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Budgets | Manolo for the Brides - Part 9
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A Crowning Glory On a Budget

I admit it. I’ve never liked wedding veils. I just generally don’t. I never even considered wearing one at my own wedding. They aren’t my style.

On the other hand, I’ve known many a bride who wouldn’t have felt she was getting married without one. It’s traditional, after all, and many women consider them romantic. Who am I to say they’re not?

One thing I think a lot of us will agree on, though, is that wedding veils are darn expensive. I wouldn’t argue the price tag on one trimmed with antique, hand made lace and held in place with a tiara richly bejeweled with sapphires and rubies…but it’s easy to plonk down upwards of $150 on a square of tulle with a bit of ribbon trim and a couple plastic combs to hold it in place. That makes my thrify heart wheeze.

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So If FTD Provides the Flowers, What Does Tampax Pay For?

When I first discovered the glories of Manolo for the Brides, I well remember reading an entry on corporate-sponsored weddings. The very concept made me laugh and cringe at the same time. What bride would do such a thing? What corporation would…well, that, actually was less of a question. While I hoped some would turn down anyone who asked, in my heart I knew that a great many more corporations and businesses would merrily hand over cold, hard cash and services in exchange for advertising. After all, who wouldn’t consider the corportation a caring, loving family resource after helping a strapped young couple make their dreams come true?

(raises hand)

But apparently the trend is on the rise.

Today there’s a story in the enidnews.com about wedding trends that includes the story of Oklahoma U student bride Brook Breitenkamp and her fiance Chris Carlson who are seeking sponsorship for their Sept. 22 wedding.

According to the article:

The couple intended to have a low-budget ceremony since they were footing the bill themselves. As Breitenkamp talked to friends at Enid’s First Baptist Church, the more she realized she could have a sponsored wedding. She contacted acquaintances and branched out to area businesses in need of a boost.

In exchange for corporate sponsorship, Breitenkamp is offering advertising space on her wedding programs, a list of all sponsors on her wedding website, and an invitation to a representitive of each company to come mingle at her reception to find new customers.

In exchange for all this, as of the end of August, she had raised a whopping $1,000 in goods and services.

I may be old-fashioned, but if I’m going to a dear friends’ wedding, the last thing I want is to have sales pitches lobbed at me while I’m trying to toast the happy couple.

The article went on to say that sponsored weddings are becoming more and more common in larger cities like New York or Los Angeles, though it doesn’t list a source for that statement. I choose to stick my fingers firmly in my ears and sing ‘lalalalalalalala’ until the buzzing stops.

Why is Breitenkamp doing this? I assume other brides taking this route have much the same reason and here it is:

“I tell them I’m trying not to get indebted for this wedding,” Breitenkamp said.

To which I can only reply: then throw a wedding you can afford. If you don’t have thirty thousand dollars to spend on a wedding, don’t do it. I’d much rather go to a backyard wedding and eat homemade picnic foods than have to choke down a sales pitch along with my prime rib in a hotel ballroom.

In the end, what really makes a wedding isn’t the amount of money spent on it, but the happiness of the couple and the love that went into creating whatever is on hand. I’ve felt it in backyards, state parks, tiny chapels, grand churches, and hotel ballrooms. I’ve felt it whether the bride wore a designer gown or a hand me down. It isn’t the budget that makes a wedding, but the spirit of love and hope that should surround everyone in attendance.

And if there’s one thing in the article that gives me hope, it’s this fact: several businesses have politely turned Breitenkamp down.

The Penny? Really?

Did *you* know that JCPenny carries a selection of wedding dresses and frocks for bridesmaids? Because I sure didn’t.

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The choices aren’t utterly spectacular, but the dresses are priced from $70 to $150, and you really can’t beat that if you’re on a budget.

The wedding industry — so exposed it’s practically naked

Here’s an excerpt from a little something by Yahoo! Finance’s Laura Rowley, entitled “The Wedding-Industrial Complex Exposed” (DUN DUN DUNNNNN!), compliments of Lazysun.

The marketing of the wedding as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be close to heaven — or at least close to celebrity — is explored in “One Perfect Day: The Selling of the American Wedding,” by New Yorker writer Rebecca Mead.

“If a bride has been told, repeatedly, that it costs nearly $28,000 to have a wedding, then she starts to think that spending $28,000 on a wedding is just one of those things a person has to do, like writing a rent check every month,” Mead writes.

Mead looks behind the wedding-industrial complex, including the Chinese seamstress who earns 40 cents for sewing the skirt on a $1,000 gown; the Cinderella coach and other trappings of Disney’s “Fairy Tale Wedding Department”; and the videographer who encourages peers at an industry conference to double their prices, because “parents want the best for their children.”

“People talk about the trials of planning a wedding — it’s exhausting and emotionally consuming,” she says. “In the book I write about how it’s an invented trauma. The life of the newlywed used to be quite traumatic — leaving home, suddenly living in an intimate relationship with someone.

“These days, the day after isn’t so different from the day before. People hope that if they make a statement with their wedding, it will have a talismanic effect on the rest of their marriage.”

So tell us something we didn’t know. The wedding-industrial complex (which sounds like a group of buildings you’d find alongside highways where nothing but businesses can thrive) has been exposed many, many times, and that hasn’t stopped people from dropping phat wads of cash on their nuptials. If you want to drop dough, drop dough. If you’d prefer to be a budget ninja bride, do that. All the bickering that comes up when these two strategies collide does no one any good.

The best part of the whole article, IMO, is the comment section.

I also don’t think it is fair for you to say the wedding industry are brain washing brides & grooms into become “bridezillas” or which wedding expense is the biggest wast of money. Just by you writing books like this or The Perfect Day- The Selling of the American Wedding by Rebecca Mead is just sour grapes on the wedding industry and brides and grooms themselves and makes you no better than the industry your are “exposing” since you are not selling your books for free and are making a monetary gain by your tell all revelations on how people are being “sucked in” by made up traditions.

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