Thursday, January 21, 2010

How to Plan a 6 Week Wedding...and Stay Sane!



Really....what do you do when your only daughter gives you six weeks notice on a wedding (with Christmas looming) and also vows not to visit a bridal store??? Why of course you panic. (insert panic stricken face here). This is part of our story.......this is what I learned......




To Thine Own Self Be True

"I only want one thing.......to have the reception at the Library," said Hannah. Sadly the Library is booked every weekend of 2010 thru October. The building has mahogany wood floors, mahogany trim around the windows, arched columns, soaring twenty foot ceilings, a fancy staircase, beautiful old-fashioned lights and charm galore! It is beautiful, affordable and obviously in demand. The lady laughed when I called in December to book a January date. We were bummed....... Lightbulb!!! What about another week night..maybe a Thursday? Good news--available!!!!!!!!!!!!! So, we booked the Library for a Thursday night reception. Friday wedding. Yes, you read that right--we did it backwards and it SO worked. Be flexible to get what you want.

(guest book entry table)

(looking through the front doors into the library)




Think Outside the Box

My daughter has her own sense of style. While looking for a dress for her senior prom Hannah announced that she would never buy a wedding dress from a bridal store. She is not a ruffly frilly girl and found the process of trying on dresses painful (she is such her mother's daughter in this sense). So--she ordered her dress online from a lady in China.......can you taste the panic here?? I think you can. Anyway, for a mere fraction of the cost of a custom dress, nimble Chinese fingers created her dream dress. She sent her measurements.....a photo of a dress.....altered the dress with sleeves.....said a prayer, said another prayer and waited.........the dress arrived Dec 24th folded in a small black envelope. Merry Christmas!! Be grateful for honest people on the Internet.







Employ Friends with Skills

This is the Girl Power section!! I have wonderful friends & family with awesome talents. I made a list of friends/family and talents and began calling.......for example I have worked closely at church with a woman who cooks like a dream......I offered her a job doing the food. I told her that I am going to pay someone--I would rather pay someone I know. She agreed. One friend made bows in her car on the way out of town. Another was starting a photography business......one owns a wholesale florist....one friend knew a lady who made cakes.....I called the lady and she quickly became a new friend. Sisters cut out labels, monograms, put dresses on hold for me (remember, Hannah and I have an aversion to trying on dresses. Thank you Amanda), ran my errands, loaned me earrings, passed out cute wedding tissues and served lunch. I will always be grateful for the help---it would be horrible to plan a wedding in 6 weeks alone--it was enjoyable with my sisters and friends cheering me on! Thank you, Amanda, Beth, Cindy, Emily, Kim, Sarah, Ali, Addison, Dave, Katie, Miriam, Ross, Jennifer, Mary Anne, Tammy, Kristi, Janice, Dee, Kathleen, Leonard, Lindsey, Lauren, Dani, Crystal, Becca, Jen, Jeannie, Janese, Dana, Lorenzo, Mom, Dad, and my dear hubby Mr M. There really is strength in numbers!

(food tables based on their travels in Europe with chalkboard labels of the country represented)

(beautiful flowers)

(amazing cake)




Splurge & Simplify

The most beautiful wedding site I've found is Style Me Pretty. I scoured that site for inspiration and beauty. I learned that the simple letter M can be a beautiful sight. Even better when you repeat it over and over and over--which we did. I had plans for elaborate decorations but one night I heard the words--"Don't overdo...focus on the personal touches." I obeyed. Flowers, beautiful linens, good food, and happy guests were the best decorations. That simplification allowed us to have the funds to hire a wonderful trio from a local church band. Hannah posted our need on Facebook and within 2 hours a friend of a friend linked us up with 3 wonderful musicians--they played the saxophone, the bass and a guitar. Can you say mellow--BIG BAND sounds?? Can you say AMAZING! Live music is nothing short of magical. Music is the language of love.

I had a wonderful time planning this wedding. But more importantly I had a wonderful time living in the moment. It was an amazing, happy, spiritual time in my life--and a gift to my daughter and new son-in-law. They are happy as larks. What more could you ask than for your daughter to be in love with a good man and for him to be in love with her? I may very well be the luckiest woman alive! Thanks for letting me live, relive, think, and dream about the past few weeks. They have been magical for me and I am so grateful for that!


Just to add my two cents, I have to also include that this wedding came in $500 under budget! That is including my sister's travel to Utah for the groom's reception...seriously a major accomplishment. We read somewhere that the average US wedding costs $19,000. She was nowhere even remotely close to that. This wedding was done on a real budget and done very well, at that.



Jen...thank you so much for being a guest blogger today. I am so lucky to have you as my sister and one of my very best friends. I am truly blessed. It was a beautiful wedding and reception. Immecably done...with style, and grace, and humility. Couldn't have been better or sweeter! And at the end of the day, the most important thing came down to this day right here (in the above picture). We were all together as a family...celebrating each other, true love, and forever families. What a gift. Jen, I love you so much. Thanks again for being our guest today...it was an honor to have you!

This post linked to :
Melissa's Inspiring Finds @ The Inspired Room
Strut Your Stuff @ Somewhat Simple
Funky Junk Interior's Saturday Nite Special

39 comments:

Kristina P. said...

I can't believe her dress was made from pictures and measurements! It's gorgeous!

Linda said...

Wow...what a beautiful wedding and post...thanks soooo much for sharing it with all of us. I will be sure to check out the"STYLE ME PRETTY" site...I need ideas!

Blessings,
Linda

Ang said...

Thanks for posting the pictures and telling the story! It looks absolutely AMAZING. I never would have known you only had 6 weeks. I wouldn't expect anything less than AWESOME from the Pack girls :) btw - we had our reception the night before our wedding as well. It worked perfectly and I wouldn't change a thing!

Treasia Stepp said...

Beautiful wedding and gorgeous wedding dress. Everything looks wonderful.

The Elegant Thrifter said...

I am impressed. And you did a fabulous job with charm and grace. I'm amazed at the dress. I applaud your daughter for not racing off to the bridal shop, but have to admit that I've never heard of ordering a dress to come in the mail.

I hope you are having a deserved respite from all the activities.

Stan

Miss Madison's Mommy said...

beautiful wedding and that dress is AMAZING! I loved how you changed things up and used the library!!!! What a great story they will have to tell about the gorgeous wedding.

Richella said...

What a great post! It's encouraging to read about a wedding that was beautiful, romantic, dreamy--that you don't have to mortgage the house to pay for. Seriously, I think it's a shame the way people seem to throw away any shred of common sense when it comes to weddings. Yes, it's a big, important occasion, and it makes sense to spend some money on it. But an average of $19,000?!? Yikes! And don't tell me that everyone who spends that much just pays $19,000 cash for it--you know tons of them are using their credit cards to pay for most of that, and so the actual cost to them is even higher. Something's wrong with that picture. . . even if it does produce beautiful photos.

Your niece's wedding sounds like the perfect combination of all that makes a wedding a REAL special occasion! Thank you for telling us about it. Thank Jen for posting for us!

saraiwithani said...

I can TOTALLY relate to this post!! My husband's a professor at a local college, so we wanted to get married before the fall semester started...and we got engaged in May! I had exactly 72 days to plan our wedding! Granted, I already had ever detail planned out in my mind, it did take some time to get everything together. Nearly everything (from the invites to the centerpieces to the favors) was homemade and every service we needed was performed by friends and family. We came in around $5,000 for the entire rehearsal, wedding and reception (and that included BOTH of our wedding bands-not my engagement ring)!
It just goes to show that it CAN be done with class and style and not cost a fortune. Thanks for sharing!

Kimm at Reinvented said...

Oh my goodness, I have tears in my eyes here. What a beautiful wedding, and the story behind it even more precious. Congrats to the bride and groom, I'm sure they know how lucky they are to have such a wonderful, loving family!

Nocona said...

That dress was beautiful! The library was too. Great post!

Tardevil said...

That dress and photo with the hands are gorgeous! Cake is awesome too. Looked like fun. Can't imagine having all that to do with Christmas too! Hope they are very happy & will always be!

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

I wish my younger sister had read this back in the Fall. Her wedding was one of those "let's see how much money we can spend and go all out and one-up our friends" weddings. yeah.

You proved that style, class, and beauty can be created using what you have (or what you can procure with friends, family, and a little bit 'o cash) :) Job well done. The bride was radiant!! :)

Katie said...

Beautiful, everything was absolutely beautiful. I was also a Thursday bride (I was having a very small/simple wedding, and since everyone was already in town, I figured why not save some major cash by doing it on a weeknight?) so three cheers for Thursday! :)

Molly Lou Gifts said...

This was an amazing post. How fun and what a beautiful couple and wedding. I love the dress.

I was very careful when I planned my wedding and it just shows that hardwork and a little creativity can work wonders.

I know the folks that started and run the Style Me Pretty site and it is fantastic. Such a wonderful resource.

Thanks for sharing.

All Things Cherish said...

Absolutely stunning! I can't believe how easy you made it look. Congrats to the newlyweds.

Heather@PixieDust said...

wow, you and your family did such a great job!! I'm very impressed with the dress, it's beautiful and that is such a cool way to get custom dress.

Amanda said...

it is all so beautiful. the dress, the reception, the decorations. love it all. i have been reading your blog for a long time and thinking you might be LDS. So am I. Small world.

L@Craftaholics Anonymous said...

Beautiful pics!! Way to go on a 6 week wedding. Very Impressive!!
Linda

Carla B. Reeves said...

What a wonderful wedding story! I just found your blog and love it. I am attending a Bridezilla Shower in a week, and think the invitation cost as much as my niece's entire wedding which we held in our garden...and was like yours niece's. Family, friends, friends of friends doing the work. It was magical because it was done with personal love. Your niece's dress is stunning as are the bride & groom. Can she share the internet access to the Chinese woman who made the dress? I htink it would be wonderful to know and share with brides. Thanks for your beautiful post.

Candice said...

Beautiful! What temple did they get married in? It looks like the Nashville temple.

shoestringliving said...

What a beautiful wedding. Sometimes (I honestly think all times) the best weddings are the simple ones.

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! What a fabulous wedding! I am sooo impressed!

Funky Junk Interiors said...

That was a great read! Love your style of writing.

And I was right there with you on the jitters over a wedding dress on the other side of the earth. YIKES. But look at her! Gorgeous! What a lovely couple.

I broke out into a smile when I read how happy YOU were. :)

Thanks for sharing this special day on SNS!

FJ Donna

Stephanie Lynn said...

Looks and sounds stunning! The dress is gorgeous. Thanks for sharing this romantic story with us! Congratulations to all.

Nina Patricia @ The Adventures of Nina Patricia said...

It looked beautiful! This goes to show you that we need to get back to the important thing on a Wedding: Love & family. I had seen my Sister and a friends wedding in which tons os cash was spent and both of them said they wish they would have gone simpler like we did (destination prepackage Wedding). Many blessings to the happy couple.

Melissa Miller said...

Amanda what a beautiful wedding! Very nice details. *Smiles*

Michelle said...

What a beautiful and elegant wedding! It's nice to see a wedding these days that is actually very sincerely meaningful and not just a big "show off" affair!

Teresa said...

I loved reading all the steps it took to put this wedding together. Wonderful. Loved the idea of using a Library! Stunning wedding!
Thanks for sharing.

Helen Joy said...

So beautiful! I am a wedding photographer and I cannot tell you how often I am part of a wedding where the STUFF matters and not the marriage. It is evident in the money spent and the lack of true connection with the bride and groom.
Looks like a fabulous wedding! My favorites are always those that just don't care too much.
I'm the oldest of 5 girls and we have done 2 weddings so far both at under 5,000 dollars each. My sister had 250 guests and I had 550 guests. We did everything and had a blast doing it.
Lucky lucky on that dress though. My sister ordered hers from China too and it was completely wrong...but it's a funny story!

Shannon said...

The wedding looks like it turned out so amazing! I love the entry table, and the cake is beautiful! Thanks for sharing this!

Steph @ somewhatsimple said...

This was such a great read! The word "Wedding" to me immediately sends me into stress mode! I wish I were more like you! Thanks for linking!

Kathy @ Creative Home Expressions said...

This is wonderful! I think the most important thing you said was about living in the moment. Too often panic sets in and takes over, but you had your moment of panic and took action. You did a wonderful job {with all your helping hands} accomplishing what your daughter wanted on her special day. Everything looks beautiful ~ especially your daughter!

Sjn said...

Weddings are so much fun to plan! You stayed cool, calm and collected and planned a fabulous event, Congrats!

Lou Cinda said...

This is AWESOME!! Simply stunningly beautiful!! And so wonderful that you enjoyed every minute of it with family and friends!

Best Wishes to the newlyweds!!

Lou Cinda

jeannie said...

This blog brought tears to my eyes! But of course I am the mother of the groom. What an amazing family Hannah has. My family loves them all and has had so much fun sharing time and working together. This experience brings to mind the saying "The most important things in life aren't things!" Thank you all!

FrouFrouBritches said...

AMAZING! The dress is unbelievable! The cake...GORGEOUS! I have no words other than Beautiful!!!!

Nancy @ Live love laugh said...

My daughter is MOH in a wedding where the bride's dress cost $12,000...on sale. I think my daughter's participation in this wedding may match the cost of her own one day! I would love the internet address of the dressmaker...thinking ahead! You all did a beautiful job!
~Nancy

Lavonne Seaton said...

6 weeks?! It must have been quite a surprise! Although, it turned out pretty well, they were lucky to have you helping them out. It's really good to know that your daughter's dream venue was available. It seems to be very beautiful!

Lavonne Seaton

mark lawrence said...

Quite interesting to know this information about six-week wedding. Couple of months ago, I attended my best friend’s wedding which was arranged at one of the iconic venues Chicago. Amazed to know that it was six-week wedding as attended it for a day only.

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