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I hate the wedding industry. Chickadvice needed.


I recently just got engaged and now the wedding is starting to consume me now that I'm looking into venues and wedding stuff.  I'm starting to go bridezilla angry ..... 10,000$ to spend your day at a mansion that doesn't include food or decorations is, um, stupid and ridiculous!!! I might as well pay off my school debt with that!  A 200$ cutting fee just to cut an 500$ cake makes my blood boil.  Any monkey could cut a damn cake.  And why does it cost $100 to feed one person???  I could go to an amazing restaurant with my fiance and spend less than that!!!  Why does an invitation need like more than 3 pieces of paper/forms etc?  Mailing things is just so.....1980's. And what's wrong with sending people a pretty ecard??? This wedding industry is one huge cash cow. Just unbelievable!!!  I really want to kick these wedding industry people in the face.  Walking over to city hall and getting married in a summer dress is a really tempting thought now but my fiance, friends and family would not be happy with that.

Ok..enough with the rant.  I just need some advice on how to not get ripped off by this industry.  Starting with reasonably priced places to get married, food, dresses, etc.....any advice would be appreciated!!

Apr 28, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

13 Replies


great questions!

We actually have a new writer soon to be contributing who is a wedding insider! She will be addressing many of your questions, so keep suggestions coming.

Now for my personal feedback:

1. The wedding is about you and your fiance
Not "It's my day", not "It's my daughter's wedding", not "what the family's done in the past is ___". It is about you and your husband-to-be. Period. All other interested parties must play second fiddle and butt the heck out.

2. It is only one day of your life
Yes it's special. Yes presumably you will only do this once. Yes it matters, and you've dreamed about this day all your life. But (and I'm speaking from my own experience and 99% of the others I've spoken to on the subject) the months and weeks leading up to The Big Day will be frantic and the event will zip by so quickly. Many many couples I know simply went to bed without consummating the marriage because of sheer exhaustion. I had a migraine, which thanks to some quick acting Excedrin my dad was packing, eventually went away and I was able to enjoy the last few hours after all. There is waaaay too much hype around the wedding day, and when you think about how much the whole production cost you (or daddy), you'll really wonder what the heck you were thinking.

3. There's no reason you can't have a wonderful memorable day on a budget and with less planning/stress
Some of my budget suggestions:
- buy a gorgeous white dress during the prom/graduation sales. You'll save a ton and can splurge instead on shoes and a lavish veil. Depending on what you pick up you may even be able to wear it again, especially if you consider dyeing it another color! 2 of my sisters-in-law bought simple but elegant prom dresses and you really couldn't tell that they weren't from a bridal line. Also, they don't have the weight and over-the-top formality of a bridal gown (or dare I say - costume?). My sister had red welts all over her torso from the boning in her - admittedly stunning - gown. Not conducive to sexy time later on, d'ya think?
- go with seasonal, local flowers. Fresh roses or even wildflowers from your grandma's garden are one thing; Tibetan orchids are another.
- bridesmaids will adore you if you let them have some free rein with their outfits. My youngest sister simply said "black and floor length" and left the rest to us. I've worn my dress several times since and love it to pieces. Plus, this avoids the usual conflicts if you have attendants of all shapes, sizes, and birth dates.
- buy a beautiful cake from a bakery, but don't tell them it's for a wedding. That should lop a good 30% from the price right there. Also, make it a popular flavor so the guests will actually eat it and the baker need not special-order Peruvian sherry. Then at the reception, either do the traditional thing and cut the cake and serve it yourselves, or ask a beloved aunt if she would take on this special task for you.
- get married in a park, a relative's backyard, or a beautiful little chapel. Unless it's a 400 person guestlist, there is no reason to use a huge venue. My sister-in-law was married in an art gallery and the dinner was downstairs in the dining room. Amazing lighting, classy, entertaining (the guests actually had something to do while they waited for things to start), and memorable. Best of all, double dipping with the ceremony and reception got them a great discount from the facility!
- the following things are lame (in my humble opinion): 4-piece invitations, wedding favors, corsages for people you don't even remember you're related to, miniscule decorating issues that honestly no one notices, etc.

I could go on and on and on, but I'm sure others have great ideas and our writer will have plenty to say on the subject as well! The bottom line is, if you're already frustrated, there's something wrong. We've written about weddings now and again on our site blog. Start with this video of a bride's hissy fit, then browse through some of the articles we've posted on the subject, including budgeting, green weddings, and other tips. Not tooting our own horn here, but MC and I have often ranted on the topic ;)
Apr 28, 2009 @ 11:54 pm


Hey mamaluv! Reading back on my post, I sound like a raging bride. Yikes.:S
Thanks for taking the time to write a lot of incredibly helpful advice....and sharing that funny video! ha! I didn't realize those articles were there, will definitely be reading those up! I pretty much envision my wedding to happen in a huge backyard (except I don't know anyone who has that space) with about 100 guests.  Home cooked meals and an amazing bbq, lots of bevvies for the guests is how I envision my day. I think it's awesome that MC did her wedding for under 11000$.  I dont plan on spending more than 15000$ for the wedding as well.  

REALLY looking forward to the writers articles on wedding tips!!

Apr 29, 2009 @ 11:33 am

...I'm planning too...

Not for my own wedding!! But my sister is getting married in 2010 and I am the maid of honour and have volunteered to help her plan the wedding. They have a venue and a bunch of ideas (some of which I don't think will work... but that's another thread!).

I am going to make the invitations and include the email address to RSVP to and blog site the guests can get information, updates, maps, registry information, etc from... Instead of a lot of paper and return envelopes. We discussed e-vites, but decided a small "keep-sake" invitation might be nice. And I wanted to try my hand at making invitations! (I'm a little crafty).

I considered taking cake decorating classes to try to make the cake. But I haven't looked into it much. I know Michaels offers classes on cake decorating and it's something I've always wanted to learn, so this might be a good opportunity to try.

I know my sister has been searching magazines and stores for the perfect dress, but I think she plans on trying to find it second hand or asking a friend to make it for her. Both options would save a lot of money. But I also like mamaluv's idea of looking at prom dresses. I also like the idea of letting the bridal party pick their outfit! :)
Apr 29, 2009 @ 12:54 pm
Ali de Bold


First of all congrats on your engagement! Yes, the wedding industry is a little over bearing. I've discovered a few tricks when planning my own wedding if any of these help:

1. Don't buy typical wedding invitations.
Essence du Papier (they have a few locations) can custom make invitations for a fraction of the price. We had a 2 layer card with a ribbon, ordered 150 of them, and I think we paid around $300ish. Possibly less. I don't remember exactly, just that it was considerably cheaper but just as nice.

2. Don't buy your cake from a traditional wedding cake shop. I found a bakery I really liked (in Winnipeg) and ordered 3 identical cakes in small, medium and large. Put a floral decoration on the top cake and voila! The cakes cost between $25 - $45 each. The cake cutting fee is nonsense. I totally agree. Our wedding venue cut it for us and I think we paid a fee for that as well.

3. Buy your flowers in bulk for all of the decorations and center pieces, but get your bouquet and bridesmaids, corsages done by a professional. Our center pieces were small IKEA vases stuffed with fresh cut roses. We bought a bunch of vanilla candles from IKEA to surround the flowers and create a nice scent in the dinning area and that was it!

The one thing I wish I would have done is hired a videographer. Our video is a series of cameras on tripod and handheld from relatives. I'd get this done properly in hindsight.

Enjoy this time as much as possible. It will be a beautiful wedding and as Mamaluv said it really is about you and your man more than anything else. The wedding day flies by in such a blurr you will hardly remember the details. The rest of your life is the best part :)
Apr 29, 2009 @ 02:15 pm

wedding blog

That is such a fantastic idea! Having all the info in a central, universally accessible location will cut down on a lot of unnecessary phone calls and wasted paper/postage. If I'm not mistaken, Spotty (CA member) used a blog or site for her wedding and after wedding pictures/events.

Spotty? Correct me if I'm wrong...
Apr 29, 2009 @ 08:50 pm

Great ideas!

Although i'm not getting married soon and i never realized it cost that much for a cake! I love the idea of buying smaller cake from a bakery. If it helps, i had a friend that was on a budget and got her wedding dress at a bridal junk show for 800 bucks. 
May 04, 2009 @ 11:06 pm

Congrats !!!

Congrats again lady! The ladies above gave great advice... a lot of my friends used the website ewedding.com which has template selections for you to choose from to set up a website that guests, friends and family from all over can RSVP on and get up to date info on what is going on with your wedding. Check it out! :o)
May 05, 2009 @ 01:58 am


Don't let the wedding stress dampen your special day. Wedding planning can be stressful but it can also be fun.

One of the things I did to keep myself sane and happy
(ok..."mostly"...hahaha) was to delegate and let go. I shamelessly
took all the help I can get. If someone offered to take over some
wedding stuff for me, I graciously accept the offer, tell them what I
have in mind, and then just let them run with it. The important thing
here is to let go, let that person do what they've offered to do and
don't micromanage. For example, my mother-in-law offered to take care
of the flowers and wedding cake for me. I told her what I want and on
my wedding day, my flowers were gorgeous and the cake was delicious.
They were not exactly the way I had envisioned them but I didn't care;
that were 2 less things I had to worry about.

I also made my own invitations. I went to Michael's with my 50% off
coupon and bought a box of wedding invitation. A few weeks later, I
went back with my second 50% off coupon and bought the second box. It
worked out well. My only advice is try to stay away from the vellum
paper, those are a pain to print on.

Consider getting married in a smaller city if you can. We live in
Ottawa but opted to get married in New Brunswick b/c it's much much

Asking about the price differences between a Friday night wedding vs a
Saturday night wedding. It's often cheaper on a Friday night.

I think it's a great idea to let your bridesmaid take care of the
dress. Choose a colour that are easy to buy. If you don't mind black,
black is a fantastic colour b/c it's easy to buy a beautiful black
dress for a great price.

You can also make your own wedding favours. I went to a Party/packing
warehouse store, bought a whole bunch of chinese take out boxes in my
wedding colour, filled it with chinese tea leaves, chocolates and
printed my own thank you note. I enlisted one of my bridesmaids to
help me tie the ribbons and my dad to filled the boxes. They turned
out beautifully.

Finally, consider having a cocktail reception a dance (or an
afternoon event). Not having a seated dinner takes a huge chunck off
your budget.
May 05, 2009 @ 07:57 am

Very interesting... :)

Thanks for all the advice.... and the congratulations :)  I'm starting to enjoy the fiancee life a lot more now.
The eweddings site looks very interesting...I think I will be on it for a LONG time..haha. Thanks Robin!
My relatives have been wanting to cater for my wedding - so that is actually pretty awesome and less expensive. The good thing is that all of aunts and uncles are chefs and have owned a restaurant and they can cook amazing dishes in no time...but challenging to find a venue that will open up their kitchen for that. Does anyone know of any venues that are flexible with catering?

Ali, thanks for the tips! Essence du papier invitations - really great price for 150 invitations.  I'm thinking of going off the traditional invitation route. I mean, I've always lost all  my wedding invitations in the past...and my mom was always clueless with what goes where and which envelope goes to whom ...and she never mails them back anyway.  None of my relatives do!  So I'm thinking of just having one fancy paper with all the info and link to the website if they need it.  And also a save the date magnet (something retro and cute to put on their fridge).  I think I know where i will be shopping for my centrepiece accessories along with all my furniture when I move next month.  

Patricia&Bubbly;, thanks for the tips on Michaels...will def be checking out the cake decorating classes and all the how to DIY projects for the wedding.  Looks like they have a lot of ideas to offer.  Has anyone ever done paper flowers before?  These look really appealing...I think I will give these a try


Ladies..... thanks again for all your great advice :D

May 07, 2009 @ 09:41 am

Call them to confirm

I think Castle Loma allows you bring in your chef.
May 07, 2009 @ 09:56 am

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