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Saving on Weddings and other Large Celebrations

I saw the following tips on Oprah and Dr. Phil long before I needed them, and filed them away in my head for the appropriate time.

Oprah said that the top items that guests will remember are the food and the band. Therefore, if you need to economize, do it in other areas. For example, very few people will remember the kinds of flowers and other decorations you had at the party. Food and the band do not have to be expensive. The food should be tasty, and the band should play music that will appeal to all of the guests. This means that a song or two could be included for guests that are out of the age group of the majority.

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Dr. Phil had a show about a mother and daughter arguing about the daughter's forthcoming wedding. The daughter wanted to spend almost all the wedding budget on the gown. Dr. Phil suggested cutting the daughter a check for the amount allotted for the wedding, and letting the daughter figure out how other items would be obtained.

When my daughter got married, I gave her the bottom line of what I had to spend. Every time we got something, I deducted it from my bottom line. Some things she had to pay for herself, such as hair extensions. We had no arguments, because I was very clear from the get-go how much we had to spend. I believe we avoided conflict because she was used to living with a budget.

In my opinion, money should be discussed with children way before a wedding. Money is a resource, just like time and parents' attention. There is just so much to go around, and all family members are entitled to a share. When I was growing up, my parents would tell me how much they wanted to spend on an item, such as jeans. If I wanted something more expensive, I would have to use birthday money or babysit. I quickly learned the value of a dollar.

Children who never have to work for anything never develop the sense of pride and accomplishment that goes with setting and achieving goals. They don't take as good care of their possessions, because they know that their parents will replace the item for them.

The picture shows my wedding rings. The diamond band (half of the ring has diamonds) was given to me as a surprise after 20 years of marriage. I was very happy to get it, and am still more than pleased with the gold band, which I still wear.

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February 20, 20170 found this helpful

My husband and I had a small intimate wedding in 1969; my parents were deceased and his parents were not financially stable to assist with our wedding. I did not purchase a traditional wedding gown, I wore a tea length dress, white shoes and a chapel veil. We were married in May and Easter was late that year so the flowers for the Easter celebration were still in the church, therefore I took the colors of the flowers already in the church and had a cascading bouquet of daisies with flowing yellow ribbons; I had no bridesmaids; my sister was my maid of honor so I purchased a corsage for her and the groom and his best man. There was no reception but we were happily married. During the course of our marriage, our church performed a Wedding Vow Renewal Ceremony; I purchased another tea length dress of lace, there was a reception with a wedding cake for all the couples that renewed their vows; special occasion indeed!............Our wedding rings were bought at Sears jewelry department in 1969; my silver wedding band costs $13.00 and my husband's cost $23.00; I wore that ring proudly to be the wife of a man who loved me unconditionally; he had a ring designed for me about 10 years ago with my old gold jewelry and some small gemstones, the ring is a gold band with hearts intertwined on it and the stones are dispersed among the open hearts. We will be married 48 years in May. My daughter married in 2001; I set a budget; someone gave the reception food and served and decorated for a wedding gift; a friend of mine owned a florist and gave me a big discount on day old flowers, my niece arranged all the floral arrangements; I used English Ivy from my yard and tulle to decorate the large upright arches and candle holders in the chapel; it was a elegant, simple wedding on a frugal budget. A friend of mine did the photography for the wedding of my daughter and didn't charge a large fee.

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February 23, 20170 found this helpful

Congratulations on you and your daughter's happy marriages. Weddings today are so overdone. There is so much stress to get everything "right". When my daughter got married she had to go to several premarital sessions, where they discussed sharing of responsibilities and communicating effectively. This is a much better use of time than agonizing over a tablecloth!

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