Alarming News

September 29, 2008

Advice, please

Readers of this site might know that I am not the type of girl who has ever pictured her wedding day. Until like today. And it turns out I should’ve been paying more attention when other people told me about their wedding details. I don’t even know where one begins. So just to start: do I join TheKnot or WeddingChannel? For what, exactly? When are those wedding gown sales people always talk about? Is renting tacky if I think buying is stupid? We’re thinking a small destination wedding, probably in the Caribbean or Florida–ever been to a good one? What island? What hotel? Any and all practical advice would be greatly appreciated.

Posted by Karol at 12:04 AM |
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Go with the clean bowling shirt.

Posted by: Casca at September 29, 2008 at 12:38 am

For the girl who said that she would never marry there is only one place and that is Maui.

Posted by: Jake at September 29, 2008 at 1:02 am

Ooooo, excellent choice, they have little places on the beach there, that are virtually private, where you can go buck nekid. Saves on cleaning, packing, and toting baggage. Local attire may be substituted for the bowling shirt.

Posted by: Casca at September 29, 2008 at 1:08 am

brits who marry abroad always look like lobsters IMO. They also tend to have gained a few pounds on the buffets in the few days before the ceremony.
Going away always makes me think there are family issues the couple want to avoid. I do remember a guy who went to Venice to a register office rather than go to a church in the UK.

Posted by: bryan at September 29, 2008 at 3:23 am

I’ve had family/friends who decided to elope, go down to City Hall to get it certified, then conduct regular ceremony, for their loved ones, later on.
I guess if you’re going to have the parents kick into this it’s worth splurging. But no, I wouldn’t want to go into hock as a result.
Plus, there’s no point in really buying a wedding gown.
You’re not planning to do this again, are you?

Posted by: Gerard at September 29, 2008 at 5:22 am

I’ve always liked Jamaica. We’ve been there several times;at first just me and my wife and later on, with the kids. There are several resorts on the island, all of which can accomodate weddings. I suggest stopping in a Liberty Travel office and ask for suggestions; the agents have very good knowledge and experience when it comes to these types of trips. I know this from first-hand experience; my wife manages a Liberty Travel office here in upstate NY.

Posted by: rob at September 29, 2008 at 5:49 am

Look at J.C. Penney’s wedding gowns. No, I’m NOT joking. Milady and I didn’t have much money, and her parents didn’t have a lot to spare either, so we did a lot of stuff on the cheap. Milady got on the phone one night, measured herself, and bought one. It didn’t even need to be adjusted when it came in.
I may be biased, but it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen…

Posted by: Kentucky Packrat at September 29, 2008 at 7:05 am

Martha Stewart will steer you better than any of us. Seriously.
My only advice to people planning a wedding is that no matter how long or short you plan, the preparations are a clusterfuck–a super fun clusterfuck (!), but you’ll save yourself a lot of sleep if you narrow the amount of time you actually give yourself for plotting and choosing. The day of.. you and everyone else will be so focused on more transcendent matters that any detail you tortured yourself over getting just right is going to fade in the background anyway.
Super happy for you. It’s a surreal and exciting process, however you do it.

Posted by: Shawn Macomber at September 29, 2008 at 7:46 am

I wouldn’t waste your time with TheKnot or anything similar. We planned everything out ourselves and those websites are generally crap to navigate through.
When you call places to discuss prices, NEVER EVER say the word “wedding”. The prices will triple at least.
If you’re going to go somewhere, you’ll either have to pay to have the Wedding Officiant (i.e. the person that marries you) brought along or get a local one set up.

Posted by: Pokerwolf at September 29, 2008 at 7:48 am

Can I just say how much I love that all the comments on here are from boys? That is just so fitting. :-)

Posted by: Karol at September 29, 2008 at 8:32 am

I’m away from the internet for one weekend and this is the news I miss?
My crazy redhead bought her dress…I’m not sure whether the word “used” or “secondhand” gets me in less trouble, but somebody owned it before and it still looked beautiful and it didn’t cost a lot. I don’t remember whether she used eBay or just found it hanging in a store someplace, but it was one of the first things she found, and didn’t require braving that mob scene I see on TV every year.
We also did the whole thing ourselves. And when I say “we”, I mean “my wife handled pretty much all the logistics,” and “my responsibilities were putting on my tux correctly and showing up sober.” (Which, I want it noted, I totally did.)
In any event, congratulations. Marriage is the greatest thing ever. Really. I mean that.

Posted by: Gib at September 29, 2008 at 9:16 am

Do you have a date? You might want to avoid the Caribbean during hurricane season….

Posted by: Mark Poling at September 29, 2008 at 9:41 am

My boss and a coworker just came back from Florida for respective beach weddings for family/friends. It was a good time for all, and the pictures are gorgeous.
I concur with everything above. I would also say make sure the IC is involved. He will get told, as will you, that it’s your day and his only roles are to agree with whatever you say beforehand then show up on time the day of. Somehow I don’t think that’s what you want. ;)
Also remember, no matter how stressful things get, that this is the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. Yes, you’ll probably want to shoot each other’s family, friends, and innocent bystanders by the time this is done–but just consider this your first test engaging the world together.

Posted by: James at September 29, 2008 at 9:56 am

Destinations outside the US are often hard because passports are required.

Posted by: Dorian Davis at September 29, 2008 at 10:07 am

I read that some girl shipped in a dress from the far east, and it cost one pound, or something really cheap. Had to pay another 20 for postage, but it was a very pretty dress.

Posted by: bryan at September 29, 2008 at 10:12 am

Renting what? a dress? I don’t know that “tacky” is the word for that, but I’ve never heard of it being done, either (Disclaimer, I’m not married, though I’ve been around a few weddings in the planning stages) … Gib is right, you can get a good dress for less on eBay or someplace else (craigslist, or secondhand somewhere you can try stuff on, or shops that are going out of business … etc. etc.) and if need be, spend the money on a really bang-up tailor/seamstress who knows his/her stuff to make it fit you like it was designed for you … AND, important, nobody says it has to be some white thing you will never wear again, either. I.E. get what looks really good and it can be anything you want. I’ve had a bridal shop attendant suggest I should get married in a flaming red bridesmaid’s dress because it’s my color. (I’m not convinced it’s my color, but you see the point.)

Posted by: Anwyn at September 29, 2008 at 10:15 am

The point being, if you’re thinking buying is stupid because you’ll never wear it again, you can take that out of the equation.

Posted by: Anwyn at September 29, 2008 at 10:17 am

Hi, I sent you an email with some practical advice I have from my very recent wedding planning.

Posted by: Vanessa at September 29, 2008 at 10:49 am

K, the renting dress thing sounds great if you can find something u like but if you are doing a hot weather wedding your dress will be probably slip like and non complicated & those dresses you can usually find for a reasonable price.
Good luck, email me with any questions.

Posted by: Lisa at September 29, 2008 at 10:52 am

Florida might be more practical in that there are extra hoops to jump through to get a marriage license in another country.
As for the dress, if you are doing a beachy wedding, why not make it semi-casual (the I.C. could wear linen pants and a nice shirt) and that way you could get a nice dress, maybe in white or a light color that you could wear again. I wouldn’t rent or buy a used dress — bad juju.
And don’t mess with the Knot and all that…they are really just sites to sucker you into buying more stuff that you don’t need.

Posted by: Angela at September 29, 2008 at 11:10 am

Do you have a date?
I completely misunderstood that question.
I have nothing, but congratulations!!!

Posted by: Tanya at September 29, 2008 at 1:02 pm

I say definitely ITALY…not that I’m biased, but ITALY is such a lovely place. I got the impression you enjoyed your trip to ITALY this summer..I mean, “che romantico!”…ITALY. Did any of your friends recommend ITALY?
Seriously, I am so happy for you guys! Congratulations! I can’t wait!

Posted by: Lou at September 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm

La la land indeed!
I would say, do what YOU think is best. But steer clear from signing up for too many of those official bridalish sites.
I’m charmed by Offbeat Bride personally.
Another fun site to browse the day away is
Jcrew and Target have bridal gowns…you can get a nice pretty white dress for a reasonable price without going overboard.
Unless of course YOU WANT TO GO OVERBOARD in which case dive right in!!! :)

Posted by: Jennifer at September 29, 2008 at 1:45 pm

You could check to see if the place you marry divides assets 50-50 in divorce settlements and then choose (for or against);-)

Posted by: bryan at September 29, 2008 at 1:53 pm

I vote for Panama. And did I mention, Fuck Lou. :)

Posted by: dawn summers at September 29, 2008 at 2:29 pm

The only thing I’ve heard is not to discount the big-box retailer’s like David’s Bridal, because the prices are good, the merchandise has gone decidedly upscale, and the customer service is actually superb, for the price.
Don’t pick a traditional wedding destination. Go for the unusual…surely there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to see, that you haven’t hit yet.
Right now, you can get really good deals if you stay relatively close to home.

Posted by: hashfanatic at September 29, 2008 at 4:31 pm

I love Lou!

Posted by: Mario Perillo at September 29, 2008 at 4:59 pm

surely there’s somewhere you’ve always wanted to see, that you haven’t hit yet.
I’m NOT going to Baghdad.

Posted by: Not Dawn Summers at September 29, 2008 at 6:18 pm

right, now Twilight Winters is the star of the show.
Karol, my own wedding was long ago and far away, so the tips I might give are irrelevant.
However, I think Italy is great – for a week or two afterwards (let’s not call it a honeymoon – it brings mental picture of flies drown in honey, yack) – and for two of you only.
Do a beach wedding – Long Beach!

Posted by: Tatyana at September 29, 2008 at 8:10 pm

my wife got a lot of help and support from the indiebride forums. just get married at city hall for the license and then you can have the ceremony wherever and by whomever you choose.

Posted by: wza at September 30, 2008 at 1:11 am

My advice is to spend more on your honeymoon then the wedding.
If you do much of a ceremony at all, the stress is unavoidable.
The honeymoon is what you will want to remember!
Best luck to you and your soon to be spouse.
Oh, the wife and I celebrate 16 years this Friday, Oct. 3rd, so it’s been on my mind. Go big on the honeymoon…

Posted by: hobbit at September 30, 2008 at 2:32 am

The one good thing about using theknot or wedding channel is that you’ll be able to have one place that links to all (or most) of your registries (and people will know where to look).
Good luck with the wedding planning! (And if you care about such things, keep in mind that the etiquette for a destination wedding is a bit different than that for a regular wedding.)

Posted by: Alceste at September 30, 2008 at 11:30 am

I agree with hobbit – spend more on the honeymoon then the wedding. We did that and we’re celebrating our 25th anniversary.
Actually, the honeymoon was sort of a pre-wedding thing. We tried to get married in Europe, but in Italy, Austria and Ireland the procedure was way too complicated. Hopefully, things have changed. I heard that Switzerland is the Las Vegas of Europe…?

Posted by: mary at September 30, 2008 at 3:24 pm

I offer my congrats.
Since my next anniversary will be my 25th, I don’t know if I’m young enough or hip enough to offer wedding advice, but I would say to not stress over it. The rest of your life is a long time, so what goes right or wrong on your wedding day won’t be so important to you later. Just do it the way you want to and take enough time to enjoy it, however it turns out!

Posted by: Big Daddy at September 30, 2008 at 3:42 pm

Short answer: Elope.
And this from someone who had a reasonable wedding in Brooklyn.

Posted by: Ken Wheaton at September 30, 2008 at 3:46 pm

I got married at a Beaches in Jamaica, on the beach, for what it’s worth.
I was drinking at the pool bar an hour before the wedding.
I highly recommend it.
As a result, though, I can’t help you on the rest of the wedding stuff. I know nothing about it.
One suggestion, though: Don’t get married on the beach right after it rains. It brings out the sand fleas.

Posted by: Jason at October 1, 2008 at 12:30 am

That’s so exciting Karol! I’m planning the same thing – who would have thought…

Posted by: Rachel at October 1, 2008 at 9:25 am

destination weddings sound great but I know someone in the wedding business who has done them. Big logistical problems, some guests may not be able to afford to go (think older relatives on fixed incomes). Save the trip for the honeymoon. I know a videographer if you need one. A study somewhere said the wedding video ranks low on brides’ list before the wedding…but a year later on the anniversary, it’s one of the top things they wished they’d paid more attention to. Whatever you do, don’t let a relative with a videocam do it.

Posted by: vivi at October 1, 2008 at 7:15 pm

late to the convo here, but be careful with the destination wedding planning. i’ve heard of two and both were pouring rain.

Posted by: anna at October 4, 2008 at 12:17 am
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