Hoopfulbride's Blog

Planning a wedding in a place called The Hope

On chosing how to spend money for the biggest party of our lives… 30 June 2009

Yes eastsidebride! Yes Meg! Yes Accordions and Lace!  How clever and articulate you ladies are. I have been mulling over your posts on wedding budget and this is my take on how we’re spending money:

Rooster and I consider ourselves extremely lucky to have a decent budget to play around with for our wedding because, simply put, we love to throw a party… and we are, for 200 people! All things considered, we probably have exactly the right amount. If we have more, we’d probably bank the cash (and buy a new car  or travel or a little holiday nest in the mountains or something) and if we’d had less, we’d just be a little less hospitable (as explained below).

We’ve approached our spending with a tight-fisted “spiral” philosophy: the smaller or closer it is to us or our wedding venue, the happier we are to spend money one it. The further away or bigger, the more we try to avoid it. In other words, we have tried our darndest to spend small and close with those in our immediate community. For example:

  • What we or our families can make or collect ourselves (without inflicint any kind of pain), we have: invites and other paperwork, “favours” (welcome pack on arrival with note and little bottle of liqueur and rusks to take home to enjoy with coffee in the morning), vases (all old silver and bronze from our family and friends), candle holders (recycled jars) and pickled beetroot as salad.
  • We have used and will use friends and family (or friends of friends) for our cake, beauty, hair, make-up, ceremony music, rings, dog collar for cowboy, photographer and videographer.
  • Our wines, florist, hire of equipment (most of it) and food (including fish and lamb for the braai/bbq which is the main mean) are from businesses or farms or fishermen in the area around De Hoop.
  • Where we have not been able to find a personal contact or someone near De Hoop, we’ve tried to support South African micro-businesses or crafts people in cape town: bridesmaids dresses are from a local SA designer, as is my dress (although she has imported the silk from London to ensure it is made under fair conditions), flower girl dresses will be made by an INCREDIBLY talented refugee woman (from Somalia) who makes her living by sewing, bridal party shoes are from a Pakistani street vendor who brings in leather and beaded shoes made in his village (ok, not southafrican, but still micro), the bulk of our guest registry will be with small bespoke stores we adore in ct (only some stuff from the online giants for guests from further away), dj (a young guy starting out) and cocktail hour musician (an Angolan singer-guitarist who plays beautiful afro-brazilian music), south african recycled paper to print invites from our local paper store etc…
  • Only for VERY few items have we resorted to splashing out or buying in bulk from big stores (sorry chinese children…). I have insisted we pay a slightly ridiculous amount on hiring chrystal candle holders because i am in love with them SO much. We will also probably buy stuff like candles, etc, en masse because I’m cheap like that. Rooster is buying his suit from a local boutique that imports suits from Italy (although the guy is himself going to source a suit that fits him perfectly!) – tad more expensive than local, but not ridiculous and the suit is BEAUTIFUL.

As a result of this philosophy, a few very awesome things have happened: friends have offered to do things for free or have offered us amazing discounts. Locally sourced products and vendors (already cheaper) have offered to let us use their products at a discounted rate. And for the bulk-buys, we’ve been able to hunt for bargains (because I love a bargain…). So, we’ve saved LOADS of cash compared to the same wedding if our philosophy was any different. Yay…

For the most fleeting of moments, we thought about holding onto the cash: perhaps even being “responsible” and investing, but it occurred to us that we could share the love a little more! So we subsidised accommodation at De Hoop for all our guests. We’re paying for accommodation for our close family, the wedding party and their partners! We’re also paying for the accommodation for the wedding fairies who are helping us for free! And my aunt (my dad’s only sister) and uncle who were recently laid off and have both had to settle major medical bills recently: we can pay for their accommodation too!

We’re still trying our hardest in these times to scrimp and save wherever possible and we do have moments of unease where we worry about how much cash we’re spending on just one party (at least it’s a WAW so it’s a whole 4-day vibe…). But actually, what good does it help to splurge on the silly things at our wedding, then pass the cost of travelling and accommodation onto our guests?  Times are tight for everybody and it is a real privilege to be able to treat our guests, even if only a little bit.


whataweekend! 22 June 2009

Filed under: Flower girls,Invites,Registry — hoopfulbride @ 11:54 am

Some stuff that I can tick off after this weekend:

1. First registry items! Rooster and I got to shoot that gun at @Home on saturday morning. Ridic fun! I think we got some goodies… Yippee yay.

2. Round corner cutter. When our invites are printed (hopefully soon!) we will want to give them round corners becuase I think round is prettier. On saturday we tracked down (what may be) the Only round corner punch in CT. Hurrah for us! Tis being delivered to our nearest store tomorrow. Hopefully this will be followed closely by our invites which are being test printed as I type!

3. Flower girl dresses!!! Well, we found the fabric. Rooster’s mother is a fabric artist and some years ago was given an enormous box of indian silk from an international quilter friend. We found it while enjoying father’s day at  their house yesterday afternoon and went a little beserk. The Most Beautiful fabrics. In keeping with my desired theme of kititng the kiddies in same-same-but-different dresses, we selected six of my favourites that are mainly green, but feature pinks and blues and whites and yellows as well and set the three bigger girls onto them.

Flowergirl 1 (age 8) chose wide pink stripes alternating with candy stripes on white. FG 2 (age 6) chose similar fabric, but with more blue. FG 3 (age 4 – I’m her fairy godmother) chose a pale yellow with large colourful checks. Mother of FG4 (age 1 1/2) chose a white with pink and green checks. Tiny FG (current age 4 months – she just gets a frock!) got the smallest piece and remaining FG is left with a multicoloured checked fabric.

We stopped off on the way home at my folks and raided my mum’s patterns and found the patter that was used for HER flowergirls when they wed in 1978. Per-fect!

Fabric, pattern and measurements will be given to an amazingly talented refugee seamstress to do her magic. Fantastic! And the remaining fabric will be worked into our wedding quilt…

A weekend well spent 🙂