To have and to hold (onto your savings). In sickness and in health (of your stock portfolio).
Save the dates can be done electronically. But if you don’t want to kill your mother, mail proper invites. Start with a simple, white wedding kit, which includes blank invites, envelopes, and R.S.V.P. cards. Then pick one of countless ink color options and print at home. Jazz them up with one of Martha’s customized stamp sets.
Acquisition of Frock
Believe it or not, Isaac Mizrahi’s wedding dresses for Target are nicely done and cost around $100 (for serious). Opt for the matte jersey halter gown and make it your own by affixing rhinestones to the neck; for an edgier look, drape it with one of Bliss Lau’s body chains. Or go for the strapless sheath and swap out the pink sash for vintage ribbons, rosettes, and antique buttons found at the fabric shop. For a veil, pick a pretty lace and have a tailor sew it to your liking.
Mismatched china, silver, and linens from your grandma are sentimental and stunning. And who needs flowers when you can fill bowls with fruit and a mix of silver candlesticks, also on loan from pals. Baubles can be stolen from family, too. (Ask first.)
Foot the Bill
If you’re super casual, you could run down the aisle wearing classic Keds in white or pale blue (spice them up with sequins). If you’re more glamourpuss, Steve Madden has several sleek options under $100.
Nothing beats an old-school cookout. Assign Dad to the barbie (he’ll be all too happy to avoid the caterer’s bill). Veggies, chicken, and ribs appease everyone from your vegan aunt to your carnivorous cousin. Hay bales around a campfire are the perfect setting for toasting the happy couple while roasting s’mores and sipping on spiked hot chocolate (mix your favorite instant with bourbon, rum, or brandy).
Guests will sip on whatever you offer, but a small budget does not mean PBR. Red and white sangria looks as pretty as it tastes and is simple to whip up. Offer a nonalcoholic version to delight kids and nondrinkers. Stick with the Spanish theme and serve a simple paella for dinner.
Thanks to technology, you can leave the overpriced DJ at the club and head to Tiny Mix Tapes. Describe the playlist you want: “Hipster and hobo seek hip-hopping beats for their wedding.” (They won’t make a mix for just anyone, so the more enticing the title, the better.) If that doesn’t pan out, this one compiled by iTunes is a good place to start.
Cake, schmake. Create a dessert bar in your wedding colors. Display jelly beans, Jordan almonds (silver is slick), gummies, and rock candy in apothecary jars; chocolates and macaroons on platters and cake stands.
And, most importantly, make sure the groom is a sound investment.
Need more inspiration? We’ve published Wedding Guides in every edition today, so check them all out.