“Silk” flowers.

So I think that artificial flowers have a bad reputation. Following my love of euphemisms, I shall call them silk flowers, which is technically correct, as it’s generally understood in the flower industry that silk just means artificial, in this situation at least.

The worst part about flowers in my opinion? They die. They’re expensive too,  but it’s the dying that really gets me. It really complicates and  limits window of time they can be made (arranged) before the wedding, and a lot of the time, they are already looking pretty raggedy before the end of the bigday. Assuming that you are already planning on doing the flowers yourself, I would suggest considering ordering silk flowers.

They are cheaper, never die, and you can do your flowers as far in advance as you please. I have been around for the 1:00am-the-night-before-flower-sweatshop experience, and I heartily recommend skipping that.

I ordered mine from a site that I really like called AFloral.com. I looked a lot of different sites, and I liked that one the best. They have really fair prices, shipping is flat rate (based on total pre-tax purchases) and provide tons of free ideas. The site allows you to search by color or type of flower, and has lots of ideas on their blog and Facebook. Another feature of the site I really liked was the suggestion. Sometimes, the suggestions on pages just annoy me, but this site seemed to offer fairly smart ones.

Another perk was the variety of qualities available. It was fairly clear from the images and the prices, that some items were superior to others. I have seen a lot of fake flowers that were clearly fake, but I have also seen some that were so convincing I just had to touch them. AFloral has both. For bouquets and boutonnieres, I ordered much higher quality items, and for decorations, notsomuch. The descriptions are fairly detailed too, so you know exactly how many blooms or leaves, and what size you will get. That detail is really helpful with shopping online.

They also have lots of promotions, if you look around.

Once you sign up for their emails, you get an offer for $10 off on orders over $100. (I *think* the code is “10Email”)

I used “FLOWER” to get 10% off my order (no minumum!)

I would suggest Googling ‘Afloral coupons’ and just seeing what you find. There are constantly new ones.

I was able to make my bouquet, boutonnieres and a hair clip for my niece with the flowers, a hot glue gun, and lots of ribbon. That’s it. I was pretty pleased with the results. (Images courtesy of Liefde Photography)

All of these flowers were ordered from Afloral.com, but are also available from JoAnn Fabric, as they carry the same brand.

Just the two of us – the case for a wedding party of zero.

**Disclaimer: I know our thoughts on the matter can come across a little harsh, but keep in mind that we want a small wedding, and I never once dreamed of my wedding as a child. We are in no way condemning or passing judgement on those who do things differently.  We simply want to represent that there are other ways to do things, and that that’s ok. Going against the grain with weddings these days causes people to act like you are a crazy old miser. **

 

Perhaps the most apparent diversion from the typical wedding, is the size of our wedding party.

We are not having attendants. No bride’s maids, no groom’s men, flower girls or ring bearers.

There are several reasons for this. First and foremost, we don’t understand what role attendants actually play in a modern wedding, other than unpaid assistants. Somewhere along the way, they were added for specific reasons, but our culture doesn’t have the need any more.  Sometimes they served as body-doubles,  or partners-in-crime. Once upon a time, a bride’s consent wasn’t necessary or even asked for, so the groom would just kidnap her. Sometimes it was all in good fun, other times, it was just plain kidnapping and rape. Charming, huh? Thank goodness we’ve come so far. A quick rundown of the history of wedding traditions can be found here.

We don’t want to be forced to choose just a few people to stand by our sides, when we have so many that we care about. Historical roles aside, attendants aren’t something that we feel we actually need. We want all of our loved ones there, and we just can’t bear the idea of needing to pick some people over others. It’s just one day, and we don’t need them to do anything for us, other than celebrate with us.

We also don’t have the funds to fully equip everyone, and we just don’t want to ask people to put so much money into doing something for us. Being in a wedding is expensive. The outfit, shoes, hair, and sometimes, accommodations, travel and time off from work can all add up very quickly. I have heard that the average spent for women to be in a wedding is well over $1000. If we don’t feel the express need for attendants, it seems like abuse to ask people we care about to spend so much money.

 

Our cash-conservative wedding. I will not call it cheap!

Aaron and I are got married this spring, and we are paid for it ourselves. As a result, we did things in a very economical way. However, my determination not to have anything feel cheap or chincy, made that a lot more complicated. Ok, I made things a lot more complicated.

That being said, I know I wasn’t the only one out there that wanted to have a nice wedding without going into debt, so Aaron had suggested that I chronicle my plans. This blog is the result. There are a lot of things that we are saving on by completely omitting. After attending/participating in 10 weddings in just over a year, we really had started questioning what elements of the traditional American wedding were truly meaningful (at least for us,) and which elements were included because that’s what is normally done. We asked lots of “whys?”

All of the “whys” resulted in carving out a many of the elements that are common in a lot of weddings. Later posts will explain what decisions we made, and why.