Saturday, July 6, 2013

A Priceless Wedding: Crafting a Meaningful, Memorable, and Affordable Celebration by Sara Cotner : Book Review

I was surprised at how much I liked "A Priceless Wedding", if you are planning a small tasteful wedding that reflects the personality of the bride and groom within a reasonable budget, then this book will help.  Recently, I helped a relative plan a small wedding and this book has proved to be very helpful. We had a small budget to work with. We also needed to take into consideration the likes and dislikes of both the bride and groom (while at the same time taking into consideration their two very different families). 
      At first all those factors seemed overwhelming, however, the book was able to provide us with some very helpful information that made the process much more enjoyable.
      The bride and groom dislike anything fancy and pretentious. So in order to get a better idea of what she likes, we had the bride start with the "Wedding Vision Collage" project recommended in the book.  She soon found herself to be overwhelmed. That clearly gave us insight to the fact that we needed to keep things simple for her. 
      We turned to the "Vision Setting Work Sheets" which proved to be helpful in guiding her efforts to figure what she really wanted in her wedding. Additionally, the questions asked in that section encourage the bride and groom to think about a variety of issues such as the example below:
     "How do you want to spend your time in the days and hours leading up to your wedding, as well as in the hours and days following your wedding?"
     Well, once they thought about it, they decided that their somewhat complicated lives and actual budget meant that they should keep things tasteful and simplified.

     We also liked the "Traditional Elements" checklist. It has elements such as dress, veil, bouquets, etc. The list keeps track of things that can sometimes be over-looked when deciding 

what to keep and what to reject. The book has a section that I found amusing that listed great reasons to reject high-ticket items. For example: Do you need the big crystal covered white puffy dress? It points out that it takes one or more people to help the bride put on that type of gown. It is also hard to dance in, expensive to buy, and you only get wear it once (unless you are really talented in garment reconstruction...then might not matter to you).

     Wedding Cake Topper can get expensive.  This couple bought a Cinderella statue at Disneyland that was the same price as a cake topper they had looked at.  The bride loves all things Disney, so this statue will join her collection and be a loving reminder of their special day.  In this case, it was a better investment to use the statue than use a traditional cake topper (that only gets to be used once).

     "A Priceless Wedding" has some great suggestions and ideas in many aspects of a DIY wedding. This includes: entertainment, table d├ęcor, flowers, venues, etc. It encourages the reader to use their creativity in planning different elements of their wedding.  In the photo below, the bride used a table runner and matching ribbon to the tables at her wedding.
To coordinate the look, she put the same runner on all the tables and the bridal table.
The ceremony was an outdoor ceremony, so the bride printed personalized labels (that coordinate with the table decor) for the water bottles that she provided each guest.
She also kept the same theme in the floral swags she made up to put on the chairs used for the wedding ceremony.

At another DIY wedding I recently attended, the bride utilized her own creativity to create photo opportunities for her guests that were affordable and fun.  She started by recycling an old frame.  She painted the old frame and then provided some simple fun props for her guests to use.  This allowed us to get some fun and silly pictures.
The bride also printed out a cute little sign to be used in various "bride & groom" type shots.  It was an inexpensive touch that created a darling photo (and she was able to put the sign in her memory book).

In the photo below, the bride used simple parosol for her and her attendants,

which was an accent that not only looked beautiful but it also afforded some sun protection for 

the bridesmaids during the ceremony.  It also looked beautiful in her wedding photo's.

Overall, it has been a very helpful book. Bottom line, if you are looking for a $45,000 wedding with all the frills, this book is not for you. However, if you are planning a small tasteful wedding that reflects the personality of the bride and groom within a reasonable budget, then this book will help you plan the various features that you may want to include in your wedding. 


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