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WEDDING PLANNER #1 - Tara's & Jason's Wedding Planner
Written by Lipstick 'n Boots Sky Taylor
How to plan a simple, formal, elegant wedding and honeymoon for fifty guests for about $300.
PLAN 1 — Tara & Jason
Meet Tara and Jason, our first fictitious wedding couple! Our couple was engaged in October and plans to get married during the Christmas holidays for a variety of reasons.
1. They can use the holiday paid time off from work as part of their honeymoon, saving vacation days for a second honeymoon.
2. Tax purposes.
3. They do not desire a long, drawn out engagement.
4. They feel that Christmas Eve would be a romantic time for personal celebration in the coming years.
5. Friends and family could incorporate personal gifts into the wedding gifts, providing a savings for those with limited budgets. Also, the wedding date could have a different effect that being that friends and family that are caught up in the spirit of the season could prove a bit more giving.
6. With the date of December 24th, Jason would be hard pressed to forget the Anniversary.
Fifty guests have been invited to the ceremony that will take place in Jason’s church, as will the Reception. The couple decided to announce their wedding at the Thanksgiving toast, so it was unnecessary to send out invitations.
Tara’s aunt Helen has graciously offered to provide the punch for the wedding. In addition, Uncle Henry has given them two bottles of vintage champagne one to use at the ceremony and the other for their honeymoon.
Since Tara and Jason are on a limited budget they purchased simple, inexpensive gold bands the week of their engagement. Together, both rings were under $100. Tara and Jason may replace the rings in the future as their budget allows. For now, the important thing is to get through the wedding in style.
Tara has asked her best friend to be her Maid of Honor Jason has asked his brother to be his Best Man. They each have a family member that will be Flower Girl and Ring Bearer.
Jason has attended the same church since he was a young boy so the minister is marrying them for free. In addition, the use of the church is free although the couple has the responsibility of cleaning the Reception Hall after the wedding. A group of friends have offered to perform the cleaning as a wedding gift to the couple.
Tara and Jason have chosen red and gold as their wedding colors. They prefer a traditional wedding ceremony.
Tara will be wearing her mother’s wedding gown and the wedding party will not need any outfits since they all own colors that will match the wedding colors that Tara has chosen. Jason is wearing his Sunday suit and a white shirt and tie.
Jason's friend is into digital photography, and will be taking the photos. He only asked for an additional $10 in order to purchase a used set of lights that he will use in taking the photos.
Tara has a friend from school who plays piano and she has agreed to play for the wedding. A CD player is going to be setup for the Reception and will feature the couple’s favorite songs.
The couple has decided on serving bow-tie pasta, a vegetable tray, a cheese and condiment tray, wedding punch, white and chocolate dipped strawberries, our French Silk wedding cake recipe and a Groom’s cheesecake.
VEGETABLE TRAY: 1 bag of baby carrots, 1 bag of broccoli florets or 1 bunch of broccoli, cherry tomatoes, green onions, 1 cucumber, radishes, mushroom caps, dip of your choice for center of tray decorate with parsley sprigs. Use either a section of cardboard that has been covered in foil, or a pretty tray. Because the tray is decorated with parsley, it should conceal the serving dish almost entirely.
BOWTIE PASTA RECIPE - Prepare two 16-oz boxes (or larger if needed) of bow-tie pasta as directed on the package. Drain and cool completely. A teaspoon of olive oil will assist in keeping the pasta from sticking together. After the pasta cools, add your favorite brand of Italian salad dressing - as much or as little as you desire. Add chopped black olives and sun-dried tomatoes if desired. Be sure to serve cold and chill the serving spoons. You can also decorate the pasta with parsley sprigs and a dash of paprika if desired. Serve in a pretty serving dish you already own, or borrow one from a friend.
WEDDING PUNCH: They decided to serve Tiger Paw Punch, our Wedding Punch Recipe: 2 containers of pink frozen lemonade, 2 two-liter bottles of lemon-lime soda, 2 bottles of tonic water, sweetener to taste.
DIPPED STRAWBERRIES: Dipped Strawberry Ingredients: 4 containers of large strawberries, 1 bar of white chocolate bark, 1 bar of chocolate bark. Optional: decorate tray of dipped strawberries by filling in empty spots with silk or real roses/flowers.
Wedding Cake: French Silk Wedding Cake Groom’s Cake: Cheesecake
CHEESE/CONDIMENT TRAY: Assorted block cheeses, pitted green and black olives with fancy toothpicks attached, pickles of your choice, assorted crackers. Decorate with parsley sprigs and present for serving as you did the vegetable tray above.
Gazebo: Tara purchased a white, iron gazebo at a local thrift store for $14.99. It has been decorated with red silk roses and in the center of the gazebo, Tara placed a cute teddy bear couple dressed like a bride and groom that she purchased at the dollar store.
BASKET OF PLASTIC WARE: Use any pretty basket that you have around your home, or purchase one at a thrift or bargain store. Place netting that matches your wedding colors in the basket and fill with plastic ware.
Attach some silk or real flowers to the top of the basket with ribbon.
Some of the decorating ideals that this couple incorporated into their wedding:
As mentioned earlier, liven up the glasses that you and your fiancée will use to drink from. Bows and lace can be attached to the stems of the glasses for a very romantic effect. Again, tie wired silk rosettes around your cake server.
The greeting table can be decorated with a large basket of birdseed that has been tied into delicate bundles with ribbon and netting that matches your wedding colors. Your sign-in book should also be on this table. Tara’s beautiful gazebo will be the centerpiece for this pretty table covered with a white tablecloth.
Fill your Reception table with the cakes, punch and other food. Place the plates, cups, napkins and basket of plastic ware on one end of the table. Decorate the tables with any one dollar globes, some candle rings that can be purchased in a thrift store, and some pastel candles that match your wedding colors.
Tara and Jason are tying balloons at the end of each church pew. Another good craft to decorate with is crape paper. A little goes a long way.
They will be married under a fabulous balloon arch; the instructions are outlined below in this free Wedding Planner. The honeymoon will be spent on the edge of a nearby city approximately 25 miles away. The couple has opted for a cabin located in the woods of a State Park that Jason managed to book for $50 a night in advance.
The couple plans to go hiking, canoeing and take nature photographs during their honeymoon. They plan to stay 2 nights and three days since the drive home is nominal.
Canoe rental is $3 each per hour. They have calculated $5.00. They plan to take a goodie basket with them to enjoy on their honeymoon night. They are allowing $40 for food for the remainder of their stay.
Recap of Wedding Expenses:PHOTOGRAPHY: $10 BOW-TIE PASTA: $6 VEGETABLE TRAY: $8 CHEESE/CONDIMENT TRAY: $8 TIGER PAW WEDDING PUNCH: $4 DIPPED STRAWBERRIES: $10 GAZEBO: $16 FIGURINES OF BEARS: $1 PLASTIC WARE, CUPS, NAPKINS, PLATES: $15 MISCELLANEOUS DECORATIONS (BOWS, RIBBON, ETC.): $15 TABLECLOTHS (WHITE TWIN SHEETS) (5 TABLES, 1 SERVING TABLE, 1 GREETING TABLE): $20 TABLE DECORATIONS (FOR 5 GUEST TABLES): $15 BALLOON ARCH: $15 HONEYMOON: $160 TOTAL: $307
The total is can be much cheaper if you secure some bargains along the way.
BALLOON ARCH - HOW TO MAKE A WEDDING BALLOON ARCH
Make a fabulous balloon arch for about $12! You will need:
- 6 to 8 packs of large balloons
- 2 sections, 8 feet long of PVC pipe – ¼ “ around
- connectors to join pipe
- anything to anchor your arch
A small air apparatus for blowing up the balloons helps tremendously but isn’t necessary. They can help you have your arch erected in less than one hour. In this example we are using two balloon colors, blue and white. To anchor our arch we are going to use tampers, which are garden tools that a gardener uses to pound down the soil with.
Take the connected PVC and attach it to one tamper at a time using duct tape. Secure the pipe well; you don’t want your arch popping loose during your ceremony! Next, blow up the balloons and begin by tying two differently colored balloons together. Tie two more balloons together, then twist your bunches together. You should now have four balloons that are twisted together. Twist these around your arch. Expect a few to pop, but don’t be shy. The balloons are usually very cooperative. What a gorgeous accent to your wedding! Your guests are guaranteed to be impressed!