June Guest Blogger: Sheryl Sitts
As two twenty-somethings in love and excited to marry, we were romance-rich and cash-poor. Living paycheck to paycheck, we set out to create a nice wedding with close friends and family without going into debt. With that intention, everything began to line up for us. Here’s how it all came together.
I chose a swirly gold cocktail ring design out of a retail catalog, and he had it set with a diamond he had already had in a ring he never wore. We knew we could always add diamonds later for anniversary gifts. We also agreed on simple gold bands for our wedding rings.
With no idea what type of dress I wanted, I believed I would know it when I saw it and began looking. I was shocked and delighted to discover my beautiful Victorian wedding dress in an upscale resale shop where I bought it for a fraction of what most brides pay!
We created a guest list of about 50 of our closest friends and relatives and then wrote, designed, and printed our own invitations and RSVP cards on a home computer using nice stationery we purchased at the office supply store and templates we found online. They turned out beautiful!
My mother lived in what had been her and my childhood home. The modest country house sat on 1-1/3 acres, though the once-dirt road was not a paved busy street, and the chicken house and burn pile out back were only memories. I wanted to marry at this family homestead, and my mother finally agreed provided we marry outdoors. This felt like the perfect place, and our subsequent savings on venue rental was a bonus.
One of my best friends who is talented with flowers offered to help me purchase my flowers wholesale and create bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages using ribbons and pins. She even took them in and out of the “cooler” (her refrigerator!) every few hours, so they achieved the perfect stage of openness for our big day.
We created a playlist for the wedding and reception. Another friend who worked at a radio station made a high-quality recording of our music, and one of my nephews kept the music going all day.
Another of my nephews was happy to serve as usher and seat guests as they arrived.
A local warehouse party supply store had everything we wanted to decorate for our reception and wedding. My sister, brothers, and a couple of other family members chipped in to decorate the house and patio when the “Flood of 94” (local newspaper headline the following day) unexpectedly altered our plans at the last minute, and we had to move everything inside.
We hired a friend who is a professional photographer to capture our wedding, and she agreed to do so at a great price. My brother also took photos at the reception which thankfully was able to be held outdoors when the weather quickly cleared.
RECEPTION MEAL, BRIDE & GROOM CAKES:
My boss’s wife often catered nice lunches and dinners within her community, so I contacted her for the bride and groom cakes. We also discussed having her prepare a nice, simple meal for guests after the ceremony. I’d worked for my boss for eight years, and we were very close, and my fiancé had also worked there for several years. Imagine our delight when they gave us all this catering as a wedding gift!
Our wedding cost less than $2,000 and felt very special in our family homestead surrounded by our dearest family and friends. We couldn’t have known that this would be the last time we would all be together. My mother passed away from cancer two months later. And a couple of uncles and friends also died in the following months. In retrospect, I’m grateful that our finances caused us to ask for help in a way that brought everyone together to create some of my most treasured family memories ever.
About the Author: Sheryl Sitts, MPA, BA is a holistic spiritual coach and practitioner. She loves helping women get clear about what they really want. And become conscious creators of their lives through redesigning their thoughts, language, and approach to relationships, love, money, and business. Discover her one-on-one sessions, group events, a weekly podcast, and quarterly digital magazine at www.JourneyOfPossibilities.com.