I'm an unsentimental tightwad, I admit it. My husband is semi-sentimental, but even more of a tightwad than I am. When we got engaged, I didn't get an engagement ring, rather, I got a choice: house downpayment or a diamond ring. I chose the house, because I can't live in a ring. We have a stone facade on the front of our house, so I guess it'll become a diamond in a few million years anyway, right?
One thing we agreed on was we didn't want a big bullshit wedding. I have nothing against the big blowout wedding with 300 guests (and have had the pleasure of attending several lovely amazing all-out weddings), but it so wasn't for us. If I had my way, I'd have hit the local courthouse during lunch...or preferably, Las Vegas, with both of us wasted, and Elvis presiding. Our friend Elise suggested an all-inclusive resort somewhere warm, so that's what we did.
Because our wedding was beach casual, we didn't need to worry about tuxedos and bridesmaid dresses and all that (in fact, our attendants were my husband's brother and his fiancee, who were asked 5 minutes before the ceremony, "hey, you wanna stand up there with us and hold the bouquet during the vows?" They both ended up taking pictures the whole time, which is hilarious because all our wedding pictures are of people taking pictures of us!). My husband wore some black dress pants and black dress shoes which he already had, and he bought a nice new white dress shirt and a nice belt. He should have picked a thicker shirt though because you can see his undershirt in all the pictures. Oh well, who cares. Beats renting a smelly tux or buying stuff you'll never wear again...like I had to!
Anyway, I showed up at a bridal shop (the first and only one I bothered to visit, because it was nearby) all by myself with ideas, and walked out 15 minutes later with an order for a bridesmaid dress, only in white. That was my wedding dress. Everything else was too fancy. And it's ridiculous that a dress labeled a bridesmaid dress is half the cost of an identical dress that's labeled as a bridal gown. I think I paid $100 for it, plus the alterations, which I didn't want to chance doing myself.
Then there is the veil...the greatest ripoff in all of bridal shopping. I must have visited every bridal shop on the coast of east Florida looking for a decent veil that wasn't hella expensive. They all wanted at least $100 for a "blusher" veil, meaning one that came to about just below my shoulders. I wanted something very simple: a comb with some tulle attached to it, and some trim along the edge. $100? For that? Screw that!
I went to a fabric store. I bought a pack of 2 clear plastic combs, about half a yard of tulle, a packet of 4 little satin flowers, some fabric glue, extra fine thread, and a spool of very narrow satin ribbon. Excluding the reusable items like the glue and the thread, it was under $3.00. Yeah, $3.00.
Right after that, my employer sent me on a several weeks-long business trip across the country to transition some financial junk for a company they acquired. When I wasn't working my ass off, I was stuck at the Embassy Suites in Anaheim watching CNN and American Idol and ordering the same thing off the room service menu every night. Fortunately, I brought my sewing. And I very carefully (like I had anything better to do stuck in a hotel room for a couple weeks) hand stitched the ribbon to the edge of the tulle, which I'd cut out in a large oval. After I finished sewing the ribbon to the edge, I folded it in half and hand sewed it onto the comb. Then I glued the satin flowers over the edge of the comb, which concealed the stitches that attached the veil to the comb. Voila. $3 veil. It took me a while because I was doing it all by hand (because I wasn't about to haul a sewing machine on a business trip) but I could have knocked it out in less than an hour with a machine. I had nothing better to do when I wasn't crunching numbers, so I really took my time with the stitches and made them all perfect and even.
Now that I have a serger, it would be a piece of cake to make a rolled hem on a veil to create almost the same effect using white woolly nylon. So make that 10 minutes, because I wouldn't have to stitch the ribbon to the tulle.
Obligatory shuffleboard picture. Because all brides should play shuffleboard after the vows.
So because I'm not planning on getting married again (and by the way, I threw my dress into a bag--sand and stains and all--after the wedding and haven't really done anything with it since. Sentiment...so not there) and I have my veil in a plastic bag from Target stuffed in my closet, I figure I'll give it to my girl for dress up. It's not like it cost me anything! And it's lucky. :)
I also made a wrap in case I got cold during the ceremony, which was 2 yards of white Georgette material that I hemmed, but never used it. I think that cost a whopping $10. Same thing at the bridal shop? About $75.
Wedding accessories are the ultimate rip off. Seriously, anyone who passed home economics in junior high would have the skills to have made this stuff. My husband went to the same junior high as me (where we met) and he took home ec with the same teacher. And dude, he could have sewed this stuff, that's how easy it is! The man can knit, y'all!