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Abear 05-04-2005 01:04 PM

Wedding Planning Tips
It finally happened.....DD is engaged! I am getting a son-in-law! ^^ ^^

I am so happy...he is already a part of our family as far as I am concerned!

Although they have not yet been able to set a date (he had to go back to work off-shore so they hope to get a date set when he returns), DD has been starting to look at bridal gowns, flowers and is trying to decide who her attendants will be.

Amanda was very timely with the following newsletter : :clapp:

Frugality Corner: Wedding on a Budget

However, DD and I are already feeling the stress of plannning a wedding. I am very adamant that DD & DDF will make ALL the decisions regarding the wedding as it is THEIR day and not mine. I will offer my opinion and or advice if asked but will not push my choices or selections like I have seen so many brides' mothers do.

Although Amanda gave lots of useful tips in the newsletter, I was wondering of anyone had any other tips......I am thinking that the more tips, etc... that I can get to help DD, the less stress we will all feel. (I had my first panic attack over the wedding just yesterday!)

Also, DD has her heart set on an outdoor wedding. Actually, when we lived in Texas, she had dreamed of getting married on the beach. Anyway, we are having a hard time finding a place to hold an outdoor wedding that doesn't charge an arm & a leg to have it there. We have only found three places...listed under "Weddings" in the phone book. Surely, there has to be more places. Does anyone know how we can track them down?? Other words to use in trying to find them in the phone book?

Any & all help will be greatly appreciated.

sheilanfl 05-10-2005 08:17 AM

Congrats! We too are having a wedding in June except ours is being done on boats in the Gulf of Mexico :-D Contact the Tourist Development Council TDC, Parks and Recreations (?) etc from the area in which they want to be married in. It is mainly a first come first serve and for us here in our county there isn't a charge, for certain parks and minimal for others, check the local goverment for information,

cau 05-10-2005 08:54 AM

My DD sprang something similar on us. We had it in our yard. we cleaned out the garage and used plastic rolls to cover the walls,and ordered a large tent and tables & chairs. we had it catered and served buffet of hot dishes. We had the food & bar set up in the garage. we hired a bartender& waiteress. The bartender made sure their was ice and glasses & let us know if their were any problems . We only served iced tea, beer, wine & pop. The waitress keep the food filled and cleaned up & put it all away. Their cost was well worth it as it allowed me to visit with our friends. We had family that provided the music & we talked to all our neighbors & made sure they were ok with it. We had a great time , put it together in about 5 weeks and didn't spend that much. cau:party:

reading51 05-13-2005 05:52 PM

My DD just got engaged on Mother's Day!! Unfortunately, she is not going the budget route!! LOL So far, she is wanting 6 attendants!! She did tell me about a website called It has everything you can think of and then some! It has budgets, lists, who pays, etiquette, etc. etc. It really has some good information. You register but it is free.

VicRae 05-13-2005 10:04 PM

Congrats! Abear

I just had my oldest daughter get married April 2nd and the middle daughter was married last October 9th, 2004. Depending on how big or small you want the wedding to be would be the best place to start.
Then if you city has a website go there and see if they have a listing for the parks and recreation areas that hey are willing ot rent out. My Last daughter had her weding in one of the city buildings. The final cost was $30.00 for the whole day. She wanted it in the park, but with the weather still in the winter months she finally had it inside. Between his mom and us, they had buffet type of reception. We ordered 2 half sheet cakes and had them decorated with a flower and ribbon of frosting on the edges. Then ordered a small 6" two layer and an 8" two layer for the tiered cake and stacked it our selves. It had some artifical flowers for the top and around the middle. Turned out really nice.

Here are a couple of site I found while looking for things online for their weddings. Somethings you can make yourselves if you have the time. And both my daughters made their invitations on the computer to save on the costs of getting them printed.


ditzy46 05-14-2005 04:52 PM

Congrats Abear
Have you checked out any of your national or state parks or government buildings? Some charge minimal or nothing to use their facilities. What about the beach? Do you live near the ocean?
You can get married for free on the beach.

You can also register @ This is a fantastic website from a woman named Stephi Stewart who sends you tips on how to save you thousands of dollars on your wedding costs.
She shares all her secrets how she saved over 10,000 dollars off of her own wedding. This is a must get site. She also has where you can save a lot of money from other brides wedding stuff that they are selling cheap. Just check it'll be glad you did.
I hope this helps you out .
Mother of the bride to be May 22 of this year

shesmom 05-14-2005 06:06 PM

Happy ever-after!!!!
Try Golf Courses!

We had a graduation party for my daughter - which I know is not a wedding, but they told us that people had used it for that.


There are often places at a golf course other than tees and greens, and they are BEAUTIFULLY manicured - you don't expect guys to play in mud, do you? LOL!!!! They also usually have terraces or decks connected to function type rooms, so you have that as extra space, or you can use that for the ceremony. At first, the weather didn't cooperate, and it was raining when we got there, but then later the sun came out. If it does begin to sprinkle, you can go inside for the reception...

What is her favorite 'place'?
Beaches are nice depending on the season.
A local farm usually will let you use some of their field that is not planted.
Soccer field?
Football field?
Local Marina?
Local park or in Boston we have the Boston Botannical Garden - lots of people get married there.
A local rose garden or an estate sometimes let you use the grounds.
What about the local residence of the head of a church diocese. Their 'estates' are enormous and usually will allow the ceremony to take place there with a few witnesses.

Don't think about what is listed, think about where she can have pictures done at the same time. Or what her favorite scenic vista is. Or what she would like for a memory. It will be better if you can think of something unique instead of something that someone else has 'set up' for weddings.

Happy ever after to your princess and her prince!

dnjkilbey 05-14-2005 08:15 PM

Frugal wedding ideas!
I have been married for 5 1/2 years and have just a couple of frugal tips!

DH has done wedding cakes before which can be extremely expensive. A good tip is, if your cake is going to be layered, have the bottom layers all styrofoam and the top layer an actual cake. The styrofoam can be decorated and nobody will ever have to know they are not real. Because they take the cake somewhere else to cut it up, order sheet cakes for that. So the bride and groom can cut the "real" cake which is just the top and the the guests are served sheet cakes. It is also a better guarantee that the cake won't spill or **** during delivery to the event. The frosting sticks better to the styrofoam.
Also, when we did our flowers for the wedding we lucked out with finding someone who did it as a hobby. We had all of our flowers done for under $100.
Best of luck!!!

cau 05-15-2005 07:22 AM

Check out your local grocery storeif they have a floral dept. We used the neightborhood Jewel. The flowers were beautiful & the women was great. Helped us pick out flowers thta were in season so they were inexpensive. We had to pick them up but the savings were worth it. cau:party:

ditzy46 05-15-2005 05:43 PM

I thank you shesmom for you good wishes. My daughter was going to get married outdoors but changed her mind early in the planning because our weather is so unpredictable. She will have the reception at the Old Historic Courthouse ...they have remodeled it and it is beautiful. Oh and by the way...we both have the same name

ditzy46 05-15-2005 05:53 PM

Oh wow...Abear what a coincidence we are both Louisianians. The only bad thing is that I moved away from New Orleans 8 years ago and miss it very much. I miss the gumbo my mom used to make and she died before i could get the recipe. If you're like me the adults always kept the kids out the kitchen when they were cooking so i never learned how to make it. If you have a recipe for it...I sure would appreciate it very much. I love to cook and experiment in the kitchen when I have the time. Its nice to talk to somebody from home and hope to hear from you soon

Abear 05-15-2005 06:52 PM

WOW! Thanks for all the replies and help ladies!!! :) :)

I am going to print this thread and give it to DD when she gets home from work in the morning. (she is a nurse and works at a hospital 7pm-7am)

All those websites y'all suggested look wonderful from what I saw as I just scanned them. Can't wait to really "dig" into them with DD!

The only public golf course near here is out of the question according to DH. He says that they don't keep the greens up like they should.

DD is still looking for a park. I wish she would "settle" for an indoor wedding. They have set the date for Oct. Hurricane season! What if a tropical depression, tropical storm or even a hurrican is headed this way about that time?! :-O But, it's her wedding and I've done all I can by reminding her of Hurricane Season! :confus:

ditzy46 - I'm not originally from here! My hometown is Houston, Tx. . I just had the good sense to marry a cajun! :-D Where do you live in Georgia? When my DH was in the Navy, he was stationed at NSB Kings Bay in St. Marys,'s right at the Florida border off I-95. I can give you a recipe for gumbo though....let me find my cookbook that has the recipe that I use and will get it to you. My DH doesn't follow a "recipe" when he makes gumbo. :rolleyes:

sheilanfl 05-16-2005 07:22 AM

I know what you mean. Ours are doing their's at the very beggining of hurricane season as we have very rarely had one so early in the season, we usually get ours later in the season, from Aug - Oct. So I see your concern. But we'll all think positive thoughts ^^ for a stormless season and we can all have our :party:

LeslieCan 05-16-2005 11:29 AM

One great resource that I know of is the book "Bridal Bargains" by Denise & Alan Fields. It should be available in any public library (or bookstore, of course.) You'll want to look for the newest edition, though, as I think they put out a new one every couple years.

Here's a link to the site. Their message boards may be a big help, too!

Good luck and happy planning :)


Debbie F. 05-16-2005 12:20 PM

Congrats, Abear!! And how exciting!

When my dd got engaged, we planned the entire event ourselves. We did everything we could, and then hired out for the rest. (Like the cakes, limos, etc.) What I did was buy a binder notebook, and then separated it into sections. We had sections for the Wedding party, Guest list, Rehearsal dinner, Reception, DJ, Cake, etc. Everybody we interviewed or tried samples from went into this book!

I had made up sheets with all of the bridesmaids/groomsmen, etc. and listed their phone numbers and whether or not they had gone to get fitted for their dresses/tuxes and again for alterations, etc.

I carried that binder with me everywhere I went. It was my lifesaver!

Because we were doing everything without the help of an "official wedding planner", we pounded the pavement ourselves and checked everything out. There are some really good websites out there, and someone had mentioned which is a really good one. You can put your guest list on there, and separate them into an A & B list, and even track their acceptance or decline of their invitation on the website~~and then just print it out! We did use several websites to order items, and I have to tell you that we didn't have a good experience with . We ordered our table cameras from them, engraved and everything. They didn't come on time, so we were sweating that out up until the week right before the wedding! And, afterwards, we found out that the cameras we received were out of date by as much as 4 years and were simply re-wrapped from another person's function because their names were on a bunch of them when the printing place opened them up! That, and almost all of the pictures came out dark. But, we had also ordered our bubbles from them and when those finally arrived, they were just fine.

We did all of our own placecards for the Reserved tables at the Reception, and they came out looking great! I also had typed up a "Reserved Seating" chart for the hotel's event planner and had it laminated just in case! I also laminated the list of preferred songs my dd wanted played by the DJ, as well as the "Important Order of Events" for him too. That list kept the Reception party flowing smoothly and everything ran right on time.

You will need some sort of system for staying organized. The binder worked great for me~~becuz I couldn't haul my computer with me everywhere! We took the whole year to get everything done just like she wanted it. Her friends have told her that she planned the most organized wedding they had ever been too. So, now we are helping some of her friends who have recently gotten engaged!

Mind you, not everything flowed as smoothly as we would have liked it too. The major thing that tried to set us out on the wrong foot was the place we had initially rented for her Reception called us~~with only 7 months left til the wedding~~to tell us they were bought out by another company and were closing their doors! The other company had decided to completely remodel and change the entire atmosphere of the place to the point that it wouldn't be appropriate for a Wedding Reception! I honestly think I fell out of my chair when I heard those words. Boy, was I ever mad! So, we scrambled and began that whole process over again. And, in the end it actually worked out for the better! We ended up renting a 7,000 square foot room at a hotel that had it's own private entrance and it's own restrooms! We wouldn't have to share with other parties, and we got to decorate the entrance!

The most important thing to remember is to have fun! You will both remember this time for the rest of your lives, and I look back on those days with my daughter as absolutely priceless. Shopping together, interviewing DJ's & hotels, cake testing, dinner sampling lunches, spreading tons of sample invitations all over the den floor.......these are memories I will never ever forget.(())

Anything I can do to help, just let me know!! Sample pages from the binder, etc. I will be happy to share them with anyone who wants to take this approach!

ditzy46 05-18-2005 07:55 PM

hey Abear....yes I live only 45 miles from St.Mary's Im only about an hour from the Fla. Border. I live between Brunswick and Waycross.
I have another site for you to check out for a photographer...its called I heard this is a very good site to get a reasonable priced photographer. The bottom line is you want a photographer who will give you the negatives...that way they can't charge you outrages prices for reprints.
Remember you are the one in charge not them( wedding vendors)
Oh one other thing don't tell any of them its for a wedding tell them its for a family function. If you tell them wedding they mark up their prices because they know that you will only be a one time customer. So go for non-wedding things if and whenever possible. Sorry this is so long but I know exactly what you are going through right now cause my daughter's wedding in only a few days away.
Gotta go
Best Wishes and good luck and savvy shopping

Abear 05-18-2005 08:23 PM

Well, DD has found a place she wants to have the wedding. (actually DH found it, a guy he works with got married there last June) Here's their website:

Now they just need to narrow down the number of people they intend to invite and set a date so that we can go talk to the lady about having it there.

They had chosen the date of Oct. 8th but when she called her sister, the matron of honor, she reminded DD that she & her DH would be on a cruise that week.....a cruise that has been booked for over a year and is already paid for and nonrefundable.

So, now they are trying to figure out a new date.

I gently suggested waiting until March.....spring weather, less chance of being rained out, better chance of being able to book Antique Roseville, and more time to plan. But they don't want to wait that long! <SIGH> Also, it would give me more time to lose some weight before I go dress shopping!! ;)

Debbie - we are going to do everything also. Thanks for the binder tip! I have it & the dividers on my Wal-Mart shopping list !

DD just informed me yesterday that they will be printing their own invitations.

DH & I went yesterday and looked at a State Park that isn't too far from here. The lady in the office said that they do allow weddings to be held there BUT...the $ 2.00 park entrance fee would apply to everyone over the age of 12 (which could not be paid up front...the guests would have to pay as they entered the park! :-O ) , we would have to be out of the park by 5:00 pm, no electricity available for a band or DJ.........and the last thing...only enough "legal" parking for about 20-25 cars...and they do tow illegally parked cars! So, that was a BUST!

ditzy46 - too late on the photographer. DD has found one that she likes and has already e-mailed him. As soon as a wedding date is confirmed, they will set up a meeting and see if they can work out a deal. BTW - as soon as DS # 1 brings my cookbook back home from school, I'll get that recipe to you. DS had needed to take a "Cajun" recipe to school a while back for some reason (can't recall). He asked my permission to take the cookbook... which I gave him on the promise that he would not lose it and would bring it back in the condition he took it in. When I couldn't find the other night, I asked him where he put it when he brought it back's still in his locker at school! No telling what condition I'll get it back in!

Debbie F. 05-23-2005 12:46 PM

Abear~~oohhh! Checked out that website for Antique Rose Ville, and that looks awesome! Your dd did good!! :clapp:

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