Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tips for Having a Fabulous Wedding


I love Matt.

I'm the one who says, "I found a really great community service opportunity. Wouldn't it be fun to do?"

He's the one who actually wakes up and says, "It's time to go do our community service."

We spent Valentine's morning volunteering with a program called Green Valentine. For the past six years, volunteers have been meeting on Valentine's day to plan trees in neighborhood parks. The program was started by Jeff Shell, who happens to be my new community action hero. He had the wherewithal to get this program started from scratch (plus he raises chickens and he's thinking about buying 6.5 acres of land out in the country). I hope my current community action project--The Houston Heights Time Bank--is just as successful (sorry for the shameless plug...it's for a good cause!).

Matt and I dug holes, planted trees, and laid mulch. We also met some really cool neighbors and got nice and dirty.

We then stopped by our favorite vintage shop to say hi to the owners, and then headed home for a nap (moi!) and some reading (Matt). I also had to finish working on the vintage dress that I had to enlarge for my waist and shorten a few inches. The final thing I did on the dress was sew in some secret latches on the inside of my sleeves to keep my bra straps out of sight. I got the idea from an Ann Taylor dress I used to have.

Then it was time to fancify ourselves and head to Rice University for the wedding of a 2000dollarwedding kindred spirit.


Based on her very-fun wedding, here are my most recent tips for How to Have a Fabulous Wedding:
  1. If you are going with an officiant, make it someone who actually knows you, if possible. The ceremony was so much more meaningful and memorable because the officiant had a real connection to them. That connection comes through in what the officiant says and how s/he says it.
  2. Think about how the music that is played while guests are waiting for the ceremony to start will impact the mood and set the tone. This couple played really fun music, like She's a Rainbow by the Rolling Stones. It made me relaxed and cheerful and eager to see the ceremony.
  3. Centerpieces, signature colors, favors, cake-toppers, guest books, photo frames, a photo booth, chair covers, etc. do not make a wedding. They definitely had super-fancy centerpieces (think disco balls and hot-pink feathers), and over 1,300 yards of pink tulle (it was a Valentine's wedding after all), and sugar-covered almonds, and matching chair covers, and a super-swanky homemade photo booth, and framed pictures of themselves on every table. But more importantly, they brought together their friends and family (and one random couple they met via the internet) to celebrate and share their love. I will remember watching the bride hug her friends and I will remember the guests squealing with delight when they reconnected with someone they hadn't seen in a while. I will remember the joy on their faces. I will remember the energy and emotion above and beyond all the neat details. Definitely have fun with the details, but don't let yourself get too stressed about them during the planning process.
  4. Good food does not have to be fancy. They had a delicious buffet of food, including little hamburgers, just like the ones they ate on their first date. So sweet! They had a framed piece of paper explaining the significance of the food next to it.
  5. Let your true self shine through. At one point, the groom got on stage, commandeered the microphone, and said, "Stop fucking around and get out here and dance!" Okay, it sounds belligerent when I type it, but honestly, it was very, very funny and fun. I thought, "Wow, how cool is it that he's able to be his true self rather than a more plastic version of himself?"
  6. If there's something you want for your wedding but it's not in the budget, get creative. They seriously made their own photo booth. Like a real booth. With wood and curtains and everything. And you press a button and it takes the four photos. And then it printed on little slips of paper from a regular color printer. They even had to write a computer script to get the whole thing to work. I think they are actually going to rent it out to other couples, so if you live in Houston and need a photo booth, let me know and I'll connect you with them.
And I had a chance to try out my new dress. It was definitely very comfortable and I had fun wearing a poofy dress (dancing was a blast). My self-made crinoline/petticoat did not work out so well. Because it doesn't taper, it creates an awkward poof in my belly area. I decided to go ahead and order a pre-made petticoat from ebay with my birthday money. Matt actually doesn't like the dress, but I got a few compliments which helped me feel less insecure about my $20 estate sale find.







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15 comments:

Ashley said...

Aw, I love the dress! I agree about getting a tapered petticoat. Super cute though!

Jasmine said...

My fiance and I would love to have a photobooth, but can't seem to find the $$ in our $3000 budget. How about some more details on photobooth DIY?

Ten Thousand Only said...

uhm. matt's crazy. your dress is superfab.

and re #5, nay to the plastics.

EmilyAnn said...

You are so fabulous and inspiring! Reading your blog truly is one of my favorite parts of the day.

Color Me Green said...

i think the dress looks great! and i love that quote - "stop fucking around and dance" - sounds exactly like something my bf would say.

Soli said...

I would love to have some more info
on the photobooth too, I've been trying
to come up with one in my head for months,
so some guidance would be deeply appreciated!

Miss Rye Bread said...

sorry your home-made crino didn't work out! I'm glad you were able to find a way to make your dress poof like you wanted it to!! :) You look very happy in your new fifties fab dress! :)

Vilija said...

I love the dress, the print is fresh and looks nice on you. I'm sure you'll have a great time dancing at all of your events this summer.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Atlanta area but I would be really interested in having the scripts that helped them set up their own photo booth! I've looked at prices for renting one and they're in the $1,000-$1,200 range. Ouch!

rdmcknight@gmail.com

Erika said...

That supercute dress looks great on you. Great vintage find.

K @ Blog Goggles said...

Aw, you're bringing me back - I went to Rice! Were those taken around the Sallyport/Sewell Hall?

P.S. The dress looks awesome.

jordan said...

Your dress is adorable. And for those asking about diy photo booths, here are two different ideas for how you could do it:

http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Photobooth/

http://twobrides.wordpress.com/2008/01/18/photobooth/

Anonymous said...

I love the idea of having a photo booth at our wedding. We're on a small budet but I want to have elements that will make the evening fun and memorable. Could you get me in contact with your friend? I'm also in the Houston area.

GracieGirl22@yahoo.com

Carey said...

I love your dress! So fun and pretty!
I need to continue learning how to sew so I can eventually do something like that. And kudos again! I love your blog.

megan said...

haha, i loved the dress! i have some patterns at home, but never got around to sewing them. i made my fiance a quilt (my first!) for his birthday, and it wore my patience too thin, lol.

the photobooth thing is awesome (my island wedding just happens to be galveston island, lol) and it'd be awesome to rent, but the reception is on the second floor, and it might be hard to fit in the elevator :/...i was planning on creating my own photo corner in the reception hall, with a box of nautical props (captain's hat, ship's wheel, flipper, snorkel, lifering, etc.) we have an awesome nautical antique store here that opens once a week. it is closed because of the hurricane, but i'm waiting patiently for it to open so i can go get wedding stuff!

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