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Wedding Wednesday: A (mostly) DIY Wedding

August 24, 2011

I am very excited to finally be able to post this entry, for two reasons. 1) Because it means that I’m married!


2) Because I love talking about crafty stuff, and we really had some fun making things. ^_^

C and I tried to be very conscious about the decisions we were making in regards to wedding preparations. Neither one of us believes in big, spendy weddings– fun and beautiful as they might be–and so we knew that ours was going to be a modest affair. Still beautiful, and still us, but *very* intimate and (dare I say?) frugal.

To do this, we had to be very deliberate about what mattered to us, and cut out the fluff that didn’t rate. For example, we both love food. A lot. So good food was non-negotiable. I knew right away when I found The Looking Glass that it would be a perfect location for us– a little quirky, a little off the beaten path, with damn good food and a rockin’ bakery. I can’t even tell you how excited I was when I saw their bakery case. Only a few weeks before Chris had mentioned that he would like for our wedding cake to be like the cake from Portal, a video game that we both love.

This cake is a lie…

…This cake is NOT a lie– and it was dee-licious!

So imagine if you will my deep pleasure at discovering that The Looking Glass made a Black Forest Cake (or Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte, as C is so fond of saying…) that looks almost exactly like the one from Portal! And then we shared a piece of it the weekend we got engaged. Best. Cake. Ever. Done deal.

Here’s the tally (I have used an asterisk to indicate what my parents purchased, because they are wonderful and generous people who really went above and beyond!):

Marriage license: $97.50

Amanda’s dress: Free (Thanks to my fabulous sister Georgie!)

Amanda’s accessories: $3.50 for a peacock feather* and clip. The flower and earrings were borrowed from G, and I owned the shoes already

C’s “Tux”: Free… courtesy of the US Army 🙂

Flowers*: $150 for Amanda’s bouquet, centerpieces, bouquets for Lizzie and Georgie, and boutonnieres/corsages for 6 parents (silk flowers, purchased at Michaels). I have to give a HUGE shout out to my Mom here, who called on her theatre props-mistress skills to create some absolutely gorgeous boutonnieres, corsages for the mothers, and all of the bouquets.

There are peacock feathers!!!

Room rental: $150 + $10 to have the tables decorated in our colors = $160

Rings: $800, including my engagement ring. C’s ring is tungsten carbide and came from a local jeweler in TN. We decided that we didn’t mind getting a little spendy with the rings, since the idea is for them to last a lifetime. As it turns out, one of the most tender and beautiful gifts we were given was a wedding band that belonged to C’s great grandmother on his mother’s side, Elsie. The ring is 18k gold dipped in platinum, and is engraved: FCB and EKT Feb 16 1920. It was presented to me by C’s mom, Lynne, the day that she and Lizzie came over to help plan my un-bridal shower. I can hardly even begin to express my gratitude– not only is it a beautiful piece of jewelry that happened to be the right size, but it is meaningful in so many ways. I was and am honored to receive this ring, and I will wear it proudly.

Photography: $400* to fly Georgie down for the wedding… oh, did I mention that my sister happens to be a supremely talented photographer? She took that one of us at the top of the post 😀 C and I went halfsies with my parents on this one.

Favors*: $60 for mini bottles of Martinelli’s Sparkling Cider with our names and wedding date printed on the label. Consumable and recyclable! 🙂

Food*: $300-ish (including tip) for a supremely fabulous lunch at The Looking Glass. I don’t have an exact figure because my parents paid for the meal and are too polite to tell me how much they spent.

Cake*: $45 for previously mentioned gourmet Black Forest Cake (nom)

Things we chose not to use: A videographer (although my Dad did set up his camcorder), a ring pillow, a dj/band, a wedding coordinator, an officiant, save-the-dates/invitations (we invited everyone in person or over the phone), etc. etc. etc. I’m estimating that we saved several hundred-$1000 dollars by cutting out these things that we just didn’t really need. My Dad “recycled” the playlist from my sister’s wedding (all great jazz standards and love songs) and popped them on a CD with our song– Blake Shelton’s Honey Bee– and the song we danced to: I Wanna Grow Old With You. Yes, by Adam Sandler. Yes, from The Wedding Singer.

What were you expecting, Endless Love?

The one concession I made to my mother was having programs. I wasn’t sure we’d need them because the wedding party was so small, but she thought it would be both a nice souvenir and a helpful guide, because most people aren’t familiar with the flow of a Baha’i Ceremony. She bought a package of blank programs at Staples, and I was able to design them myself using a free program from their website and some of the lovely photos that we had taken in Nashville back in July.

All in all, C and I agree that we had exactly the wedding we wanted– small and simple, with our family there to celebrate the beginning of our new life together. It was beautiful, and as far as I’m concerned totally perfect. Really, what more do you need?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. crystal permalink
    August 24, 2011 22:19

    much love to you both 🙂


  2. Noel Jost-Coq permalink
    August 29, 2011 13:40

    That sounds so lovely, Amanda! I’m happy for you both that you wnet and created a ceremony that is both memorable and in keeping with your own values and priorities. And I could not agree more on the choice of cake– also my own favorite!
    Lots of Love to you both,


  3. August 30, 2011 21:02

    Thank you ladies!!


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