When my dad, Murry (you may know him better as Falcon), said he wanted to write a guest blog for ALTARED, I thought he wanted to get in on my mom’s fun… But when he sent me his blog, I realized I was mistaken. It was a desperate cry for help. Somewhere between my suggesting we fly anemones in from wherever they ARE in season in August, and my mom suggesting we ALSO invite everyone coming to the wedding to the rehearsal dinner as well (essentially throwing 2 weddings 2 days in a row), my dad decided to offer up his suggestion on how to throw a wedding with a $100 budget. Read on for Murry’s hot tips for planning a wedding on a budget:
(My dad, likely making a birthday wish that my wedding doesn’t cause him to go bankrupt.)
The venue is picked, catering discussed and flowers and decorations analyzed. But isn’t this wedding supposed to be about love, and can’t you, in this golden age of Groupon, get love wholesale? So, with my daughter’s imploring words “Keep it tasteful” as my beacon, I offer the following discount guide to the wedding dreams are made of
1. Flowers. Lets start with the free stuff. From weddings to funerals to bat mitzvahs, there are so many flowers that are about to be trashed that there should be a barelyusedflowers.com for them. Talk to your pastor or rabbi, he or she can probably hook you up. Also, the fields and highway median strips are full of wildflowers, all colors and kinds, and it’s about time Grandmother’s rosebushes started contributing as well. Flowers, check.
2. Videography. Hire unpaid interns from any top university film program. The movie business gets away with this, why shouldn’t you on your big day? Simply advertise on Craigslist for interns to assist in the filming of a wedding feature. The response will be sufficient to stage several weddings, and you can always find a relative with a large movie camera that looks somewhat authentic.
3. The Registry. If there isn’t a Costco registry, there should be one. Food and wine is always a lively discussion area, and even with free samples and closeout items you can run up to $100 quickly. Still, you can’t go wrong with lots of hummus and a few giant bottles of Everclear for a proper wedding punch. Food and alcohol, check!
4. Music. This is the time to take your daughter’s hands in yours, and tell her that you had always hoped to sing at her wedding, just a few songs, maybe one or two with some friends. This, finally, is the right time to get the band back together. And for dancing after the ceremony, the family boombox loaded with CD’s of tender wedding dance songs. Tunes, check.
5. Sponsorship Part 1. It pains me to think I am an outlier here, but what is so wrong with branding at a wedding? How many people approach Nike with an offer to have that “swoosh” on the preacher’s podium? Not many perhaps, but you might surprise them into giving you some promotion money. Napkins that not only had the names and dates of the big day, but a tasteful, discreet polo horseman in the corner. Little rice bags compliments of Uncle Ben.
6. Sponsorship Part 2. Kickstarter. I know nothing about this website, but my understanding is that people send you money if they like your idea. Who doesn’t like the idea of marriage?
7. The Honeymoon. One name—Larry Ellison. He just bought the Hawaiian island of Lanai. I bet he would be receptive to your request for a trip to Lanai as a wedding present, if you wrote him a persuasive letter mentioning how much it meant to you that he kept the America’s Cup. If this seems far-fetched, you can always camp for free in many of our nation’s wonderful state parks, such as the one that was good enough for my parents’ honeymoon, Possum Kingdom Lake in North Texas.
With careful planning and just a little effort, a surprisingly tasteful and memorable wedding can be had for almost nothing. Indeed, depending on your digital and merchandising acumen, you may end up in the black.
My dad, (prematurely) celebrating all the money he just saved himself.