Credit Crunch Bride

Posts Tagged ‘alternative’

Pimp your ushers

In groomsmen, ushers on September 4, 2009 at 11:40 am

The usher uniform can be terribly dull. Unless of course you do this…

Add braces (or suspenders, if you’re American).

Pimp your ushers with braces and monochromatic ties.

Pimp your ushers with braces and monochromatic ties.

Mix up smart and casual

Black suits. Black converse. Its a beautiful thing.

Black suits. Black converse. It's a beautiful thing.

Add a colourful twist. A bright handkerchief or maybe striped socks.

Striped socks to liven up formal suits. Now add jazzhands.

Striped socks to liven up formal suits. Now add jazzhands.

Go totally casual. But matching. So it’s like everyone’s just rolled out of bed and happened to fling on exactly the same thing.

These ushers are rocking the casual look.

These ushers are rocking the casual look.

Add random props. Like Stormtroopers masks. Why? Just because.

Star Wars Ushers. Obviously.

Star Wars Ushers. Obviously.

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The coolest wedding signs since wedding signs were invented

In Decoration, DIY on July 28, 2009 at 11:33 pm
Courtesy of Ritzybee

Handpainted sign on wood - Courtesy of Ritzybee

Signs cost nothing but a lick of paint and a little bit of effort. Go crazy on signs, signage and anything vaguely arrow shaped to create drama and intrigue at your wedding. It’s a fact found in all good Wedding Encyclopaedias – cool signs at weddings = cool photos = cool memories of your wedding. See below for undisputable proof:

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

A boxing round card style cake cutting sign? That's so good I'm going to faint. On purpose.

Get your bridesmaids to hold up signs letting guests know what stage of the wedding you’re at.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Utter brilliance. No need for cheesy grins when a sign explains your situation.

Whether on weathered wood or hanging from a tree or even both wedding signage looks best when it’s DIY.

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? Whats not to like?

A wooden sign? Hanging from a tree? What's not to like?

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A wedding sign with personality - a rare thing.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

A classic wedding sign. No one would complain about this one.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

And a more controversial wedding sign.

Age, feminism and bridesmaids

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys on July 22, 2009 at 4:06 pm
Bridesmaids. Its just not dignified.

Bridesmaids. It's just not dignified. Hide your faces in shame.

Just say you’re a feminist. And your friends are in their thirties, maybe already married with kids. Just say one is an important civil servant, another a high flying career girl, another a life-saving highly qualified anaesthetist. Maybe being a frou-frou bridesmaid just seems a bit silly for them.

Yes bridesmaidy ladies. Hide your faces behind pixels. The suffragettes fought for this?

Yes bridesmaidy ladies. Hide your faces behind pixels. The suffragettes fought for this?

But how to show them you love them? How do you make them feel just a little special? The answer… Usherettes.

Usherettes

They’re like Bridesmaids Lite – so no matching dresses, no matching bouquets and no meetings to co-ordinate shoe colour. Just the honour of being Officially The Bride’s Top Few Friends.

So, all you ned to do is this –  just as you mark out ushers with a buttonhole, give your usherettes corsages. To make your life even easier – give silk corsage flowers rather than fresh flowers. Modern day genius.

Corsages by Bando

Corsages by Bando

There’s also spiritual bridesmaids. These are like bridesmaids in disguise. The beauty of this is that only you and your selected ones know about it, which means no one can get offended and you can have as many as you like. Phew.

I bet this bride had no friends at school.

I bet this bride had no friends at school.

Another canny trick is to make would-be bridesmaids readers. That way, they get to have their 15 minutes of Corinthians-inspired fame.

Or, finally, just have a maid of honour. Which, to be a bit more Equal Opportunities you can call her your Best Woman and get her to do a hilarious gag-heavy speech and then perv over the ushers.

The classic black dress/ multi-coloured shoe combo.
The classic black dress/ multi-coloured shoe combo in case you absolutely must have bridesmaids.

Wedding readings for the disaffected

In Readings on July 17, 2009 at 9:43 pm

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a bride-to-be with a wedding coming up will be in want of a non-schmoltzy wedding reading. Luckily, having scoured the whole literary universe from Austen to Chaucer and back, I’ve come up with a few. Enjoy.

First up, “I do , I will, I have” by Ogden Nash. This man produces melt-in-the-mouth rhymes, and though he can edge on the twee at times, this poem is cynical enough to work. It celebrates the endless disagreements of coupledom, ending with the lines:

So I hope husbands and wives will continue to debate and
combat over everything debatable and combatable,
Because I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life,
particularly if he has income and she is pattable.

Read the whole poem here, or watch a (slightly dodgy) reading of it below:

Next up is The Promise by Eileen Rafter. This is one of those odd poems that seems to have crept somehow into The Virtual Book of Wedding Readings and is by a totally unknown poet – it sounds like she’s actually a physician who  made the final of some Australian poetry competition. Despite this, the poem is quite cute, whilst expressing the woman’s practical objections to marriage on the basis they’ll probably break their promises and because she might learn to “ignore/ Dirty socks or damp towels strewn all over the floor.”

Alternative wedding readings (no Corinthians, promise) – Part II

In Readings on July 7, 2009 at 9:30 pm

Beginning with something light, here’s the infamous song from The Wedding Singer. An immensely practical and domesticated avowal of love and good intentions…

I wanna Grow Old With You from The Wedding Singer

I wanna make you smile
whenever you’re sad
carry you around when your arthritis is bad
all I wanna do, is grow old with you

I’ll get you medicine when your tummy aches
Build you a fire if the furnace breaks
So, it could be so nice growing old with you,….

I’ll miss you
Kiss you
Give you my coat when you are cold
Need you
Feed you
Even let you hold the remote control.

So let me do the dishes in our kitchen sink
Put you to bed when you’ve had too much to drink
Oh I could be the man that grows old with you
I wanna grow old with you.

Next up, the ravings of a lunatic/ the words of a man who truly understands the power of love. This could be the one for you, if you’re not too worried about following the learnings of a man who spent the last couple of years of his life swaying between furiously painting or being furiously crazy before topping himself.

Rest from Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh in his St Remy days

Rest from Work (after Millet) by Vincent Van Gogh in his St Remy days

Letters of Vincent van Gogh

It may well seem to you that the sun is shining more brightly and that everything has taken on a new charm. That, at any rate, is the inevitable consequence of true love, I believe, and it is a wonderful thing. And I also believe that those who hold that no one thinks clearly when in love are wrong, for it is at just that time that one thinks very clearly indeed and is more energetic than one was before. And love is something eternal, it may change in aspect but not in essence. And there is the same difference between someone who is in love and what he was like before as there is between a lamp that is lit and one that is not. The lamp was there all the time and it was a good lamp, but now it is giving light as well and that is its true function. And one has more peace of mind about many things and so is more likely to do better work . . .

For a bit of seventeenth century poetry, try Abraham Cowley...

For a bit of seventeenth century poetry, try Abraham Cowley...

And now for something a little more old-fashioned…

Abraham Cowley

Go bid the needle: his dear north forsake;
to which with trembling reverence, it doth bend.
Go bid the stones: a journey upwards make.
Go bid the ambitious flames: no more to ascend.
And, when these false to their own motions prove,
Then shall I cease, thee alone to love.

You, who men’s fortunes in their faces read;
to find out mine, look not, alas, on me;
but mark her face and all the features heed;
for only there is writ my destiny.
Or, if stars show it, gaze not on the skies;
but study the astrology of her eyes.

If thou find there kind and propitious rays,
what Mars and Saturn threaten, I’ll not fear.
Per chance the fate of mortal man
is writ in heaven, but O, my heaven is here.
What can men learn from stars they scarce can see.
Two great lights rule the world;
and her two, me.

.

A wedding cake made of cheese?

In cake on July 3, 2009 at 9:31 pm
A wedding cake with a difference

A wedding cake with a difference

Say no to the  white icing hegemony. Reject the conservativism of the sponge. Turn your back on marzipan.  Have a cake cutting ceremony without cake…

Bring on The Cake of Cheeses.

With a cake of cheeses you can have the drama of tiers without the associated overload of sugar.

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

The Haldon cake of cheese from The Cheese Shed - £199

Decorate your cake of cheese with flowers, ivy, fresh figs, cake toppers or even cherry tomatoes. You can go to town on decoration, because a cake of cheese could never be seen as twee.

Go  for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Go for black and white cheese reels for ultimate drama.

Plan on needing about a kilogram of cheese per 10 guests. It seems to work out at £20 for 10 guests, from looking at cakes from The House of Cheese, Fine Cheese and The Cheese Shed.

Decorate in olives and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Decorate in olives, grapes and other cheese-friendly edibles.

Five rounds of cheese looks pretty impressive. Start with something harder and less expensive for the base – like a nice Cheddar. Stick mainly to harder cheeses if you want to avoid a squished, stinky cheese mound. Then have soft goat’s cheese at the top.

Mix up your Wensleydales with your camemberts for lots of texture

Mix up your Wensleydales with your Camemberts for interesting textures

Then all you need are some crackers and a selection of chutneys and you’re ready to go.

You could even source local cheeses if you want to lower your carbon wedding footprint, like this lady.

And the best bit of all – you get to use the gag

“You may now cut the cheese…”

Alternative wedding readings (no Corinthians, promise) Part I

In Readings on June 27, 2009 at 12:41 pm

Hoping to avoid identi-kit wedding readings? Here are a few less obvious selections, courtesy of my marvelously well read sister-in-law-to-be. And no, 1 Corinthians Chapter 13 is not included. Hopefully they avoid patronising lecturing on how to have a good marriage, and don’t mention that sickening word ‘joy’ too much.
First, up is a twentieth century American poet, Ogden Nash.

The versifier extraordinaire, Ogden Nash

The versifier extraordinaire, Ogden Nash

My Dream by Ogden Nash

This is my dream,
It is my own dream,
I dreamt it.
I dreamt that my hair was kempt.
Then I dreamt that my true love unkempt it.

The next extract is by an American contemporary novelist, Richard Bausch and it positions love as all about the little moments and domestic trivia.

Richard Bausch

Richard Bausch

The Last Good Time by Richard Bausch

There was a lovely time, long ago, too private to tell anyone, or too ordinary. It had nothing to do with anything, really: it was almost embarrassingly humble. One December night, unable to sleep, he had glanced out the bedroom window to discover that it had snowed. He woke his wife and made her come to the window, and the surprise of it delighted her as it had delighted him.

They dressed and bundled the baby up and took a walk, and watched the dawn arrive, and when they returned to the house, he took the day off. They played with the baby, cooked dinner, and baked bread. They listened to the baby playing in his playpen, and they talked idly about anything that came into their minds, and that evening, late, they lay whispering to each other about what a beautiful day it had been.

He thought about all this on his way down to the grocery store. The memory of it came through him like a breath, and then he was savoring it, basking in its warmth. And he thought that this is what love really meant: this very ordinary memory. That love was easy and plentiful as grass, and as still, as calm somehow.

Next up, Charles Darwin‘s memorandum on marriage. Used to jotting down daily notes on animal breeding, he scrawled rambling thoughts about career and prospects on two scraps of paper, one with columns headed “Marry” and “Not Marry”. Brilliantly practical.

Darwins two columns: Not marry? Marry?

Darwin's two columns: Not marry? Marry?

Notes on Marriage by Charles Darwin


Not Marry?
Freedom to go where one liked
choice of Society and little of it.
Conversation of clever men at clubs
Not forced to visit relatives, and to bend in every trifle
to have the expense and anxiety of children –
perhaps quarrelling –
Loss of time –
cannot read in the Evenings –
fatness and idleness –
anxiety and responsibility –
less money for books
if many children forced to gain one’s bread (But then it is very bad for one’s health to work too much).
Perhaps my wife won’t like London, then the sentence is banishment and degradation with indolent, idle fool.

Marry?
Children – (if it please God) –
constant companion, who will feel interested in one
(a friend in old age) –
object to be beloved and played with – better than a dog anyhow
Home, and someone to take care of house
Charms of Music and female Chit Chat –
These things good for ones health but terrible loss of time
My God, it is unthinkable to think of spending
one’s whole life, like a neuter bee, working, working, and nothing after all
No, no won’t do
Imagine living all one’s days solitarily in smoky
dirty London House –
Only picture to yourself a nice soft wife on a sofa
with good fire, and books and music perhaps – compare this vision with
dingy reality.
Marry! Marry! Marry!

Dos and don’ts for a practical wedding gift list

In Uncategorized on May 31, 2009 at 7:24 pm

The irony of the broke-ass bride is that at a time when what she really needs is cash, cash and more cash, instead she will be putting together a gift list full of presents that she couldn’t normally afford, even in less stretched times. It’s like doing Supermarket Spree when you know you’re off to the Debtor’s Prison next week.

Considering you wont be able to afford to buy anything for months/ years/ decades after your wedding, you’d best get your wedding gift list right. Here’s the Credit Crunch Bride’s dos and don’ts…

Do a tour of your home. Look what items you’re missing or really need an upgrade. This is the time to replace that nasty studenty cutlery and that cheapo Ikea laundry basket you never liked.

Do keep it practical. Bed linen, towels, wine glasses, crockery, bakeware, cutlery, cushions, vases, jugs, frames, photo albums, lamps, clocks and rugs will always get used.

Even something as absurdly practical as a tea towel can be pleasurable with Emma Bridewater

Even something as absurdly practical as a tea towel can be pleasurable with Emma Bridgewater

Do keep it classic. Don’t buy things you’ll go off or want to upgrade after a year or two. Get the best version of the smaller items, rather than stretching to cheap versions of big items. This is your moment to get that toaster of your dreams.

Let someone treat you to the best toaster in the world

Let someone treat you to the best toaster in the world

Don’t ask for gifts you’ll never use. Ask for gifts for who you are, not who you plan to be. If you never normally use a decanter, you’re not going to magically start, just because you’re a Mrs.

Unless you have previously owned the following items, you probably wont start using them regularly, just because you’re married:

The ice cream maker. Just as surely as eggs should come from chickens, ice cream should come from shops, not from badly-designed home ice-cream makers.

The cocktail shaker. Enjoying drinking cocktails is not the same as being good at making them. This requires sobriety, the correct ingredients, impeccable mixing skills and the correct recipe. This present is likely to sit in its packaging for years.

The bread maker. There’s a reason eBay is full of bread-makers ‘used once’.

Don’t ask for presents you wouldn’t buy yourself. If you wouldn’t buy this present for yourself or someone else, it probably isn’t meant to be.

Don’t ask for things you already have. If you already have lots of lovely bed linen, don’t ask for more, just because it’s what people put on gift lists. Ask for what you don’t have, be it things for the garden, boardgames, tools, meals on your honeymoon or a firegrate.

Don’t take the fun out of giving. No one wants to give a boring present, like a sixteenth of a sofa or a fifth of a pair of curtains. Each gift should be an object which the giver feels is their personal blessing of your marriage.

Sophie Conran low casserole dish from The conran Shop

'With this Sophie Conran low casserole dish from The Conran Shop, I bless this marriage.'

How to honeymoon on a shoestring

In Honeymoon on May 20, 2009 at 5:24 am
The classic Caribbean honeymoon with the classic honeymoon pricetag.

The classic Caribbean honeymoon with the classic honeymoon pricetag.

Ah the honeymoon – a chance to relax post-wedding, and drink in your new-found coupledom in total peace and solitude. Oh no, what’s that knocking? Oh yes, it’s the Back Of Your Mind reminding you how much the honeymoon is costing you per minute.

There’s nothing fun about a holiday so ludicrously lavish that you spend it worrying about how you’ll ever clear your overdraft. So here’s how to honeymoon on a shoestring:

1. Keep it short. You don’t need to be a Nobel Prize winner to work out that a 3 day mini-break will be cheaper than 3 weeks away. A mini-break is long enough to breath out slowly, gossip about the wedding with your beloved and write your thank-yous.

2. Don’t be a lemming. If you choose popular honeymoon destinations and stay in honeymoon suites in honeymoon type hotels you’ll pay honeymoon prices. Try the Finnish Lakes rather than the Bahamas, Java rather than Barbados or Damascus rather than Marrakech. Anything that makes the Top Ten Honeymoon Destinations is likely to cost you.

3. Go out of season. If you insist on going to Hawaii, go May – June and September – December (before Christmas). Otherwise the Caribbean is off season (and hotter) from Spring – July.

White sand beaches can only truly be idyllic when they're as empty as this.

White sand beaches can only truly be idyllic when they're as empty as this.

Look for low season discounts:

Asha Cottages is a tiny family-run boutique eco-hotel in Kenya with just five guest rooms During low season (now) B&B goes down to 50 euros per night per person. You can really easily just spend a week chilling there, getting massages, eating great food and lolling on the beach without it costing and arm and a leg. Yippee!

Asha Cottages, on Diani Beach on the South Coast of Kenya near Mombasa.

Asha Cottages, on Diani Beach on the South Coast of Kenya near Mombasa

5. Play the ethical card. Volunteering could be your way of affording a tropical destination. Oh, and yes, it might help you both be better people. Help out at orphanages, painting, cleaning, washing and preparing meals in Thailand, South Africa, Kenya and Fiji through Hands Up Holidays.

at least 10% of profits made are given back to community partners that you are involved with on your honeymoon.

At least 10% of profits made are given back to community partners that you are involved with on your honeymoon. Sweet.

6. Lie. Pretend to your friends you’re going on honeymoon and then switch off the phones and create a holiday from life in your very own backyard. Bring on the take aways, roll out the DVDs.

Rainbow: the cunning new wedding theme for the cash-strapped

In Bridesmaids, flowergirls & pageboys, Themes on April 13, 2009 at 10:32 pm
Bring on the rainbow wedding

Bring on the rainbow wedding - Courtsey of http://inthedetailsblog.com/

Here comes the bride. All in ivory, with ivory shoes, ivory veil and a bouquet in a co-ordinating colour, followed by bridesmaids in the coordinating colour and ivory bouquet. And here comes The Wedding Industrial Complex, ripping you off left right and centre, with plaintive cries of “and surely you’ll be wanting ivory napkins with that?” and “I assume you’ll be wanting the table runners in the co-ordinating colour?”

Say no to The Wedding Industrial Complex. Reject their colour scheme. Give their colour-coordinated price tags the karate chops they deserve.

Instead, choose the only colour scheme they could not in one million years approve of… The Anti Colour Scheme: rainbow. The only rule is, no colour must be the same.

Here’s how to bring rainbows your wedding:

Who could be down on rainbow bridesmaids? Not I.

Who could be down on rainbow bridesmaids? Not I.

1. Rainbow bridesmaids – if Sex in the City‘s finest can have non-matching bridesmaids, so can you. Plus, your bridesmaids can choose to wear colours that suit them. They could even wear dresses they already have.

Buttonholes and socks in all sorts of merry colours

Buttonholes and socks in all sorts of merry colours

2. Ushers each with a differently coloured socks.

3. Different types and colours of flowers at every table. The beauty of this is that you could pick up a dozen different bouquets from your local supermarket, whatever they have in stock, and suddenly it all seems planned.

No one can feel sad at a rainbow wedding.

No one can feel sad at a rainbow wedding.

4. A multi-coloured bouquet. Gerberas, ranunculus or carnations work perfectly here.

5. Rainbow wedding cake. (see earlier post on the joys of the rainbow cake).

Why stick to one colour when you can have five?

Why stick to one colour when you can have five?

6. A non-white dress. Shocking, to some, but more wearable and you’ll probably get something far cheaper that’s far better designed.

6. Any colour stationery. Here’s a secret. No one will remember if your invites match with the rest of your wedding. They just won’t. Is it something you’ve ever double-checked when you’ve arrived at a wedding? No, you were probably too busy worrying about laddering your tights or being late to give it a second thought. Just go with whatever.

The lollipop favour no other wedding could have

The lollipop favour no other wedding could have