by Carrie Lowrance
Dreaming of a destination wedding to Ireland? Can’t afford to go kiss the Blarney stone and your husband at the same time? Think you need to chase a pot of gold to have an amazing Irish wedding here at home? Nope. We did it and had a blast. Here are some of the ways we saved and still had a great theme wedding.
IRISH WEDDING ATTIRE
The Dress. I found a quaint little shop that carried overstock dresses and previous season dresses, as well as two or three designers to order from. In the end, I wound up with the third dress I tried on (off the rack), which ironically had patterns on the bodice similar to an Irish Claddagh. Total cost for my dress with alterations: $632.38.
Groom’s Attire. We decided that my husband would wear a traditional Irish Grandad shirt, vest, black pants and black dress shoes. We found the shirt on the web site Irish Inspiration. We found the vest on Historical Emporium. The pants and shoes came from Walmart. Total Groom’s attire: $140.00
Rings. In the grand scheme of things I didn’t feel like our rings were too over the top. I picked out a unique wedding set with a sapphire in the heart of the Claddagh and sapphire chips in my wedding band. My set cost around $1700. My husband on the other hand found a cool black and blue titanium ring on Overstock for $58. This is how we saved some gold on our Irish wedding.
THE IRISH CEREMONY
Ceremony Music. We hired a lady to play the bag pipes for our ceremony music. My husband was referred to her by a customer where he worked at the time. She did an excellent job and we saved a lot of green. She only charged us $200. We used an iPod loaded with Irish music for our reception. Contact your local Irish Society to find connections to Irish musicians.
Time Of Day. We got married on a Sunday in the middle of the afternoon. We were supposed to have the ceremony on the square in the middle of town, but it started to pour down rain ten minutes before the ceremony started. So, we had our ceremony in the quaint, little room that was reserved for our reception. That was prearranged just in case of bad weather. We definitely got our money’s worth that way.
Traditional Vows, Blessings, Hand-fasting and Jumping The Broom. These were the most important heart of the matter and best of all, free.
A GREAT RECEPTION
Photography. Even though you want top notch photography for your wedding, it does not mean you have to go with the most expensive photographer in town. Ask friends and relatives who they use for just their normal family photography and weddings.
There are lots of amazingly talented people who have studios out of their homes or just do it on the side. Our photographers worked with my Mom and did a fantastic job. You don’t need to get tons of pictures either. We got a smaller package of 150 photos with photo CD and also a slide show DVD. We paid less but we didn’t sacrifice on quality. Total: $200
Decorations. We used second hand china tea cups with flowers. The cups were found at local Goodwill stores. Imitation gold coins were scattered around to decorate our tables at the reception. We also had a Claddagh cake topper that we bought at our local Irish imports store. Our flowers we purchased at Michael’s at a discount when the fall season ended the year before. Cost: $122.50
Food. Since we were married in the mid afternoon, we decided against a sit down dinner. This allowed us to serve hor d’oeuvres, drinks and cake. We also didn’t serve alchohol, which also cut down costs. We had 40 guests including wedding party. Total: $500
So as you can see, there are lots of great ways to save on a theme wedding and make it memorable. My husband’s Irish eyes were definitely smiling once we tallied the savings on our Irish wedding.
In a world where the average wedding costs $31,213.00, we only spent $3,552.88. That is the story of how we saved some gold on our Irish nuptials. Who knows, maybe we will get to take that trip to Ireland someday after all.
Carrie Lowrance is a writer and author. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, The Penny Hoarder, Crosswalk, and Same Journey. She is also the author of two children’s books, Don’t Eat Your Boogers (You’ll Turn Green) and Brock’s Bad Temper (And The Time Machine). You can find out more about Carrie and her writing at http://www.carrielowrance.com