I own and operate a photography business called Alternative Eyes (helping people see themselves through new eyes..aka trying to make people see themselves in a more positive mindset!) I got engaged in March of this year to my best friend of 14 years. I am the proud mother of 4 kids! Yes you read that right! I am also an activist and survivor of domestic violence. I spend my free time painting with my kids, playing music with my fiance, or cooking out with my best friends..even in January! I have a wicked sense of humor. I say dumb things like ditto, duh and awesumer..I speak three languages..sometimes all three at once! haha I don't drink but I cus like a sailor! ;P
Our wedding bio. We're having two ceremonies on October 10, 2010..10-10-10 you know a perfect score! The first one is at a local wine cellar park..out doors, with a 1950's flair.. For family only. The second is at our favorite club down town. It's going to be huge. Around 300 guests. Flyer invites. 30 beautiful bridesmaids. and a thousand cuppy cakes! And we may spend about $600 for both. Cus we're awesumer like that! <3
If you would like to see details of our ceremonies or to see how our budget was broke up for TWO ceremonies..and some money saving ideas (just add your spin to them :) Click on the link below....(photos included!)
We've been working hard doing projects for our two ceremonies..I finaly have some pictures for ceremony one...
Our DIY Airplane programs....
My DIY Bouquet..The black vinyl has a history for us...lol but total cost $8!
DIY head piece that Stephen (my dress designer) Made for me..I'm the only person wearing hot pink and teal blue..lol
TOTAL COST $4 for blue pin and feathers
VIP PASSES for Second Ceremony Cost $8 printed them at Staples and laminated them myself...that sucked!!
Drum Snare turned card box! Cost free! I sacraficed my dead snare...which oddly sounded much better with a huge arse hole in it!!
Our Guest POSTER.....Cost 50 cents because we already owned the frame...I painted this bad boy...Weeeeeeeeeee funnnnnnnnnnn!!!
*also note my steal of the century...$2 Chucks from an outlet store in OHio!
I used a huge mirror and made sure to keep my arm out of the pic....Here in Charleston I am known for photographing B PICS...Especially plus sized.. Most of my freelance business is B pics..WV only has three suicide girls and two are my clients...So yeah I know what I'm doing.. But Oddly tho I've never photographed myself in this way.. So it was hard, weird,....and I felt like a fckin Rawkstar...
Tips that I used to "slim out" my body...I am size 16 and 5 foot tall...I did not use a tripod or timer.
* When laying on your side..Stretch your arm over your head (reaching for the skyyyy er wall. lol ) then shoot a pic of your back or front..but it smooths everything out...
*always have the camera at a downward angle...Striaght on shots can make even the tiniest person WIDERRRRRR....So always tilt your body!
*Remember what ever is closets to the camera...will be what's biggest! (hands are usually GINORMOUS when people place them on top of or in front of other body parts)
*If you want to put your hands near your face a safe way of doing this..wrap your hand around your neck...like fingers to the ear and use same arm as ear. That arm should also be the one that is going Away from the camera..
* Bend your elbow when your shooting pictures of your face or body from overhead..It will keep your obvious photographer arm out of the pic..you don't want them to screammmmmmmm diy!
* Be cautious of whats going on in the room around you..and if you use a mirror see what it's reflecting...You don't want the 20 owfits you tried on for b pics showing up in the reflection! lol
*If he has a favorite something then incoporate it... Andy is a bass Player...so I used his favorite basses.... If your mans into sports..go for his jersey (and find matchin knee socks!!) or if he's a gamer wear a wife beater and incoporate his games and system...Like on your knees lookin up with his games etch all over the floor around you...
*Make sure to use a variety of body parts...Go for not obvious parts too..Neck, hands, ankles, feet...
*A variety of shots too...Some full body, some facials, some chest up, some waist up.....
*OH and NEVER ever crop your pics at a joint!!! If you accidentally do photo shop a new crop line..aka make it smaller so that's not obvious!
* Keep the collection a consistent feel... Make em all b n white or make them all vibrant colors...You don't want something you've worked so hard at being choppy feeling as a collection...
*Don't photoshop too much...Correct things..aka even a tan, touch up a hair color, smooth out skin, airbrush off fly aways...or cover up an orange sticker on the bottom of your shoe....BUT DON'T GET RIDICULOUS AND TAKE TEN INCHES OFF YOUR HIPS..OR CHANGE YOUR EYE COLOR, ETC...HE WOULD MUCH RATHER HAVE YOU THEN SOME MAGAZINE VERSION OF YOU.... TRUST ME I KNOW THIS!!
Budget Savvy Bride: Sheila's Story
We're creative, broke and having two ceremonies for under $600! (community article)
We're a lil bit of Country...and a WHOLE LOTTA ROCK N ROLL!
I'm a photographer from Charleston West Virginia, Proud mother of four and about to embark on my second marriage..but this time to my best friend of many years. :) We're both artists him with music and me with my camera. Nothing about us is typical, so our intentions is that our "weddings" not be either. You read that right..Weddings. We're having two ceremonies on the same day. We're having one at a local Wine Cellar in the afternoon and one at a local club in the evening.
~Outdoor, Romantic, DIY, Country with a 1950's flair~
To save money on the first we're keeping things simple any thing that can be handmade will be and anything that can't be won't be done.
Our location is free because we're getting married in a public park. The park is rarely used especially during the fall. So I guess my advice on outdoor locations is use public spaces that are "out of season" or simply a hidden gem. The park is actually a wine cellar.
Our invitations were made by me. My mother has a stationary business so I got free paper samples from her. Folded and tore them in half. Then I hand painted Cherry Blossom trees and wrote "love is friendship set to Music" on the front of all of them and hand wrote the inside information.
Cost for 45 handmade invitations~ FREE *Advice here..DO IT YOURSELF!!
PS the drawing on the back was done by my daughter as a suprise. She did it before I woke up to all of the invites. She told me she wanted to make sure people knew who it was from...lol
My Dress has a story..I wanted a tea length dress..think Jacki O. My Future sister in Law said she had one if I wanted it. I tried it on and there was NO WAY it was fitting..So I posted a status update on Facebook venting about the dress not fitting. Soon after I recieved a phone call from one of my best friends Morgan. She has a vintage dress that her great aunt made for her own wedding many many years ago. Ironically the same reason my dress didn't fit was the same reason this dress did not fit Morgie. She asked me if I would like to try it on. I did..It was PERFECT FIT! When I put it on I saw my wedding day. How the dress would look in the setting, how I looked in it, and how he looked at me in it..and I knew it was THE ONE!
Cost for dress~ FREE *Advice here if someone offers you something for your wedding even if you doubt it will work. Try it! You never know!
I'm redoing my favorite pair of lepard print heels. I'm putting a hole in the toe so I can add a pink ribbon bow.
(INSERTING BEFORE AND AFTER PHOTO OF SHOES)
My head piece is being made by one of my good friends. He's using feathers from a hair comb I have and some flowers I bought at the dollar store.
Cost for my accessories~ $3 for ribbon and flowers *Advice REUSE WHAT YOU HAVE and shop clearance or dollar stores and DIY DIY DIY!!!
(INSERTING PHOTO HERE of head piece SOON)
My Bouquet..I was originally planning on making my own flowers and bouquet out of paper flowers. But my mom offered me her bouquet that she'd just had made recently for her and my dads vow renewal..It's made with their favorite flowers and colors..So I fell in love with the idea of using it. But I still plan on using the flowers that I'd made from Marthastewart.com only now as boutineers and coursages!
Cost for My bouquet~ FREE
Cost for boutineers and coursages~ $7 for the supplies to make them! *Advice.DIY baby!
For my 5 beautiful flower girls I'm scrounging flea markets and yard sales looking for vintage hankerchiers so I can make their dresses.
Estimated Cost~$30 for 5 dresses!! Did I mention DIY???
My 7 boys are wearing their church attire just adding a tie and letting them wear their teal blue chucks and I'm loaning out my wallet chains!
Estimated cost for boys~ $3 a tie on Amazon.com!
Instead of having my girls carry flowers I bought parosoles and decorated them with cherry blossoms.(INSERTING ACTUAL PHOTO HERE SOON) They were only $5 online.and the girls can use them again to play dress up with!
DECOR and Other Ceremony Items
Here I am going to list for you the Items and their cost.
1. AISLE RUNNER~ we're using leaves..So they're FREE!
2. SEATING For Ceremony~ Using Bales of Straw draped with sheets. I called a local feed store wanting to rent the bales..the won't rent them but they will LOAN them to me. I also own tons of sheets and blankets. So cost for 60 People seating. FREE!!
3. End of Aisle decorations~ I'm using branches from my yard. Spray painting them teal blue..and making mini pinwheels to hang from them. (I will post details and photos of this after I am done making them. :)
4. Guest "book"~ I am using another huge branch and spray painting it. Putting it in a flower pot with cement. Making Tags. So guests can sign notes to us and hang them on the tree. The cost of these tags were FREE thanks to moms old stationary business! Thanks mom! (I will include details and photos of this as I do it)
5. Programs~ We are making paper airplanes. Printing them out and then hand folding them all. They wil be available in a basket. (I will post pictures and details as I do this)
6. Table to hold guest "book" and Programs~ a table I have in my home. FREE!
7. We are getting married in front of the first Arch at the site. I wanted to add something fun there. So I've Made HUGE pinwheels to hang in front of the opening. They are made out of posterboard. Cost of "Altar" decor..FREE Thanks to my brother who gave me 12 pieces of posterboard!
We are not having one because of the second ceremony being just a few hours away.. But we are offering cookies, lemonade, and favors.
Cookies~ Home baked by my friend who is a caterer. FREE cus they are her wedding gift to us. For a cookie stand I am gluing tea cups and plates together and placing a vintage 1950's cake topper on top of the stand. The topper was a gift from my future mother in law! <3 So free!
Lemonade~ Will be served in one of my vintage pitchers with a spout. My caterer friend is making it fresh and adding fruit and ice..So it's pretty. :)
The favors are going to be baked goods by the same caterer friend. We are going to plastic wrap and then gift wrap the favors. Put them in decorated brown bags with gift tags that say "DANKE" Which is Thanks in German. :)
(I will insert photos of bags and tags after I make them and actual cost of bags)
OTHER MONEY SAVERS
1. The officiant is my brother who is doing it for free. He went online and got ordained for us.
2.Since I'm a photographer photography is the most important aspect to me.
I've started working with a new photographer and am training her for free so that she will be able to photograph my wedding for free.
3. My fiance is a musician so he's having a friend perform with his acoustic and sing the "wedding march" which is actually a social distortion song called Angels wings...aka our song. :)
So to save money enlist the free servies of your undiscovered friends who would appreciate the opportunity.
SO TOTAL COST FOR THE FIRST CEREMONY ESTIMATED: $70
~Downtown, Drunk Barbie!~
Our Second Ceremony...is well totally different then the first. We decided to get married in a club down town. It was the first place I ever photographed a band and the first place his band ever played..and for the years prior to us getting engaged we hung out there as best friends listening to some of our favorite local musicians..We get to use the club for FREE because we're getting married on a Sunday..an off day for them. And in Leui of wedding gifts there is a ten dollar cover. Which will help us pay for the staff. (the bartender, bouncers, and doorman)
Our one big splurge for both weddings was actually the invites to the second ceremony. We wanted to do a flyer..Like bands put out for shows. But we invested in quality paper. We saved about $300 by going through a local company. And because we lumped our invites, programs, and wedding party gift into one we saved and got a much higher quality then just going to staples. (which is what we do for regular "shows") Our wedding party gifts is back stage passes for vip only. Since we're having our wedding at a club and it's open to the public for any "fans" and a guest list around 300 people. My bridal party (30 women) needed to have access to the backstage area to get dressed so we figured "original backstage VIP passes" were necessary and a nice lil trinket. The local printing company is great for custom work. We're getting 300 invites, 300 programs, and 30 plastic badges for $200...Local company can negotiate with you.. Out of town companies don't want to.
COST of wedding Invites~$200
My flowers are walmart in stock roses..Yellow with red tips. Friendship turned to love. and I'm binding it with the same black vinyl.. (the vinyl is significant to us)
MY BOUQUET~ ESTIMATED COST $20
AISLE RUNNER~Clearance from Oriental Trading $15. Red "velvet"
For my beautiful maids..I told them all to wear their black formal dresses. Short long whatever it just needed to be black and no t shirt materials.
COST OF 30 BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES AND ACCESSORIES~ None to most they are using something they already own or they are buying one they can wear for other things.
I'm having a maid dinner at my house a few days prior to give them their badges aka their VIP backstage passes!
COST~ $20 because I am bulk ordering them from the same company that is making my wedding invitations. *NOTE my passes are personal. Not these! lol
Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness month and I am a survivor/activist I was able to get 30 purple candles for FREE. One for each maid to carry in leiu of a bouquet. (program will tell why)
COST OF BRIDAL PARTY BOUQUETS~FREE
I am also handing out boxes of cake mix and icing..I want 1000 cup cakes instead of a huge cake. All the bar tops will be covered with cup cake trees full of cup cakes. Each maid can decorate them any way she sees fit. I'm supplying candies, decorations etc. All they have to do is bake them and ice them. This saves on hiring a cake maker and my friends are dividing up and having lil cup cake parties the day before..I love the personal touch too. :)
COST OF "WEDDING CAKE"~ ESTIMATED $100 FOR MATERIALS
For the cup cake trees I bought a bunch of graduation trees from the internet. They're on sale because they say the year...lol which is my wedding year. :) So it works for me! So I guess my advice on decor items is search clearance and look at items in a new way! Graduation to some wedding year to others!
COST OF CUPCAKE TREES~ ESTIMATED $150
I can't believe I almost forgot to mention the most important item..My dress. One of my best friends and I are making it. Using old wedding dresses and prom gowns from the thrift store.
COST OF MY DRESS~ $25 FOR THREADS ETC TO MAKE IT
He is also making another head piece for the second dress..and I'm using different shoes that I already own.
MY ACCESSORIES~ FREE
For music we've enlisted a few local bands who want the opportunity to play a "show"..and since it's a wedding many felt that the people who are "forced" to be there it would be an opportunity to play for people who wouldn't hear them otherwise..and they may gain new fans..
COST OF RECEPTION MUSIC~3 LIVE BAND FREE!
Oh and since we would already be legally married the second ceremony is being officiated by his sister. :)
The second ceremony is at 7 and since it's a bar, people can buy drinks if they want or eat cup cakes. We don't have to provide a dinner for anyone. ;P Does that make me cheap or smart?
If you made it this far in reading our wedding plans...Well Thank you! Pictures will be up as soon as I can take some of the things we've already done!
Summary to save money..
**Reuse things you already own.
**Enlist the help of friends and family.
**Make anything that you can..or enlist the help of someone who can.
**Use locations during an off time or season for them. Ask your church for chairs if you're having an out door wedding.
**Don't do anything you don't want to. It's your wedding. By not doing save the dates, and what ever else my mom was trying to convince me I HAD to do..I saved a ton. :)
**By allowing my friends to wear things they already owned no one was spending unecessary money..and the few who bought a new dress..wanted to. I am allowing freedom in their shoes and accessories..I don't care to be picky about their feet..so it's one less thing for me to stress about!
**Trade services if you can!! Or intern newbies if you can!
**Cup cake mix for 1000 cup cakes $250 vs serving 300 people cake $500 and up ..just sayin..
**if you're involved in an organization see if you can incoporate it if you want. Like I'm using their free candles in leui of bouquets for maids.
**Use a local printing company to save on all your items at once. Some will even let you make payments.
**By having one ceremony after lunch and before dinner we don't feel obligated to feed them. And by having the second ceremony later in the evening desert and drinks is sufficiant.
**Because of our venue choices there's no need to decorate anything either. So chose venues carefully and think about if and what you're willing to spend to make it your "dream" venue.
**AND UPCYCLE OR REUSE! If someone offers you something...See what it is before saying no to it! There are alot of "treasures" people are willing to share for weddings of a loved one!
Much love to anyone who read my ramblings. :)