GO FOR IT. My Mom wants to sew mine (!) one day.

  20. Something old, something new, something BORROWED….
    Allow me to say that your wedding may not be the most important day of your life. It might be ONE of them. But don’t set yourself up for disappointment if every single second of that day isn’t tingly-magical.
    Have a great time gettin’ hitched to your feller, enjoy seeing the folks you love all around you…and prepare for stuff to go wrong. Because it probably will, and it doesn’t matter. You’ll still be just as married, and you can laugh about it much later.
    P.S. Make sure to eat. Sometimes the bride and groom are so busy getting married and then thanking everybody that they never really get food. Low blood sugar = a party that isn’t as much fun as you thought it would be.
    Congratulations, too, on getting married.

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