{Worth theWait: A Wedding Story Part II}

Last week I covered the big one: LOCATION LOCATION baby.
Today I am going to cover the other BIG ONES.
I consider the BIG ONES to be:
1. The dress
2. The food
3. The Music
4. The Photos
5. The flowers
These are probably the 5 largest expenses besides the location, so after I found the perfect place, I hurried right along to these 5.
The dress:  I loved my dress. If you read my love story, you know that I had actually tried it on months and months before there was ever a thought of a ring.  Hence, my fear that it would no longer exist. My short time frame also made me nervous that even if THE dress was available, I wouldn’t be able to get it in time. So, when we arrived at the shop, I told the saleswoman, “I have 8 weeks and I don’t want to spend over $1000 on a dress.”
I recommend that all brides be this straightforward when shopping for a dress.  She showed me where I was allowed to look, so I wouldn’t fall in love with anything over my price range or beyond my time frame.
Trying on dresses was so fun, that I sort of wish I had milked it a little more.  But, after a few hours I had it narrowed down to two drastically different gowns.  The simple, yet elegant gown I had fallen in love with months before and a buttons from top to bottom, covered in crystal creation that glittered brilliantly.
I put the original choice back on.  In came a veil with crystal edging.  In came sparkly earrings.  In came peep toe pumps with rhinestone embellishments with these magic words attached, “They are dyeable.”

My mouth hung open and a gasp escaped.  I was sold!  First dress it was.  With a price tag of $575, it allowed me to splurge on shoes (to be dyed green), earrings, and a veil and still stay close to my original dress budget. SCORE!
With that checked off the list, it was on to the food.
I let hubby choose this.  After all, a wedding is a girl’s dream and I figured the one thing he would care about most would be food.  Tri-tip, roasted potatos, and peas and carrots (from an inside joke) it was.  Linguica, fruit kabobs, and crackers/cheese were served for apps.  Vanilla Lemonade and Iced Tea worked well for beverages.  We saved mucho dinero by having family friends cook up all the food.  We only had to pay for food. What a delicious deal, eh?
Next came the music.  Did we want dancing? Yes. Did we want to hire a DJ? No.  A few itunes playlists later, carefully labeled for ceremony, reception, dancing, and we were dancing up a storm.  My brothers sang and played during the communion and TA DA! Total cost?  A few bucks for purchasing songs on itunes. 
They came into my room when they were little.  Listen to my song, Jenny. Aw, memories.

 Don’t be fooled by the rocks that I got, I’m still Jenny from the block.  Literally.  That’s my name.  Get it?  HELLO?  Is this thing on?

 He’s in a box.

 He’s single ladies. The one removing his jacket, not the one with the wedding ring. Clearly.

 Bustin’ a Move with my lil’ bro.  The master behind the playlist and this song choice: DY-NA-MITE! I party whenever I hear it.

Line Dancing. YEEHAW!

 Skills. Fo Sho.

 The Carlton?

The next two were the most important to me.  I have always loved photography and flowers.  I have always wanted gorgeous, huge, fluffy, wildflower-ish bouquets at my wedding and a photographer who could capture them.
TRUE STORY:  I found a photographer.  Asked hubby if he liked the images and style of said photographer.  He said yes.  E-mailed photographer. Made deal.  Photographer realized he grew up with my hubby and that photographer’s parents attend our church.  Hubby knows everyone. True Story.  Waiter in Kauai during honeymoon?  Hubby knew him. Random man on the phone with UHAUL? He knew hubby.  Me and my celebrity husband I tell ya.
Ok, flowers.  I have pretty much planned a bajillion weddings in my mind since the age of 9.  So, narrowing down which flower scheme of the many I’d imagined over the years I was actually going to use was not simple.  
I looked in magazines.  I looked at Farmer’s Markets.  I looked online.  I went to a wholesale flower mart. I decided.
Bridesmaids:  Simple bouquet of bright, fat, happy sunflowers.  My favorite.  Truly, I redesigned my room in blue and white gingham and sunflowers at age 15.  Gingham is another story for another time. Sunflowers it was.

My bouquet: Dahlias.  My new true love in the flower world.  Fluffy, vibrant, and slightly rebellious looking.  Even better?  There was a Dahlia farm near my hometown.  I literally was able to walk through the Dahlia fields the day before my wedding and pick the exact flowers that I wanted for my wedding.  Sigh.  It was a dream.
If you are starting to wonder about my florist, well, I didn’t have one.  The bridesmaids made their own.  I made mine, and I modeled the centerpieces for a friend of my mom’s whose children I once babysat.  She arranged them and also made the boutineers.  
Total cost of all the flowers at my wedding?  Under $300.
So, how would I sum up my tips for the BIG 5?
1. Do everything yourself that you can!  ‘
Is a florist necessary?  Must you pay $36 per plate for food?  Consider what is more important to you if you are on a budget?  For example, photography was more important than music for me.
Stay tuned for more ideas next week!
P.S. One year anniversary on Sunday!  Surprises, surprises!
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