Choosing an officiant

So, Mike and I haven’t done much lately in terms of wedding planning.  Maybe it’s because we’ve been über busy with other various activities — end of school for me the teacher; planning a graduation party for my sister, the law student; going to other people’s bridal showers and weddings — or maybe it’s because we want to finally nail down a caterer, but our pending choices have not been contacting us back.  Sigh.  At least we have a venue, right?

Well, one thing that did fall into place was choosing an officiant.  This was something Mike and I hadn’t put too much thought into, unfortunately.  Neither of us is what you would call an actively religious person, and we’re planning on having our ceremony outside in Brooklyn Bridge Park (i.e. not a church).  So we didn’t really know what we wanted out of our minister/priest/master of ceremonies…except that we wanted our ceremony to be personal.  The last thing I’d want is some random person selected haphazardly out of a directory of wedding officials who doesn’t know us and mispronounces our names, or something.

That brings us to the world of online ordination.  I’ve heard of people becoming minsters of unheard-of churches via the Internet, but never gave much thought to it, and even thought it somehow tacky…until a friend of a friend was talking to us about how he became ordained to perform his sister’s wedding ceremony.  I mean, how nice of an idea is that?  And apparently, the online sites that perform such ordination are 100% legitimate and legal (like the Universal Life Church Monastery, the American Fellowship Church, or Dudeism, the Religion of Lebowski*).  So then, the lightbulb went on — of course, having a friend do the ceremony is so much more personal then having a random person do it.  I mean, I’ve definitely been to ceremonies where the couple had a minister they didn’t know previously, and they turned out lovely; but at the same time, if I have the option of having a friend be a part of our special day, I choose that.

So tentatively, our friend Shawn is going to be our officiant.  He’s an amazing guy with the most serene, lovely personality, and I truly do believe he will add something magical to our ceremony.  Yes, that sounds cheesy; but it’s true.

*For the record, Dudeism is a real religion — “real” being a relative term here — and Dudeist priests can actually preside over a wedding ceremony, pending state laws. Although, I think it’s a rule that you can’t have your ceremony on Shabbos and instead of wine, you drink a chalice of white Russians at the ceremony.

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Minted Invitations

Although I’m still all about DIY letterpress invitations, the folks at Minted have some amazing designs to pick from — over 400, to be exact. What’s more, they’re sponsoring a contest to win a free wedding suite. (And you all know how much I love contests.) The deadline is Friday and all it takes is a comment on their blog about your favorite design, so enter away!

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The Bridesmaids Dress

The Bridal Party BBQ this past weekend was a good opportunity to run dress ideas by my newly crowned bridesmaids, and by the end of the night, we made it official: the bridesmaids will be wearing Shabby Apple’s Broadway dress.

I know it’s early, but I like everything about this dress — the color; the fact that it’s just the right combo of casual, old-fashioned, and dressy; and the even better fact that the dress can be worn again after the wedding.  It’s not your typical long, satin, looks-like-a-bridesmaids-dress bridesmaids dress, and that’s exactly why I love it.  It doesn’t hurt that the price is under $75 as well!

Now, on to accessorizing…

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I <3 wedding contests.

So remember when I posted about a week ago about the fact that there’s hope for all those contests out there that claim you can win free stuff for your wedding?  Well, here’s more proof: Mike and I are finalists for The Broke-Ass Bride‘s photography contest with Picotte Photography!

You win by votes, so now is the time — like on a late-nite talk show when the guest does his obligatory movie promo — where I ask you, my devoted followers, to vote vote vote!

You can do so by clicking HERE once a day until Monday, May 17. As Mike said to some of our friends, if we don’t have to pay for photography, we can have higher-shelf liquor at the open bar — so you’re really doing yourself a favor by voting. Really.

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The Bridal Party Party

So Mike and I were stumped at a finding a good way to ask all of the respective members of the bridal party to be respective members of the bridal party.  We weren’t planning on having an official engagement party or anything (we sort of had that already) where we could ask everyone there, and a phone call just seemed too impersonal.  So, we came up with the idea to have a Bridal Party BBQ — not an engagement party or anything, but just a little something for the bridesmaids and groomsmen to all get together, meet Mike’s and my families, and basically get to know each other (if they didn’t already).  A sort of matrimonial meet-and-greet.  And in the invites that we sent out, we put in our official request for each person to be a member of our wedding.

Even though electronic invitations are the way to go nowadays, we wanted the BBQ invites to be a bit more personalized, so Mike and I made them ourselves and customized them for each person, then sent them through good ol’ fashioned snail mail.

It took a while, since we created each one from scratch, but it was worth it.  I made the gals’ cards, and Mike made a more manly version for the groomsmen — comic-book themed, of course.

Well, we had the BBQ yesterday, and it was quite the success.  We ate tons of food, played a little L-C-R and Mike won the pot, and champagne-toasted to the fact that we’re going to be the most kick-ass bridal party ever.  Cheers to that.

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Paperless Post, for the budget-savvy, earth-friendly bride

My sister shared this site with me: Paperless Post is like a better quality, higher class Evite (i.e. not as tacky and with no advertisements attached). While it might not replace the traditional paper invitation, sending an e-vitation will both reduce paper waste and save you money. It’s free to sign up and free to send your first 25 invitations, then you purchase virtual “stamps” to send anywhere from 20 more (for only $4) to 1000 (for only $50). It would cost you $440 to send 1000 invitations via snail mail! (Although if you can afford to have 1000 people at your wedding, I guess you don’t really care about the cost of stamps, do you?)

Check them out, whether it be for your next backyard BBQ or for your save-the-dates!

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Proof there’s hope for wedding contests

So I’ve been entering every wedding/tell-your-engagement-story/win-stuff-if-you’re-poor contest I can find (a bride-on-a-budget’s gotta do what a bride-on-a-budget’s gotta do), but usually I click “submit” with little to no hope and try to forget about the contest afterward.  (This is what happened with the Target Popping the Question contest and the Bee Gee Bags giveaway, among others.) However, today I actually received an email back from Cake & Cider, a photographer named Leigh based out of the Philly area.  And wouldn’t you believe it, she featured my story on her site!

Check out the post here, but also check out her site in general.  She does food and travel photography and is now starting out in the wedding photo business, and her work is super neato.

I’ll keep you posted on what transpires with this one…


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